Guest Post: In Search Of The Economic Recovery

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Lance Roberts of Street Talk Live,


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LawsofPhysics's picture

The world has been here before.  Who are you going to believe?  The talking heads and propaganda puppets or your own lying eyes?


redpill's picture

Peak everything. Only question is how long these madmen continue pretending otherwise instead of just dealing with it.

Spastica Rex's picture

The film Melancholia wasn't just about depression, it also presented several different ways that people coped with impending doom. One of the ways was to pretend it was something else, and then commit suicide at the last moment.  And Kirsten Dunst was briefly naked.

OutLookingIn's picture

Let the games begin!

More! We want more!

Bread. Wine. Contests. Baby Boo Boo...

Jobs? We don need no steekin jobs!

Notarocketscientist's picture

Someone today suggested to me that fusion energy would save us all (cheap and unlimited energy). 

Various riff raff greenies have also suggested this to me - and when I tell them the following story they stare at me like they are retarded (it's like looking cognitive dissonance in the eye)

Let's get it straight - cheap energy is not the solution - it is the reason we are doomed.

Think about it - population growth went through the roof with the advent of cheap oil.  And with population growth you get huge resource depletion.

Take that the next level - imagine cheap energy across the globe - that would mean literally billions of people would raise their standard of living to that approaching advanced countries.

Now imagine what say 4 billion people living like Americans would do to fish, agriculture, minerals, etcc etc...

No, Cheap Energy is no answer - it would be the end of mankind

redpill's picture

I'm not sure I agree with your thesis because I would argue the true cost our energy up until this point has been horrifically expensive, perhaps not in terms of dollars but in terms of human catastrophe. When you think about how far the current energy regime has skewed wealth across the world into the hands of some of the least deserving and least responsible people in history, it could perhaps not be any more expensive than the price humanity has paid in blood and loss of liberty.

Abundant, cheap, clean energy would help many of these problems, but that's a rather moot point as there is no way in hell that would ever be allowed to happen. Governments and energy companies would never cede the endless supply of wealth and power over people that scarcity brings.

There's a reason the official government approach to fusion research is the most complicated and expensive approach possible. They want to keep the price high, the barriers to entry insurmountable, and maintain scarcity in some part of the process whether it be fuel, reactor construction materials, etc.

rwe2late's picture

 Cheap energy does not solve problems of overpopulation, environmental destruction, and global militarism.

Nor does expensive energy avoid them.

Whether a lower energy cost would hasten humanity's end more than a higher cost is uncertain.

More certain either way is the end, given what needs change.

redpill's picture

People worry about overpopulation and global warming when they should be worried about the opposite. Birth rates are dropping in developed countries dramatically, and in the future we'll need to figure out how to have an advanced economic system that does not so acutely discourage procreation. And while the world could stand to be a few degrees hotter (crop yields and overall volume of plant life would surge), global cooling would have devastating consequences.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Don't confuse cause and affect. That which cannot be sustained, won't be.  You really believe that the government is hiding some top secret energy technology from you?  Theses fuckers cannot balance a fucking checkbook, stop being stupid.

tango's picture

No, I don't think anyone is hiding anything.  (I don't think like that.)  But I disagree with your premise that cheap energy will exist only if the government announces it. Any sane person would want a supply of abundant, cheap energy because it would shift the paradigm - no more scrambling for coal, oil, gas, etc.   Andit would probably lessen the desire for all the junk we have.  And just because it doesn't exist today does not mean it won't.  If you had told someone 100 years ago about space flight, computers, television or orgam replacement they'd think you were nuts.  Personally, I have solar (active and passive), sheathing and glazing and 90% of my home 

I'm not exactly sure what the mind set is of those who simultaneously talk about peak energy then deride all attempts to fix the situation.  Their only "solution" seems to be reverting to a 16th century lifestyle.

LawsofPhysics's picture

I didn't "deride" anything.  Simply made a statement of truth.  Yes, let's invest in new technologies so we don't have to revert to that 16th century lifestyle, the fucking point is that in order to do that you need capital and resources.

Currently we have a massive mis-allocation of both.  That 16th century lifestyle will come faster than most expect if things continue as they are, no matter what you want or believe.

redpill's picture

I didn't say anything about hiding, I don't think they have alternative methods of commercialized fusion.  I'm merely pointing out they are deliberately taking a long and expensive research path to get there to develop arguably the most complex approach to a fusion reactor possible (magnetic plasma confinement in a Tokamak reactor).  Start ups like General Fusion in Canada will never be allowed to come to fruition in broad application even if their approach proves feasible because there simply isn't enough upside for big energy companies or government.

LawsofPhysics's picture

"taking a long and expensive research path"


LMFAO!!!!  Yes because developing, testing, and bringing revolutionary technologies (or drugs) to the market is easy.  What fucking planet are you on?  No fucking way you took the red pill.  Shit, the simple act of welding a bike frame isn't fucking easy, let alone figuring out how atoms work at the quantum level.  Please share whatever it is you are smoking.

redpill's picture

Wow, must have hit a nerve.  Calm down and read what I actually wrote.  Where did I say it was easy?  

The bottom line is that there are many potential approaches to commercialized fusion, and few of them would require anything near the massive cost and elongated timeline of the ITER project.  Approaches like polywell reactors or magnetized target fusion would be much less expensive, especially when it comes to maintenance and part replacement required after neutron bombardment.  Even the IGNITOR approach would be far more reasonable and more quickly attainable due to the smaller scale.  But instead everyone gets on board to build a reactor that will take ~13 years to build that they aren't sure will work and would cost a ton to maintain even if it achieves the desired output.  It reeks of trying to make this the longest, most expensive, most governmentally-controlled approach possible.

LawsofPhysics's picture

your words --> "deliberately taking a long and expensive research path "


There is no other path, to say this is "deliberate" is fucking stupid.  Read my posts, I am all for fixing inefficient government bullshit.  

But I don't see private equity lining up to take on the risk answering the numerous basic research questions that need to be addressed by all the tech you mention.

Go ahead, end the fucking government and let's see how long it takes the robber barons to bring this to the market without the safety net of a bailout.   No nerve, just me trying to fix stupid, I should know better.

redpill's picture

How can you say there is no other path when then are numerous competing strategies for commercializing fusion?  They chose to build a giant fucking tokamak instead of any number of other approaches that could prove or disprove the validity of the approach more quickly and at less cost.  So how ISN'T that deliberate?

As for private equity entering the space, maybe you haven't looked hard enough

LawsofPhysics's picture

all the private equity has entered after the basic research was done.  Sure, everyone wants to put their hand in the cookie jar once the technology is ready for prime time.  

You clearly don't understand the technology or how long it took to get there.  Oh yeah, wake me when just one city is using the technology.


redpill's picture

That's the point, thanks to the ITER approach, it will be 5 decades instead of 2 or 3, and that's if it works at all.  All science is based upon the work of others, public and private.  And you can hardly call what General Fusion is doing is "sticking their hand in the cookie jar" - that's petty and ridiculous.


eaglerock's picture

Non RS- Agree and I would also add to your comments that the energy could not only be cheap, but non-polluting; and we would still find a way to fuck it up and extinct ourselves.

HaroldWang's picture

Europe is ugly and now projecting ZERO growth for 2013. Big difference from earlier optimism. Throw in some sequestration and it's time to cue the "deer in headlights" pic.

Racer's picture

Ah but with pregnancy there is an outcome at the end of a set amount of time.

With eCONomic metrics the time scale is as long a piece of string and the metrics aren't actually real in the first place.

vote_libertarian_party's picture

And soon...$4 gas nationally.  But I'm sure it will spun as a SIGN OF STRENGTH!!!

dick cheneys ghost's picture

I will gladly support wall st and take on more debt than I can possibly EVER repay................

Notarocketscientist's picture





The man on the Clapham omnibus is unlikely to have heard of Tullett Prebon.  Tullett Prebon is an inter-dealer broker in the wholesale financial markets; Tullett Prebon acts as a link between firms to enable them to trade with each other anonymously; its brokers are the fast-talking middlemen who match buyers and sellers of complex financial products.

Tullett Prebon’s Global Head of Research, Dr Tim Morgan, has just published a substantial (84-page) report (link below) entitled, ‘Perfect Storm: Energy, Finance and the End of Growth’.  The report concludes that “the economy as we know it is facing a lethal confluence of 4 critical factors: the fall-out from the biggest debt bubble in history; a disastrous experiment with globalisation; the massaging of data to the point where economic trends are obscured; and, most important of all, the approach of an energy-returns cliff-edge” heralding the end of economic growth as we have come to know and love it this past 200 years or so.

Reports like Dr Morgan’s rarely if ever make headline news, if they make the news at all.  Did you know the report was published?  What intrigues me, however, is that for the past 5 years since the start of the global-financial-crisis-that-never-was – because insolvent banks are being and will continue to be propped up by taxpaying citizens of this generation and the next – the talk of the town has been ‘economic growth’; the subject is rarely out of the news these days.  Indeed, the quest for economic growth in the ‘developed world’ has become ever more desperate since it sunk without trace about 5 years ago, not least here in the UK.

Now just hold this thought for a moment: our complex society, indeed any modern complex society doesn’t work – it just doesn’t work – unless the economy grows consistently and reliably at around 3% per year.  This rate of growth, give or take a fraction of a percent, has been the case in the UK for many decades, and has been pretty much the average rate of economic growth around the world since about 1820.  OK, there have been ups and downs and the occasional shocks to the system (most notably the oil price shocks of the 1970s), but by and large for almost 200 years all we’ve known is compound economic growth.  Incidentally, over the same period the global population has grown about 7-fold, only slightly lagging the rate of economic growth; we’ll come back to that in later posts.

So, all of the assumptions about how the British government (well any democratic government actually) funds (through taxation and borrowing) hundreds of billions of pounds of expenditure year on year on year, are predicated on there being more money available next year, than there was this year, and that this year’s money is more than last year’s.  Economic growth is the sine qua non of how a government functions, of how we live our lives in a complex society.  When all’s said and done, politicians get voted in to office and power on the basis that they’ll spend more and more – of our money and borrowed money (they never make those latter points) – on all of the things that we’ve come to take for granted: defence, law and order, health, social services, welfare benefits etc.  However, here’s the rub: without economic growth the system starts to implode, and pretty quickly at that; honest.

You would think, wouldn’t you therefore, that when somebody like Dr Morgan (and many others like him recently) publish well-researched studies in to the deteriorating prospects for economic growth now and in to the future, there would be rather more mainstream interest in what these people have to say; but, there isn’t.

Whilst we get headline after headline declaring “shock” and “surprise” at the latest set of economic growth figures – figures which in fact scream economic contraction at worst, and at best economic stagnation – mainstream media organisations generally fail to latch on to the availability of explanations as to what is really going on.  Explanations like those provided by Dr Tim Morgan and others (about whom more in later posts, but for now let’s roll call Colin Campbell, Richard Heinberg, Chris Martenson, Gail Tverberg, Jeff Rubin, Michael C Ruppert, Jeremy Leggett et al).

Even if the mainstream press does pick up on a report like Tim Morgan’s, the report tends to be little short of ridiculed.  Institutional economics orthodoxy kicks in and the implication tends to be that either the author is an imposter (no formal training in economics, say) or the author is a swivel-eyed fruitcake.

Take for example an article in the Daily Telegraph earlier this week (link below) on Dr Morgan’s report.  Jeremy Warner is assistant editor at the Daily Telegraph and – according to his employer – “one of Britain’s leading business and economics commentators.”  Mr Warner is a fine and principled journalist by any measure.  Mr Warner has seen the Tullett Prebon report (I’m doubtful as to whether he read it from cover to cover) and concluded that it is “nonsense.  In fact, it’s not proper economics at all, but economics as a morality play in which, rather in the manner of Sodom and Gomorrah, we are condemned to prolonged punishment, nay, death and destruction, for the indulgence of the past.”  Mr Warner goes on to state that he is “not trying to belittle the very serious nature of today’s economic adjustment, still less claim that it is essentially over, but [Tullett Prebon’s report] is proselytising [in a way] that owes more to the pulpit than to the world of serious economic discourse.”

In essence, Mr Warner dismisses Tullett Prebon’s report as so much tosh.  Now, if this isn’t a shame, or unbecoming of “one of Britain’s leading business and economics commentators”, it’s a dangerous attitude to the growing challenge to economics orthodoxy emanating from various quarters these days.  After all, unlike the physical sciences, economics – the ‘dismal science’ – is a pseudo-science.  As Jeremy Warner’s erstwhile colleague Edmund Conway himself states, “the dirty little secret of economics is that it’s not really complicated at all – why should it be?  It is the study of humanity, and as such its ideas are little more than common sense.”

It seems strange then that Jeremy Warner should see fit to imply that Tim Morgan is not a proper economist, and that Dr Morgan’s contribution to the economic growth debate is not serious economic discourse.  How does Mr Warner justify his rather vacuous assault on what is an extremely well-researched and tightly argued report?    Clearly, Jeremy Warner considers that his common sense is superior to Tim Morgan’s.

What we seem to be witnessing these days is the orthodox economics community, of which Mr Warner is a member, coming under pressure from what I tend to think of as alternative economists; people like Tim Morgan and those folk whose names I listed earlier (and there are more).

The alternative economists are pointing out to the orthodox economists that perhaps the assumptions that the orthodoxy has held precious for 200 years merit an audit.  After all, the study of economics per se is a relatively recent feature of mankind’s interest in his surroundings, arguably since Adam Smith commenced proceedings in 1776 when he published ‘The Wealth of Nations’.

For the purpose of this post, I’ll leave you with an extract from Dr Morgan’s report and you can decide for yourself whether the report is likely to be adding nothing to serious economic discourse:

The economy is a surplus energy equation, not a monetary one, and growth in output (and in the global population) since the Industrial Revolution has resulted from the harnessing of ever-greater quantities of energy.  But the critical relationship between energy production and the energy cost of extraction is now deteriorating so rapidly that the economy as we have known it for more than two centuries is beginning to unravel.”

brundlefly's picture

An excellent post. In answer to your question--the current paradigm of neoclassical economics is about to change. Much like science, when a
collection of hypotheses which form the basis of a theory can no longer hold up to scrutiny, the whole theory is thrown out, and a new theory is
born from the ashes. Neoclassical economics and its cult of fanatical followers will not accept a paradigm change, because such a change is a threat to their profession and to the years of training they took in order to accept the paradigm. Science has already clearly shown that Solow's model is WRONG, and that energy (not "innovation") explains economic growth over the last 200 years. To accept that perpetual economic growth is impossible is heresy now, but in a few short years it will be taken as self evident. Then, economics can be the great science that it deserves to be.

Jason T's picture

shitty productivity growth.. it could go negative in years ahead.. then we're really up the creed without a paddle.. or should I say stuck in the Gulf of Mexico without an engine?


Armstrong warning on Dow ..

azzhatter's picture

Yep, I think this is key. Maybe we have soaked up all the productivity gains of the technology revolution and now we will see declines. Only big thing left is robotics and that will eliminate jobs. I've been thinking about this and without productivity gains any/all wage increases are inflationary. Not a happy ending

ebworthen's picture

Over $6 TRILLION of theft (FED Easing) and all it got us was a downward slope in GDP.


JR's picture

America is headed for a desert void of consumers.

If Bernanke doubles printing tomorrow, it won't fix the economy; printing and corruption won't put people back to work; it's only further proof that Keyensian economics has no answer.

The Keynesians don’t understand economics. It always fails. The economy is failing and is going to take the markets away from them. If Bernanke and the central bankers wanted world government to work, they are losing the war; their managed world is in chaos.

The officials of the Fed have begun to see the Fed as their own private company; that they need to make a profit and the greater the profits the more successful the Fed, i.e., their investment banks such as Goldman Sachs don’t miss a day when they don’t make money. GS is like a money machine; you just turn it on, and voila. Money!

As San Francisco longshoreman, Eric Hoffer noted three decades ago in his defense of freedom and the free market in his book, Before the Sabbath:

“Lenin and Stalin between them liquidated at least sixty million Russians in order to build factories and dams. America welcomed thirty million immigrants to build factories and dams. Capitalism is fueled by the individual’s appetites, ambitions, fears, hopes and illusions. Communism forces people to hate what they love and love what they hate. Imagine a country of land-hungry peasants forced to renounce ownership of land. Imagine a system that frowns on friendship, free association and individual enterprise. It is no wonder that after sixty years the Russian Communist party must still coerce, suspect and minutely regulate the Russian people.”

A reviewer of Hoffer’s book wrote: “The intellectuals’ dislike of capitalism, Hoffer points out, is based upon the fact that in capitalist societies, they are not in charge: the people set the agenda. ‘Communism was invented by highbrows,’ he writes, ‘while capitalism was initiated by lowbrows.’

Hoffer said he could not imagine himself living in a socialist society. 'Only those who hate freedom, he declared, hate America.'"

Keynesianism is soft communism.

Everybodys All American's picture

The Con game continues over at anything NBC.

ebworthen's picture

And now that Cumcast owns NBC outright, expect it to get worse.

Let's see:  cable company that sells advertising by crony capitalist corporations to induce consumptive debt spending.  Think they have an incentive to pump the markets and the myth that we aren't in a Depression?

wisefool's picture

Kramer invests in gold for his charity. He pumps and dumps for the guys "who can take it"

new game's picture

what we are seeing is that the fed is not printing enuf fast enuf to keep abreast of the other dirty shit crew; hence dolla strong and pm suffering - at least for the interm


One World Mafia's picture

When the debt bomb explodes there will be terrorist bombs of the al-CIA-da variety going off at the same time to blame on the demise of the "fragile" recovery that never really was.

DaddyO's picture



Subterfuge Forever!


haskelslocal's picture

Curious to the potential vaule derived from a CNBC word cloud with bookend dates of 2006-Present.

If you could focus in and pan out and get specific, there'd be some real gems in there I'm sure.

madcows's picture

I don't need graphs to show me that for the last decade my income has stagnated while inflation has ballooned.

I don't need graphs to show me "my" govenment spends far more than gets in revenue.

I don't need a graph to show me the exponential government debt growth and its impact on the economy.

I don't need a graph to know that my income must support millions that don't work.

I don't need a graph to know that Waskington DC is not interested in the good of the Country, and that they will sell me and my children down the river for a buck.

I don't need a graph to know this clusterfuck will end badly for me and my family.  FU Washington and Wall St.  May the people hold you accountable with your lives, and may they history books record your sins against this nation and its people.

syntaxterror's picture

The only motherfucking thing needed to "prime consumer spending" is Hussein-Obama. Ever hear of the trillion dollar student loan bonanza? Or the record setting food stamp enrollment? Or the 90% government-backed mortgage industry spewing free money from the heavens? Or the Hussein-Obama green energy revolution led by Solydra, the Chevy Volt and legions of failed solar and battery makers?


Squid Vicious's picture

"goldilocks" - they are borrowing terminology from the closet homosexual and ex coke abuser Larry Krudlow, who has transfigured all his vices and is now a catholic stalwart... but will still lose you alot of $ and not feel any remorse, which was his biggest "sin" to begin with

Joseph Jones's picture

Humbly and respectfully, really: I suggest readers completely abandon use of the term "Catholic" from the Latin "catholicus" which translates to "universal."  No so-called "church" can simultaneously be "universal" and centered in Rome, as is the so-called "Roman Catholic" church.

It seems more accurate to simply label this apostasy the "Roman" church, as that is what it is: A church whose existence centers in Rome. 

All tax-subsidized churches need immediate flushing down the sewer of history. 

Lord Of Finance's picture

CNBS numbskulls callin this giant shit stain and hemmrhoid market/economy an f'n 'goldilocks'?


Yeah. It will be a real GOLD-i-LOCK economy when the dollar plummets into the oblivion!


Hey man. I ain't really the one that's cheerleading the dollars demise. THEY are.

NEOSERF's picture

I'll go Rosie one better, as long as 1/3 of the top 10 "indicators" of recession are positive, that is enough to keep this grinding forward....we don't care about peaks or all time records, this artificial CB period is completely damping volume, velocity and volatility.  Dunklewood is right, there was nothing in the speech for small business..why would there be, they need to quiet down, pay more taxes for those that don't wanna work as we move to implement the Croissant Model of Economics