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Guest Post: Is The Economic Crisis An Indictment Of Capitalism?

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Shawn Ritenour via the Foundations of Economics blog,

One of the sad narratives of the financial meltdown of 2008 and its aftermath is that it was and remains the result of unbridled capitalism. Too much freedom spoiled the economic broth.

While doing research for a current project I'm working on, I came upon a remarkable essay by Ludwig von Mises. It turns out that Mises considered the question of whether economic crisis is an indictment of laissez-faire capitalism back in 1931 in the wake of the worst global economic downturn of the Twentieth Century.

In an essay, "The Economic Crisis and Capitalism," published in the German Neue Freie Presse (available in English Translation in Selected Writings of Ludwig von Mises, Vol. 2), he explains why the answer to the question is a decided no!

It is almost universally asserted that the severe economic crisis under which the world presently is suffering has provided proof of the impossibility of retaining the capitalist system. Capitalism, it is thought, has failed; and its place must be taken by a better system, which clearly can be none other than socialism.
That the currently dominant system has failed can hardly be contested. But it is another question whether the system that has failed was the capitalist system or whether, in fact, it is not anticapitalist policy--interventionism, and national and municipal socialism--that is to blame for the catastrophe.
The structure of our society resets on the division of labor and on the private ownership of the means of production. In this system the means of production are privately owned and are used either by the owners themselves--capitalists and landowners--for production, or turned over to other entrepreneurs who carry out production partly with their own and partly with others' means of production. In the capitalist system the market functions as the regulator of production. The price structure of the market decides what will be produced, how, and in what quantity. Through the structure of prices, wages, and interest rates the market brings supply and demand into balance and sees to it that each branch of production will be as fully occupied as corresponds to the volume and intensity of the effective demand. Thus capitalist production derives its meaning from the market. Of course, a temporary imbalance between production and demand can occur, but the structure of market prices makes sure that the balance is reestablished in a short time. Only when the mechanism of the market is disturbed by external interventions is the effect of market prices on the regulation of production prevented; they are disturbances that no longer can be remedied by the automatic reactions of the market, disturbance that are not temporary but prolonged.

In a free market rooted in private property, the only way entrepreneurs are able to sustain profits is by serving customers better than anyone else. It is only when they receive special privileges through preferential regulation, subsidies, bailouts and the like that they are able to reap profits for which they have not sowed productive activity.

I was struck by how much of what Mises said about the response of many to the Great Depression applies closely to our current situation. Just like Mises, we must never tire of explaining the fallacies in the thinking of those who think the Great Recession is a clear case of the failure of capitalism. In fact, it is a quintessential example of the failures of interventionism to bring about anything other than economic destruction and relative impoverishment.


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Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:28 | 3708006 Baldrick
Baldrick's picture

No, it is an indictment of fascism.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:30 | 3708007 prains
prains's picture

Crony capitalism is not the same as unbridled capitalism, loose lips make for loose definitions, makes for co opted meanings, meaning more confusion less action. STOP fucking it up 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:00 | 3708066 macholatte
macholatte's picture



You have been distracted.  All fingers point away from the culprit.

The cause of the "Economic Crisis" is a failure of government.  

Start here: Why does a soverign country cede its sovereignty to a central bank?



Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:20 | 3708126 Marco
Marco's picture

Government in the US isn't like the Kafka'esque governments of the old eastern block countries though ... they don't exist in isolation. Current US government is almost entirely coopted by money, partly through campaign financing ... but mostly through revolving door employment deals.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:31 | 3708273 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

whether economic crisis is an indictment of laissez-faire capitalism back in 1931

60 major banking crisis later...But anyway, the good news is the world is exactly the same as it was in 1931 so anything said in 1931 is perfectly applicable to the economic envrionment we currently face. 

In a free market rooted in private property, the only way entrepreneurs are able to sustain profits is by serving customers better than anyone else.

Whenever a sentence starts with "in a free market.." you know you're going to hear some ridiculous bullshit, Ritenour didn't disappoint!

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 18:39 | 3708372 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Central banking/central planning and regulatory capture has destroyed Western countries.  It wasn't a market economy that wiped us out.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 19:34 | 3708698 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

That is very deep, did it take you a long time to reach that conclusion?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 19:49 | 3708733 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture



It becomes apparent to objective observers over time; most still don't get it.

Assuming from your comment that you are from the "we just need more regulation" camp.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 23:04 | 3709104 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Apologies...I got detained...

Actually, we need less regulation... We need the right regulation; it must be enforceable regulation. Remember that dude Adam Smith, even he was aware of the need for a "well regulated" market place...

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 00:48 | 3709215 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Ah yes.  The right, enforceable regulation.  And then the centralized regulatory power gets coopted and regulatory capture is achieved and those who own the regulators are overlooked while they fleece the system.

THere were more than enough regulations in place to stop the financial crimes that were committed over the past two decades.

The whole problem starts with central banking and central control of the economy and it ripples out from there to capture of all of the regulatory bodies.  Only the market can effectively regulate.


Mon, 07/01/2013 - 02:00 | 3709310 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

And then the centralized regulatory power gets coopted and regulatory capture

Is watching Teh Pr0z considered regulatory capture?

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 08:41 | 3709630 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I will cite one example, the commercial banking sector in Canada....

Commercial banks are seen as a public utility and are tightly regulated.,.. Care to remind us of how many banking crisis have occured in Canada over the past 200 years?

It is clear that you are incapable of rising above simple slogans when discussing the isses.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 12:47 | 3710451 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Canadian banks remain levered 20:1, they also received a +$110 billion dollar bailout of which $70 of toxic sub-prime loans were taken on by the CMHC (Fed Gov), and white collar crime is basically not enforced in Canada,.... the list goes on.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 13:40 | 3710683 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The irony of you posting a link to a left wing Canadian thinktank is delectable....

And, really? Op-Ed pieces from Yahoo!   But I tend to agree with you in that white-collar crime is not addressed as it should be...

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 15:22 | 3711045 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Thought that would appeal to you.  They originated the story. Other links to the story of bank bailouts as well if you have any time for research.

Now back to your point of Canada's banks and bank regulation being excellent.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 15:53 | 3711151 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You really need to stop putting words in other peoples mouths if you want to carry on an adult conversation....

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 21:52 | 3708780 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:43 | 3708412 LibertarianMenace
LibertarianMenace's picture

Only 60? Now that's bullshit. Centralized control has been such a hit. I'd settle for what's called the principle of least sub-optimality. To paraphrase, it's wise to accept that everything you do is going to suck, so why not do the thing that sucks the least? Like "in a free market"...Only the mentally dangerous strive for perfection.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 19:26 | 3708676 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

bingo, at least you can call it the cleanest dirty shirt in the hamper...  that's all it is...  the unbridled capitalism nuthugging that goes on here and elsewhere is nothing short of a religion... 

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 22:28 | 3712356 LibertarianMenace
LibertarianMenace's picture

"...that's all it is..." But least sub-optimality means that picking "the cleanest dirty shirt" is sufficient to do the most economic good.

In this context, there would be no argument, given the history of "freer markets" over that of the alternatives. But as always, progs are looking for

perfection, and finding none, are miserable, and expect us to share their misery. Count me out. I saw the Iron Curtain, and read enough of guillotines

to know that it could be worse. Now based on what progs like (the state) versus what they don't (freer markets), I'd say they're hell bent on making

things worse. To me, that makes them dangerous.


Instead all it takes is to judge the problems caused by freer markets the way modern physics considers uncertainty: simply recognize the dangers posed, and therefore consider them half-removed. That sucks the least, and will therefore be best.




Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:24 | 3708132 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Government can't fix problems. Government creates problems. 

The only failure of our government, with regard to the economic crisis, is not getting the fuck out of the way and letting the market find its own equilibrium.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:35 | 3708152 Marco
Marco's picture

What if the equilibrium is mass culling and neofeudalism for what's left?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:56 | 3708170 xtop23
xtop23's picture

"We had to suspend Capitalism, to save it."

We're seeing the fruits of that approach as we speak, aren't we?

Stupid and injured antelope die. By putting government in the way, you don't make more healthy and capable antelope. You make idiotic, parasitic lions.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:35 | 3708280 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Stupid and injured antelope die. By putting government in the way, you don't make more healthy and capable antelope. You make idiotic, parasitic lions.

lol, didn't realize we had a brilliant resident biologist!

Read up on antelope, you might actually learn a few things. 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 18:50 | 3708578 xtop23
xtop23's picture

So you're saying that predators don't make a herd of prey healthier by removing the frail and sick from the population thereby allowing the stronger members increased reproductive success?

James.... that's about the most idiotic thing I have ever read on ZH. 

A very sarcastic +1 for your lack of neuron utilization on this topic.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 19:10 | 3708638 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

So you're saying that predators don't make a herd of prey healthier by removing the frail and sick from the population thereby allowing the stronger members increased reproductive success?

Nope, I did not say that.

You said:

Stupid and injured antelope die. By putting government in the way, you don't make more healthy and capable antelope. You make idiotic, parasitic lions.

Which is moronic in many ways but also exactly backward. Lions seek the weak antelope specifically because they have no chance against the herd. Antelope main defence against lions is their numbers, they even protect the weak by encircling them. 

It's comical that you're comparing government negatively against antelope when antelope are among the most collective animal groups and are also very difficult prey for more solitary animals like the cheetah, in spite of the cheetah's superior speed.  

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 00:22 | 3709036 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Yes, let's ignore the main thrust of my initlal comment to argue the finer points of predator vs. prey on the Serengeti.

Jesus, James have you ever even kissed a girl?


In the context I was describing the lions, I suppose I could have simply said, "Less than they could be."

By squeezing out competition (government intervention via legislative or monetary means),

the lions (banks / Wall Street / large corporations)

are in a situation where the antelope (the business "pool", if you will)

are handed to them on a platter (liquidated / relegated to decreased market share / made less competitive).

Would that situation make the lions more or less capable predators?

Or would that in fact make the term "parasite" more appropriate? 

Would that then also make the lions less intelligent, since the stupid and injured antelope would continue to breed young that are even more weak and idiotic?

Would that not then imply that the lions would require less intelligence for a successful kill?

You don't have to sneak up on a Twinkie, do you?

If the above questions, with the fairly obvious answers, are true, my point remains valid in the sense that it was intended.

Yours, simply patronizing.

I suppose it all depends on what your concept of the ideal lion is.

As far as my comment, " don't make more healthy and capable antelope."

When the government prevents the restructuring required, by protecting less competitive or faulty businesses (stupid and injured antelope) which thrive under such an environment,

the result is greater and greater misallocations of capital and propagation of failure (more stupid and injured antelope).

You certainly don't create many successes, and the ones that succeed, rarely do it for less than what the private sector could have done it for.



"It's comical that you're comparing government negatively against antelope when antelope are among the most collective animal groups and are also very difficult prey for more solitary animals like the cheetah, in spite of the cheetah's superior speed."


Well, I find you quite comical, James.









Mon, 07/01/2013 - 02:51 | 3709324 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

This is quite the wandering rant you put together here. 

Your analogy of Antelope / lions has really gone off the rails entirely, not even worth bothering a comment on. 


When the government prevents the restructuring required, by protecting less competitive or faulty businesses (stupid and injured antelope) which thrive under such an environment, the result is greater and greater misallocations of capital and propagation of failure (more stupid and injured antelope). 

The US .gov is a ruling group writing laws based on lobbying from special interests, protects US businesses worldwide via trade regulations + a gigantic military & reserve currency and votes on legislation written by corporate lawyers. 

Why on Earth would this government do anything contrary to the interests of the people who pay their elections, the only people of any importance to them?

You certainly don't create many successes, and the ones that succeed, rarely do it for less than what the private sector could have done it for.

"Private sector" in the US is right up there with the Sasquatch, people claim to have seen it but we all know it doesn't really exist. Any company of any importance is tied in tight to the centre of power. 


Mon, 07/01/2013 - 00:20 | 3709219 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

A predator should be the strongest, most brilliant, who gains respect and admiration from the masses.  Those who are considered predator have gained their positions by slight of hand.  Only one reason they'd resort to shifty methods is because they are unworthy predators and should in fact be prey. 

If you cannot reach the top without killing everyone on the bottom, you do not deserve to be there.

The weak.  Who are the weak?  The children?  The sick and old?  Are you telling us we should have a world where there are no invalids?  Well, that is a world where comparison to one another would take on a whole new meaning.  The compassion and empathy of man is what I believe is called love.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 01:22 | 3709268 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Your first sentence I wholeheartedly agree with.

"Most" of the current predators, yes, they achieved their positions through much less savory means.

They resort to "shifty" means because government creates an environment where the field of play isn't level.

Government has the guns. the laws, the jails, the avenue for recourse (courts), and create the money, along with the ability to control interest rates (at least currently...... Hello Mr.10 year !!)

As far as the last paragraph goes, I was talking about governments, their cozy relationship with corporations and the agents of finance, and its impact on the marketplace.


As far as government interventions like the entitlement state, I believe America could use a little bit of social Darwinism.

Not because I look down on helping the sick, infirm, old, destitute, uneducated, and incapable, but because the mechanism by which government does this is ineffective, significantly more expensive, and rather than it "giving those in need a leg up" in fact exiles them to a continued existence in the lowest strata of society.

People that are convinced, that such citizens would be without aid in times of crisis, never seem able to explain to me how these folks were able to survive prior to the establishment of the entitlement state.

Even people with the most hardcore, liberal mindset, must admit that there are a multitude of citizens that are currently collecting funds from the entitlement system and shouldn't.

Here's an example;

I transported a 32 year old caucasian female who was living in a motel, gravida 16 / para 12 (meaning she'd been pregnant 16 times and had 12 kids), and informed me during the transport, that she was attempting to get pregnant again, "so that she could get a bit more on her check."

I don't mind helping people, but are you kidding me?


That kind of crap should infuriate taxpayers, and the politicians that facilitate this shit.

And even if I was predisposed to largesse at a level as nauseating as this, we have approx. 340 million people in this country. 

Greenspan said it best, "We can guarantee cash benefits as far out and at whatever size you like, but we cannot guarantee their purchasing power."

Anyway, sorry to get off on a rant. 

Heavy flow day, I'll go change my pad.





Mon, 07/01/2013 - 03:36 | 3709341 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

Thank you for your reply.  I am so glad I found it.

Americans were not always like this.  If you spent any time in the 1950s and 1960s, you'd know that other than large cities, the poor side of town was a street or two.  There was 1 or 2 pregnant teen girls.  A very small portion of "special education children."  And there were only a few kids out of each class who flunked the grade.  I went to 3 high schools.  Lived or visited many places.  I was fascinated with "The Americans" and so watched from afar at their solid opinions and self-assured approach to everything. 

Broken homes is the problem with regard to churning out nonproductive citizens who cannot stand to be sober for more than a short time.  Not all of them fall apart but sensitive children in a life that is unpredictable, lacks a structured day, a routine that he can count on so he can focus on school work and his relationship with his peers, finding his gifts such as music or art, carpentry, or writing a book.  These features of ours do require the ability to develop them, a person somewhere who has faith in his ability to succeed and if he does it, that is okay as well.

The agenda has been discussed many times.  People have little value to those who appear to be in charge of us.  Hideous crimes, starvation, unfairness reeking out of every crevice of a society is found acceptable.  Distraction.  Distract the masses while a banking scheme to undermine the soverignity of a nation is a mode of operation.   The people in the streets today have been faced with shortages of food, electricity, jobs, freedom to move while their leaders are living large, floating around the seas on a several million dollar yacht, drinking only the finest of wines, enjoying what this planet has to offer us in exchange for the struggle to survive, a fucking vacation on Cloud Nine. 

How in the world do you expect people to survive in a collapsing economy if the govt does not help them?  Everyone on my street has been robbed.  Take away food and you will be seeing desperate people doing desperate things.  The state of the US work force is a reflection of the diet they are fed, the medical care they receive and the failure of the Food and Drug Administration to ensure the food the taxpayer is fed meets their daily nutritional requirements.   Sluggish, unmotivated, so large it pairs me to watch them walk, for god's sake, do you really think these people can put in a 40 hour week without becoming a patient in the ER?  Yuri Bezmenov talks of how a country would be collapsed from within.  He states in so many words something similar to this:  there comes a point when the govt no longer cares about the condition of the citizens, whether they are healthy or not.

Wanting a sick, indebted, overburdened citizenry to be in place makes no sense because they'd not be able to work...unless you did not want them to work,  so that less tax revenue is collected and the bank is required to make up the difference.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 03:01 | 3709328 PT
PT's picture

xtop23:  "The only failure of our government, with regard to the economic crisis, is not getting the fuck out of the way and letting the market find its own equilibrium."
Like when they repealed Glass-Steagall? 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:11 | 3708142 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

The crisis (and crises) we've experienced (and have been experiencing throughout history) owes much to the continually more concentrated, focused & creative (many argue the "creative" has now crossed into the "massively parasitic") methods that central banks propped up by private interests (who so happen to have captured the legislative, executive and judiciary branches - and the regulators that they delegate authority to - of our alleged constitutional form of republican democracy, nearly completely now) have implemented to "financialize" large segments of the economy, thus allowing for monopoly control (using monopoly fiat) of all levers of the now centrally planned economy.

It'''s almost as if there's a really, really important reason/purpose (with really, really important people with very strong motives) the central fiat printing "bank" that is sometimes associated with the U.S. (despite it maintaining it's a private entity when it tries to hide documents/data, as in the FOIA case brought be a late Bloomberg Reporter)'s almost as if there's a reason it's been killed twice before, and yet now has come back under the name "Federal Reserve Bank" for a third time....

Fukkin' tinfoil conspiracy theorists...I know, right?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 18:15 | 3708496 prains
prains's picture

They figured out the boom bust cycles they'd been manufacturing for decades actually gave them more power after each bust and with a smile they said; "boys it's time to take this ship over" bwwwwaaaaaahhhaaaaaahaaaaaaa

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 19:34 | 3708697 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You're...  kind of right.  The overarching issue is self interest.  I'll posit that so long as self interest, security, and comfort are inherent in humans, then we will have power structures that ensure rent seeking.  Central banks are only but a single instance of a rent seeking power structure.  I think the mistake you make by focusing on the central bank is that you ignore that if it isn't a central bank, then it will simply be some other structure.  Thus, you're chasing windmills.

Wealth is continually more and more concentrated because it's what self interest demands.  Past that, the method utilized is rather irrelevant...  it's necessarily going to be at the expense of others and, in all likelihood, punitive towards them (us).

Granted, the tip of the spear that's stuffed up our collective ass is the central bank, but it's rather trivial compared to the rest of the shaft.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 20:49 | 3708835 prains
prains's picture

self interest.......where has that culturally metastisized to cancerous proportions......hmmmmm, lets ask Jean Baudrillard;

" When the empire declines, the map fades into the landscape and there is neither the representation nor the real remaining"


smart fuckers need to last longer

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:50 | 3708317 Kayman
Kayman's picture

"Why does a soverign country cede its sovereignty to a central bank?"

I know it's an incomplete answer, but because politicians sell their souls for peanuts.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 01:52 | 3709302 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

The cause of the "Economic Crisis" is government.


Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:41 | 3708037 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

What we have now is NOT Capitalism - it's a criminal loot-fest not yet Fascist but heading that way.... criminal enterprises paired with government extracting all they can from the population with the protection and connivance of government, a system that benefots a VERY few at the expense of all others.

Capitalism is a competitive enviropnment where the best VALUE - determined by function, perofrmance and price - competing with others - rises to the top.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:01 | 3708069 Theta_Burn
Theta_Burn's picture

Dont know why you would earn a junk for this post, between you and Prains above, point summed up completely.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 19:44 | 3708719 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Not at all...

Repeat after me, CAPITALISM DOES NOT EXIST OUTSIDE OF ACADEMIA.  Period.  The only thing that exists in the real world is self interest.  The fundamental foundation of capitalism, the market, is the antithesis of self interest.  Conceptually, people are supposed to compete against one another to the point they have normalized (zero) profits?  Really?  I wonder then, why in every instance it's ever attempted, that "capitalism" doesn't last very long?  It's simply a failed concept.

Further, to enforce capitalism, you inherently need a regulator of the markets.  Well, in practice, this ends no differently than a centrally planned economy.  Why?  Because self interest of market participants dictates that the regulator be used for rent seeking, ergo barriers to entry, confiscation, distraction, etc.  Repeat after me, THE MARKET REGULATOR IS ALWAYS CORRUPTED.  (and I'm giving the benefit of the doubt that it starts out with honest intentions).

Humans have been grappling with this issue for centuries (actually, since existence given it's a much broader problem than simple labels for the economy, but I digress) and we act like we just thought it up... 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:51 | 3708040 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

It's getting pretty scary to see America turning into a monster.

Let's hope the Allies will never need to make a landing on American soil.

Here in Europe, maybe not a lot of people understand economics and politics but they all understand what fascisme and What the Nazi's did and this tapping is very very very close as scene 1 at what Germany did in the 30's

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:40 | 3708159 Kinskian
Kinskian's picture

Every time the memory of Hitler and the Nazis is evoked by a Western European or American, another non-white immigrant gives birth in a European or American hospital. Which raises the question: when it comes to genocide, is it better to give or to receive?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:19 | 3708377 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

okay, those non white where part of plan A... plan A was look for somebody else to pay for all this crap we call social security.... it kind of backfired...

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:11 | 3708096 Rusticus
Rusticus's picture

"No, it is an indictment of fascism."

True ... but Warren Buffet says he'll make the trains run on time.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:16 | 3708115 xtop23
xtop23's picture

So did Wesley Mouch

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:20 | 3708122 They trynna cat...
They trynna catch me ridin dirty's picture

The Judeo-internationalist NWO that we live under is not "fascism"!!!

This can't be said enough. Read Mussolini, Goebbels, Mosley, etc. The core of fascism is NATIONALISM, i.e., the exact opposite of what is being preached by those in power (internationalism).

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:59 | 3708332 Kayman
Kayman's picture

"The core of fascism is NATIONALISM" ?

  A primary TOOL of fascism is Nationalism.  They beat the drum and raise the flag everytime someone threatens their power. Not because a bunch of fascists are nationalists at heart.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:58 | 3708447 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The core of modern facism is WORLDISM.

Get with the times.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 00:53 | 3709201 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

You're right.  Modern facism is taking on the form of Worldism or global collectivism, that's what is being promoted by the system and the MSM.  Caring and worrying about the entire world and wanting to change it for the better.  People today are taught to view Nationalism as ignorant, not cool.   Multiculturalism is cool.  We're all citizens of the World.  We can all work together to better serve humanity and protect the environment  That's how they dismiss sovereignty and sell people on the idea of a "necessary" NWO.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:20 | 3708125 freewolf7
freewolf7's picture

It's the banks.
It's the banks.
It's the banks.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:26 | 3708137 ATM
ATM's picture

It's the governments.

It's the governments.

It's the governments.


They hold the power. The banks have only entered into a symbiotic relationship yet they too will be destrpoyed when government is ready.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:40 | 3708158 freewolf7
freewolf7's picture

(The banks run the governments.)

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:34 | 3708279 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Get rid of the government and they lose all power.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:48 | 3708313 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Power systems are like energy, can't be created or destroyed - can only switch hands. Question is, do you want it in a few hands or many?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:52 | 3708325 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Figments of your imagination should be treated as such.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:57 | 3708333 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Only an American (or someone equally brain-washed) would claim entrenched systems of power don't exist. 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:06 | 3708348 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

So you admit that you have nothing but Ad-Homs to offer this conversation, as you are angry that you believe in imaginary things.


The government is nothing but an idea, and a silly one at that. There is no real power there, just the perception of it held by many people creating the illusion that it is real. When the currency collapses the idea will disappear and reality will show it's face and rip apart any delusions you have about power being something other than an idea. Those are just humans like the rest of us out here, and equally frail and even more fearful of us than 'we' should be of them. Which is why they project the constant image of being all powerful and dominant. That is why Police States and Fascism start, because governments are unwilling to give up that portrayed illusion, so they try to create it in the real world.


The real delusion is that you still believe in the projected imagery and the narratives.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:11 | 3708361 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

So you're an American lol

There is no real power there, just the perception of it held by many people creating the illusion that it is real. When the currency collapses the idea will disappear and reality will show it's face and rip apart any delusions you have about power being something other than an idea.

OMG the do you think the reserve currency is???

Here's an idea brilliant libertarian, head down to northern mexico, leave your passport behind in 'merica. Drive around in a car with Mexican plates and pretty quick you'll be stopped by the Mexican army. When they ask what you're up to tell them it's none of their business.

We'll see how 'imaginary' their power is. 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:18 | 3708373 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Their power is in the fact that they are armed, not in that the government is real power.


Then again, I doubt you would be able to tell the difference between force and coercion and delusions. You clearly are incapable of doing that here.


So what if I am from the US? You realize this is an American site, and the targetted audience is the US, right?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:37 | 3708400 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Their power is in the fact that they are armed, not in that the government is real power.

This is like explaining math to a two year old. What do you think .gov is backedup by? Strong words?

Then again, I doubt you would be able to tell the difference between force and coercion and delusions. You clearly are incapable of doing that here.

How power works: first they give you an illusion of being on the same team (or in America 'freedom') if that fails they coerce you to join, when words fail force enters the picture. Or they just disappear you. 

So what if I am from the US?  

Only Americans tend to be this stupid, countries not facing the same level of propaganda usually understand power systems. In the US you are protected 24/7 by a giant empire. Your delusions of libertarianism would disappear pretty quick if you travelled much outside the empire without your passport. 


Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:42 | 3708410 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

See that post is clearly a representation of why you are lost here. Government is nothing but force, because real power as you were implying does not exist. Then you change your argument to make it seem like that is what you were referring to the whole time.


I have Dual-Citizenship with what you would call a third world country. You should not assume that I am privileged because I am not scared of armed men like you seem to be.



Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:58 | 3708446 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

See that post is clearly a representation of why you are lost here. Government is nothing but force, because real power as you were implying does not exist. 

Yeah, I'm not talking about magical rings as sources of power. Who do you think the Mexican army works for?? The people? When institutions fail it creates a power vaccuum - there are whole cities in Mexico more or less cut off from what westerners would consider governemnt institutions. A libertarians dream right?

I have Dual-Citizenship with what you would call a third world country. You should not assume that I am privileged

I didn't assume you were privileged, I didn't assume anything. You demonstrated stupidity so I went with that.

because I am not scared of armed men like you seem to be.

Having spent some time travelling around Northern Mexico, you run into the Mexican army at night somewhere unexpected - you would be. You'll clutch that American passport like your life depends on it 'cause who knows, it might. 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 18:16 | 3708500 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Exactly. Government is a belief system backed by force. Get rid of the beliefs and you get rid of government.  

Currently there are 98+% government believers and you have government. If it were 98+% anarchists, there wouldn't be government.

If all the Catholic believers disappeared, there wouldn't be a Catholic Church. 


Sun, 06/30/2013 - 18:39 | 3708562 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Exactly. Government is a belief system backed by forceGet rid of the beliefs and you get rid of government.  

The force just goes 'poof!' and disappears. Military parks all its tanks, brings aircraft carriers to port, grounds the drones, turns off the satellites, shuts down the NSA computers, contractors shelve their weapons... and they all take other jobs like flipping burgers at McDonalds. 

Bankers who formerly hoarded capital admit they were misguided all along and pledge to live simple lives of farming to atone for their mistakes in controlling the world. 

Resource allocation is done on an egalitarian basis, a market is established for true free trade between people all over the world without any special exceptions for formerly concentrated capital in the West (as they also have come to their senses and realized competition is more fun than monopolistically controlling industry and making gobs of $). 

The plutocracy apologize for ruining nations and promise to give their wealth to charity. 

 Everyone lives happily ever after. 

Magical thinking is grand Anus!

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 20:34 | 3708803 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

All it takes is for you and your ilk to disappear and no more alpha-male hierarchies and their minions.

No more ants, no more ant colony.


Mon, 07/01/2013 - 16:15 | 3711220 akak
akak's picture

I don't know about anyone else here, but I have come to simply love downarrowing James_Cole's arrogant and pro-statist bullshit.

Yes, James, you have entered the elite territory of "automatically downvoted troll".  Even when you are not spreading half-truths and lies about gold, you are still a particularly unpleasant piece of shit.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 02:07 | 3709312 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Government is an abstract. It does not exist and has no physical properties, but to be comprised of people. People who have been taugh since youth, to speak the language of coercion as the means of solving differences.

Remove the language of ceorcion, and the power vacuum the theories go.

If people are so bad that they need to seek power over others, then why would we ever give any people a monopoly priviledge on violence and hand all the guns?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:50 | 3708421 taeonu
taeonu's picture

Get rid of the government and they'll still have all the money and in a system were $1 equals 1 vote they'll still make all the rules.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 18:31 | 3708541 prains
prains's picture

CALL IT A DRAW!!  it's the Ganks , coz you can't forget the gangsters also

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 00:22 | 3709222 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

(The banks run the governments.)

That's how the polticians who sold you out to the globalists get a pass.  Blame them not us.  The US functioned very well before 1913.  Who created the FED anyway?  They suddenly showed up on their own.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 04:21 | 3709356 PT
PT's picture

Err, please tell me again:  How do we differentiate between the banks and the governments?  Last I heard, they were interchangeable.

It's Goldman Sachs.
It's Goldman Sachs.
It's Goldman Sachs.

(EDIT:  This is a response to freewolf7 and ATM, as commented earlier above.  Seems like a whole lotta other comments beat me to where this one belongs.)

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:31 | 3708012 Kantbelieveit
Kantbelieveit's picture

Presumably the government protections of favored businesses are immaculately conceived, coming as a complete surprise to the favored capitalists. How strange that officials elected with corporate campaign contributions would dream up laws favoring the companies that elected them. The magic of the market is clean and wholesome, but the mystery of how government spoils competition is deep and dark.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:57 | 3708063 Muppetrage
Muppetrage's picture

But couldn't one argue that we have free markets now, the government being bought and sold on the open market? If the people don't really control the government then you can't really say it's a government causing the problem. I'm not pro government by any stretch, just trying to see a clear line between government and privateness, which there isn't. 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:16 | 3708219 JebusKhrist
JebusKhrist's picture

I think you're misunderstanding context. A free market does not mean anarchy or government policy is for sale to the highest bidder. For a free market to exists it requires a government who's only function is the protection of individual rights including property rights. A separation of state and economics.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:40 | 3708406 taeonu
taeonu's picture

"Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all."

Adam Smith - Book V, The Wealth of Nations (1776)

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 18:30 | 3708538 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Government created huge distortions of property allocation from its very inception. 

The goal of government is to redistribute wealth to favored groups to enhance survival and reproduction. The same occurs in nature in alpha-male social hierarchies.

Humans and monkeys share Machiavellian intelligence


'Alpha males, who rule the 50 or so macaques in the troop, use threats and violence to hold on to the safest sleeping places, the best food, and access to the females in the group with whom they want to have sex. Like human dictators intent on holding power, dominant monkeys use frequent and unpredictable aggression as an effective form of intimidation. Less powerful members of the rhesus macaque group are marginalized and forced to live on the edges of the group’s area, where they are vulnerable to predator attacks. They must wait for the others to eat first and then have the leftovers; they have sex only when the dominant monkeys are not looking.

“In rhesus society, dominants always travel in business class and subordinates in economy, and if the flight is overbooked, it’s the subordinates who get bumped off the plane,” Maestripieri said. “Social status can make the difference between life and death in human societies too,” he pointed out. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, for instance, the poorer members of the community accounted for most of the hurricane’s death toll.'


Sun, 06/30/2013 - 23:17 | 3709123 Muppetrage
Muppetrage's picture

Yes I get that, but the point is that it seems to be an ideal that always ends up in coruption. It has never worked throughout history. Say propety rights for instance, if a scientist unlocks a piece of the puzzle of cancer that helps or cures some people should he and his heirs own a patent monopoly on that piece of the puzzle until the end of time or should it be freely duplicated in an efficient, competitive free market? Should the government be the one to enforce this property right? Do you think the stock market is a free market? With the advancement of technology I don't ever see the stock market being anything but a  manipulated casino having nothing to do with fundamentals, only pschology and liquidity. No governance there?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:33 | 3708017 VonSalza
VonSalza's picture

there is no failure, capitalism is the crisis

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:46 | 3708047 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

easy there bro, capitalisme is a good thing. It's the misuse of power and the creation of monopolies beyond control and lobbyist groups that cause America's cancer.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:52 | 3708054 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Exactly!  So we must therefore remove capitalism and go back to what we have before.

You know, Brutal serfdom.  Cause that was, like, totally better.  Who REALLY wants to live past 30 anyways?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:29 | 3708144 ATM
ATM's picture

There you have it.

The only people who want to return to serfdom are the royalty or those poor saps who think they can be court jesters but in reality will be jettisoned as soon as their usefulness has ended.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:35 | 3708282 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Can we just eject them now and save ourselves the trouble of waiting?


Yes, I invoked the word "we" here...

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:52 | 3708322 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I submit for comment a quote that I copied from someplace, I forget where....

It attributes Ayn Rand.

But what was here before capitalism? Poverty was here. "Capitalism did not create poverty -- it inherited it," Rand explains. "Compared to the centuries of pre-capitalist starvation, the living conditions of the poor in the early years of capitalism were the first chance the poor had ever had to survive."

Taken out of context I'm sure, but idea of poverty is one that cannot be blamed upon capitalism in its purest form.  Those who say government is needed to prevent exploitation don't seem to understand that "equaility" is an illusion.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:06 | 3708349 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

But what was here before capitalism? Poverty was here. "Capitalism did not create poverty -- it inherited it" 

Rand was shit rhetorically, but generally not that stupid, some context would help. What "here" is referred to, what time period?

Those who say government is needed to prevent exploitation don't seem to understand that "equaility" is an illusion.

You got that right, US constitution was made by a bunch of white slave owners waxing poetic about all men being equal. 

Equality is in the eyes of the beholder. 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:07 | 3708355 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

How predictable the racism cry and straw-man approach to the conversation.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:14 | 3708366 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

The raccoon brought up equality, I pointed out that the supposed equality the USA was founded on is complete BS.

Everything I wrote there was factual (other than opinions on Rand being subjective).  

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:16 | 3708368 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Has nothing to do with the article or the topic at hand.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 18:34 | 3708550 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Mosley and ATM were discussing serfdom, hence my tangential comment.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 04:53 | 3709376 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

Sales of a now dead superstar skyrocket in seconds.  Then, there is the memorabilia (a fortune to be made).  Yes the court jesters are worth more dead than alive.  Keep the drugs readily available, an IV flowing, a junkie has one foot in the grave.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 05:05 | 3709381 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

All these problems have been solved long ago: Let's just build a death-star istead of a dead superstar. ;-)

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:58 | 3708445 taeonu
taeonu's picture

Serfdom exists at the far end of both the left and the right spectrum. Would you like to call your feudal lord Mr. CEO or Mr. President? It's the same group of people running the show.

The problem is the banks own both parties of our government and all our major corporations. The left will blame the corporations and scream "Crony Capitalism!" and march against Citizens United and join the Occupy Movement, while the right screams "Fascism!" and joins the Tea Party. And both will completely ignore the fact that it's the same damn thing.

For example:

Obama's cabinet is Wall Street insiders.
See Here:

Bush's cabinet was Big Oil executives.
See Here:

Hmm. Now what's the connection between the banks and the oil companies?

The Four Horsemen of Banking,

Bank of America
JP Morgan Chase
Wells Fargo,

...own the Four Horsemen of Oil,

Exxon Mobil
Royal Dutch/Shell
Chevron Texaco, tandem with,

Deutsche Bank
BNP (Banque Nationale de Paris)
other European old money behemoths

The oil companies also all have interlocking directorates with the international mega-banks.

Exxon Mobil shares board members with:
JP Morgan Chase
Deutsche Bank
Royal Bank of Canada

Chevron Texaco has interlocks with:
Bank of America
JP Morgan Chase

BP Amoco shares directors with:
JP Morgan Chase

JP Morgan Chase
N. M. Rothschild & Sons
Bank of England

But their monopoly over the global economy doesn't end at the edge of the oil patch. According to company 10K filings to the SEC, the Four Horsemen of Banking are among the top ten stock holders of virtually every Fortune 500 corporation.

Now why don't we hear about this in the news?

The exact same reason. The major media companies are among the same corporations where the banks are major stockholders and their board of directors interlock as well.

GE (NBC) shares board members with:
J.P. Morgan

Disney (ABC):
Bank of America
Wells Fargo

Viacom (CBS):
American Express
Morgan Stanley

AOL-Time Warner (CNN):

News Corp (Fox):
American Express
Rothschild Investments


“Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”

- Benito Mussolini


“Unhappy events abroad have re-taught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people.

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is fascism –ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any other controlling private power.

The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living.”

- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 22:57 | 3709097 DraginDickHedge
DraginDickHedge's picture

Sorry taeonu, While I think the above information would be important and intertesting, unfortunately I can't verify much as being true.  For instance you say above:

"But their monopoly over the global economy doesn't end at the edge of the oil patch. According to company 10K filings to the SEC, the Four Horsemen of Banking are among the top ten stock holders of virtually every Fortune 500 corporation"

I checked the proxies of the top 10 in the 2013 Fortune 500 and only one company had a 5+% ownership position by one of said banks - JP Morgan Chase.  Ergo as most common shares or restricted stock uunits go to officers and directors they usually fill the top 10 sharehbolders with the exception of the 5+% outside entities...of which none are the banks to which you refer.  It is also useless to cite a public entities' 10K as all the 10-K does is incorporate by reference what was said in the Annual report to Sharreholders (Proxy), so youi might as well skip the 10K step. It is interesting that BlackRock shows up consistently in the top ten.  No, I did not take the time to check all 500 but few outside entities like to own more than 5% of a public company as they then need to file a Form 13D.  You may search the SEC site ( and look for 13D's, but why not accept the proxy?

I am also checing the Boards and so far you have that information incorrect, as well.  Sorry to rain on your parade, but if we are to be effective soldiers we need to be sure facts are correct or the entire position/platform goes down in flames.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:50 | 3708024 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Shawn ?  That this possibility even passed your fevered brow .... speaks volumes .... of your socialist malaise !   Oops, maybe you get it .... socialism makes crises more severe and and more frequent .... then impedes and scars the recovery ! Panics are inevitable .... and so is a fast and robust recovery .... if government gets outa the way .... it's a healthy catharsis .... trims deadwood .... rewards the more productive, prudent and persistent .... a reset .... like a nice drunk, a piece of strange ass and a day off from work .... makes a new man outa ya !  If yer playin' with real money .... panics will happen !

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:37 | 3708025 One And Only
One And Only's picture

We don't have capitalism.

The housing bubble was a perfect example of the government trying to control everything and it blowing up in their fuckin face.

The community reinvestment act FORCED the banks to lend to people with shitty credit to buy homes. So the banks did. An epic housing bubble was created and that's the name of that game.

Look  at the government in the school system particularly college. All these government back student loans now we have a bubble in tuition cost.

Talk about rising medical costs? Take a look at medicare, medicaid and all the other shit the government is pumping into that system. Another government blown bubble.

The government is in every aspect of the economy and thus we don't have capitalism. What we have more closely resembles the fascistic model as evidenced by the fact that the big companies providing all of our information to the government essentially don't pay taxes (very very low rates)

Stop calling this capitalism. We haven't had capitalism in a long fucking time.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:45 | 3708043 Kantbelieveit
Kantbelieveit's picture

Facts are stubborn things.

Fact: Europe experienced the same housing bubble, but without the government subsidized home purchase programs. It was criminal bankers like Angelo Mozillo that blew up the US housing finance market.

Fact: Bank lobbyists persuaded congress to let them make student loans at high rates with guaranteed profits, a sharp departure from the former government subsidized program.

Fact: medical costs for the VA system, a single-payer system for US armed forces veterans are significantly lower than for the current for-profit mess of a health care system in the US. France has better medical care than the USA and pays 15% less per person.

The magical unregulated capitalism you talk about exists only in a fairy tale. When corporations were unregulated, they immediately consolidated monopolies in every major sector: banking, steel, railroads, petroleum, etc. Wake up and read some history.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:14 | 3708234 malek
malek's picture

 Fact: Europe experienced the same housing bubble, but without the government subsidized home purchase programs.

Fiction: Because Europe had no government subsidized home purchase programs, they didn't have any of the other dozen types of subsidies for homes/mortgages as well (tax-deduction of mortgage interest, lower capital gains tax on housing and so on...)

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:17 | 3708242 Umh
Umh's picture

It was criminal politicians forcing the lenders to finance loans for people that were only going to be able to pay it back if everything worked out just right. And to be honest everybody can't win the lottery so many of them could not pay back their loans.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 04:41 | 3709370 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

The Hill has more:

Limits on expenditures and limits on contributions are treated separately under the law — and that’s what has campaign-finance advocates so worried about the court’s latest move.

While Citizens United only loosened restrictions on big expenditures, the RNC’s case asks the court to overturn individual limits that it has previously upheld.

“They would do extraordinary damage to the ability of the country to prevent government corruption,” said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21. “They would in essence be overriding the prohibition on a federal officeholder soliciting large contributions and allow the most powerful officeholders in the country to solicit $1 million and $2 million checks.”

4 trillion dollars worth of equity drained out of residential real estate and right into the pockets of the maestroes who created the bubble.

"In December 2007, the

New York Times, in an article written by Edmund L. Andrews, accused the Fed of doing nothing as the subprime crises grew. According to the article,

Edward M. Gramlich, a Fed governor who died in September 2007, had been warning of just such a crisis since 2000. Gramlich felt that a “fast-growing new breed of lenders was luring many people into risky mortgages they could not afford.”

Gramlich claimed that when he approached then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan with his fears, he was “rebuffed.”

In 2004, leaders of a housing advocacy in California, a state hit early and hard by the subprime meltdown, met with Greenspan to warn him of the spread of unscrupulous

practices by lenders. John C. Gamboa and Robert L. Gnaizda of the Greenlining Institute asked Greenspan to press lenders for a voluntary code of conduct. Gnaizda reported in December 2007 that Greenspan “never gave us a good reason, but he didn’t want to do it.”

“He just wasn’t interested,” Gnaizda added."

? (Hemorrhage - Too Far Away) Song -

How to drain the wealth out of a nation.  Hemorrhage called ongoing war, Ponzi schemes created by credit extension that is predatory in nature (in the end, the bank receives the payments up to default and the collateral, plus govt subsidy to foreclose on a homeowner).

?Expansion of the money supply and now a contraction of the money supply is why we are here. 



Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:37 | 3708288 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Corporations do not exist in real capitalism. Corporations are a by-product of the Socialist involvement in government during the 1880's.


Additionally, the VA health care system is absolute garbage. I know, I've been through it before.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 19:43 | 3708715 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Facts are often prone to confirmation bias.

Factually Wrong: "medical costs for the VA system, a single-payer system for US armed forces veterans are significantly lower than for the current for-profit mess of a health care system in the US."

Fact: The VA system is funded by government and doesn't take millions of non-paying 'customers' through its emergency rooms.

Do you even understand that corporations are an evil creation of government? 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:34 | 3708399 taeonu
taeonu's picture

Former CEO's of Fannie Mae

Herbert M. Allison (2008–2009)
- Former CFO Merrill Lynch,
- Member International Advisory Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
- Former director of the New York Stock Exchange

Daniel Mudd (2005-2008)
- Former CEO of GE Capital
- Consultant for the World Bank

Franklin Raines (1999–2004)
- Former General Partner of Lazard Freres and Co, Investment Bank

James A. Johnson (1991–1998)
- Former Managing Director of Lehman Brothers
- Former Board Member of Goldman Sachs

David Maxwell (1981-1991)
- Director of Citigroup Global Markets Holdings Inc.
- Director of AIG Retirement Services, Inc

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:41 | 3708026 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

even more.

If America is spying on European email, internet and other communication tools, who says they don't spy on our trading houses and banks and pass the info to JPM, Goldman and the other crooks?

I remember a vacation job as a bank teller when I was 18.

he who steals once will steal many times more.


Who says America didn't and doesn't commit economic warfaire against Europe?!

If America doesn't play open card, and they won't, this will escalate in the comming years.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:06 | 3708080 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

the squid has their own spy network. they have operatives everywhere.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:10 | 3708090 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

yeah... the neighbours are acting mighty suspicious now you say it...

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:37 | 3708027 Kantbelieveit
Kantbelieveit's picture

The fatal flaw of capitalism is its incapacity for dealing with "externalities," like pollution, resource exhaustion, and human rights. It will be remembered as just another inadequate and discarded ideology after something better replaces it.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:30 | 3708140 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Give us a hint .... of what that might be .... don't leave us in suspense .... could it be S O C I A L I S M ?  There are only two options .... more free .... or .... more slave !

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:03 | 3708204 Kantbelieveit
Kantbelieveit's picture

The next phase of economic organization will feature the identification and removal of sociopaths from leadership positions. Toxic leadership stems from toxic personal characteristics. Once society learns how to systematically detect and neutralize individuals with sociopathic tendencies, almost any form of government/business parnership will prove highly productive and stable.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:39 | 3708291 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Yeah, who is going to remove them? The people in power? LOL! You're a moron.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:46 | 3708309 artless
artless's picture

Dear god I hope you are trying to out do MillionDollarBonus with the elaborate sarcasm otherwise what you're saying sounds a whole hell of a lot like like the bunch that ran The Fatherland back in the thirties.

Who exactly gets to define what is and is not "toxic"? Or who is and is not a "sociopath"? Cause when I look around today and I consider those who have held the reigns of power in my lifetime, I see a a whole bunch of sociopaths, narcissists, megalomaniacs in "leadership" positions.

Based on your premise all previous gov/business partnerships were the victimes of "toxic leadership" in that NO GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP" HAS DONE ANYTHING PRODUCTIVE IN THE WHOLE FUCKING HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

Name anything you want they have all failed or are mathmatically doomed to fail.

By the same logic all the "leaders" in Western Europe must be just swell. That is if you actually look at their brand of neo-fascist socio-economics as a success. Last time I looked Europe is headed down the rabbit hole and the only thing keeping it going is the German taxpayer. Oh, the irony in that.

Just keep looking at "neutralize individuals"  and "toxic personal characteristics" and thinking that you might have a bit in common with this guy. Head to the 5:00 mark.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:10 | 3708359 Kayman
Kayman's picture

And Government deals with "Externalities" ?????  Give your head a shake. Governments charge fees and taxes and look after themselves but they NEVER do anything about "externalities" save and except yak about it.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:17 | 3708371 artless
artless's picture

You gotta read some Bastiat, Mises, and Rothbard.

Walt Williams as well.

Private property, individual liberty, and rule of law. Stpo constantly fucking with these and you might see some improvement. Keep piling on MORE violations of these principles to combat the original transgressions and you get what we have today which is a complete clusterfuck.

In every "externality" you listed the market has/can/will find a solution. and in each case a violation of the above has occurred only to be reactively addressed by "government" who in another ironic twist usually has a hand in creating the environment for the transgression in the first place.


Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:45 | 3708042 Curt W
Curt W's picture

As long as there are loopholes and subsidies that favor one company over another there is no such thing as capitalism.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:45 | 3708045 akreitman
akreitman's picture

So, the author of this nonsense has also written a economics text book because the other books weren't written from a Christian perspective.  I guess his version of economics has to ignore Samuelson; Friedman; Modigliani; Solow; Miller; Merton; Scholes; Akerlof; Stiglitz (shall I continue?).    Why is the Mises Foundation such a comfortable place for that sort of bigotry?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:40 | 3708295 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

How is ignoring the Keynesian apologists bigotry?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:41 | 3708408 artless
artless's picture

"Samuelson; Friedman; Modigliani; Solow; Miller; Merton; Scholes; Akerlof; Stiglitz (shall I continue?)."

Ignoring these guys would have helped. They are all a bunch of complete fools. I'll throw in Mankiew, Krugman, Delong, Sachs (Jeffrey that is from Columbia U) and all the rest at the FED.

What I find quite inetersting is your knee jerk bigotry response. So I'm bigoted because...I endoese the thinking of Ludwig Von Mises? Sorry I'm not getting it.

Oh, wait is it because the names you listed are those of Jewish descent?

Funny cause Mises was a Jew. Maybe I- like the rest of the sane world-doesn't give a shit what god anyone prays to. If they are wrong then they are wrong. And if in the case of MANY of the guys listed above they are additionally lying, unethical douchebags-see Krugman for the best example- then that just makes it that much worse.

What I think is that YOU actually hold this guy's Christianity against him and rather than actually read the reason for writing from that perspective you throw down the anti Jewish bigot card against an entire foundation THAT IS BASEDON THE WRITING OF A JEW!

Now that is kinda funny.

If you took the time to read Ritenour's bit about the book you would see that it is directed at Christians who, because they have been manipulated by their leaders into believing in economic fallacies by playing on their guilt and a false sense of Christian ethics, find it hard to reconcile many free market principles with their religious beliefs.


Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:51 | 3708425 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Very nice rebuttal. I hadn't thought of that angle. Most of those people are essentially Keynesian, whether or not they pre-date him or not.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:56 | 3708061 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

capitalism is a lie

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:11 | 3708097 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

just be patient... the wealth will trickle down anytime soon...

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 04:48 | 3709372 PT
PT's picture

... the "Trickle On" effect ...

... which will forever be talked about and no-one will ever ask for a "Flood Up" effect ... 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:56 | 3708062 Grin Bagel
Grin Bagel's picture

I began a serious questioning of the direction of the U.S. economy many years ago when the exposure that it was changing from the economic "winners" were those personalities  who developed the better mouse-trap, to those that focused upon killing off any competition by another's better mouse-trap. This started for me in early American History classes and with gained perspective over the years of following mainstream media's barefaced promotion of economic sociopaths in high places.

My trusting, pioneer-spirited father couldn't comprehend why I called the U.S. out as fast becoming Facist in the late 50's while still in High School. It later broke his heart that his trusted banker sold out the stockholders for quick personal gain during the first wave of S&L/ Bank  shenannigans.

If you fight you lose. Hard choices ahead and I wish well for all people of good spirit.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:47 | 3708175 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

A good spirited man may die, but he will not have lost his good spirit if he is true to himself and and the universe.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:24 | 3708065 withglee
withglee's picture

These crises have their roots in the failure of Medium of Exchange (MOE) management. What do "capitalism" and "socialism" have to do with managing the MOE? The true meaning of money is "a promise to complete a trade". Capitalism says: for traders to go beyond simple barter and use money, a person with capital must join the trade to guarantee it. Socialism says: one trader shows a need, another trader shows an ability to meet that need, and the state makes the trade. But these aren't the only two possibilities. It is possible to have the marketplace itself, not governments, not people of means, not people with power, guarantee and thereby facilitate trades. All that is required is for participants in the marketplace to abide by a simple relation: INFLATION = DEFAULT - INTEREST; and to act in a way that INFLATION is always zero and that all trades are legitimate and guaranteed. So responsible traders who don't DEFAULT trade with no INTEREST load. They leave no MOE in circulation after the trade. Irresponsible traders have an actuarial propensity to fail in their trades and those trading failures (DEFAULTS) must be mitigated by recovery of the MOE (INTEREST collections). And then we have governments who "never" keep their trading promises. The just "roll them over". With them, marketplace backed trading is prohibited because their INTEREST levy equals the trading guarantee they seek. A properly managed MOE has a natural responsive corrective negative feedback system. It is very stable. It doesn't lock up. One trader's failure has little affect on other traders. There is no cascading effect. And MOE supply is always exactly to MOE demand. Mises may have been a bright guy, but he sure didn't profess this obvious mechanism. His solutions were no better than Keynes whose solutions were clearly counter productive.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:06 | 3708079 TheFulishBastid
TheFulishBastid's picture

Capitalism or Socialism, there is no room for a third option!  Keep your mind closed and do not think of any other solutions.


Any 10 year old who's played Monopoly knows how the game ends.  Eventually someone is gonna get pissed and kick the board over.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 06:22 | 3709401 PT
PT's picture

TheFulishBastid re "Capitalism or ..." : + 1 000 000
Also "Any 10 year old who's played Monopoly ..." : + 10 000 000

In a passive, DC circuit, when the capacitor is full, the electrons stop flowing.
In the markets, when the .01% are full, the money stops flowing.
Or something like that.

Actually, your Monopoly reference says it perfectly.  No need to add more. 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:08 | 3708086 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Interest was forbidden by God.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:16 | 3708226 Umh
Umh's picture

Or maybe fucking daft interpreters. You go ahead and loan money for nothing. In world of inflation not charging interest is insane. In a world without inflation it's still stupid, but not quite insanely stupid. I'll repeat you loan money without charging interest and I'll be the first to line up and BTW I'll actually pay you back.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 07:12 | 3709422 PT
PT's picture

Karl von Barnhof and Umh :

If I remember rightly, God forbade the Jews from charging each other interest but allowed them to charge interest from the Gentiles (who were already charging each other interest).  And then he told the Jews something like, "In this way you'll eventually rule the world."

It was written right there in The Bible.  And ever since then, half the world has been acting surprised about the Jews ruling the world while the other half assert it's not true. 

Okay, okay, I just had a quick look and couldn't find the wording exactly as I remembered it.  Deuteronomy 23:20 seems the closest match - basically "you can charge interest to foreigners but not your fellow Jew and in this way you'll be blessed in the lands you are about to occupy".  Close enough. 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:13 | 3708364 Kayman
Kayman's picture

I thought interest was forbidden by the Fed.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 21:31 | 3708944 Promethus
Promethus's picture

So the fed's Zero Interest Rate Policy is God's work?

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:11 | 3708095 Handful of Dust
Handful of Dust's picture
Exploding number of elderly prisoners strains system, taxpayers


Easy to arrest Little Granny and Grampa for stealing cookies out of Walmart while the serious crooks & Fraudsters wander and plunder without hesitation.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:17 | 3708117 Racer
Racer's picture

The elderly at least get their bills for food and accommodation paid in prison! Outside they may go cold and hungry because they can't afford it

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:12 | 3708101 Racer
Racer's picture

It is a clear case of richly rewarding bad behaviour by banksters with no penalties or risks. Full Stop!

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:18 | 3708123 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

It is an indictment of the unbridled mammon-lusting greed of humanity left unchecked.

Any system - Capitalism included - requires sober rational moral adults in leadership enforcing the rule-of-law.

What we have now are a cabal of juvenile narcissist's devoid of morality and ethics whose primary skills are graft, equivocation, corruption, and oppression.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:20 | 3708124 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

isnt it better just picking the winner and the losers


/SARC !!!!!!!!!

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:28 | 3708141 optionsman
optionsman's picture

I like the redirection by Mises that the failure is not of Capitalism as it was never Capitalism to begin with. Attractive argument as it may be, the real question is why Capitalism is or was a superior system to anything else? the answer in my mind lies in the answer to yet another question: how do we allocate scarce capital in the most efficient way? in absense of easy and full access to information, Capitalistic system is superior in theory to any other system. But in presence of easy and full access to information for all, the answer becomes less clear.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:42 | 3708301 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Complete information is impossible. That was the point Mises was making in everything he wrote.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:02 | 3708341 optionsman
optionsman's picture

i agree that at his time it was the right view point I am not sure it holds now. also, complete information as in access to such information that would impact decision making of a reasonable investor?...

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:15 | 3708365 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Complete information is always impossible, with the larger the economy, the greater the number of players in the market and that means an exponential increase for each additional player on that particular market. The longer the duration of time you are trying to predict the greater the chance of variance will be.


I think you are misunderstanding what Mises meant about "Perfect/Complete Information". It's not about facts and figures, it's about what individuals participating in the markets do and how they use their money. You literally can not predict that. You can not predict what humans will do, or where they decide to invest.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 18:13 | 3708490 LibertarianMenace
LibertarianMenace's picture

And that's a good thing too. Perfect information would make things worse, more volatile and more unstable. Imagine our current masters of the universe in possession of perfect information. Confusion helps to slow down these knuckleheads.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:37 | 3708150 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Hey .... do you think it's just possible .... that some .... of our Public Servant Tyrants .... are fully aware .... of their criminal .... anti social behaviour .... in living on our backs .... in their pink cloud socialist dream land .... and are on tip toes .... so as to not awaken .... the ever more restless serfs ?  We need a few Public Servants to blow the whistle .... on the divided states .... of America .... good for plea bargaining .... to avoid the Guillotine !

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:35 | 3708153 greatbeard
greatbeard's picture

Any of the "isms" work just fine until you add the human element.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:40 | 3708160 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Capitalism is successful because it minimizes power to the stupid !

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:26 | 3708386 razorthin
razorthin's picture

And maximizes it to the evil.  Give me stupid every time.  Damn, I am starting to miss Dubya.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:35 | 3708154 Van Halen
Van Halen's picture

Socialized medicine, socialized student loans, socialized bailout of GM, total socialization of welfare and now slowly taking over the schools. Then add the socialized bailout of banks. NONE of this stuff would happen in a truly capitalistic society and in a capitalistic society, you wouldn't have QE anything. This is not an indictment of capitalism, it's an indictment of socialism.

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:47 | 3708177 squeal
squeal's picture

Taking money from the public tax funds and giving it over to flailing private businesses is socialism? Is that really your point? 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 16:43 | 3708304 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

It is socialism. Fabian Socialism, look it up genius. 

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 02:21 | 3709314 squeal
squeal's picture

Looked it up... perhaps you should do the same. Advocating a gradualist rather than revolutionary implementation seems to be the main thing that separates Fabians from classic socialists. And its completely beside the point. Giving public funds to private businesses is never socialism, Fabian or otherwise. As much as you may want to peg any government action that you disagree with as socialism, its just not the case. 

I'm referring mainly to the bailouts, probably should have been more clear.

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 05:05 | 3709382 PT
PT's picture

Van Halen re "Socialized ..." :
Hey.  Those bailouts didn't "just happen".  The capitalists bought the government fair and square.  It was a free-market transaction.

From a very old Mad Magazine (as best as I can remember):

Taffy was a business man
Taffy was connected 
Taffy spent 500 grand to get his man elected
Taffy's now ambassador and struts around in pride
Why don't you spend 500 grand to get your man inside? 

Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:41 | 3708161 fatman51
fatman51's picture

Capitalism is an abstraction. If taken literally, this idea is as destructive as communism. The statement that the present crisis is not a crisis of capitalism because capitalism has never been properly applied reminds me (now fondly as I am getting old) of my youth in collapsing socialist Poland. Diehard socialists were also saying that the economic failure of state socialism did not disprove socialist ideas, as socialism has never been properly applied in the Soviet bloc.

Unrestrained, poorly regulated capitalism failed at least for the second time now. It might have failed earlier, but I am not a student of economic history so I have no opinion beyond the twenties and thirites of the previous century. For awhile at least, a construct called managed capitalism seemed to work better than state socialism. This is the construct that won the cold war, not what we have now. Deregulation was tried in the last thirty years, and the result will actually be a return of isms worldwide, as local governments finally attempt to reassert some control over their gyrating economies.

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