Jim Grant Slams "Central Planning" Fed - "We Are Living In A Hall Of Mirrors"

Tyler Durden's picture

From the United States to Europe and Asia: The world's central banks are flooding markets with liquidity and pushing deeper into unknown monetary policy territory. Jim Grant tells Germany's Finanz und Wirtschaft that he "fears that this journey will not end well." The sharply thinking Wall Street veteran doesn’t trust the theoretical models of the central banks and warns of irrational exuberance in the financial markets adding that "the stock market is increasingly full of stocks that are borne aloft by hope rather than demonstrated performance."


Via FuW,

Mr. Grant, half a decade after the financial crisis hope is rising that the United States finally are on a sustainable path to economic recovery. How are chances that the US economy gets back soon its status as the growth engine of the world?
In the past, the United States has been very resilient even in the face of very unfavorable and even punitive policy measures. The United States seem to want to be prosperous despite of what’s happening in Washington. Therefore, one can never rule out a great unscripted outburst of prosperity. I hope for that to happen, but I don’t predict it. Also, I’m coming increasingly to wonder about the concept of an economy as an integrated whole. People who talk that way don’t appreciate the incredible complexity of individual choices and decisions. Until fairly recently, no one thought about what we now call the economy as anything organic and macro in whole. This wasn’t a concept that entered our collective thinking until the nineteen forties. If you go back and read what economists wrote and what newspapers reported in the early portion of the twentieth century, you see that they would talk about prosperity or depression. But they wouldn’t talk about the economy. They just didn’t see it that way.

Signs of a brighter economic environment have encouraged the Federal Reserve to finally start the tapering of its massive bond purchase program, also known as QE3. What’s your take on this, for most market participants surprising move?
The «non-taper taper», Wednesday’s announcement, is yet another Federal Reserve innovation. To remove the sting from its decision to reduce the gait of its asset purchases, the central bank has vowed to hold its policy rate at zero even when the jobless rate falls below 6½%. «Inflation or bust – or both» would appear to be the Fed’s mantra.

Janet Yellen, who will be the next Fed chairman, has already made clear that she stands behind the recent monetary policy. What can Investors expect from her?
She is the key figure head of our monetary system which is what I call the PhD-standard. In the not so distant past, until a generation or so ago, central bankers were as likely to be ordinary bankers or ordinary business people as they were academics like the college professors who are mainly running the show now in this country. Apparently, in the Federal Open Market Committee, the interest rate setting regime here, nine out of the twelve members this year never had an experience in the private sector. Janet Yellen is the quintessential academic economist who is now in charge of what we ought to call – in the interest of plain speaking – price control.  They certainly mean well but they have led us on a path of price administration rather than price discovery.

What do you mean by that?
If you ask economists they will tell you that price controls are a very bad idea. But that’s exactly what these mandarins at the Fed are doing. We are embarked on a unique experiment in monetary manipulation. That kind of central banking might be more accurately called central planning. One time, I therefore asked Fed-Governor Jeremy Stein in an open meeting if he could help us understand the substantial economic difference between central banks manipulating money market interest rates on one hand and traders at commercial banks manipulation Libor at the other. He just denied answering it. Also, since interest rates are artificially low the valuation of all earning assets must be called into question. This is the difficulty investors are facing the world over. We live in a hall of mirrors thanks to the zero interest rate regime and the chronic nonstop interventions by central banks

What are the consequences of these distortions?
One distortion is that people who are in the business of dealing with distressed debt have very little to do these days because there is less and less distressed debt because there are fewer bankruptcies. That’s because interest rates are so low that companies, even in a very bad way, can survive. That reduces in an unintended fashion the dynamism of our economy. In a dynamic society entrepreneurs start things and other entrepreneurs finish them or bankers finish them for the entrepreneurs because the entrepreneurs have failed. Without failure there really can’t be any success. Otherwise you have a futile system of permanent state sponsored enterprises. So our manipulated interest rates have given us a society that, in commercial terms, is much less dynamic than it should be.

But with super low interest rates, central banks like the Fed or the European Central Bank are fighting the low inflation rates which can also cause some serious problems to the economy. The ECB just recently cut its intervention rate in half to one quarter of one percent because it expressed its concern over an inadequate rate of the depreciation of the value of the Euro. Seven tenths of one percent is not good enough, we need two percent, they think. But why is two percent of inflation a good thing? They even acknowledge that the statistical difference between seven tenths of one percent and one and a half percent might all be error. It is very difficult to measure these price indices and to assure that the data are compiled properly and seasonally adjusted in a correct way. It speaks to our collective faith in our economic technicians or to the lack of critical thought that we accept so generally theses numbers as if they were gospel.

Then again, there is still the risk of deflation looming. Examples of how harmful deflation can be are the Great Depression or more recently the economic malaise of Japan.
They never make a distinction between deflation and progress. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century thanks to everything, from the electric light to progress in the process of steal making or the telephone, prices and costs fell for the better part of thirty years. Real wages went up, some people suffered, many didn’t, society progressed and people got richer. Also, in the early nineteen sixties prices as measured by the CPI did not rise by as much as two percent for five years in a row. Nobody cared at that time. But now there is this fear fanned by the professors who run our central banks and we are all hysterics about deflation.

That’s maybe because so many governments and households are so heavily indebted these days. Why shouldn’t we have some mild form of inflation to make the deleveraging process a little bit easier?
By insisting on trying to raise the price level the Fed is in effect resisting the progress of our time. As technology advances one would expect that the cost of production would fall. Digital technology and the accession of all these hundreds of millions of hands in the world labor force ought to be forces for falling costs of making things. And as the cost of production falls so should the cost of selling things. Yet, the Fed, the ECB and other central banks resist this by using monetary policy. And as they resist the tendency of prices to fall in time of technological progress they unintentionally seed the booms and busts in financial markets.

More and more people on Wall Street are screaming alarm about new bubbles of speculation. Do you spot any sings of irrational exuberance?
The massive market of treasury securities is itself in some kind of a bubble. Other examples are junk bonds or biotechnology stocks. Another bubble is the art market as the record auction prices are indicating. A similar case is classic sport cars: Some weeks ago, a Ferrari 250 GTO commanded 52 Mio. $ in a private sale. That’s almost a 50% increase on the record that was achieved last year for another 250 GTO. Investors who are looking for tangible assets find better value in antique furniture or in historic documents.

Another reason why the Federal Reserve is going to start to taper its securities purchases might be fear of exactly such kind of bubbles. Do you think they will ever find a way back to a normal monetary policy?
They say they have everything under control. To do, what they are saying they are going to do, requires both: technique and judgment. But they did not see one clue before the disaster of the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 – absolutely nothing. These people are well intending and most respectable but they are very concrete minded and very fixated on their way of thinking. What a good investor has – and what a bureaucrat typically lacks of – is imagination.

So what could go wrong this time?
What happens if, despite the Obama administration, there is a succession of booming months in job growth and the Fed at first doesn’t react and then, when it finally tries, it’s too late: First, there is a little bit inflation and then there is some more inflation and bond yields suddenly go up. The Fed thinks it has to control this by selling bonds and contributes thereby to the rise in interest rates and the fall in bond prices. And suddenly, there’s a disaster in the bond market.

But there seems to be really not that much investor nervousness in the bond market these days.
What one can observe about interest rates is that they have tended to rise and fall in generation length intervals, at least throughout Europe and North America. Since the early eighties they have been falling now most of the past 31 years. So, one would expect that we are closer to the end of this bull market than to the beginning. Therefore, bond yields are likely to go up in the future, which makes bonds look like a very poor investment.

Also, the setback in the gold market does not flash red lights for inflation. What’s next for the archaic metal after the terrible performance in 2013?
Gold is just an enigma, isn’t it? As an asset it yields nothing and pays no dividend. Therefore, you can’t value it like a common stock or bond. To me, gold is an investment in the almost certain failure of the PhD-standard in central banking. The gold price is down some 25% this year and gold stocks have been destroyed. In fact, the bear market in gold equities is the only bear market I know of these days. But when the world gets a full-on glance of the new Fed Chairman Yellen and understands the measure of the policies that central bankers will likely continue to implement, the gold price will go up a lot against the dollar. Only if the central bankers ever achieve to solve all the problems with fiat money and if governments end their tendency to over-issue uncollateralized debt then gold gets obsolete. But I certainly don’t agree with that promise. I think gold will yet shine as a monetary alternative and maybe serve in my grand children’s life time again as an anchorage to the world’s monetary system.

How should investors behave in such an environment?
At «Grant’s Interest Rate Observer», our ambition is to identify assets that are priced in such ways that you can afford a margin of error, knowing that one is likely to be early or even wrong about certain aspects of a particular situation. With a properly conservative valuation you are protected to a degree against such kind of human errors. A friend of a friend once had a great saying. What this fellow said was: Successful investing is all about having everyone agreeing with you – later. We are trying to live that kind of philosophy: to think of a thing that is now out of favor but has a reason to be in favor.

What would be such a thing?
Russian oil stocks like Lukoil, Gazprom and Rosneft exhibit several of desirable characteristics. There is insider buying – oddly enough. The business seems to be viable or even more than viable. Corporate governance is awful and investor sentiment is almost universally depressed. So here are cheap stocks in an environment of great skepticism toward them and with the added appeal of substantial insider accumulation. Once we looked at these stocks we were even more attracted since these companies are soundly financed which mitigates the risk of being wiped out through bankruptcy.

Russian oil stocks are a little bit exotic, though. What about investment ideas for Western Europe or for the United States?
Nobody knows what is going to happen in Europe. Additionally, we can’t find a lot of buying opportunities. Stocks have already gone up and they don’t seem to reflect the risks of the still precarious macro environment. Of course, there are always risks. But the question is if you are being adequately compensated for that risk. One stock that stands out is the Italian energy company Eni. The ideal hedge against the possible consequences of an overly aggressive monetary policy would be a value-laden equity that could prosper in any macro-economic setting but could shine in an inflationary one. Eni conforms to that description.

And what’s your take on the US stock market?
In the US we’re seeing more to do on the short side than on the long side. As an example it could pay off to take a closer look at story stocks. A story stock is a stock that is highly valued by the price earnings or price revenue calculation. Its price is manly driven by the quality of the narrative brokers are telling about it. So we just recently compiled an index of such kind of stocks because we think the stock market is increasingly full of stocks that are borne aloft by hope rather than demonstrated performance. Examples for such story stocks are Tile Shop Holdings or Boulder Brands.

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Murf_DaSurf's picture



I just want to be the guy with the bottles of Windex and paper towels to sell to everyone

Spungo's picture

Go long on Kimberly-Clark!

In all seriousness, that actually does look like a great company to own. We'll always need ass wipe, right? Buy it after the crash.

Seer's picture

"We'll always need ass wipe, right?"

That's what they'd like you to believe.  One word kills it: rags. (and after rags... um, not quite so comforting)

lotsoffun's picture

actually, more comforting, but then you have to clean them, that implies some work.  my mom did pretty well with diapers and bleach.  i'm still here and so are the rest of us.  didn't hurt us.  

the french 'bidet' works well also.  has for a long time. longer then the fed. infact!  that's an idea.  let's all chip in and send bennie (as retiring) and yellen as succesor bidets!!  for real douches!  at our expense, of course.


friburgensis's picture

What Germany's "Finanz und Wirtschaft"?? Still a Swiss newspaper!

nope-1004's picture

Kill the corrupt Fed.  End financial war and slavery.  End global "reserve" currency policing and policy making.  Humanity deserves equal opportunity.  Let the insolvent and lazy find their own way without taxpayer assistance.


jaxville's picture

Coming sooner than you may think to a city near you. When that fire begins, I will be there to throw buckets of gasoline on it.


Ah.....I can see them now......gently swaying in the wind...hanging from lamp poles. The future is indeed very bright.

ATM's picture

Coming much later than you can believe, but coming none the less. 

Tinky's picture

If there were such a thing as a mainstream, prime-time, nationally televised debate on economic policy, Grant would be a good choice to lead the opposition, as he not only has a firm grasp on the topic, but also avoids the histrionics or specific timing forecasts that degrade so many otherwise sharp observers.

He's the Joe Friday of his community: Just the facts, Ma'am.

lotsoffun's picture

he (jim grant) is also well cultured, a gentleman, doesn't scream and shout like the idiots liesman and santelli, who are just idiotic foils of each other, that scream the same way for an idoit culture of 15 year old boys that could just as well be cnn, msnbc, espn.  what a sick tired, immature society.  thank god that stupid fucking fake boogie down made such a stoopid of himself with the selfie, even his boogie-down constituents know it was stoopid that he's gone.  i don't expect to see this idiot again, unless he does something really stoopid, but i bet michelle packed his sorry ass up and told him no more public appearances, you've got 3 more years to keep a low profile, and then we're done.


disabledvet's picture

gold heads to 800 an ounce while natural gas moonshots "beyond belief." I would be long shipping...as in actual ships...plays...some of which have already had spectacular moves. http://seekingalpha.com/symbol/dsx?source=search_general&s=dsx the Age of Oil has ended...the Age of Natural Gas has begun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKsQK7tkNI0

Tinky's picture

Another "800 an ounce" guy, eh? Well, I'll offer you the same bet that I have previously offered a few others on ZH. We each put up $10k in an escrow account, and if gold goes to $800 first, you take it all, if it goes to $1600 first, I'll take it.

None of the others, in spite of their ostensible confidence, were willing to take me up on it. How about you?

GrinandBearit's picture

Don't take it personal Tink... you should be hoping for $800, like I am.  

$800 would be a incredible gift and buying opportunity. 

lotsoffun's picture

grinandbearit - well - i'd actually hope it shoot sup to the $40,000 per bit coin that winkelvoss was seeing, but, i'm certainly prepared for it to shoot to 800 or 900, because at that point, i know i certainly would rather trade in bennies bernakes new bennie franklins.

all the scottish help aside.  for all of us into relics - i hear there is a fire sale at the nyc metropolitan museum of art.  they are selling all this stuff at melt value, because ultimately - it ain't worth a damn, except for being metal.  i mean really, what would you do with this kind of stuff, except hit somebody over the head?  (sarcasm).  really.  think about it.  think about 'bitcoins'.  is the met selling this tomorrow for nothing?



Seer's picture

You forgot to end with "</sarc>".

NG is desperation.  At best it can help ease us down the energy curve.  At worst it can help perpetuate the grow-or-die meme.

NG won't drive the machines that do most of today's work.  FACTS are impossible to ignore.  Diesel has 38% more energy than NG.  To run with NG you're going to have to give up transport capacity for fuel capacity.  And then there's the infrastructure, the issues with refueling and general safety.

One of the Forbes clan said it quite well back in the 70s (likely in response to the Arab oil embargo) that the US ought to look to use oil from other countries first, then use that available in the US.  Not exactly the stuff of uber capitalists, but you can see the reasoning here.  By going headlong into NG we're going to chew up our own real estate and deplete our energy stock, after which, what then?

WTFUD's picture

Taxpayer revenues are a bottomless pit. Right up until they're not.

Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

"the central bank has vowed to hold its policy rate at zero even when the jobless rate falls below 6½%."

Don't worry, the actual unemployment rate is in no danger of going below 6.5%. In fact, it's probably closer to 17-20% if you counted unemployed like a sane person.

Seer's picture

And maybe they just come out and say that they messed up in their calcs and that indeed it IS higher.  Always prepared to spin it as needed...

grekko's picture

Kimberly-Clark?  Don't waste your money (buy gold/silver/lead/food).  The Federal Reserve will supply all the future toilet paper you need after we lose Reserve Currency status.

toady's picture

I used to live in a room full of mirrors.

All I could see was me.

lotsoffun's picture

if you look like bennie bernake, well, that's a bitch.  if you look like yellen, that's suicide.


Seer's picture

The Bernanke doesn't "see," so no problem for him here.  And Yellen is probably cross-eyed, in which case everything always looks fucked up anyway.

max2205's picture

Wait till soc sec tax doubles and aca tax kicks in....NO One in the 100k and below level will have any discretionary income....bonds love low growth and with BenYellen buying moar bonds..rates will stay low through the collapse...then you can short them


NoDebt's picture

They know the next financial crisis will be the "widowmaker."  They'll do everything in their power (and beyond their authority) to prevent it.

They're terrified.  And with good reason.  What looks like unassailable power and control is a projection of their fear.  If it appears for only a few days like they aren't in control, they won't be any more.

Seer's picture

I agree with you.

Never confuse acts of desperation as being planned acts.  There is no rule book for dealing with an exhausted planet, for dealing with the end of growth.  They can only hope to delay, hope that folks figure things out for themselves (which SHOULD be the case), as there really isn't anything that can be done.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Of course, I agree that "We live in a hall of mirrors thanks to the zero interest rate regime and the chronic nonstop interventions by central banks!" However, as usual, I think that this article underestimates by many orders of magnitude the degree to which we are living in a Bizarro Mirror World Fun House! In a mirror, everything looks BACKWARDS, and if one does not understand that, then everything one sees in the mirror is going to provoke a proportionately backwards understanding. The degree to which having private banks make the public money supply out of nothing, as debts, appears basically BACKWARDS is merely one of tiny tips of the manner in which pretty well everything has been inverted and perverted to create the runaway situations of social insanities throughout almost everything our civilization is doing!

The Neolithic style of civilization is not merely a social pyramid system, which has developed its monetary and taxation system to work together as a sophisticated form of slavery, known as debt slavery, which has been growing at an exponential rate, to generate numbers which are now debt insanities. The most basic ways that Neolithic Civilizations developed their spatial coordinates, and chronological measurements, are also profoundly backwards. It can now be scientifically demonstrated that the ways we measure time and space are profoundly wrong, and backwards ideas. Indeed, the basic concepts about how we measure everything have become a "hall of mirrors" operating through almost infinite tunnels of deceits.

Therefore, the way that money is measurement backed by murder was merely one of the most symbolic ways in which Neolithic Civilization has developed to become profoundly backwards, due to us mostly looking in the mirror, without recognizing that mirror images are backwards. It is not merely that the whole of Neolithic Civilization has become based on systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence. It is also that all the most basic of philosophical presumptions found throughout our civilization are profoundly backwards.

The progress achieved by profound paradigm shifts in basic sciences, such as physics, has enabled the development of technologies which are trillions of times more powerful and capable, while the basic ideas which made those technologies possible are pretty well totally missing from being understood by the civilization that is exploiting them, within the social pyramid systems, which are based upon runaway triumphant systems of organized lies, operating organized robberies. That we have fundamentally fraudulent financial systems, whose distortions are automatically getting more egregious every day, barely scratches the surface of the deeper ways in which we generally understand the world backwards, and yet continue to take that understanding for granted.

Seer's picture

Yeah, but other than that don't you think it's working OK? </sarc>

If I'd have to pick out a single word from your thoughtful post it would be "exponential."  Most here should know why.  Even being "forwards," (not "backwards" in viewing things) or with some "correct hierarchy" (flat?), if we're still premised on the notion of perpetual growth on a finite planet we're going to run into pure ugliness and violence.  TPTB shield us away from thinking about this; in exchange we live "the good life."  But of course, this all depends on continued access to physical resources: either obtain by stealing from the future or by stealing from others (call them "terrorists" and then pilfer).

Radical Marijuana's picture

For sure, Seer!

Logically, the more exponential the growth, the worse that will overshoot whatever might have been sustainable, and then the worse the subsequent collapse will be. I completely agree that: TPTB shield us away from thinking about this; in exchange we live "the good life."

However, I believe that TPTB have covertly planned for the future by preparing for more genocidal wars, along with democidal martial law. TPTB have succeeded in persuading enough people to lack respect for basic laws of physics. (E.g., enough people accepted the official story about what happen on 9/11/2001.) TPTB have made sure that enough people have been profoundly mis-educated, so that basic laws of nature and mathematical concepts are very rarely understood by enough people.

TPTB can get away with making "money" out of nothing, at an exponential rate, to pay for strip-mining the planet, on an apparent one-way, express trip to Hell. Partly, that has been possible because, in the short-term, small bits of "the good life" have been given to those who worked for TPTB.

Since TPTB depend upon being able to use lies, backed by violence, to keep enough people ignorant and afraid, so that they can be controlled, that necessitates evil deliberate ignorance be the mainstay of the mainstream society which is controlled in that way. Therefore, deliberate ignorance towards the mathematics of exponential growth, and deliberate ignorance towards most basic laws of nature, which are conservation principles, enables the mainstream society to operate in ways which create "money" out of nothing, to pay for strip-mining the planet ... while the insanity of doing that is marginalized to only being recognized by the few people who still have enough education, information, and imagination to be able to think about the consequences of attempting to maintain runaway exponential growth on a finite planet.

Given those social facts, it is practically impossible to have a rational public debate about the limits to growth. Therefore, the current path that TPTB have put the human species on is for the exponential growth to crash spectacularly. TPTB seem to understand that well-enough, since they have prepared to mass murder the majority of the human population at some time in the future, as TPTB's "solution" to the problem of exponential growth reaching real limits.

Not sarcastically speaking, about the only consolations of philosophy are to contemplate all aspects of the conservation of energy principle as a whole. Human civilization has become a runaway insane system, but the energy going through us is not being destroyed when we destroy the future of our systems. Since we are unable or refuse to use more information and higher consciousness about conserving energy, through more feedback loops, to have more life and more consciousness for a longer period of time, instead we are controlled by lies, backed by violence, to behave in mad self-destructive ways ... but yet, no matter how insane we behave, the energy flowing through us, itself flows on ... So, in that sense "it's working OK."

CrashisOptimistic's picture

"the stock market is increasingly full of stocks that are borne aloft by hope rather than demonstrated performance"


The stock market is borne aloft by shrinkage.  The companies are all buying back shares.  This translates into smaller companies, and somehow this reality isn't getting thru.

Seer's picture

"The companies are all buying back shares.  This translates into smaller companies"

And, when you really think about it it makes perfect sense.  Wall Street has become so fucked up that if I owned a company that I cared about and was public I'd be looking to remove all those fangs (from the short-term traders) from my company.

But, nearly everything is going to contract because people are increasingly more broke.

One day more folks will appreciate my hammering on "economies of scale in reverse."  I don't think any of this is so much planned as it's reactionary.  We're getting closer to "survival" time.

honestann's picture

Smart dude.  But I have the feeling he also suffers from the same annoying problem most other good folks do... not knowing how to effectively operate in a completely artificial, rigged market.

Seer's picture

As Radical above puts it, the problem isn't just the banks and or markets, it's the entire System.  Since the entire System is fucked up there is NO way one can expect any semblance of sense in today's markets.

The same components have always been there.  The only difference now is that we're further along on the parabolic curve, we're sensing a change in acceleration that was always up ahead.

honestann's picture

Yes, of course it is the entire system.  Unfortunately, what makes it so difficult to change at this point, is that the entire bulk of mankind is now completely clueless, cannot distinguish real from fiction, and cannot even imagine a world without unlimited arbitrary powers ("so they can fix things when necessary").

I've been warning about this problem and situation in various forms since I was in first grade.  Sure, the way I described it way back then was rather infantile in comparison to my current comprehension, but still on point.  At this point at least two full generations (25 years each) are completely insane.  And frankly, I'm sure that is conservative.  Most humans have been insane for at least thousands of years, but the technology of diabolical predatory mental manipulation was not nearly as advanced as today.

So your comments make me revisit a question I ask myself now and then.  Are the few of us sane humans wasting our time even discussing the relevant issues in public.  We already know them ourselves, and take whatever actions we can (and are willing to) in our own lives, but is there any point in talking about this stuff in public if the masses have so thoroughly habituated insane mental processes that they are beyond hope?

Increasingly, I am pretty much certain there is no hope for the masses, and therefore for the species as a whole.  They embraced insanity, do not want to be helped, and almost certainly cannot be helped.  Which is why I have said several times in my ZH messages that my only hope of posting is to reach one, two or a few extreme outliers who already refused to be brainwashed into insanity, and provide a few insights that might help them live a better, happier life.  I am quite certain the rest of mankind is beyond the point of no return at this point.

It is interesting that many people don't recognize the acceleration that you mention, and is so blatantly obvious to some of us.  But I have noticed something recently... very recently in fact.  As you and other regulars in ZH know, I took extraordinary measures, much more dramatic than 99% of the people who "get it".  I spent 5 years exploring, then 3 years implementing a self-sufficient place for myself in the extreme boonies.  Even those who "get it" laughed at me (which didn't and doesn't bother me in the least).  However, very recently quite a few of these folks have quietly admitted to me that "you were right, and now I wish I had done what you did".  Unfortunately, their interpretation of the acceleration you mention is... it is already too late for them.  I tell them it isn't, but... oh well.

Seems like virtually everyone is content to go down with the ship.  This part I really don't understand, because I love my life here.  It is fantastic, a paradise even (to me, for I chose a place that matches my personal tastes).

Perhaps the biggest problem is this.  A great many people who "get it"... still cling to the hope they can "come out the other side", and live in a better world.  They just don't seem to understand.

Mankind is finished.

Yes, a few of us might escape into outer space.  And perhaps a few might find ways to dig out places to live under the ocean floor (or on it, but still hidden).  But as a whole, mankind is finished.  They're astronomically too insane to survive, and have merely been riding on the momentum of the "productive revolution" that is being slowly snuffed out today.

Seer's picture

I don't hold things as being as bleak.  There is no escaping that change has and always will be driving things.  The planet/Mother Nature will do what it always does- live on and provide for life in some form or another.

People "getting it" doesn't change the part where we just cannot fathom how to deal with the growth problem.  And, really, I don't know of anyone here that thinks that there should be any "path" for this, as it most certainly involved a depopulation (socialists can delay things by trying to spread things around, but that doesn't stop the train that has no brakes): most suggest that wars will be the mechanism, though they are in no way promoting them (I'd hope that people understand that one can make claims while also not endorsing them- I do this a lot [what I want and what will be are sometimes at odds]).

Further, I tend to see people not necessarily as bad (we're all "God's" creatures, so I suppose then we should give ourselves some slack), but that we are improperly programmed.  OK, again, this might suggest that there is "proper" programming, which, I cringe at thinking about what that would really mean, but what I'm suggesting is that we're clean slates when we're born and that what we do is based on what we've been taught (failures aren't all institutional, they're just easier to spot).  I've learned that nature is highly dependent upon deception, so humans being OF nature are also highly subject to the same.  This means that it's kind of hard to really tell what people are thinking, what they really know.

I have no "solution" (the very word suggests permanance, and, well, nothing is permanent [except that which we cannot no for sure- death for example; though so far the evidence seems pretty much to back up the notion]).  I do, however, suggest diversity and no concentration of power; folks can go from there.

If glacial periods are as brutal as ice cores suggest then nature WILL resolve our problems, though whether we'll get another shot at it is something that even I cannot "see."

My aim is to just educate on/about growth.  There is absolutely nothing in it that I do or would profit from.  I really don't think that when it goes really bad that anyone can feel secure.  So... one just keeps on keeping on (and to many around me that think I'm a doomer or nuts, well, They can say that I'm the one that is out of touch- and as long as things hold together they can claim a superior situation; when I turn out to be proven correct there's little in the way of celebration to be had).

Radical Marijuana's picture

Again, I agree, Seer!

"I've learned that nature is highly dependent upon deception, so humans being OF nature are also highly subject to the same."

It was natural for the top predators of the human species to become the best at benefiting from dishonesty. It was natural for that success to go too far, and thus, for those top predators to degenerate towards being parasites.

From an objective point of view, honestann seems mostly right. However, I like to continue to indulge in irrational hopes for a series of political miracles. After all, way, way more people are at least aware of the fact that their "money" is being made out of nothing, as debts, now than even 10 years ago! I tend to believe that there is a race, where the creative alternatives are on exponential growth curves too, along with the obvious destructive things being on exponential growth curves. The bad things are easier to see and predict. However, it would take an extremely talented Seer to be able to predict the future of the possible creative things developing!

I believe that there ARE an abundance of creative alternatives. However, those are being strangled to death by the established systems imposing their legalized lies, backed by legalized violence. That is the worst way that the so-called "central planning" actually works. ... I do not believe that TPTB actually understand or control things anymore ... I do not think any group does, and so, the future continues to be extremely unpredictable, especially since the potential of possible creative alternatives is extremely difficult to predict!

honestann's picture

Well, we can agree on this.

I believe that there ARE an abundance of creative alternatives. However, those are being strangled to death by the established systems imposing their legalized lies, backed by legalized violence.

We represent two sides of "the solution"... assuming there is to be a solution before mankind is extinct:

HA:  abandon the system.
RM:  reform the system.

I hope you succeed, but I don't see how you can.

I say that as the extreme advocate of the potential efficacy human consciousness!  I know human consciousness and human effort can achieve amazing, extraordinary, wonderful things (but not while jack-booted thugs press boots against necks and pollutes brains).

The predators-that-be understand what they need to understand in order to remain predators.  They have never understood what they need to know to live.  Indeed, this is the fundamental reason they are predators - because they need producers to create the goods and goodies they need to survive and enjoy life.

And this is the problem.  The predators are too good at their job, while most humans are not even aware how fundamental the human dynamic of "produce" and "steal" is --- if they are even aware of this at all.  Though I have never talked with "regular folks" very often, I have had enough conversations with them to know that most people literally believe, to the core of their being, that humans cannot survive without predators enslaving them, abusing them, and feeding upon them for their entire lives.

Now, in theory you could reverse this (if you somehow manage to live another 2 generations).  You'd simply need to eliminate schools, churches, media... and parents (since they are already brainwashed to brainwash and braindamage any kids they might have).  All you really need to do is raise the next two generations entirely in productive REALITY with direct feedback.  If two generations grow the food they need to survive, drink water from a well they dug, live in a home they built, and trade the goods they produce with neighbors for the goods they produce... problem solved.

They would understand reality, and know how to point their weapons at predators of all species and shoot to kill without qualms.  Because they would understand how reality works, what humans need to survive, what has to happen to create what humans need to survive, and the nature of predators and destruction versus producers and production.

But... unless you can figure out how to completely eliminate all the institutions that make damn certain they never understand the most fundamental aspects of reality and human existence - you have no chance.

So, I think we both know what our jobs are.

Your job is to somehow eliminate the structure that destroys human beings, so they can comprehend the nature of reality, the nature of producers, the nature of predators, the nature or production and destruction, and their inviolate responsibility to observe and think for themselves and stop letting others populate their brains with nonsensical diabolical fictions that control them.

If you can figure out how to achieve this, then you will absolutely blow me away, and we will be sure to make a side trip to earth again some day so I can shake your hand.  Not kidding.  But beware.  The predators don't need to "know everything".  What they do know is how to take advantage of everything, including their complete failures (whether intentional or not), to tighten their grip.  There have ALWAYS been thousands or millions of viable alternatives!  But their techniques assure no viable alternative has a chance to develop beyond a tiny scale.

And my job is to help finish our re-implementation of faster-than-human inorganic consciousness, get off this rock, and never look back.  Okay, maybe we'll send a probe every decade or three to see how you're doing, just in case I need to keep my promise and come back to shake your hand.  I'd love to be wrong, for you to succeed, and have to come back to shake your hand and admit I was wrong.

Excuse me if I don't hold my breath.

Radical Marijuana's picture

You are probably right, honestann ... I just need to hold on to irrational hopes in some series of political miracles, BUT, I do not believe that those will actually happen ... especially since the psychotic predator/parasites are making things worse, faster ... Meanwhile, I am not interested in "reforming" the system, but perhaps in attempting to revolutionize those systems, after the established systems drive themselves through mad self destruction ... Of course, that is merely harping back to even more irrational hopes, for even bigger political miracles.

Basically, I am day dreaming that the madness of the established systems will be confined to a certain range, whereby they destroy themselves, and therefore, open up real opportunities for revolution, but, those destructions do not become so extreme that there is not enough left to repair.

One metaphor is that there are going to be severe social storms, and a lot of things are then going to get broken. We may have to try to jury rig the broken pieces back together again in some creative ways then ... And later, we may be able to design and build an even better new system, having learned from the experiences of having survived through those severe social storms.

However, good jury rigging blends into bad jerry rigging, and we may well simply sink and not survive enough to sail on, and then design a better ship of state for the future. After all, I do regard Earth as a Spaceship, and I am not against some New World Order, or some Global Government, I just want one radically different than the banksters, and the currently ruling classes are working towards.

I guess I just like to indulge in political science fiction, although my taste is towards harder science fiction, rather than the softer fantasy stuff.

honestann's picture

Well, I certainly hope that "less bleak" somehow finds a way to happen.  The reason I know it won't is... an understanding of the mechanisms involved (especially my expertise in "abstract conceptual consciousness" that humans attempt).

Another way to express my negative outlook is to point out how completely the predators dominate technology.  Regular folks are no match.  They're sitting ducks.  Worse than sitting ducks, because virtually all the other ducks are intent upon forcing all new ducks to BE sitting ducks (and habituate the insane mental processes that assure they will never understand what's going on, much less find a way out).

I say this as an extreme advocate of human-level consciousness.  I fully realize how amazing and capable human-level consciousness can be (and am actively working to extend it even further).  So it isn't that humans cannot break out.  The fact is, humans could break out so easily that... well... it is completely mind-boggling.

From an external, objective perspective, humans are utterly enslaved by non-existent (illusory) barriers.  If tomorrow humans turned on the predators who abuse them, the revolution would be over in a day... or at most one week.  I am not kidding.  It really is that simple.

But humans are what they are, and work how they work.  And by accepting short-term carrots and lies about future carrots, they have been led to give up their ability to even see reality right in front of their faces, much less take actions to save themselves.

As sentient beings, 99.9999% of humans are complete failures, plus or minus a small margin of error.

I guess you could say, the other 0.00001% of us could solve the problems that are destroying mankind... but we are vastly too outnumbered to have a chance to change the outcome within the system.  And so the most wise, brave and realistic of us leave it.

Pandorable's picture

This is the most relevant and enlightened thread I've ever read on ZH, as it steps back far enough from the distracting minutae to discuss mind-controlling the majority of the population of the planet through insidiously contrived education and social indoctrination mechanisms by the predators. 

Honestann, I tend to sadly agree with you about the odds for survival by the majority. I'm also involved with elevating conciousness work as the last best shot, but I challenge your notion that most people are "insane". Human perception has been mutated and CONSTRAINED by design with repetitive conditioning through social, educational, and MSM influence over many generations, but I believe perceptions can be realigned by honestly re-educating and presenting the choice that many have forgotten exist--albeit involving considerable effort.

The mammoth task is to reveal how everyone has been dumbed down and played by the power cabal in a way that people will believe, and then offer a solution to help break free of the ingrained belief patterns. It is complicated by the divide and conquer influences of politics, race, religion, etc. that so many cling to for identity and reassurance, but at the end of the day, changed minds change lives...and change the world. This is the empowering life energy with the potential to redirect the social climate that the selfish and manipulative elites fear.

And finally, if the above were possible to achieve, the next step would involve unifying those who "get it" in a plan that pools resources and acknowledges the inevitable sacrifices that would have to be made to achieve a paradigm shift away from a predatory culture. People would need to redefine social values that abandon materialism and dominance, that truthfully support equal respect for the physical and spiritual health and evolution of both individuals and communities, and that uses violence as a last resort.

The elites have a head start, but someone has to dream....right?






honestann's picture

Yes, and that's the trick, isn't it?  To be able to see the whole structure, the whole configuration all the way from minutae to the very most general.  This took a long time and a lot of work.  And though I had done a relatively extraordinary job, I was lucky enough to encounter (and now collabate with) a few people who did an even more extraordinary job of understanding fundamental aspects of the puzzle, especially in the field of consciousness.

When I say almost all humans are "insane", I mean that in the most clinical and fundamental of ways.  They are.  Without a doubt, the single most fundamental form of insanity is an inability to distinguish real from fiction.  That's why the most stereotypical image of an insane human being is someone looking above their head and trying to grasp butterflies (that don't exist) flying near their head.

To steal a quote from a very smart colleague,

Sanity is seeing what's in front of your face, and not seeing what isn't.

Though you can read that sentence simply, you can also parse it repeatedly and reflect upon it for a while, and recognize some deeper but compatible meanings.

99.9999% or more of humans today are insane in exactly this way.

I hate to go through this again, because I've given this example in ZH so many times already, but here goes...

Let's say 30 people meet in the back (meeting room) at a nice fancy restaurant somewhere in... say "Philadelphia" for instance.  And they decide to write a fancy document that claims to apply to every human within some area --- say, "the north american continent" above and below certain latitudes for instance.  After several meetings and versions, finally all of them sign at the bottom of the document.

One thing the document states is... they create a new entity, which they assign some name --- say, "these united states of america" for instance.

Now for the test of whether you are sane, or insane.  I'm warning you in advance so you can be on guard and think about this before answering.

#1:  Did anything real pop into existence when these 30 individuals wrote their names on the bottom of that piece of paper?

#2:  Do 30 individuals have any real or legitimate basis to obligate millions of people they have never met (including native americans who lived on this continent for tens of thousands of years before these foreigners came from across an ocean less than 300 years before)?

#3:  Do 30 individuals have any real or legitimate basis to obligate billions of people they have never met, every single human being on planet earth, to obey what certain fictional "officials" demand... simply because they signed this piece of paper?

#4:  Do 30 individuals have any real or legitimate basis to obligate billions of people they have never met... across hundreds and thousands of years after these 30 individuals die?

#5:  Do 30 individuals have any real or legitimate basis to assign "authority" to people not yet born, to further obligate and enslave unlimited individuals for eternity by some artificial mechanisms of "inheritance of authority"?

I could go on, but I won't.  You get the point.


The fact is... nothing real popped into existence when they signed that document.  They were 30 human beings, and in reality they merely spread ink around on a piece of paper.  Period.  That is all that is real.

I mean, think about it.  Even at the simplest possible level.  If ANY of the premises of this kind of activity were real or legitimate in any way, what about my friends and I who wrote a document forming the "Intergalactic Empire of Dweebs", which by our assertion has unlimited authority over every creature in the universe?

That is just the same, and therefore just as real and legitimate as any other group of dorks smearing ink on any other piece of paper anywhere in this universe.

Which is to say:

#1:  all are nothing but paper and ink.
#2:  nothing pops into existence when we sign.
#3:  nobody can be obligated by ink and paper.

Anyone who disagrees has the absolute burden to show us this real entity that popped into existence.  In fact, they can't, because no new entity popped into existence.  Now, a very clever human being might say "yeah, but a new mental configuration came to exist in the minds of those who created the document, and anyone else who later hears these words pronounced".  Exactly correct.  And a mental unit in the minds of men with no referent is called a "fiction", which explicitly means that "this mental unit does not refer to a real entity".  Like the mental unit people call "SantaClaus".  A mental-unit yes.  Something real, NO.

Yet 99.9999% of human beings actually believe that "government exists"... even while it is 100% obvious that "government" does not exist, that nothing real popped into existence in 1776 or whenever it was, that only new fictions were created in the minds of men, but not in reality.

So, I have proven, beyond any doubt, that 99.9999% of humans are clinically insane in the most fundamental of possible ways.  The only question is whether I have one too many "9"s in my percentage estimate, or too few "9"s.  That is debatable, and certainly the degree of insanity does vary.


Though I don't think there is a chance in hell of humans getting themselves out of this predator hell of insanity they live in (and seemingly can't live without), I will mention the two items that you would need to focus upon to succeed.

#1:  Get many or most humans to understand real versus fiction (see above).

#2:  Live and let live.

Until you solve #1, humans will always be controlled by predators.  These predators spend their entire lives focusing on the nature and practice of predatory scams... while by nature producers must spend most of their time focused on understanding and manipulating reality in order to produce goods and goodies that humans (including the predators) need and want to survive, prosper and enjoy life.

As a practical matter, #2 is your only hope as a model for mankind after complete dominance by predators.  In fact, it is the only possible "system" that can possibly work (though it is really a non-system if you look closely).

You will NEVER get humans to agree about "how to live".  Not gonna happen.  And more important, it should never happen!!!  Any successful species must be free to attempt multiple ways to exist in this universe, and see how they work (or don't).  Any species that "all lives the same" is doomed.  As soon as something in the environment changes in a "bad" way (for them), they ALL perish, and reality closes the door on them.

This is especially true for a species that survives by means of their own production, and their own thought processes.

The very best "structure" for mankind (which is really the only non-structure) is for everyone to be free to live however they want, as long as they limit the consequences of their actions to themselves.

This approach has two HUGE, utterly practical benefits.

#1:  People will agree to this, because they can live their lives as they wish.

#2:  Every individual can observe every other individual or group of individuals to determine the results of different ways of living (and different ways of doing just about everything).  So everyone is free to adopt whichever kind of results they prefer.  In this way, everyone can seek out a better life in a completely natural, completely free, completely ungoverned way.

So that's your challenge, if you choose to attempt to save mankind.  I am almost certain you will fail, but hey, not everyone can leave earth with us, and we don't want most humans out there with us (though most would rather quickly kill themselves off, because most instances of not paying attention to what is real in space lead to death).

You cannot succeed without achieving both results noted above.  I suspect you can see why, or you may have known this already.  But there it is, for anyone else who chooses to attempt your goal.

Good luck.  You're gonna need it in spades!

fiftybagger's picture

"99.9999% of humans are complete failures, plus or minus a small margin of error"


So really the only apparent difference between you and our Illuminati overlords is that you are not a "predator".  However the disdain you both hold for the common man is palpable.  Sartre, Camus, Tillich, Kierkegaard and the entire miserable lot all figured out too late that a world without hope is not one worth living in.  Joe Six-pack carelessly watching his Sunday sports is not too worried, because deep down he knows their fate:

6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?

10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.

11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.

12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.

13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.

14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

King James Bible Job 40




honestann's picture

Well, as you probably infer already, I do not believe in fairy tales, including ones that posit the existence of gods.  So I will ignore the specifics of these quotes from people who claim to speak for their fiat, fake, fraud, fiction, fantasy man beyond the sky.  But I will address your points as best I can.

You removed the first part of my sentence.  Why did you do that?  In order to be disingenuous and hide what I really said, and really meant?  Probably so.  That is just one of the many word-games practiced by authoritarians and promoters of authoritarians (and yes, your fictional gods would be the ultimate authoritarian if one of them actually existed).  What I said was,

As sentient beings, 99.9999% of humans are a complete failure.

So, what I actually said is, 99.9999% of humans do not effectively perform those processes of consciousness at the level we call "sentience" (as in "sentient beings").  That doesn't mean 99.9999% of humans are failures as any of the millions of other attributes you might name.  Therefore, you grossly - and intentionally - misrepresent what I said.  Very clever.

And in fact, your little trick is yet another good example of what I'm trying to point at.  To be an effective sentient being basically means two things:

#1:  To see what is in front of your face, and not see what isn't.
#2:  To be objective as possible in all your conscious processes.

What you did is a perfect example of being a failure as a sentient being.  You read what I said, you knew what I said.  An effective sentient being very well might want to explore my claim, and very possibly their first impression of my statement would be surprise and non-belief.  And that's quite appropriate.  But their next step would be to attempt to figure out exactly what I meant, and then engage in a brainstorming process with me and others to elicit all relevant evidence from our past experiences that might help us provisionally answer the question for ourselves.

We could have done that.  And I have done that about these issues for decades.

However, one of your comments is quite insightful and worth addressing.  You said that "the only apparent difference between me and your illuminati overlords is that I am not a predator".  That is an extremely interesting question, and sometimes it does seem that way.  And in some ways, you are quite correct.  I will try to elaborate just a bit, but not at too much length, because this is a huge topic.

The vast majority of predators are just as clueless as the other 99.9999% of humanity.  In fact, they might be more clueless --- they just recognize a rigged game and find a way to join the "winning team".

However, you said the "overlords", so I'll assume you mean the very, very, very top level of overlords --- the ones at the very tip of the very top triangle in the classic pyramid.  If that is what you mean, then you do identify an interesting question.

My answer to that is... in some important ways you are correct... but in some utterly fundamental ways you are not correct.  The following is a bit of elaboration.

The top-level predators understand the essence of the scam the operate almost as well as I do.  In terms of all the detailed levers they pull day to day, they understand that even better than me.  However, I understand the nature and operation of consciousness better than they do.  So while they understand well enough to manipulate 99.9999% of humans on earth, I understand the details.  That is a consequence of me coming to understand human-level consciousness so thoroughly that I can (and am now helping to) implement smarter than human consciousness with inorganic components.

But you may not understand the significance of what you imagine is a "tiny difference" --- that I chose not to take advantage of my knowledge to become a very effective predator, and perhaps join their "club".  That choice, and that decision makes a world of difference in almost every other aspect of my being, my personality (benevolent and helpful), my approach (scientific, engineering, technology, invention, development, implementation), my endeavors (ditto), etc.

That choice leads me to gain observations and understanding and expertise in entirely different aspects of reality.  They focus on manipulating fictions to control producers in order to steal their lives, wealth and liberty, while I focus on manipulating reality in order to produce goods and goodies that improve my life, and the life of everyone I interact with.  That makes a huge difference.

If I interpret some of your quotes properly, you're trying to make me feel bad about being good at something.  You can forget about that, it won't work.  I am happy that I can see and understand reality as well as I can, and work every day to become better at that.  You can't change that.  On the other hand, there are plenty of areas and topics I am completely incompetent.  If we were discussing any of those, I'd probably call myself an idiot or moron in the context of that topic, which I regularly do in such situations.

So... I'm just being objective - calling a spade a spade.  My purpose is not to impress anyone.  What's the point?  I am not selling anything to you or anyone else who reads these messages.  I don't sponsor any adds at ZH, or have anything to gain from any of you.  The fact is, the best way in the modern world (and probably throughout history) to make oneself UN-popular is to discuss topics like these.

Frankly, if some super-bowl hero wide-end receiver says "I'm really great at football", or "I am great at catching passes"... nobody bats an eye.  Certainly nobody thinks he is being arrogant - it is obvious he is simply telling it the way it is.

So, when someone who is highly advanced on an intellectual topic (like advanced consciousness for instance) says something about their expertise (without even saying "I'm great"), why do people like you think that is arrogance - to simply convey information within your expertise?  What should we do?  Shut up and let the predators completely consume you even more thoroughly?  I guess that's what you prefer.

For the record, in case it makes you feel any better, I am an ignorant, stupid moron in vastly more areas of knowledge than I am expert.  Saying that doesn't make me feel anything, by the way.  I'm just stating facts to the best of my ability, which is what I do.

i-dog's picture


"you're trying to make me feel bad about being good at something. You can forget about that, it won't work."

LOL ... I was just explaining that concept to my grandsons only a few minutes before reading this!

I told them it was pointless pretending to be dumb in order to be "popular" among the walking dead. From a purely pragmatic perspective, being a leader is far more efficacious than being a follower...and respect is a far more valuable commodity than blind obedience.

Keep up your great work on behalf of yourself and those of like mind around you. And keep posting - to reinforce your message to those who come to ZH with a latent desire to leave the Matrix (though the fellow you replied to is certainly not in that cohort).

honestann's picture

I need someone to take over for me, collect all my past posts, read until they understand everything, then spend the rest of their lives cutting and pasting (and elaborating if they can)... so I can stop "wasting" my time here and spend more time on our projects.

When I need a break, I really do enjoy wandering around until the stars at night a lot more than banging on the keyboard here in ZH.  After all, a fair percentage of the time I have to bang on the keyboard to do my work.

So... somebody... take over for me!  Want the job?  :-)

alfbell's picture



Everyone is guessing, speculating, hoping, etc. No one knows where we are actually going because this is new territory... the laws, axioms, maxims, rules, etc. that investors and economists have used as guidelines are no longer dependable. Even TPTB (the big capital owners that ride atop the governments and major corps) don't really know where we are headed... they try to point things in one direction, but they always have unintended consequences and surprises as well. Globally and in our respective countries, we're all on a runaway train, a sailboat without a rudder, a bus without a steering wheel. Human history has been like this in many respects through the centuries. We continue to bungle along in some form or another (empires, dark ages, industrial revolutions, world wars, etc.). Humanity is still here on planet Earth.

To contradict what I wrote above, I believe the USA will stay in this paradigm for a long long time (unless we have an immediate ice age, or aliens attack us or a meteor knocks us out of orbit). TPTB (capital), government, academia and the MSM will keep this experiment moving forward. Some day, and NO ONE knows when, they'll be another collapse or crisis (or maybe a series of smaller ones in different areas) that will be the catalyst for a reset. It could happen in 10 years, it could happen in 75 years. It could be somewhat instantaneous, it could be a protracted process. Does anyone REALLY know and understand this huge, complicated and multi-faceted global economy that we are all a part of now? I don't think so.

No one truly knows what they are talking about. 

bulldung's picture

To be concise and brief let Bill Buckler give correction." There is no such thing as the right to anything produced by another man's effort."

webspin's picture

Mr Grant, after 30 plus years of getting the markets wrong, how about you fess up and declare you're  just as phoney as Madoff?