Guest Post: The Central Banking Theater of the Absurd

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of Of Two Minds blog,

The astounding hubris of central bankers is comical, but the consequences of their actions are playing out as needless tragedy.

Central bankers present themselves as Masters of the Universe. They are, but only in their own little Theater of the Absurd. In the real world, they are as clueless as any other mortals about the unintended consequences of their actions and the speed with which the corrupted, unsustainable financial Status Quo will decay and die.

The only attribute they possess in abundance is hubris. Their claims to godhood are comical when viewed in their little Theater of the Absurd, but they become tragic when the consequences of their actions play out in the real world.

Their job, such as it is, is to deflate a tottering system based on phantom assets slowly enough that it doesn't implode. Stripped of mumbo-jumbo, their strategy to accomplish this is to inflate other phantom assets to replace the phantom assets that are falling to zero.

All their promises, preening and posturing boil down to patting their breast pocket and speaking vaguely about a "secret plan" to end the crisis without bringing down the system that spawned the crisis as a consequence of its very nature.

There is no secret plan, of course, and no secret financial weapons; all they really have is artifice and the hubris to present artifice as reality.

To admit the usustainable is not sustainable would bring the entire rotten edifice crashing down, so the central bankers invite us into their little Theater of the Absurd and evince a phantom confidence in their phantom solutions that depend on phantom assets.

A swollen cloud of doom hangs over the central banker's little Theater of the Absurd; all their chest-pounding hubris and empty confidence is artifice, as phantom as the assets they claim will replace the phantom assets that have been destroyed by exposure to reality.

On their absurd little stage, they claim the Emperor's robes are thick and fine; and we laugh, bitterly, for these threadbare lies are all they have to "save" a parasitic, predatory, anti-democratic financial Status Quo.

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slaughterer's picture

Where are the stock symbols for the Federal Reserve and ECB?  I want to short them.   Are they GLD and SLV?

engineertheeconomy's picture

To short the FED, all you have to do is take physical possesion of Gold, Silver, Palladium, Platinum and/or Rhodium.

That would make a good T-shirt:

         SHORT THE FED...


WilliamBanzai7 I hand the torch to you...

tradewithdave's picture

You didn't that business.  Central bankers built that business.


mrktwtch2's picture

its a good system wreck the economy (1930's) then wait till those peole have moved on and change the rules (repeal of glass stegal) and repeat it again..menawhile our freedoms are being eroded..

Bob's picture

Mark to myth keeps unpayable debt alive . . . and the blood flowing from the real economy to the parasites who hold it. 


buzzsaw99's picture

too kind. they are criminals.

malikai's picture

Criminals can think like that too.

buzzsaw99's picture

they masquerade as clueless while they steal trillions.

Vince Clortho's picture

not just garden variety criminals.  The Central Planners are responsible for massive theft, untold misery and death in the wars they support and perpetuate, and the destruction of peoples and societies.

The Nazis tried for War Crimes at Nuremburg pale in significance when compared to the Central Bankers group rampage over the last 100 years.

Snakeeyes's picture

Even the almighty Central Banks cannot overcome consumer misery and thousands and thousand of pages of regulations that discourage businesses.

SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Frankly, I'm sick of hearing businesses moan about "uncertainty" and "over-regulation".  What businesses want is guaranteed profit, plain and simple.  Unless they get that....they bitch about the Gov't.  That's BS.

Turin Turambar's picture

Please put down what you're smoking.  It's affecting your brain, and what is coming out of your mouth is idiotic.

Havana White's picture

Fuck off, Republican, he's right.

Turin Turambar's picture

I'm a Libertarian Anarcho-capitalist in the Rothbardian tradition you Statist dumbass.

In your world, if you're not a Dem you're a Rep.  Both parties are full of Progressives Statists, but your narrow little mind can't see reality through the goggles of your lefty propaganda.  Dumbass kool-aid drinker.

Cursive's picture


Central bankers present themselves as Masters of the Universe. They are, but only in their own little Theater of the Absurd.

Any kid can master the game of "Monopoly" or "Life," but don't think you're gonna translate that to success in real life.  These central bankers are trying to do the same thing.  Problem is, I didn't get the chance to opt-out of the grand experiement.

francis_sawyer's picture

The "Go to Jail, Go directly to Jail", cards & board spaces are replaced with "Bank Error in your Favor" & Free Parking in the bankers version of Monopoly...

Bastiat's picture

Monopoly's a different game when you have a color copier behind you.

francis_sawyer's picture

Monopoly is a rather simple game to win...

Before the game starts, 'collude' or secretly conspire with one other player that as the properties get sold to the various players, that each of you will separately buy those properties (paying slightly more than face value, or by exchange) if they should arbitrarily fall into the hands of other players... The ORANGE properties (St. James, Tennessee, & New York) should be most highly coveted... Nobody would SELL those properties to you (to help you create a Monopoly), but if you have a secret deal with another player, you can collect what you need on your own (while your partner does the same), then pull the trigger in a deal when the time is right... At the end of the day (& after all the muppets have been laid asunder by the control over the board that you have with your partner), you just agree to chop the total rake with your secret partner...

This, in real life... is known as the JECKYLL ISLAND strategy...


Bob's picture


In the real world, they are as clueless as any other mortals about the unintended consequences of their actions and the speed with which the corrupted, unsustainable financial Status Quo will decay and die.

It's not the financial status quo that will die.  Their mission is to make sure it's the rest of humanity and genuine Liberty with it.

Michael Hudson: The Road to Debt Deflation, Debt Peonage, and Neofeudalism

giggler123's picture

I don't care anymore as I've booked a flight with the nearest UFO to mars...

Clint Liquor's picture

Only God and Central Bankers can create something from nothing. It must be very cool to be God-like.

magpie's picture

It isn't 'nothing': The debt is 'real' in the way taxation and misallocation of economic resources impact society.

Clint Liquor's picture

So the 'money' that was the basis of the debt came from where, exactly?

magpie's picture

From other (preferably future) debt, of course.

Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture

Not so, artists and programmers do it all the time.

Clint Liquor's picture

Certainly, we all have the ability to create in our minds, but can an artist create paint and canvas from nothing? Likewise the programmer cannot create an computer from nothing.

Central bankers create physical wealth from thin air. it is truly God-like.

Turin Turambar's picture

Just because "God" rhymes with "fraud" doesn't make the two the same.

adr's picture

The entirety of the past four years has been a theater of the absurd. But the previous eight years was absurd, and the eight years preceding that. 

Life has become absurdity.

Actually more clinical insanity. The sane have been overtaken by the insane, somehow changing the status quo. A system built on rules, ethics, and sound principles has been replaced by lies, deceit, cheats, and hypotheticals.

A product that doesn't exist can net a startup more money than a company that has been developing a new product for years that has real working prototypes. Hype is now worth more than concrete proof.

The market trades on a fantasy future than can't ever exist.

AnAnonymous's picture

Fantasy is very important for US citizens. More and more, US citizens need fantasy to mediate between them and reality. Propaganda is no longer enough.

US citizens are not people who want to know. US citizens are people who want to believe.

Anyone who makes a career's choice based on knowledge makes a poor choice in a US citizen society.

Anyone who makes a choice of a career based on belief makes a good choice in a US citizen society.

Better to be a salesman of fantasy in US world order than an investigator of truth.

The way it works.

US world order.

Vince Clortho's picture

If missing the boat was the objective, This post hit the jackpot.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

The kookery of the imaginary world which AnAnonymous inhabits knows no bounds.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Delusions of Grandeur Federal Open Market Committee

ObungaBoy's picture

Way or another this absurd will end

Wall Street not just devastated U.S. economy but turned U.S. into evil empire, hated by the whole world – even by West Europe and Canada too

Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture

I think we all agree the financial ponzi is unsustainable.

A few of us also understand that everything else around us is also unsustainable.  Fosil fuel, groundwater, topsoil, fisheries, we're fucked.

AnAnonymous's picture


The concentration of wealth can go a long distance from this point.

All it takes is to reduce the class that has been the fattening class during the ascending expansionist phase of the US world order: the US citizen middle class.

Vince Clortho's picture

I detect a recurring theme in your posts today.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


He's been banging his head on the same coconut, with algebraic precision, for many months. His meanderings are a roller coaster ride of insanitation, and the closed loop track has, at the very most, one or two points with a tangential connection to reality.

Rhodin's picture

How much is left to reduce of USA expansion phase middle class?

In 1960 average USA middle class worker with "good" factory job,  or average corporate or government job could afford nice house, two cars, nonworking spouse, four or five kids and college for them, and would retire comfortable with a good pension and substantial investments.   Many, if not most, who did this were not college educated. Today a person who can do this usually needs elite college degree and income in upper 10%, or has inherited wealth.   This is no longer middle class.


crkennedymd's picture

The planet will forget we were ever here

Anusocracy's picture

It's dumb matter.

It never knew.

RobotTrader's picture

Summer of 2012 will go down as one of the greatest moments in central banking history, when Draghi and Bernanke accidently stumbled across the greatest policy tool ever devised:


Dr. Engali's picture

It's working for now. There sure seem to be a lot of stupid people out there that are easy to manipulate by the fed. Puppets on a string.

Clowns on Acid's picture

Jawboning ? I thought that was your policy tool ?

AnAnonymous's picture

It is always very funny when US citizens forget of their own nature.

US citizens are duplicitous. They dont declare their objectives, and prefer to hide them under the guise of freedom, truth and justice.

This is what this US citizen author wants to forget. Once more.

How does this US citizen author infer the incapacity for US citizen central bankers to know the unintented consequences of their actions?

He does this by comparing consequences with the alledged self proclaimed by central bankers objectives.

Here's the failure: as US citizens, they are duplicitous and the declaration of their objectives do not correspond with their sought for objectives.

US citizen central bankers might as well know very well a large share of the so called unintended consequences, looking for them and achieving them.

It is like measuring the US of A through the scope of freedom, truth and justice because those are the self proclaimed objectives of the mecca of US citizenism, the US.

When you measure the US of A's achievements to the scale of coercion, extortion of the weak, farming of the poor, propaganda and injustice, the measure is one of a very deep, unarguable success.

marco1324's picture

Slightly off topic but. With CDO's and the system of trenching, if a deal goes tits up does the bank get away with paying the worse of the debt because they are pretty much guaranteed a bailout? If Im talking shit please hit the ignore button on the left.

Drachma's picture

In the real world, they are as clueless...

Why is it that in the face of all the bankers' machinations and the devastating consequences of their god-play, people invariably conclude that all this must be due to incompetence and ignorance? Do they really believe that they are 'clueless' or is it that the alternative is just to horrific to contemplate; that their actions are deliberate and the consequences are intended? Anyone recall the statements made by Mark Carney regarding the "canon-fodder that unfortunately inhabits this planet" and how the rabble will not understand what it is we (bankers) are trying to accomplish for humanity?