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Jim Grant On The Monetary Priesthood's "Atlas Complex"

Tyler Durden's picture


The bow-tie-and-bespectacled Jim Grant once again takes the centrally-planned 'Office of Unintended Consequence' (aka The Fed) to task in a thoughtful exchange with Capital Account's Lauren Lyster. Reflecting on his recent opportunity to speak directly to various Fed officials, he found one particular question (on the perceived 'mass starvation' that occurred in the brutal earlier Depression beginning in 1920 which ended rapidly without the need for monetary stimulation) most disturbing in its summation of the central bank's 'Atlas Complex' - or how would we get up and go to work in the morning without them. The attitude of our Monetary Priesthood, he analogizes, is that unless they are active in their prayers and devotions, who knows what might happen? Grant goes on to discuss the hypocrisy of Bernanke (noting the importance of free market prices to his students and yet controlling interest rates overtly in the market-place) and highlights interest rates role as the traffic light signal in a market economy providing a critical input to our perception of value in stocks, bonds, real estate, Silicon Valley Startups, and so on and because these rates are manipulated we live and invest in a hall-of-mirrors leaving us with a distorted vision of the real-world. He notes that Americans, as typically recklessly joyous investors in growth, "remain in a miasma of anxiety due to the extreme unpredictability of policy action and this is what creates the tail risk of doubt and apprehension." Looking to the future he sees the constitutionality of Obamacare and the elections as a critical test in the war against supply and demand that is being waged by our central bankers and government.


Starting at around 1:50, Capital Account's Lauren Lyster begins by introducing Jim Grant's reflexive perspective of the world in a rather eloquent brief on just how our centrally-planned economy has veered from any notion of true capitalism.

The interview with Jim Grant begins at around 4:30


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Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:48 | 2378933 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

he did fine with all his blood running down to his pants -  I wonder if the cops arrested him for pitching a tent near wall street 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:24 | 2378891 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Lordy. Beauty, Brains, and guests like Jim Grant. Make me write bad checks.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:45 | 2378923 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

'Here I am' during sky cam pan....   yes you are

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:49 | 2378936 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better." ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

Hypocrite much?

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:57 | 2378955 NOPOMO
NOPOMO's picture

Who really cares right now.  Keep buying equities due to FEDs implicit Stock Market support and exit early before elections.  We have 4 months to do so, which is more than enough time to exit.  Unload 20% a month until elections.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 22:13 | 2378988 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Jim Grant is " awesome"!   Mr. Grant understands the " fundamentals' , of trading in SKEWED markets!

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:01 | 2379094 FranSix
FranSix's picture

The problem is that you no longer own your own risk.  Somebody trades it on Wall St.  Risk is owned by the risk cartels.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:01 | 2379096 proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

In the 1920's the flash recession did not produce mass starvation because the public was still largely culturally Christian and steeped in the Christian institution of private initiative charity as a moral obligation. 

As the welfare state has crept in and now is imposed on us, and as many people are no longer even nominal Christians, far fewer people know tthe proper role of charity and instead believe that role belongs to government.  After all, that is why we all pay taxes, at least that is the ocmmon belief.  

But because government must expropriate resources to give to those in need, it cannot be charity any more than when Al Capone is being charible when he flips a coin to the shoeshine boy as he sprints out of the bank he just robbed.  True charity respects the property rights of the giver, while government has a prior claim on the tax monies due.   Charity also allows that a person who needs more will be more likely to be given more and the person who doesn't need as much won't.  Contrarywise, the welfare state strives to give everyone in the same class the exact same "benefit".  Lastly, the recipient of charity is connected to the giver and knows the giver must earn the gift, wherease the recipient of government monies feels that he is due it by legal right.

For a variety of valid reasons, we must seek to reestablish the proper role of charity in taking care of the needy.


Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:58 | 2379178 JR
JR's picture

It must be seen by now that the Fed is intentionally tipping the economy off balance in order to control it, to knock down its foundation, to re-establish it as a part of a banker-controlled Keynesian socialist world system.

Not only is the Fed destroying the dollar as sound currency, it's taking with it bonds, savings deposits, pensions, insurance proceeds, the value of labor and living standards, property equity, small business stability, and, ultimately, stocks. In short, it’s destroying reality, the contact Americans have with the real economy. And when contact with reality is cut, all goes spinning and the Soroses and Evelyn de Rothschilds and Rockefellers then control it all.

Not only will fiat currency come under their control but they will put the most critical segments of the nation – the economy,  the politics, the culture, the labor, the trade, the housing,  the markets and communications and property -- on the table. It can be likened to a poker game. All players have to put all their chips in the pot, with the bankers controlling the pot.  They’ll control the value of all reserves and even those contracts made for the future with agreed upon terms. Those terms that used to be definite, won’t be. The central bank will control their value.

If you agreed to the terms of a university degree, to a job, the value of that degree and that job will be up to the banker masters.

The good news is, they can’t keep this up. To keep it up requires everyone to voluntarily submit. But the history of human action dictates that people will refuse to work under an enforced system of enslavement and Total Equality …… Even Mao Tse-tung finally came to recognize the limits of central planning in the world of Red China.

Sansan, a young Chinese girl, wrote in her book, the Eighth Moon, of the great suffering of everyday life in Red China from age four in 1949 when the Communist soldiers arrived until 1962 when she escaped to America: “Although we in the cities suffered greatly that year (1960), we were much better off than the farmers, who fled the countryside in droves… The situation on the farms was so serious that the school held a special meeting to discuss Mao Tse-Tung’s speech on agriculture that was quite different from his usual praise of Socialism and China’s progress.  During the Great Leap Forward and the beginning of the farm communes, Mao had said that everyone on the communes was entitled to an equal share of the crops. As a result, many of the poorer peasants went to demand a share of the crops of the wealthier farmers, who had no choice but to share. Thereafter the wealthier worked less hard and became poor, while the poor became destitute. Mao now said that it was obvious that the people were not yet ready for the Law of Equality….and announced that farmers would be granted some plots for individual use.”

During that time, the people of China didn’t even have enough cloth to patch their old garments.

“When the government realized that the people had only patched clothes to wear, it started the ‘Campaign of the Glorious Patches.’ Each patch was to symbolize dedication to socialism.”

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 01:36 | 2379324 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I pay attention J.R.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 22:17 | 2381634 zoomer
zoomer's picture

It must be seen by now that the Fed is intentionally tipping the economy off balance in order to control it, to knock down its foundation, to re-establish it as a part of a banker-controlled Keynesian socialist world system.

Yeah, I agree,  been saying the same thing for most of my life.

Thanks for the tip on Eighth Moon, I'm looking forward to it..

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 00:35 | 2379258 EndTheMedia
Fri, 04/27/2012 - 01:08 | 2379298 superflyguy
superflyguy's picture

He looks like Clark Kent

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:28 | 2379522 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Yes he is actually superman, doesn't get older either. I bet he can see right throught the lies of the establishment too :)

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 03:06 | 2379376 pcrs
pcrs's picture

What I never get about these statists:

-Why do they think the people have any influence on their rulers and a political revolt will not just bring in a better liar

-Why they complain politics is unpredictable. It is theonly thing that is predictable:they will take more taxes, make more wars and issue more laws forbidding everything that is not compulsory.

USA 300 years of government 58k$/year

western europe 1000 years of government 50k$/year

Greece 4000 years of government 25k$/year

Egypt 6000 years of government 2 $ a day

What does he mean:not predictable

You can't get it more predictable than that.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 05:32 | 2379474 blueridgeviews
blueridgeviews's picture

In order for this depression vto be over quickly the TBTF would have needed to go bankrupt, criminal proceedings follow and crooks prosecuted. When the very people responsible for the collapse have friends in DC and the Fed we the poeople pay. FYI, we're not done paying yet.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 22:06 | 2381620 zoomer
zoomer's picture

"(friends) Toadies in DC"- They "the very people responsible" wouldn't be caught dead being seen in public with the hired help.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 10:06 | 2380052 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

Aynus Randus, stole every idea she ever had from Mussolini.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 14:39 | 2380763 reTARD
reTARD's picture

Lauren, double-dip please?

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