Nassim Taleb On #OccupyWallStreet And His Updated Views On The Global Banking System

Tyler Durden's picture

There was a time when Nassim Taleb media appearances were a daily thing. Then he decided to take a sabbatical from the public's eye, and literally fell off the face of the planet. And while over the past year or so, he has gradually resurfaced, his extended discussions on various topics are still almost as rare as a double digit move in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Tonight he broke his vow of silence, and joined Bloomberg TV's in discussing the "Occupy Wall Street" protest, which he expects to devolve into class warfare, as well as his view of the global banking system. And an interesting tangential discussion to develop is his observation of applying the principles of the "Hammurabi's Code" to the banking system.

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frank's picture

Marxism. Coming to a country near you (unfortunately).

Pladizow's picture

Nassim has been his own Black Swan.

Eventhough it has been easy to agree with him, his investment recomendations have performed less then stellar.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Taleb has done quite well, actually, though he trades options for outsized events, and uses a philosophy that counts on the inevitable big and bad happenings, every so often, to more than offset the small bleeding of a thousand paper cuts.

For the uninitiated on Taleb (most on ZH are familiar, though), here is must read synopsis of his philosophy, using the backdrop of a compare and contrast true story of his dealings with Victor Nieferhoffer.

Even for those who are familiar, and who haven't read this, should read it.

It's that good.

Blowing Up

from the New Yorker


How Nassim Taleb turned the inevitability of disaster into an investment strategy


One day in 1996, a Wall Street trader named Nassim Nicholas Taleb went to see Victor Niederhoffer. Victor Niederhoffer was one of the most successful money managers in the country. He lived and worked out of a thirteen-acre compound in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and when Taleb drove up that day from his home in Larchmont he had to give his name at the gate, and then make his way down a long, curving driveway...

gladwell dot com - blowing up
I think I need to buy a gun's picture

They got us no matter what,,,,,I'm watching CNBC special about prisons.....they have inmates working for 2 cents a day MAKING GOODS TO SELL.....China has just met their match,,,,Instead of doing things right and having it set up so people have jobs in private industry so they don't end up in prison.....They have it set up so everyone is going to prison and working for 2 cents a day building everything and anything and the prisoners apprecitiate the pay.

There are a whole bunch of people at the top making a TON of money not only from China  trade but every aspect,,,this isn't going to change no matter what,,,,,WE ARE OWNED bitchez,,,,,get your gold while its still cheap because it will be gold 50000 and we have $6.75 an hour jobs available everywhere after this. They didn't tell you gas will be 5 dollars a gallon and the tolls to work will be on every street because they own those too.....So you'll have a little for food after a days work

Crisismode's picture

When it is time


To hold the throats of the rich


to the chainsaw of Justice


And watch thier heads spew forth the blood of their vile hideous infamy


Only then will the scales be balanced.


In the End,


There can be


only One.

i-dog's picture

"......the throats of the rich......"

It's shit like that that foments class warfare!! The chainsaw should be applied to your throat (or to whoever first published it).

The problem is not the rich, the problem is the thieves that have used the guns of the government to steal your money ... ie. any banker or business that has received a bailout, or subsidy, or single-bid government contract above market rates.

AldousHuxley's picture

Nassim Taleb's Marc Faberishly humorous quotes highlighted:


  • "[Obama] administration seems to be completely impervious to any rational behavior concerning the crisis"



  • "Banks have made 2.2T past 5 years. It is a business that doesn't make money. And projected 5T next 10 years....It is tax on citizens"
  • "You make money, you keep it. You lose money, society backs you up. It doesn't exist in any other world."
  • "You need something to break the bank cartel for the sake of the financial industry"
  • "Banks have been able to hide their real economic P&L...Banks are in a busines of hiding risk"
  • "We are serving them [banks], rather than them serving us"
  • "Banks have never made money in the history of banking"
  • "They themselves don't know what risks they have"



  • "The system we have now is not a normal economic system"
  • "We are not living in capitalism, we are not living in socialism, we are living in some weird combination with a cartel"
  • "Capitalism is about incentives, but also disincentives"


  • "Federal Reserve policy is there to help the banks."



  • "They caused the crisis, we know that. Last year, they had a record bonus. This is not something that is rational"
  • "They are hijacking the American economy then saying that you need to pay us bonuses'"
  • "The core of this situation is a problem concerning bank compensation"
  • "The only information you get from bank earnings is the compensation. Only valuable information you can get from [bank earnings] is how much they pay themselves"
  • "Anything above zero is too much money....if we bail you out, you should not be paid a bonus"
  • "If you are a banker, and we will bail you someday, then you cannot earn more than a civil servant of a corresponding rank"


  • "European banks don't mark Greece at what it should be marked at"




Ghordius's picture

Love Taleb

keep it simple:


gojam's picture

Not really thought through though, is it ?

AldousHuxley's picture

perhaps somewhat paranoid as seen in the video? CIA and FBI looking into character assasination? Banksters talking to Putin about how to proceed with polonium poisoning?



Also, he is exactly on point when he says OWS is second generation marxist class struggle.


For those who have watched too much Fox News or never bothered to learn what Karl Marx actually said....


Capitalism according to Marxist theory can no longer sustain the living standards of the population due to its need to compensate for falling rates of profit by driving down wages(what US had last 30 years in comparison to real inflation), cutting social benefits (austrity) and pursuing military aggression(wars, wars, wars).


Marxist analysis leads to the conclusion that capitalism oppresses the proletariat, the inevitable result being a proletarian revolution.


Capitalism's faults are not being dealt with fairly and labor is waking up. This will lead US into socialism or worse communism. this is what Nassim is worried about. When the rules of capitalism is not enforced, people will vote for socialism and true capitalists will be punished along with faux capitalists (ie. AIG)




YHC-FTSE's picture

Every time I run into one of your posts, I'm startled by the material at your fingertips. You must be a walking political almanac! Thanks for contributing mate.

Thomas's picture

Not sure we go the distance that you  describe, but I believe that we need to look into the abyss.

Christophe2's picture

@AldousHuxley / Nassim quotes:

Ultimately, I was rather unimpressed by what this guy had to say in the end (even if I liked quite a bit of it).  In fact, I'd say instead that he was quite right about his solution being too little too late, and it not being likely to be acceptable to the protesters:

- what about prosecuting the banksters for the massive frauds they committed?  Reduced / eliminated bonuses in the future is NOT ENOUGH

- what about corporate person-hood and the fact that our politicians are all inevitably 100% bought out?

- what about our criminal wars and permanent state of abuse abroad?



We have some major problems besetting us, and just cutting down on some banker bonuses is not gonna cut it, IMO...

=> that being said, I liked the Obama comment, in particular :P

YHC-FTSE's picture

+1 Here, here (On your bold bits)!

Didn't comment on the video before (It wouldn't play), but just seen it and unlike you, I'm quite impressed with what he had to say about the banking cartel (Not his delivery, which was sadly terrible). Sure, it's nothing to a regular visitor to ZH, but coming from Taleb on an msm channel, it made my day. 

Seer's picture

Still missed the target!

When will people stop whacking away at the branches and go for the roots?

No, it's not the "rich," it's WHAT THEY DO AND WHAT THEY REPRESENT that is the problem!

Who was it, GW Bush?, who is now going around saying that we need people to work up plans to give us 4% growth or something.  WTF?  We DON'T have the resources to do that, not now, not ever (again)!

The "rich" are junkies (the rest are just casual users who would love to be able to afford a full blown habit) of the drug GROWTH, even though it will KILL them!

Setting your consumption based on totally unsustainable activities is the road over the cliff.  Anyone what can't get this simple idea ought to be recipients of the Darwin Award.

Yes there's corruption, always has been, always will/would be, but the reason why it's gone so terribly bad is because the music has stopped.  WE ALL PARTICIPATED in the game of "let's pretend we can grow indefinitely!"  And now since we're finding that our little fixes aren't there we're hollering at those that are still drugging it up!

The "rich" have no problem giving us a different set of laws and in executing us.  What is it that religions ask of people?  Convert else you'll go to hell?  Well, they best start showing some sense of conversion otherwise it's a sure thing that they'll be seeing hell.  History tells us that mass de/re-programming is a bitch.  Not saying that I'm FOR it, just saying that it's just the return side of "what goes up."

Oh regional Indian's picture

Git yer roots right here. If you dare.


Knowledge for OWSers

Things that go bump's picture

Sorry, i-dog, no need to foment class warfare, it is always simmering just below the surface. Warren Buffet has stated publically that his class is winning.  The throats of the poor are where the rich put their boots, but the throats of the rich are the traditional meal of the guillotine.  A mob doesn't care about guilt or innocense, it cares about vengence and it will take it where it finds it.    

ATM's picture

The "thieves that have used the guns of government" I think the chainsaw should be applienot to the recipients of the bailouts but to those that take our money and give it to these pukes.

It's the bureaucrats who deserve the chainsaw because they use the guns of government to steal, to feather thier beds and live like kings but don't have the messy money to deal with. They can let the bankers have that because when you control the money you don't actually NEED the money.

Harlequin001's picture

He missed it, the cause is nothing to do with class warfare or bankers.

The system is inherently insolvent and begets greater insolvency the more you bail it out. It's a mathematical fucking certainty.

It just plain doesn't work. Sure everyone's pissed at bankers making huge bonuses but the problem is that government is too big and relies on banks for funding.

He missed the whole point. We need smaller government, and the only thing that can return it is a new gold standard.

Libertarians for Prosperity's picture



The system is inherently insolvent.....   the problem is that government is too big and relies on banks for funding...

Can you explain when this happened?  When did guuubbbermint get too big?  When did it go insolvent?  What amount of debt was the trigger point and why?

Also, can you tell me what would happen to all our debt if we took Ron Paul's advice and went to a gold standard, which you're advocating as well.  Wouldn't a gold standard suddenly collateralize all our debt?

Is it possible that you're just puking up an endless amount of cliches and, in actuality, you have no idea what you're talking about?




i-dog's picture

When did guuubbbermint get too big?

A: The very day that it was first formed!!

There is nothing that a government does that cannot be more efficiently performed by private enterprise ... including private insurers against unemployment, privately funded defense, and private subscriptions to active charities.

Libertarians for Prosperity's picture





THAT'S FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Seer's picture

And when all those "private" entities can (just as is/would be the case with govt]) no longer keep the growth game going, then what?

i-dog's picture

The "growth game" is a function of population growth ... and governments promoting population growth to line up future taxpayers. It's not like the world didn't already have enough mouths to feed 20 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago.......!!

As for resources needed to satisfy desires of even a stable population, scarcity and increasing prices will do wonders for rational allocation of diminishing resources ... especially when combined with stewardship of declining resources at a community level. Farmers don't destroy their environment for the opportunity of just a single bumper crop ... communities are the same with their water and energy resources (except for the religious nutters on Easter Island a few centuries ago -- but nature removed them from the gene pool) ... whereas distant state or federal governments don't give a shit about your environment when they are satisfying a need of a lobbyist hundreds or thousands of miles away (just as multinationals don't care about your neighbourhood when they frack it, poison it, or flatten it)!!

Rick64's picture


 I understand your viewpoint and agree with most of it, but I think there is a balance between having an adequate government and having a huge and ever growing monstrosity that has its fingers in everything. There was a time when the government wasn't so imposing and many laws, regulations, policies were dealt with on a local or state level, but the big money still dominated those areas as well and they had their share of corruption, fraud, and crime. Maybe it was on a smaller scale but it was still the same outcome. The only difference I can see is that the taxpayers weren't on the hook for everything, but the reason for that could be that the tax system wasn't really developed then. I agree that private corporations are going to run on the basis of making a profit (providing there is no chance they get bailed out by the gov.) where the government doesn't have the need to make a profit, but without any regulation wouldn't those government programs that were privatized be prone to taking advantages of its citizens?

i-dog's picture

There's never really been an opportunity in the past for communities to learn to manage themselves and live in peace with their neighbours. First we had feudalism under the control of a nobility and the church. Then, as soon as we broke free from that, statism reared its ugly head to replace the monarch and their retinue of local administrators (lords, knights, bishops and priests) with a government that simply started growing.

Nearly all wars, then and now, have been caused by fighting over religious ideology (including the religion of "Statism ... our way!"). Though the churches have been the most voracious parasites of all, they have also encouraged governments to adopt their hierarchical system of top-down control ... so that they could always control governments merely by fraternising at the top (as they did with the pharaohs and kings). It's still going on today.

An exception was the American colonies. They negotiated with the indians to purchase their lands and lived without the colonies going to war with each other (or the indians) for quite some time ... until the European monarchs stepped in and attempted to exert control over (ie. tax) the independent colonies as they started to flourish. It's too complicated to go into here, but most of the problems in the US prior to federation were caused by external factors (as well as a population explosion that was beginning to alarm, and encroach on, the indians).

We have an opportunity now to rethink attitudes to population explosions and exporting ideologies (both religious and social) behind imperialist armies ... since the planet is already 'FULL!' ... to remove those factors going forward.

Rick64's picture

There will never be a perfect opportunity for this to happen. There will always be outside influences with more money and power. Mans greed is something that can't be extinguished. If a society like the one you are describing ever established itself, it would always be vulnerable to these influences and you will need some kind of government to fend off these threats.  The way around government getting too big or exerting too much control is too put more power in the peoples hands where they would demand accountability. IMO

i-dog's picture

"you will need some kind of government to fend off these threats"

Please explain how "some kind of government" is more able to defend a small state than a voluntarily citizen-funded, privately-owned, for-profit, defense force - particularly when all the citizens are also armed? (Hint: there's no profit if there are no customers/subscribers willing to continue paying for poor or corrupt service).

"put more power in the peoples hands where they would demand accountability"

Do they indeed demand accountablility? Didn't the FF put an amazing amount of power in the people's hands? ... And warn them of the consequences of failing to remain vigilant? ... Then immediately proceed to lead an army against the people to collect an unconstitutional new tax (George Washington), sell out the new national currency to the bankstaz (Hamilton), and embark on imperial expansion (Jefferson)? ... All under the cover of a carefully crafted republican constitution that "the people" still worship!?!

The best form of defense is self-defense.

Rick64's picture

Please explain how "some kind of government" is more able to defend a small state than a voluntarily citizen-funded, privately-owned, for-profit, defense force - particularly when all the citizens are also armed?

  If I understand your ideology (from previous posts and this one) then you are saying that states should be independent and without a federal government. Lets just say for an example: another state decides to attack your state because you have more oil and they don't have enough, but their military force is bigger as well as their population. Would your private military be able to fend this attack off and would you have enough funds to pay them if the conflict dragged on. Wars are costly. How loyal would they be if they thought you couldn't pay them or they were outnumbered. Private companies are willing to sell their loyalty to the highest bidder. So what if another state offers them a better deal and then you are left without a defense force. This idea would leave you vulnerable to an easy coup attempt.   Is there any example of this in history?

Do they indeed demand accountablility?

No they didn't and don't that is the problem. There has to be a way that the citizens would be motivated to be involved. You will get no argument from me about this or the fact that our government was corrupt from day one. The forefathers were just like our politicians today, saying one thing then doing another.

i-dog's picture

"Lets just say for an example: another state decides to attack your state because you have more oil and they don't have enough"

You mean like the US in the Middle East? LOL. We are arguing from different perspectives: I from the perspective of an entrepreneur/trader (think ancient China, modern Germany, Sweden, Norway, Japan, etc); you from the perspective of the predator/thief (think imperial Britain, modern USA). I'm not directing this at you personally, but at the education you've absorbed.

From my perspective, if I don't have something, then I'll trade something else for it. From your perspective, if I don't have a car, I should find an auto dealership that has some and steal one from them at gunpoint!

Politics is about forming mutually beneficial alliances to guard against the predators - in the manner of how an entirely voluntary neighbourhood watch protects the little old lady from being robbed by the teenagers down the road; or how Venezuela and Iran have managed [so far] to avoid being invaded by the US - because powerful friends OR nuclear weapons are a major deterrent to the predator! Predators only go after easy targets.

You need to think outside "the American Way"!

Rick64's picture

I was trying to come up with a worst case scenario. I think its important to look at things from all perspectives not just one. I have overcome most of my educational brainwashing. I was thinking more along the lines of Russia, Ukraine, Georgia ect.. than the ME.  Venezuela and Iran have both had to fend off attacks, but they don't have a privatized for profit military.

 I am not disagreeing with you because of ego or because of my education, and I don't reject your ideas infact I agree with them for the most part.  The part I have trouble with is the privatized military and zero federal government .  Many ideas sound great until you break it down and find things that might have been overlooked. If I understand you correctly you would like each state to be its own sovereign country? My idea is that we remain the U.S. but the federal government plays a reduced role as well as drastic downsizing, and the states have the power to govern without federal interference. I enjoyed the discussion.

AldousHuxley's picture

Obviously never worked in a giant Fortune 50 corporate.


When you have hundreds of thousands of people in an organization, you will have more corruption, bureaucracy, and inefficiency than smaller organizations simply due to sheer size. Well US government has 2 million employees. It doesn't matter private, public, non-profit NGO....huge organizations are all useless just existing to keep the monopoly with heavy subsidies. Economy due to scale gets offset by scalability issues and overhead.


Key is to break large organizations up so that they compete against each other. Break up the banks!

i-dog's picture

"Obviously never worked in a giant Fortune 50 corporate."

Thanks for the gratuitous insult!

I've been employed by the biggest as a regional manager and as a consultant to 2 others in the top 10 (and around 30 of the Fortune 500, as well as some governments) and have successfully implemented a version of anarchy (decentralisation and autonomy) into all of them. They and I know that it works, which is why I got so much repeat and referral business. ;-)

The US federal government only has 2 million employees because it was allowed to start with a handfull in the first place! There is no competitive limit to growth with government, which is why it will always grow until it runs out of food (tax revenue).

Statism Is Dead!! Let go and give it a decent burial ... but, in the meantime ... SECEDE NOW!!

Harlequin001's picture

i-dog, yes, it grows because they create pointless jobs for nothing so that they can claim that unemployment is falling.

Then they use these people to regulate everything so that they can justify their existence, when in reality we would be better off without all this regulation and overhead so that everyone was once again responsible for their own due diligence.

And if they didn't want to do any DD they could simply hold their money in gold and do nothing.

But then how would government create so many utterly worthless and pointless jobs so that they could then tell us they were doing so well?

Christophe2's picture

i-dog, I usually tend to agree with you, but in this case I find you are generalizing far too much, all in ways that seem to suit a pre-conceived bias (that 'all government is bad').


What about accountability?  Public institutions are accountable to the taxpayer and morality, while publicly traded companies are solely accountable to their stock price and are thus inherently amoral.  Granted, a good public image is important to your bottom line, but clearly the majority would rather spend on PR and advertising to craft a falsely positive image than concern themselves with morality or the long-term good.  There are good and bad private companies - can't there be good and bad implementations of public ones?  Can't you see the need, in certain cases, for moral rather than profit-seeking institutions?


What about inherently monopolistic businesses?  You will only have one cable company available at your location, just like you'll only have one line for electricity, one pipe for water and sewage (each), so the idea that these private companies are competing against one another is laughable: they parcel out the land amongst one another and inevitably fail to truly compete, since their customers are all captive!


What about job security?  There is no reason for us to accept the typical union demands for iron-clad job security, just like there is nothing to stop us from implementing "decentralization and autonomy" in a public/government environment...  Government institutions should be accountable to the public, just like the TBTF banks should be too...


In an era of secret societies having full control of the state and media/information (as well as the large corporations), with purely-evil think tanks scheming and implementing operations like 9/11 (and WW1, WW2, etc.), I think it is absurd to look at the failure of government and to conclude that such failure is inherent for all government institutions, or that the solution is no government.  Clearly, the secret societies and their conniving fraudsters need to be annihilated, our public policy determination need to be made completely transparent, and then we have a hope of seeing the good that government can do.


For example, public health care makes a lot of sense, IF DONE RIGHT (nothing makes sense when done wrong).  It is immoral to deny basic healthcare to anyone (especially children), or to bankrupt people for it, and it is absurd to think that committees aren't deciding who and what gets covered, be it in a public or private scheme.  It is also absurd to assume that it has to be all private or all public: there is nothing stopping people from getting (relatively very cheap) extra insurance to cover conditions or services that are not covered by the public option.  I could go on at length, but here's where I think the typical generalizing breaks with health insurance: compare it with your car or home insurance, and you'll realize that you can easily live without your car if it gets stolen or damaged, but you can't live with virulent cancer or a blood-gushing wound, and hence that it is ridiculous to try to make them comparable.  Car insurance can work well as a wholly private implementation, but private health insurance is inevitably immoral.

TruthHunter's picture

idog says "Statism is dead"


Your decentralization works because it increases personal responsibility. Good government is simply

leadership and cooperation. Even a Baboon troop needs it to survive. The toxic element is exploitation.

Whether its corporate or government, its the psychopaths and sociopaths that are bringing

down the system for short term gain. Their modus operandi is to steal credit and shift blame.



Not For Reuse's picture

all hearsay & high school fantasy; thanks for the faux insight though, and good luck with your nondischargeable debt

chindit13's picture

"privately funded defense"

I believe that this is somewhere between civil war and warlords, i.e. 1970's Lebanon and Mandarin China.

The US is trying this now with Blackwater/Xe.  Doesn't seem like such a good thing.  Are you really Eric Prince hiding behind your sleeping Snoopy avatar?

I happen to live in a land where---while there is a government military enterprise, albeit an arm of a self-appointed junta---there are a dozen or so private armies.  Some are ethnic automony movements, while others are the military branch of a "pharmaceutical export venture".  Just like Macys and Gimbels, these guys like to compete.  Get caught in the middle of one of their business disputes, and it ain't pretty.  Reminds me of the Star Spangled Banner...all the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air

While I'm not often in agreement with the US' current military advantures, I do think it is the lesser evil if the alternative is privatizing defense.

i-dog's picture

While it is frustrating debating with someone who is quick with the snide remarks but has no creativity or problem solving ability, I'll give it a that you'll have some ideas to start with:

Firstly, if there is no government, then there is no seat of power (ie. tax collection) to be captured and turned to the invader's advantage. Additionally, if the populace is well armed, as in the US and Switzerland, an occupying force (for what reason, pray tell?) would need to be of about the same order of magnitude as the population they are invading, lest they get bogged down in a very expensive guerilla war. Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam come to mind; Costa Rica doesn't even have a standing military.

Secondly, if there is no government carrying out enforced mixing (or genocide) of minorities, then there would be no need for an "ethnic autonomy movement" to carry out armed resistance.

Thirdly, if there are no national laws prohibiting certain naturally occuring pharmaceuticals, then there would be no need for an armed "pharmaceutical export venture".

Fourthly, competition between small-scale defense providers -- each with advanced weaponry (hopefully including at least one MAD alternative) and acting in the interests of those actually paying for their manpower and equipment -- would self-limit their scope to "go rogue" (certainly less scope than the current FEMA, ATF, FBI, DHS, CIA have right now!).

Fifthly, situations like Somalia (*sigh*...the old Somalia argument trotted out ad nauseum), where a failed state is being fought over by regional and international religious and statist powers attempting to impose a new government before anyone else gets any ideas about "leaving the reservation", are actually a lot more peaceful than the captive MSM would have you believe...and in much better social shape than any of their neighbours.

Finally: It's nice to know that you occasionally disagree with US military adventures...since I believe you actually work for them in an "unofficial" capacity. ;)

YHC-FTSE's picture

I like your posts i-dog, and your views are understandable to anyone who has even the slightest knowledge about the monstrous behemoth that is the federal government which desperately needs to be cut down. But just like "zero govt", another passionate poster, I think your preconceived ideas of having no government is not quite well thought out. Especially privatising security in an elementary game theory scenario.


They are good ideas, in the same vein as John Lennon's Imagine, but just as it is fantasy to believe that governments can be the drivers for growth, peace and prosperity instead of being the natural haven for sociopaths, oligarchs, and crooks milking the system for all its worth, it is a fantasy to believe that those same sociopaths, oligarchs and crooks would not prosper even more without the framework of an authority, which given the right personnel should be protecting its citizenry instead of protecting the crooks from retribution, and even rewarding them for their crimes. 


It's always down to personnel. I dare say humanity really ought to be ruled by incorruptible machines (No, not Skynet, but something much more benign), that cannot be coerced, bribed, drugged, sexed, or plain old killed by powerful, wealthy criminals constantly trying to undermine a good system of goverment that should be working well if kept to a manageable size. The thing I've learned about people is that you can give them great ideas, philosohies and concepts, but once they have it, they will always manage to subvert it and fuck it up. Barring the election of an algo for president, Ron Paul might be the right sort of "personnel" we need in the WH. 


As I said, I really do enjoy your posts mate, so I hope I haven't pissed you off too much with my views. 

i-dog's picture

Thanks for the compliment, FTSE. It's people like you, who offer reasoned counter-arguments without ad hominems and snide remarks, that keep me coming back to ZH (well, that and Tyler's rapier wit).

"government ...... the natural haven for sociopaths, oligarchs, and crooks milking the system"

That's exactly why any "system" (ie. anything other than true anarchy, self-organising and reorganising fractally under natural law) is always destined to failure: A system is always able to be subverted (hacked). "Build it, and they will come"...

You even recognise it yourself!...

"The thing I've learned about people is that you can give them great ideas, philosohies and concepts, but once they have it, they will always manage to subvert it and fuck it up."

Anyway, don't worry about me: Though I occasionally attempt to dispense advice, I'm a sovereign individual and live in [very] happy isolated anarchy while surrounded by all the worker bees busily feeding the queen and raging against the machine! I have no rage ... and certainly no expectation of seeing true anarchy any time soon -- particularly not in fanatically religious America. "The System" won't allow it. :)

YHC-FTSE's picture

;) Cheers. I can only spend 20 mins at a time during weekdays to enjoy the posts at zh, but it's quality time well spent, even when I disagree, thanks to people like you. 

LowProfile's picture

Can you explain when this happened?

1913 (Fed)

When did guuubbbermint get too big?

1939 (Roosevelt, devalued dollar, seized gold, taxed future Americans)

When did it go insolvent?

1964 (Johnson, to pay for the "Great Society" & Vietnam)

What amount of debt was the trigger point and why?

Hard to say, but it was when government started using debt to fund it's growth.

Also, can you tell me what would happen to all our debt if we took Ron Paul's advice and went to a gold standard, which you're advocating as well.  Wouldn't a gold standard suddenly collateralize all our debt?

Pretty much, but if you don't own any now, I bet you won't like the price...

Is it possible that you're just puking up an endless amount of cliches and, in actuality, you have no idea what you're talking about?

Possible, but unlikely.

More likely that you're trollin' for a beatdown. 


Libertarians for Prosperity's picture



Your post is absolute nonsense. Truly idiotic.

All you've gone is posted a series of randomly selected dates without the slightest bit of evidence or supportive information for the claim at hand. 

For instance, what proof do you have that the United States went insolvent in 1964? 

Do you even know what "collaterize our debt" means?  From your response, you clearly don't.  Yet you responded, anyway?

All in all, a fantastically dumb post.

If this were a test, you'd get an F. 


Harlequin001's picture

which is precisely what you have done.

' All you've gone is posted a series of randomly selected dates without the slightest bit of evidence or supportive information for the claim at hand. '

Couldn't have said it better myself. Now if you wouldn't mind giving us some kind of even very basic argument to rebutt it, I think we'd all feel somewhat better about your pointless and unsupported blurb...

Seer's picture

So, none of this had to do with (preexisting) fractional banking?  Fractional banking IS OK?

Elephant in the room: perpetual growth on a finite planet.  Federal Reserve or not.  (Even) fiat or not.  This kind or govt or That kind of govt.  NONE changes the destiny of humans running into the brick wall of insufficient resources (unless we all figured out how to manage ourselves on a sustainable level); the only affect is on the time-frame.