Cronyism

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Guest Post: How The Destruction Of The Dollar Threatens The Global Economy





The failure to understand money is shared by all nations and transcends politics and parties. The destructive monetary expansion undertaken during the Democratic administration of Barack Obama by then Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke began in a Republican administration under Bernanke’s predecessor, Alan Greenspan. Republican Richard Nixon’s historic ending of the gold standard was a response to forces set in motion by the weak dollar policy of Democrat Lyndon Johnson. For more than 40 years, one policy mistake has followed the next.  Each one has made things worse. What they don’t understand is that money does not “create” economic activity.

 
Tim Knight from Slope of Hope's picture

BIS Banksters Brazen Backroom Betrayals





Ten times a year, once a month except in August and October, a small group of well dressed men arrives in Basel, Switzerland.  Carrying elegant overnight bags and stylish brief cases, they discreetly check into the Euler Hotel, across from the railroad station. They come to this quiet city from places as disparate as Tokyo, Paris, Brasilia, London, and Washington, D.C., for the regular meeting of the most exclusive, secretive, and powerful supranational club in the world.

 
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"Three Lost Decades" – How The American Middle Class Is 20% Poorer Now Vs. 1984





Like so many other things in popular American culture, this quaint notion of a "middle class" in the U.S. is at this point nothing more than a myth; a rapidly fading fantasy from a bygone era. As we have noted for quite some time, the decimation of the middle class began long ago. It really got started in the early 1970?s after Nixon defaulted on the gold standard and financialization began to take over the American economy. Median real wages haven’t increased since that time and the rest is history.

 
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The "Insider Threat Program" And The Government's War On Whistleblowers





The Obama Administration’s Orwellian government employee snitch network, dubbed the “Insider Threat Program,” first made headlines about a year ago. Fast forward a year, and it appears that several members of Congress are also becoming increasingly concerned. Some are starting to ask questions, but as usual, the “most transparent administration in history” is entirely nontransparent. What is clear since the Edward Snowden revelations is that the government has zero interest in reining in these programs. It merely wants to make sure the public can never learn about government criminality in the future. Hence the aggressive “war on whistleblowers.”

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Every Time Is Different, And The Same





The current elevation in asset prices is clearly beginning to reach levels of exuberance particularly in high yield "junk" bonds (and small caps). This time, like every other time before, will eventually end the same. However, while this time "is not different" in terms of outcome, the fundamental level from which the eventual "reversion to the mean" occurs will likely surprise most of the mainstream "bullish" clergy. Take a step back from the media, and Wall Street commentary, for a moment and make an honest assessment of the financial markets today. If your job is to "bet" when the "odds" of winning are in our favor, then exactly how "strong" is the fundamental hand you are currently betting on? (and are you willing toi bet your retirement on it?)

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Sentenced To Decade In Prison For Bribery





Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribery, money laundering and other corruption that spanned his two terms as mayor--including the chaotic years after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Mr. Nagin was convicted Feb. 12 of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen who wanted work from the city or Mr. Nagin's support for various projects. The bribes came in the form of money, free vacations and truckloads of free granite for his family business. The 58-year-old Democrat had defiantly denied any wrongdoing after his 2013 indictment and during his February trial.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

How Recession-Proof Is Your Job Sector?





History suggests that previously sound assumptions about financial security and recession-proof sectors may not apply in the next recession.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Happy Birthday America





It's different this time...

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Officials At The Ex-Im Bank Are Under Investigation As It Fights For Survival





Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), the federally-backed bank which has been around since 1934, faces a very serious threat to its survival. The most important aspect of this entire fight is the fact that on opposite sides of the debate are not Democrats versus Republicans, but once again Republicans vs. Republicans. We again see tea party Republicans facing off against establishment RINOs. On one side we hear claims by the tea party wing that the Ex-Im merely serves as a conduit for crony capitalism and favoritism to large corporations, or those willing to bribe officials. On the other side, we see establishment Republicans, who are extremely cozy with mega-corporations, maintaing that the institution plays a crucial role in financing American exports to make them competitive. The battle against the Ex-Im bank, a 80 year old institution, is just another example of the sort of changes that happen in Fourth-Turnings. So what does Barack Obama think of the Export-Import bank? As usual, it depends on who you ask, Presidential-candidate Obama, or President-elect Obama.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Cronyism In The 21st Century





Ghandi was once asked, "What do you think about Western Civilization?" to which he famously replied "I think it's a good idea." He may as well have been talking about free market capitalism. Capital in the 21st Century has hit the world like a new teen idol sensation. Everybody is drinking the Kool-Aid and it's being held up as the most important book ever written on the subject of how runaway capitalism leads to wealth inequality. Paul Krugman of course, loves it. As does every head of state and political hack in the (formerly) free world. So let's do something different here and accept a core premise of Capital, and say that wealth inequality is increasing, and that it's a bad thing. Where the point is completely missed is in what causes it (ostensibly "free market capitalism") and what to do about it (increase government control, induce more inflation and raise taxes). The point of this essay is to assert that it is not unchecked capital or runaway free markets that cause increasing wealth inequality, but rather that the underlying monetary system itself is hard-coded by an inner temple of ruling elites in a way which creates that inequality.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

After 6 Years Of Unprecedented Central Planning, The Economy Is More Fragile Than Ever





The damage done by Central Planning has yet to come home to roost. Six years into the Grand Experiment--that Central Planners can pick winners who just happen to be their cronies--the chickens of consequence are still making their way home. And when they finally come home to roost, we will all discover that the economy is much more fragile than advertised by the Central Planners and their media toadies.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Unintended Consequences Of Obama's Student Loan Policies





President Obama’s populist, class-warring, shut-out-the-legislature, ignore-the-long-term-consequences romp through every corner of life turned to the education sector. Problems with student loan programs are deep-rooted – thanks mostly to the government’s domination of the market – and were only worsened by Obama’s actions this week. In a better world, policymakers would take a cold, hard look at the effects of federally-funded student loan programs, including the good and the bad. Here are a few such observations that you’re unlikely to hear from your president...

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Frontrunning: April 15





  • Ukraine forces move against separatists (FT)
  • China GDP Gauge Seen Showing Deeper Slowdown (BBG)
  • China Is Losing Its Taste for Gold (WSJ)
  • Regulators Weigh Curbs on Trading Fees (WSJ)
  • Obama, Putin Talk as Unrest Roils Eastern Ukraine (WSJ)
  • Japan PM talks with BOJ chief, does not push for easing (Reuters)
  • BRICS countries to set up their own IMF (RBTH)
  • IMF Members Weigh Options to Sidestep U.S. Congress on Overhaul (WSJ)
  • Zebra to Buy Motorola Solutions Unit for $3.45 Billion (BBG)
  • Chinese Thunder God Herb Works as Well as Pain Therapy (BBG)
 
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