Detroit

The Fatal Flaw That Has Doomed Our Economy

Money doesn’t have to be “hard” or “soft” or expensive or cheap. But it has to be honest. Otherwise, the whole system runs into a ditch. But the new money was a phony. It put the cart ahead of the horse. This was money that no one ever had to break a sweat to get. It was based on credit – the anticipation of work, not work that had already been done. Money no longer represented wealth. It now represented anti-wealth: debt.

Case-Shiller Shows Home Price Acceleration Stalled In December, Stock Market Turmoil Blamed

After four months of hope-strewn expectation beats, Case-Shiller's home price index missed expectations with MoM growth slowing from 0.96% to 0.8% (and YoY from 5.83% to 5.74%). This is the first inflection in the resurrection of home-price acceleration since June, and we are sure will be blamed on the weather and the stock market. Perhaps most notably Miami saw prices drop MoM as the smoking gun canary in the coalmine of real estate speculation remains well worth watching.

The Islamization Of America In 2015, Part 2

More than half (51%) of Muslims in America believe they should "have the choice of being governed according to Sharia." Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts. Nearly a quarter believed that, "It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed."

Governor Knew About Flint Water Poisoning for Nearly A Year, Tried To Shift Blame

“Somebody needs to go to jail for this, man.” Redacted emails released Wednesday by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder show that his administration was informed of problems with Flint’s water almost a year ago, many months before the embattled governor or his staff begrudgingly admitted to bearing any responsibility for poisoning a city - or for fixing the problem. “They’re poisoning an entire community. A generation of kids will never recover from this. And it’s all just to save a few dollars. They played a game of chess with our lives and we lost.

Borderland Homicides Show Mexico's Gun Control Has Failed

While it refuses to admit the abject failure of its gun control program, the Mexican state instead attempts to shift the blame to Americans and has attempted to impose international gun control measures on the US. For Mexican politicians, it's easier to shift the blame than to recognize the fact that neighboring Americans right across the border enjoy far lower homicide rates along side relatively easy access to firearms. (Even California looks like a gun-owner's paradise compared to Mexico.) The Mexican state (and many Mexicans) are unfortunately impervious to these facts, and, many Mexicans still believe that Mexicans will be safer if the Mexican regime tightens its grip even more on firearms, in spite of the spectacular failure of gun control in that country.

Frontrunning: January 11

  • David Bowie, musical legend behind Ziggy Stardust, dies at 69 from cancer (Reuters)
  • With No Powerball Winners, Jackpot Grows to Estimated $1.3 Billion (ABC)
  • Stock Gains Short-Lived as Chinese Volatility Hurts Oil, Metals (BBG)
  • China's yuan spikes higher, but stocks tumble (Reuters)
  • Arch Coal Files for Bankruptcy (WSJ)
  • Yuan Loan Rates Soar in Hong Kong as PBOC Halts Currency's Slide (BBG)
  • China stocks close down at lowest level since September (Reuters)
  • Fed Eyes Margin Rules to Bolster Oversight (WSJ)

ISIS – The Case For Non-Intervention

We don’t have a dog in this fight.  San Bernardino doesn’t change the calculation.  ISIS will eventually collapse under its own homicidal and parasitical weight, probably with the help of one or more of its neighbors, whose inactivity and divisiveness we currently underwrite. Then ISIS will be replaced by something better... or worse... it is impossible to know in this region.  In the interim, we and our European friends should focus our efforts on isolating ourselves from the madness.  And we certainly should not go out of our way to draw further fire.

Pretend To The Bitter End

There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate. Given where we are in human history - the moment of techno-industrial over-reach - this crackup will not be easy to recover from. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen.