Four Unbelievable Narratives

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jul 09, 2024 - 06:05 PM

Authored by James Rickards via,

Everyday Americans and investors in particular are confronted with “narratives” daily. Many include hidden agendas that are politically, ideologically or financially driven.

The key for investors is to see the narrative for what it is, avoid the mass psychosis, position yourself for reality and succeed in the end.

Following are four reigning narratives.

In each case, I sketch these narratives (and what the media wants you to believe), then contrast that sketch with reality supported by hard data.

COVID: The Narrative

The pandemic narrative was straightforward: It was caused by a virus of natural origin that passed from animals to humans through exotic game, such as bats and pangolins, that were sold in a wet market in Wuhan, China. It spread quickly and was highly fatal.

The solution was to isolate individuals through lockdowns, social distancing, school closures and masks. Eventually a vaccine became available that would “stop the spread.” Over time, the virus mutated into less dangerous forms, immunity from the vaccine increased and the restrictions were relaxed.

The heroes were Anthony Fauci, who led the lockdown response, and Joe Biden, who forced mass vaccination programs on everyday Americans. The economic costs were worth it. Today, all is well.

The Reality

The virus was created by Communist Chinese scientist Shi Zhengli, known as the “Bat Woman of Wuhan.” It leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. China immediately banned academic papers pointing to their culpability and created the “wet market” myth.

The Wuhan gain-of-function research that created the virus was funded by Anthony Fauci using a cutout called EcoHealth Alliance. Once the virus leaked, Fauci spent more time covering up his involvement than helping Americans cope with the disease.

Fauci closed schools and workplaces and destroyed the economy all for no good reason. The pandemic policy response was the greatest, most dangerous and costliest hoax in human history.

Ukraine: The Narrative

Since the beginning of the Russian Special Military Operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the narrative has been that Russia began the war as part of a wider ambition to recapture all of Eastern Europe and the Baltic states.

It was essential that the U.S. and NATO allies support Ukraine with as much money and materiel as needed to defeat Russian ambitions. The West was considered to be fighting for democracy and freedom in Ukraine.

The unrelenting financial and weapons support combined with the impact of sanctions and Russian incompetence would lead to an ultimate Ukrainian victory.

Russian dissatisfaction with Putin would lead to a popular uprising that would overthrow him and make Russia a more democratic country friendly to the U.S.

The Reality

Russia didn’t provoke the war. It was provoked by the U.S. in 2008 with George W. Bush’s Bucharest Declaration that Ukraine should join NATO. The provocation continued through a U.S./U.K.-sponsored coup d’etat in 2014 that overthrew a duly elected president and replaced him with a U.S. puppet regime.

The U.S. and NATO then lied to the Russians in the course of negotiating the Minsk agreements in 2014 and 2015, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted the West had no intention of honoring.

The idea that the U.S. is fighting for democracy in Ukraine is a farce. President Zelenskyy declared martial law, suspended elections and imprisoned his political opponents. Zelenskyy’s elected term expired in May 2024, so he now rules as an unelected dictator propped up by a corrupt military.

Meanwhile, U.S. and NATO financial sanctions on Russia due to the war in Ukraine have failed miserably. Russian growth now exceeds U.S. growth. Russia is growing at 5.4% (annualized) while U.S. growth in the most recent quarter was only 1.4%.

Unemployment in Russia is only 2.7% while the unemployment rate in the U.S. is 4.1%. The most recent growth forecasts for 2024 from the IMF show Russia growing at 3.2% and the U.S. growing only 2.7%.

The war isn’t over but Russia will clearly win. The remnants of Ukraine will be a landlocked rump state with no productive economy.

Climate Change: The Narrative

Climate change advocates have a straightforward narrative. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are both greenhouse gasses that trap heat within the atmosphere. CO2 and CH4 are created by emissions from the burning of “fossil fuels.”

This climate change caused by fossil fuels will have highly deleterious effects on human life and civilization. All types of natural disasters will result. The solution is to lower the global temperature or at least slow the increase.

This can be done by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy generation including wind and solar. With enough time, effort and money global warming can be curtailed.

The Reality

The climate alarmists have been wrong for 40 years and they’re wrong now. Ice caps are expanding in many places, and no nations are underwater. Climate change is real, but it’s a natural phenomenon that arises slowly and lasts for centuries. These phenomena include solar cycles, volcanic eruptions and ocean currents.

It has nothing to do with CO2, automobiles or the use of natural gas and coal to generate electricity. In fact, the best evidence is not that CO2 causes warming, but that warming causes the release of CO2. The alarmists have the cause and effect exactly backward.

Climate alarmists are an ideological cult driven by a desire to destroy U.S. independence and the U.S. economy in pursuit of neo-Marxist dreams. The U.S. has more than enough energy, technology and ability to create an optimal carbon-based future while remaining open to other solutions.

U.S. Economy: The Narrative

Perhaps no narrative is more ubiquitous and persistently touted than the idea that the U.S. economy has dodged a global recession and high inflation at the same time. The economy has come in for a “soft landing” and is headed for a future of strong growth, low unemployment, low inflation and higher stock prices.

This is all due to the brilliant finesse of monetary policy by the Federal Reserve and the Biden administration’s generous fiscal policies.

This narrative is promoted by Wall Street and the White House operating almost in lockstep. Wall Street wants to sell you stocks and has to keep the soft landing narrative alive. The White House wants to win the election in November and has to sell Americans on the idea that the economy is strong and the future is bright.

The two are joined by the mainstream media that has a strong pro-Biden tilt. The result is a trifecta of banks, government and the media all telling you that all is well.

The Reality

The U.S. is likely in a recession today or, if not, soon will enter recession. Here’s the data to support the reality: The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta GDP Nowcast projects Q2 growth at 1.5% annualized, down from an estimate of 4.2% growth as recently as May 14.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.1% in the June employment report. Headline job creation was 206,000 jobs, but if the more reliable alternate household survey is used, the economy actually lost 408,000 jobs in May.

Most job creation is in part-time jobs and almost all new jobs are going to illegal aliens. Real wages are stagnant. Meanwhile, if workers not in the workforce were counted as unemployed, the actual unemployment rate today would be about 8.0%, consistent with recession levels.

Oil prices have also trended down over the last couple of months, a sign both of reduced consumer demand and a slowing economy. Consumer savings are also largely depleted and credit cards are maxed out.

Debunking Narratives

It can be difficult to refute narratives. Every propagandist and master of the Big Lie from Joseph Goebbels to Alex Soros has admitted that repetition is the key to making citizens believe the lie.

Narratives find willing amplification and repetition in the mainstream media. They’re also made effective by mixing lies with truth.

The best set of tools to identify a false narrative includes education, a skeptical attitude and close attention to hard data.

My role is to subject narratives to critical scrutiny, develop my own data sources and apply independent analysis without ideological filters or political bias.

I’m confident this will help you acquire “narrative resistance” and position you to profit when reality reasserts itself.