Apathy is the new black.......or not....

The disconnect between what most of us should care about and what the majority of us actually do care about is really quite frightening.  

You see, the truth is that far more Americans are drawn to articles with headlines highlighting the next exploits of the Kardashians or a cat playing Jenga, than to news stories that actually talk about substantive issues of real importance. 

  

 It is a testement to our society that most of us now know more about Kim Kardashian than we do about the Federal Reserve.  It is sad that a video about a cat playing Jenga can go viral while the systematic destruction of our most basic freedoms and liberties are virtually ignored by a deeply apathetic society.  My hope is that we can start to wake up a lot more people, because time is running out.

-How is it  LEGAL for members of congress to participate in insider trading without reproach?

-Our politicians have racked up 17.5 trillion dollars of debt that CURRENT & future generations of Americans will be expected to repay.

 

 


 

-A $710,000,000,000,000 derivatives bubble that threatens to destroy our financial system at any time.

 

-Miscalculation of true Bank exposure & risk, woefully understated in case of emergency

 

-Right now, one out of every five American families do not have a single member that is employed.

-The homeownership rate in the United States has dropped to the lowest level in 20 years.

 

-Our liberties and our freedoms are being systematically destroyed, and America is becoming more of a police state with each passing day….see Prism, XKeyscore, Tempora, muscular, Project 6, Stateroom,Lustre surveillance programs

 

-More radioactive material from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear facility is released into the Pacific Ocean every single day.  Since the half-life of many of these elements is measured in decades, this radioactive material will be in our food chain for the remainder of our lives.

-A foreign policy (not just here but in the UK too) that has been nothing short of a disaster.


 

-George Soros has admitted that an organization that he founded “played an important part” in the violent overthrow of the Ukrainian government. In an interview with CNN he was asked, “First on Ukraine, one of the things that many people recognized about you was that you during the revolutions of 1989 funded a lot of dissident activities, civil society groups in eastern Europe and Poland, the Czech Republic. Are you doing similar things in Ukraine?” 

 

“Well, I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent of Russia. And the foundation has been functioning ever since and played an important part in events now,” Soros responded.

-U.S. relations with Russia continue to get even worse, and Russia is openly discussing a “de-dollarization” strategy which would be a massive blow to the monopoly of the petrodollar.

 

-The blatant manipulation of the price of gold has finally been publicly exposed and is now out in the open.

-According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors in the United States write more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants each year. More than half a million Americans have annual prescription drug costs of more than $50,000, according to a study released just this Wednesday. 


-We are experiencing the worst drought since the days of the Great Depression, and Dust Bowl conditions are now returning to areas in the heartland of America.


-The Bilderberg Group is meeting in the Austrian mountains near Telfs and yet most people still have no idea what the Bilderberg Group is or who is involved.


-Joe Corzine previously of MF Global was at the helm is one of the biggest bankruptcy in US history,where it was alleged that there was a misuse of client funds to cover trading losses. In March 2012, Bloomberg reported that a memo produced by congressional investigators quotes an internal company e-mail as saying Corzine gave "direct instructions" to use customer money to cover the company's own shortfalls prior to bankruptcy and yet regardless of what he may or may not have known as recent as April this year according to the The Wall Street Journal, Corzine has discussed plans to start his own hedge fund….reallly!!!??!!!

Since the Federal Reserve was established a little bit more than 100 years ago, there have been 18 recessions or depressions, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by 98 percent, and the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.  And now the Federal Reserve has set the stage for the greatest financial crash in history, but most Americans still don’t even understand what the Federal Reserve is or how it operates.

We desperately need people to wake up and start caring about these things. Unfortunately most of "Millenials" are so glued to the entertainment being fed to them by their phones, their computers and their televisions that they might as well be zombies. With the advent of social media we have created something as physically addictive as any drug. All the teenagers have found a replacement for alcohol or cocaine, equally as destructive, as they search for the next "hit" in search of approval from their peers.

The global derivatives bubble is now 20 percent bigger than it was just before the last great financial crisis struck in 2008.  

It is a financial bubble far larger than anything the world has ever seen, and when it finally bursts it is going to be a complete and utter nightmare for the financial system of the planet.  According to the Bank for International Settlements, the total notional value of derivatives contracts around the world has ballooned to an astounding 630 trillion dollars ($630,000,000,000,000).  If that sounds like a lot of money, that is because it is!!!!  

For example, U.S. GDP is projected to be in the neighborhood of around 18.1 trillion dollars for 2015. So 630 trillion dollars is an amount of money that is almost incomprehensible.  

 “Too big to fail” is a far more massive problem than it was the last time around, and if at some point this derivatives bubble is going to burst we are going to be facing a crisis that is going to make 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.

After the last financial crisis, our politicians promised us that they would do something to get derivatives trading under control.  But instead, the size of the derivatives bubble has reached a new record high According to the Bureau of Statistics, the top 25 banks in the United States now have a grand total of more than 294 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.  

If the stock market keeps going up, interest rates stay fairly stable and the global economy does not experience a major downturn, this bubble will probably not burst for a while.

But if there is a major shock to the system, we could easily experience a major derivatives crisis very rapidly and several of those banks could fail simultaneously.

And this kind of thing is not just happening in the United States.  German banking giant Deutsche Bank has more than 75 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.  That is even more than any single U.S. bank has.

You see, the truth is that virtually none of the underlying problems that caused the last financial crisis have been fixed.

The OCC that issues its quarterly report on bank trading and derivatives activity uses a VaR (value at risk) calculation and I quote,” Under the Market Risk Rule, which establishes regulatory capital requirements for U.S. commercial banks and savings associations with significant trading activities, a bank’s capital requirement for market risk is based on its VaR measured at a 99% confidence level and assuming a 10-day holding period.”

10 days!!??!! Since when are all open OTC positions flipped within 10 days or true exposure defined by what has happened over the last 2 weeks? When in low volatility markets ,this is fine but when we do get volatility spikes it forces liquidations to reduce VaR, with recent moves this hasn’t forced a complete panic as they have been short lived but any sustained panic forces everyone out at the same time.(see my earlier article “it’s a trap”)

Sadly, most Americans are totally oblivious to all of this.  We expect those in authority and in positions of  public office to be trustworthy. They just have faith that our leaders know what they are doing, and they have been lulled into complacency by the bubble of false stability that we have been enjoying for the last few years.

I hear a lot of people who simply refuse to care at all about politics or the economy. But like John Constantine said: “It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in the Devil because the Devil believes in you.” This means that you can pretend that the current leaders of the country have no real effect on our lives, but mark my word: they already do. The media just makes it look like nothing’s happening and that everything is alright. 

 The Millennials are probably the most educated generation, but by far the most ignorant? 

But all of us are guilty, instead of waking up and reading the newspaper in the morning, we wake up and read what people tweeted while we were asleep or how many matches we got on Tinder. We demand and expect instant gratification in every aspect of our lives. Due to the inflation of technology, we live our lives through the Internet, our cell phones and social media. Everything is so easy to access we have lost our attention span, which can now be compared to that of a 3 year old.

We have created a generation largely spoiled and defined by greed and laziness. Previous generations had to endure the Great Depression, WW2, Vietnam & the Korean War .There was a strong mentality, a strong work ethic, discipline and loyalty to one’s country and family…WW2 is now something totally incomprehensible and sadly confined to video games.

 

If we are to make any impact in the world close to what our parents and grandparents did, we must look to the past, change in the present and deviate from our current path of mediocrity.

This is surely not indicative of the entire generation, but there does seem to be an overwhelming number of people who embrace concepts like “the Iraq war sucks” and “global warming is a problem,” without ever trying to dig deep and investigate the political, economic and social motivations behind the government and corporate actions.

Political parties just say the same thing not because of their beliefs ,but instead have become uncreative ,heavily relying on focus groups to tell them what they should do to capture votes. We are no longer left or right, political parties, both in the US & UK are barely discernible from each other, barely a whisker either side of centre. 

State of Fear??? 

President Harry S. Truman once said, "When even one American -- who has done nothing wrong -- is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril."

After reading this quote, I was made to wonder…is it FEAR that has fostered the apathetic response to our governments ill-advised and unpopular behavior .It certainly would be understandable to some degree since the ramifications of “opening one’s mind and mouth” can be quite unsavory to say the least. 

Is the government banking on the fact that we fear their ability to make our lives miserable, and that we’ll weigh the pro’s and con’s of dissent and therefore remain quiet as mice…since they’ve put a great deal of propaganda effort into creating what has now become  a subservient society. 

In the workplace we have created an enviroment akin to that of Sam Lowry in the movie Brazil, where corporations care nothing for their staff but are only interested in profits. Which makes me wonder if this is picture below is the best that the Millenials have to look forward to.

Image result for brazil movie sam lowry desk

“Nobody dares to solve the problems-because the solution might contradict your philosophy, and for most people clinging to beliefs is more important than succeeding in the world.” 

Michael Crichton, State of Fear

Or are we, the baby boomers to blame??

We are raising future generations who are great at sending messages, but are inept at communicating. We lack the ability to communicate with people face to face, to express those opinions in the streets, not just on a blog — to have a conversation to a person’s face, to express dissatisfaction with something in real life, not secretly tweeting it behind a phone screen.

 

There are not just one but many “swords of Damocles” that are hanging over  the world by a thread day after day, month after month, year after year. We need to wake up before its too late…..

 

 

 

But I don’t want to be too depressing for the weekend…so here is a picture of a cat playing Jenga….