Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

Plutocracy: Epigenetics, Not Just Wealth And Democide

December 12, 2016

CHOMSKY FINALLY AGREES WITH PATRICE AYME: AMERICAN DREAM DIED BECAUSE OF PLUTOCRACY… But Chomsky does not go as far as using the word. And that makes him, and his devoted followers, miss the EPIGENETICS OF EVIL. Thus they complain about the fleas, not the wolf carrying them:

***

America did not start as a plutocracy in the sense of an extremely wealthy class ruling. Jamestown was like that, but was it was a tiny hamlet fortress. Then England, wrecked by civil wars and revolutions, lost control of its American colonies until the 1700s. Attempts to make Lord Penn the ruler of Pennsylvania ended up in the American Revolution. Washington, Jefferson, and Al. were very wealthy and somewhat satanic, as they held slaves, but they were small fry relative to European plutocrats, who were much wealthier, and much more satanic.

And on it went. The Confederacy was to some extent a plutocratic revolt centered around the idea of buying, selling and abusing people as if they were chicken: it failed.

The first US billionaire was Carnegie. Carnegie was far left, advocating 50% tax on the wealthy, and punishing estate taxes. His widely advocated ideas brought a mood conducive to the passage of the anti-trust act under President Teddy Roosevelt. 

Inequality Fosters Plutocracy, The Rule, Not Just Of Wealth, But evil & Bad Genes

Inequality Fosters Plutocracy, The Rule, Not Just Of Wealth, But evil & Bad Genes

So when did the US democracy go bad? JP Morgan, a banker, escaped the anti-trust thrust.   Dr. Schacht, a German banker cum economist joined the Dresdner Bank in 1903. In 1905, while on a business trip to the United States with board members of the Dresdner Bank, Schacht met the famous American banker J. P. Morgan, as well as U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt. Schacht  became deputy director of the Dresdner Bank from 1908 to 1915. Meanwhile, when Wall Street collapsed in 1907, JP Morgan “bought all of it” (or at least a big part of it), bringing the market around.

By 1914, US plutocrats, and the racist president Wilson, conspired with the Kaiser, enabling the Kaiser to hope to destroy his enemy, the French Republic. That magnificent plot backfired on Germany when Great Britain declared war to the Kaiser within days of its attack on France.

But it did not backfire for the USA: the US supported the Kaiser for three years with ammunition components, etc., while the UK and France piled up debts to the USA. More exactly, US plutocrats made a fortune, while putting the UK and france in their debt.

In 1919, US plutocrats made it so that German fascists could have another go at the French Republic. Meanwhile, the US requisitioned giant amounts of German private property, then transferred that to US plutocrats, finishing the deal by burning the records of these transactions, in a highly convenient blaze. I am not joking: the cause of the burning of the Commerce Building on January 10, 1921 was never determined: rats, smoking were excluded, and electric wires kept new and perfect. The fire started in the file room, was all over in a couple of minutes, and lasted five hours.

In any case, the US became the de facto overlord of the so-called “Weimar Republic” (the official name was “Second German Reich”; Hitler changed it to “Third German Reich” in 1935). That enabled US plutocrats (some of them Jewish) to turn around the US antitrust law.

The symbiosis between Nazism and US plutocracy was total, including the latter giving birth to the former. Dr. Schacht was central in this (and that’s why he was judged and exonerated, as one of the top 24 Nazi war criminals in 1945 at Nuremberg).

To win the war, the US became, de facto, a sort of social democracy. It slowly went back to plutocracy when Nazi operators and collaborators such as the Dulles brothers, took control of the USA in the 1950s. A quick learner and follower, R. Nixon, became president in 1969, setting up the HMO system, while making an alliance with the Chinese dictatorship.

Ford, Carter, Reagan, ramped up the plutocratic pressure. The dam broke under Clinton, who actually dismantled the MOST IMPORTANT legislative piece of president Franklin D Roosevelt’s long presidency: the Banking Act of 1933 (“Glass Steagall”).

The Deep State, suitably plutocratized then established a number of evil corporations which were used as intelligence agencies (internally and externally). This is when Sheryl Sandberg was parachuted from the Treasury Department where she was the official girlfriend of Lawrence Summers (successor of R. Rubin, ex- Goldman Sachs chair) to Google and then Facebook (she will meet with Trump Wednesday).

Inequality grew.

***

Chomsky, A Crow On Its MIT Branch, Crowing Lugubriously:

That was for the causes. Chomsky started to condemn the “financialization” of the USA for the acceleration of inequality in 2013, under Obama (Patrice Ayme explained that it was caused by the abrogation of the Banking Act, already more than 10 years ago; Chomsky vaguely describes, Patrice explains…).

Here is Chomsky’s latest description: “The ‘American Dream’ was all about class mobility. You were born poor, but could get out of poverty through hard work and provide a better future for your children. It was possible for [some workers] to find a decent-paying job, buy a home, a car and pay for a kid’s education… It’s all collapsed — and we shouldn’t have too many illusions about when it was partially real… The so-called American Dream was always based partly in myth and partly in reality.” Chomsky said, noting that Americans are losing their hope due to “stagnating incomes, declining living standards, outrageous student debt levels, and hard-to-come-by decent-paying jobs.”

“The inequality in the contemporary period is almost unprecedented. If you look at total inequality, it ranks amongst the worse periods of American history… However, if you look at inequality more closely, you see that it comes from wealth that is in the hands of a tiny sector of the population…

The current period is extreme because inequality comes from super wealth. Literally, the top one-tenth of a percent are just super wealthy,”

Chomsky describes. One of my trusted commenters asked me recently what I thought of Chomsky. A philosopher is not just a botanist. A philosopher would explain. Chomsky also avoid to use the concept of “plutocracy”. He describes it, he describes how wealth, being powerful, grabs power.

***

Plutocracy, Epigenetics of Evil:

However, that comes short. Very short. Chomsky does not dare to cross the semantic Rubicon of calling it for what it is, the genetics of evil.

This is why Chomsky clings to the idea that the American Founders debated what is at stake now. Now, they did not: the Internet has changed everything, starting with the minds, the moods, hence the genes, or the genetic expressions, to be a bit more precise. We know that fishes in a changed environment, change genetically. Females can become not just males, but super males.

Plutocracy is not just the rule of wealth. We know, from studying epigenetics in other species, that animal behavior influences genetic, let alone neurohormonal expression.

The absolute power of enormous wealth does not just corrupt absolutely, it corrupts genetically.  

Complaining about the fleas is good, but seeing the wolf carrying them, better. Wisdom is not just about seeing, but doing it better.

Patrice Ayme’

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Brexit Idiocy In One Picture

July 11, 2016

Hard core Brexit idiots pontificate that they will renew their ties with the British Commonwealth and the USA. As if the quaint British monarchy imported from the Netherlands had anything in common with the hyper violent, domineering American republic, a country of immigrants, a world country, the world’s hyper power, which can purchase anything… but a soul, and a past it is ready to admit it had. The proud British are, relatively speaking, Europeans, and they don’t even know it.

Here is the European situation, the web of relationships, with the spider in the center, depicted with the most basic mathematics, set theory. I present to you the spider and the fly:

The Situation Is Even More Complicated Than That: Switzerland, For Example, Has More Than 600 "Bilateral" Treaties With The European Union, And Has To Respect Free Circulation Of European Citizens.

The Situation Is Even More Complicated Than That: Switzerland, For Example, Has More Than 600 “Bilateral” Treaties With The European Union, And Has To Respect Free Circulation Of European Citizens.

[Nota Bene: the GDP numbers above, due to the tremendous immigration of people and capital into the United Kingdom, the UK, due to the laxity of France and Germany, brought an extreme overvaluation of the British Pound, and a swelling of all things British. This house of cards is collapsing: British GDP has now shrunk below French GDP, in barely more than two weeks…]

Switzerland voted against the Free Circulation Of European Citizens, including Croatians, in winter 2014. Some sanctions were applied by the EU on an aghast Switzerland, the next day. However, Switzerland still has to accept everybody. Should it change that requirement, Italy, France and Germany would block the borders, and let Switzerland die. Really, not kidding: Switzerland has only one refinery, producing 25% of Swiss fossil fuels, and it gets all its raw petroleum through a pipeline, from Marseilles, France… Thus, Switzerland will have to vote again. Or learn to ride horses again.

Why is such ferocity welcome in enforcing European unity and free circulation? Simple: Enforcing cogent, fully informed reason upon, and by, We The People, is the best way to avoid war. Thus war tends to happen when unexpected.

Europeans have bent over backwards frantically for twenty years to accommodate increasingly crazed, selfish, grotesque, hypernationalist British demands.  The British thanked the rest of Europe by an insulting vote. (Remark: the Swiss referendum was just about refusing the diktat of free circulation of any EU citizen; it was NOT about rejecting the 666 treaties with Europe… Although of course, it could have this consequence… Nor, a fortiori, the European Union )

Right now Europe is suffering from three mentalities:

  1. The first problematic mentality was English sabotage. The English entered the “ever closer Union” and decided it was just a free trade “club”. Basically NAFTA. That was a lie, a breach of trust, and a betrayal. No wonder so many European leaders are keen to get Brexit done. For twenty years, English governments have prevented the built-up, in-depth of European laws and institutions. Instead of electing the head of the European Administration (“Commission”)  directly, by the People’s vote, one still uses the ancient system of nomination by the heads of governments. That sort of undemocratic blockage was the work of English Europhobes, mostly.

Fanatic Brexiters insist they never voted for a European “Superstate”. That is not just a total lie, but it means they want Europeans, and their ex-colonies and present allies, to be ruled by Superstates (USA, Russia, India, China).

2. The second problematic mentality is the fact that the European defense system is mostly operated by the French Republic, which is supposed to pay for it, while leaving its deficit below 3%. Logically, French tanks should first roll through Brussels, Luxembourg, Belgium, Lichtenstein, while addressing an ultimatum to Eurozone member Ireland, and force all these miscreants to pay taxes. (Since Germany has the same problem as its sister republic, France, it would rather applaud the usage of force… which is exactly what both of them did, with the help of Italy, to pressure Switzerland that way… It helped that the latter was not a founding member of the EU, and a rather small fish.)

What about the refugee crisis? Well, go back 17 centuries: the Goths, fleeing the Huns, invaded the Roman empire. Initially, the Goths came as refugees, and were allowed in. Later, even more Goths, now fully armed, came in, and thew Roman Empire said no. The solution? Have an army strong enough to kill the Huns. This was finally done in France, 80 years alter. First the inhabitants of Orleans inflicted a defeat on the Huns, inside the city itself. Then the Franks shadowed and harassed the retreating giant host of the Huns. That gave enough time for the Roman Field army headed by Aetius and to the Visigothic army to join the fray. Then the Huns got crushed in the titanic battle of the Catalaunian Plain. Having suffered tens of thousands of dead, if not hundreds of thousands (the number 300,000 has been advanced by sources), the spirit of the Huns was broken. Just as that of the Nazis in May 1945.

That was how to handle Assad: destroy him and his family, occupy Syria, re-establish secular, republican order. And it was not to the Russians or the Americans to do that, but to the Europeans. But there is no European army, no European will. Just European wealth for the world to steal. And for this, the ectoplasmic Britons are much to blame.: did they not learn anything from the Kaiser and his spiritual son Hitler?

As a result of formidable austerity imposed on France, the French defense system is woefully insufficient, although not quite as moribund as the British one. This is a grave situation in several ways: first it weakens the West enormously. Secondly it makes the USA more dominant than ever in defense. And thus, it augments the aura and diplomatic might of the USA in all matters, including the economic one… which pays for defense.

3. The third problematic mentality is indeed austerity itself. It was imposed by a coalition of conservatives and the evil influence of the ruling plutocracy. Great Britain saw less of it, thanks to the plutocratically owned tabloids, and the fact that plutocracy has made the wealthiest in Britain so much wealthier. Austerity is no less than a complete plutocratic plot, and a direct consequence of not taxing the wealthiest enough to spare us being in their debt.

So deep has the propaganda been for the plutocrats whom have made us in their debt, that only now the German SPD seems to realize that austerity is a plot of the wealthy. The “S” in SPD is for “Social”: Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD… The SPD is in coalition with the German Conservatives, who are white-hot, foaming at the mouth demanding ever more austerity (especially from other Europeans… It’s understandable as Germany is in a virtuous circle presently…)

Brexit can potentially break that logjam. First, British sabotage of the “Ever Closer Union” will stop. Appropriate superstate structures could now be erected, as needed… Secondly, the austerity party in the EU, right now led by Britain and Germany, is going to be halved. Thus one can hope that the French, these austerity specialists since 1932, will snap out of their madness, and lead a revolt against the austerity party. Simple: the European Union has just do what the USA has done under Obama. The Federal deficits amounts to something around 100% of US GDP (if one adds Quantitative Easing, an unusual addition, not usually made for obvious, vicious reasons, to the official deficits).

Will Europeans understand this?

Meanwhile, it’s fun to see the Brexiters struggle with the spider web above. Good luck coming out, to sink in the ocean…

Patrice Ayme’

 

Doomed Dems

May 4, 2016

So Donald Trump will be the Republican committee (;-)) for the presidency. And Trump will, probably, be elected US president. Why? Because people want change, and they did not get it. Instead they got more of the drift down, after the reign of the teleprompter reading president. Average family income is DOWN $4,000 since (“Bill”) Clinton’s last year as president. According to a FOX News poll, 64% of Americans blame Wall Street. Meanwhile in a vast report in the New York Times, Obama celebrates, in May 2016, the alliance he said he made with Wall Street in 2008.

Obama Can Make All The Excuses He Wants: He Gave Money To TBTF Banks, Not To We The People. And Here Is The Result Of This Wall Street President.

Obama Can Make All The Excuses He Wants: He Gave Money To TBTF Banks, Not To We The People. And Here Is The Result Of This Wall Street President.

Corporate profits have been rising, and wages have been declining. The following graph is from the FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data). Since the mid 1970s, wages have gone down 7% while corporate profits went up 7%. The average board member of an S&P 500 company works 250 hours, and gets $250,000 (more than $800 an hour).

Wages Are Going Down, Because Pluto Profits Are Going Up. And Other Pluto Policies

Wages Are Going Down, Because Pluto Profits Are Going Up. And Other Pluto Policies

[Profits and Wages are as function of GDP above. Wages in red, corporate profits in blue. Notice the huge jump of corporate profits after Obama became president, and while he and the demonic Dems had total control of the US Congress, and the US Senate. Obama and his Dems can accuse the Republicans all they want, they are accusing reality. The reality is that they, and not the Republicans, did it.]

Warren Buffet is a hero, for many Americans. He bought Heinz (using money from Brazil’s 3G Capital: did you hear about corruption in Brazil?), and fired 600 workers. Then Buffet merged Heinz with Kraft, and another 2,500 workers got the axe. Buffet made ten billion dollars out of these two operations, 3,000 workers lost their livelihood. However, trust him, Buffet will give it all back, after he is dead (so he clamors to all MSM propaganda outfits, which religiously repeat that, as if it were the word of god).

But back to our other hero, the one who feels unappreciated. President Bush called Candidate Obama, and told him to come inside the White House, to take his orders from Secretary of the Treasury Paulson. Obama, feeling honored, obeyed, and did just like Paulson (ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs, and a possibly brain damaged professional football player) told him to do.

Now Obama feels underappreciated, although he should be appreciated, he insists, because he exhibited such great “bipartisan”.

But that is precisely the point: Americans are starting to appreciate less Wall Street and its servants. Americans are getting tired of “bipartisanship”: half professional politician, half Wall Street. Soon average Americans will even see that multigenerational Harvard families are the problem. It feels to them increasingly like a conspiracy is going on, just like Trump says, again and again:”the system is wrong, I know, I was part of it”. And you know what? It is.

“I know a lot of Americans are angry about the economy, and for good cause,” Hillary Clinton said, February 11, 2016. “Americans haven’t had a raise in 15 years.”

So why not Trump? After all, the great leaders of the Democratic Party are often incomprehensibly wealthy (with fortunes in the hundreds of millions of dollars: the Clintons, Pelosis, Feinsteins, Bowles, etc.). And their financiers, those who tend to finance them and are explicit supporters, are among the planet’s richest people. Most of them are more or less involved in government for their business (for example, here is the latest: NASA is now giving help, for free, for Elon Musk’s Space X to go to Mars: it will be interesting to see if Trump pursues these policies of tapping public institutions for making particular plutocrats and their corporations ever wealthier).

Trump got rich from inheritance, and then building things. The plutocrats connected to, or inside, the Democratic Party seem to be rather into other sorts of deals: Feinstein’s husband set-up deals in China (wait until Trump gets on that blood trail!)

In other words, people who vote for the Democratic Party have been trumped. (Originally, in the 1500s, “trump” in English meant exactly what it means in French to this day: lied to.)

People already voted for change eight years ago (when they selected Obama over his conservative rivals). Unfortunately, all the change Obama brought was none at all. (Very recently Obama started to do little progressive things, like taxing the rich a bit more, or his clemency project: too little, too late.)

The big picture with Obama was conservative, not progressive. Obama pursued what Bush did: giving money to the biggest banks. I am not saying it should not have been done, but what was needed is what Hoover (yes, Hoover) and Roosevelt did in the 1930s: a massive stimulus program (instead Obama did a short, small stimulus program; the stimulus of the 1930s extended, overall, for more than 25 years, as it extended into WWII, and then into the “Cold War”.

Under president Hoover, masterpieces such as the Chrisler and Empire State Buildings, and the Hoover dam (across the Colorado, and still watering Las Vegas) went up, some of them in a matter of months. Roosevelt ordered the construction of an unbelievably massive armament program, the construction of 24 fleet carriers (Japan would start a world war with 10).

Obama, long an admirer of Reagan in economic matters, reduced the taxes on the hyper rich by 20% in his first mandate (then brought them back up, the rather trite story of the arsonist who douses the fire later, while posing as a great hero…) The idea was to stimulate the rich, so they stimulate you.

All what We The People Who Vote are going to feel increasingly like, is that Obama was Bush III, or Clinton III-IV. Indeed, where was the “Change We Can Believe?” Yes, none at all. It was all the way down further.

Meanwhile a friend of mine went to Yosemite ten days ago. She told me she could not believe the devastation of the forest. Most of it is fiery red. It is devastated by the Pine Bark Beetle. To kill the Beetle, one needs twenty days well below freezing. However, this hard freeze is now a memory. So the Beetle invades, and kills forest. Treating tree by tree is hopelessly expensive, and futile. Yes, the forests will burn soon, adding to CO2 in the atmosphere. And it is all the way like that to Alaska.

Fort McMurray, Alberta may not have seen the worst of a devastating wildfire.

Massive walls of flames prompted authorities to order the evacuation of all the city’s more than 80,000 residents last night. The blaze has been caused by un-naturally high temperatures. Such giant fires are our immediate future. Nobody said the Greenhouse crisis was going to be nice. More evacuations coming.

These are not normal times. Ever since the universe was seen expanding, and, like the all-seing eye, we have contemplated possibilities we never dreamed of, we have come to realize that the world was in our very large hands (even larger than Mr. Trump’s hands…). Obama had very small ambition. Just like the Clintons, he surrendered to Wall Street, preferring big bucks to come to the dreams of his father. Now Charles Koch, the notorious fossil fuel multibillionaire, and great influencer of US politics, is saying he may support Hillary Clinton (instead of Trump). All plutocrats sucking at the public teat, are scared stiff of Trump. As Trump himself observed, in his boldly introspective style: “They say, what is he doing? We can’t buy him!”.

At least, through all the smokes and mirrors (in which Obama admires himself), this has the merit of clarity. By choosing Hillary Clinton, the Dems will choose business as usual. But this is not business as usual. And, increasingly, through all the smoke and mirrors, people feel that way, all around the most advanced countries, from Siberia, to California.

Change means Trump or Bernie Sanders. Clinton will surely bring only doom, as she did, ever since she and her husband helped fellow traveler, and implicit mentor, president Ronald Reagan with Iran-Contra…

Patrice Ayme’

Economy: Moods Are Changing

May 2, 2016

“TROUBLE” WITH EUROPE? WHY NOT THE US?

New York Nobel economists viewed from Europe, or the US, as “liberal”, or “leftist” do not like Europe, nor do they understand that the USA’s superior economic performance is just something the Clinton crowd likes to crow about. When one looks inside, and compares, ain’t pretty. Joseph Stiglitz: The Euro is the Problem (April 14, 2016) https://youtu.be/30xfMtJZ6iY  http://bit.ly/24k2oC2  #video #lecture.

No, the Euro is not the problem. Actually, Europe just smashed growth forecasts. The problem is that Europe is managed by people from Goldman-Sachs, or who wish to be employed by Goldman-Sachs, or who have a high opinion of Goldman-Sachs, or by people who take advice from people affected by the preceding disease. (As usual, I use here “Goldman-Sachs” as a shorthand for the malevolent, parasitic “money changers”, as Roosevelt and the Bible called them, based mostly in New York and London, with state machinery at their beck and call).

European Productivity, Especially In Franco-German Euro Zone, Has Long Been Higher Than In the USA. So The Scorn Of US Economists Should Consider This Important Fact

European Productivity, Especially In Franco-German Euro Zone, Has Long Been Higher Than In the USA. So The Scorn Of US Economists Should Consider This Important Fact

Question to Stiglitz: Do you think any of the groundwork has been laid to reduce that inequality going forward?

Stiglitz: “We’re in a little bit of better place, but not a lot better. It’s obviously better to have 5 percent unemployment than 10 percent unemployment. And there’s been the beginning of a housing recovery that has helped restore some of the wealth of ordinary Americans. But the damage that has been done is very deep and has persistent effects. The labor force participation rate of people in their 40s, 50s, is still lower than it’s been in decades. People who lost their jobs in 2008, didn’t get jobs in 2009, ‘10, ‘11, maybe aren’t likely to get a job ever. If they do, it’s not going to be anywhere near as good as their old job. There are many people for whom they lost their job at 50 or 55 and are unlikely to ever work again. The scar is permanent.

Another aspect of what I would say is the imperfect recovery, is that the marginalized groups remain marginalized. And while they’ve benefitted, the levels of unemployment are still very very high.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/stiglitz-inequality/…

Entirely right, Mr. Stiglitz. So why do American economists give lessons to Europeans? The US economy is chugging along at 2% per annum, rather less than Franco-Germania at this point. And it can be argued that the inflation of the US GDP is mostly asset inflation.

When Stiglitz obsesses about unemployment, it’s obviously neither here, nor there: Unemployment is not the end-all, be-all, of the wellbeing of a socioeconomy. Slaves, in all and any economy, tend to be fully employed.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, unemployment is only 3%. However, a one bedroom rents for $3,000 a month, and that’s more than half the median family income (pre-tax). So is that good, or is that hell? I want you to contemplate a twenty lanes freeway, all gridlocked, and the eight lanes overpasses above, too, if you approve, Stiglitz style. (Jam augment GDP!)

Meanwhile, Trump is going parabolic in California, because tolerating the intolerable has become intolerable. Only when tolerating the intolerable becomes intolerable do revolutions happen. Maybe Trump should pick up Sanders as running mate, ha ha ha.

Revolutions are the engine of evolution. They re-unite Homo with the natural ethology from which plutocracy had torn him from. To evolve again, for the better.

Another editorial from Krugman along the same half-wit lines as Stiglitz: “The Diabetic Economy”. Krugman: “LISBON — Things are terrible here in Portugal, but not quite as terrible as they were a couple of years ago. The same thing can be said about the European economy as a whole. That is, I guess, the good news.

The bad news is that eight years after what was supposed to be a temporary financial crisis, economic weakness just goes on and on, with no end in sight. And that’s something that should worry everyone, in Europe and beyond.

First, the positives: the euro area — the group of 19 countries that have adopted a common currency — posted decent growth in the first quarter. In fact, for once it was better than growth in the U.S.

Europe’s economy is, finally, slightly bigger than it was before the financial crisis, and unemployment has come down from more than 12 percent in 2013 to a bit over 10 percent.

But it’s telling that this is what passes for good news. We complain, rightly, about the slow pace of U.S. recovery — but our economy is already 10 percent bigger than it was pre-crisis, while our unemployment rate is back under 5 percent.

And there is, as I said, no end in sight to Europe’s chronic underperformance. Look at what financial markets are saying.”

Children such as Stiglitz and Krugman have great oracles, called “markets”, and they “look” at what they “say”. (Beats saying what they look like, any day!)

Krugman: “Responding to critics of easy money who denounce low rates as “artificial” — because economies shouldn’t need to keep rates this low — [A Fed Reserve Bank governor] suggested that we compare low interest rates to the insulin injections that diabetics must take.

Such injections aren’t part of a normal lifestyle, and may have bad side effects, but they’re necessary to manage the symptoms of a chronic disease.

In the case of Europe, the chronic disease is persistent weakness in spending, which gives the continent’s economy a persistent deflationary bias even when, like now, it’s having a relatively good few months. The insulin of cheap money helps fight that weakness, even if it doesn’t provide a cure.

But while monetary injections have helped to contain Europe’s woes — one shudders to think of how badly things might have gone without the leadership of Mario Draghi [ex-Partner Goldman-Sachs, Patrice Ayme nota bene], president of the European Central Bank — they haven’t produced anything that looks like a cure. In particular, despite the bank’s efforts, underlying inflation in Europe seems stuck far below the official target of 2 percent.

Meanwhile, unemployment in much of Europe, very much including my current location, is still at levels that are inflicting huge human, social and political damage.

It’s notable that in Spain, which these days is being touted as a success story, youth unemployment is still an incredible 45 percent…”

For once, Krugman gets it half right. Right for Germany, but not for France, which has discarded the Euro 3% deficit spending limit, and is going at an official, near-British like 4.5% (official):

“The thing is, it’s not hard to see what Europe should be doing to help cure its chronic disease. The case for more public spending, especially in Germany — but also in France, which is in much better fiscal shape than its own leaders seem to realize — is overwhelming.

There are large unmet needs for infrastructure and investors are essentially begging governments to take their money. Did I mention that the real 10-year interest rate, the rate on bonds that are protected from inflation, is minus 0.8 percent?

And there’s good reason to believe that spending more in Europe’s core would have big benefits for peripheral nations, too.

But doing the right thing seems to be politically out of the question. Far from showing any willingness to change course, German politicians are sniping constantly at the central bank, the only major European institution that seems to have a clue about what is going on.

Put it this way: Visiting Europe can make an American feel good about his own country.”

Why is Krugman feeling so good? Because the US is “producing” three times more GreenHouse Gases (GHG) as the French? Not a non-sequitur, or just a slap in the face: the US expansion, in the last six years as largely been driven by fracking for oil and gas.

***

Patrice’s Grain of Salt: MOODS THEY ARE CHANGING:

The “trouble” in Europe is not just economic. A new philosophy, a new mood, is taking over. Monetary spending, what GDP looks at, is increasingly looked at as a sin. In France, exchange and repair Internet sites are booming. People increasingly repair the devices they use, and recycle and, or, exchange them for others.

Another point, well-known, is that, to re-establish the economy, banks were given money, lots of money. But the bank driven economy comes short. If anything, banks are viewed as organized crime institutions. In other words, people have had enough of the way the economy is organized.

Who needs a car, when public transportation, or the occasional rental will solve the problem? Some car companies sell electric cars, yet, when people need to go on a family trip, they can get a fossil fuel driven machine, which goes much further. The end result is to lower demand. This is also the effect of increasing efficiency. Solar cells on a roof kill a lot of the old economy, the more efficient they get.

The economy serves the society, not vice versa. Moods have to change to incorporate more of the society. A recent example: two professors working at UC BErkeley (one of them French), invented a revolutionary method to cut DNA into desired pieces. They applied for a US Patent. The US PTO sat on it: indeed, what could two women invent? Six moths laterr, a macho team of males from MIT applied for the same patent, for the same invention. Ah, males, thus pillars of society, said Conventional Wisdom. The MIT gentlemen (or is that horsemen charging, Genghis Khan style?) were immediately granted the Patent.

A lot of the economy organized according to the old mood is just organized thievery, or crime. Giving twenty trillion of dollars to the very same banks and connected financial types who organized the 2008 crisis is organized mismanagement of the economy to replenish the criminals. It would have been more just to give the money to We The People directly, instead of giving it to our oppressors. Ah, but it could not be done, because conventional economics prevent it.

Conventional economy right now is little more that the instauration of a feudal order. Malia Obama, eldest daughter of president Obama, will enter Harvard University. There the peers of Stiglitz and Krugman will teach her of the rightful place of the haves, and why it is just that they own the world. And the fault of the have nots, that they do not.

Malia’s present school is “Sidwell Friends School“, a “very exclusive” (as it self-defines) school. Her sister attends it too. Tuition is a modest $40,000 a year. So the two girls, together, cost $80,000, just to enjoy the “very exclusive” position they earned in life. That’s a third higher than US family median income, pre-tax.

It cost significantly more to attend the school where great liberal economist Stiglitz preaches from (Columbia). American economists are right to trash Europe. After all, the European model is the enemy. Should it win, American economists would earn just a fraction of what they presently get.

Patrice Ayme’  

US Plutocrats: Delaware, Not Panama

April 8, 2016

I long said that the USA was the world’s number one tax haven, followed by Great Britain. And this is exactly why these two countries are the seat of global plutocracy. (London boasts that it is the world’s number one financial place, ahead of New York.) The New York Times in “Need to Hide Some Income? You Don’t Have to Go to Panama”, April 8, 2016:

“For wealthy Americans looking to veil their assets and shield some of their income from taxation, there is no need to go to Panama or any other offshore tax haven. It’s easy to establish a shell corporation right here at home.

“In Wyoming, Nevada and Delaware, it’s possible to create these shell corporations with virtually no questions asked,” said Matthew Gardner, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonprofit research organization in Washington.

In some places, it can be more difficult to get a fishing license than to register a shell company. And it doesn’t cost much more.”

Delaware Is The World’s Pluto Center. 285,000 Companies Are Registered In That Delaware Building Alone.

Delaware Is The World’s Pluto Center. 285,000 Companies Are Registered In That Delaware Building Alone.

Delaware allows companies to shift the seat of their business and their profits to Delaware, where, conveniently, there is no tax.

Speaking of the Panama Papers, “This is just one firm [Panamanian Mossack Fonseca law firm] in one place,” said Gabriel Zucman, an economist and the author of “The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens,” “So it cannot be representative of what’s happening as a whole in the world.”

“But Mr. Zucman, who estimates that about 8 percent of the world’s financial wealth — more than $7.6 trillion — is hidden in offshore accounts, said another reason was that it is so simple to create anonymous shell companies within the United States.

Wealthy individuals and businesses that want to mask their ownership can conveniently do so in the United States, and then stash those assets abroad.

Yet while the United States demands that financial institutions in other countries share information about Americans with accounts overseas, its reciprocation efforts fall short, critics say.

“You see a ton of wealth in tax havens in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands that is owned by shell companies that are incorporated in Panama or in Delaware,” he said. “The bulk of this wealth does not seem to be duly declared on tax returns.”

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in “Delaware: An Onshore Tax Haven” observed that the state’s obscurity, combining with a loophole in its tax code “makes it a magnet for people looking to create anonymous shell companies, which individuals and corporations can use to evade an inestimable amount in federal and foreign taxes.”

***

Not to think the New York Times is going against the branch on which it sits, plutocracy. The preceding extracts were hidden away from the electronic front page. What we found on the front page was Krugman going all-out against Bernie Sanders in Sanders Over The Edge.

A good way to say bad things is to sound reasonable’ Krugman excels at that:

“…most liberal policy wonks were skeptical about Bernie Sanders. On many major issues — including the signature issues of his campaign, especially financial reform — he seemed to go for easy slogans over hard thinking. And his political theory of change, his waving away of limits, seemed utterly unrealistic.

Some Sanders supporters responded angrily when these concerns were raised, immediately accusing anyone expressing doubts about their hero of being corrupt if not actually criminal. But intolerance and cultishness from some of a candidate’s supporters are one thing; what about the candidate himself?

Unfortunately, in the past few days the answer has become all too clear: Mr. Sanders is starting to sound like his worst followers. Bernie is becoming a Bernie Bro.

Let me illustrate the point about issues by talking about bank reform.

The easy slogan here is “Break up the big banks.” It’s obvious why this slogan is appealing from a political point of view: Wall Street supplies an excellent cast of villains. But were big banks really at the heart of the financial crisis, and would breaking them up protect us from future crises?”

Actually Krugman is a specialist of trade, not banks. Bank specialists like Simon Johnson, have called for the break-up of the 21 biggest banks (which are recognized as special by the present US government).

Krugman detests Sanders saying Hillary has no clothes:

“It’s one thing for the Sanders campaign to point to Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street connections, which are real, although the question should be whether they have distorted her positions… But recent attacks on Mrs. Clinton as a tool of the fossil fuel industry are just plain dishonest, and speak of a campaign that has lost its ethical moorings.

And then there was Wednesday’s rant about how Mrs. Clinton is not “qualified” to be president.

What probably set that off was a recent interview of Mr. Sanders by The Daily News, in which he repeatedly seemed unable to respond when pressed to go beyond his usual slogans. Mrs. Clinton, asked about that interview, was careful in her choice of words, suggesting that “he hadn’t done his homework.”

But Mr. Sanders wasn’t careful at all, declaring that what he considers Mrs. Clinton’s past sins, including her support for trade agreements and her vote to authorize the Iraq war — for which she has apologized — make her totally unfit for office.”

Speaking of exhibiting extremely deep, vicious dishonesty, I sent the following comment, it was censored:

It was obvious, during the ramp-up to the Iraq war that the top leaders of the USA had lost their mental balance. The United Nations did not believe their lies and refused to give them an authorization to attack Iraq. Bush attacked, without a UN Security Council authorization, because he was supported by New York Senator Clinton. The invasion of Iraq by the US caused millions of people to die or being wounded. It brought the Islamist State.

Those who engineered this debacle should have been prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Suggesting they are decent, because they apologize, is to deny civilization has merit. Proposing to be led by them again is proposing to learn nothing from the past.

Specialists of banks long suggested to break big banks and big shadow banks (Simon Johnson, 2009). This is not a revolutionary proposition. Teddy Roosevelt broke big oil. When President Franklin Roosevelt came to power, he closed all the banks. That was much more revolutionary.

Global trade treaties enabled giant corporations to extend their monopolies to the entire world. This way, they escape local legislation. An example is the “Double Irish” Apple Inc. and many other corporations use. The CEO of Apple admitted that two-third of the profits of Apple were not taxed.

End of my comment. Krugman never mentions subjects such as the preceding with the angle I use. In his world, big banks, big trade, big bucks, etc. are absolute big goods.

Hillary is his “sis”, with a bit of luck, she will be grateful, and make him big something, some more. Heathens such as me, with their strident Clintonophobia, have no doubt “not done our homework” because, like Sanders, we are just reprobate school children of no intellectual merit.

Try not paying taxes, as big fishes do, if you are a little guy. You will be sent to jail, anywhere in the West. Plutocracy central? You bet!

Another, completely innocuous comment of mine to Krugman later in the day was also censored. Krugman’s post was entitled “Why Cruz is worse than Trump“. Exactly what I have been saying for five months. I guess the dear professor noble Nobel whatever, is not too keen to expose where he gets (some of) his inspiration from. These are sad, nervous days, for those who love plutocracy, the old fashion way.

Nine 5 Star Hotels In Bariloche, Argentina, & Golf Courses To Receive Obama & His Secret Service, In Style, Next Year

Nine 5 Star Hotels In Bariloche, Argentina, & Golf Courses To Receive Obama & His Secret Service, In Style, Next Year

In “USA Financial Extortion“, the essay linked to at the beginning of this essay, I pointed out the connivance between New York “Justice” and financial “Vulture Funds”. Meanwhile, the son and scion of one of the richest persons in Argentina was duly elected president, and Obama rushed to celebrate him, after 15 years of cruel, demented, anti-Krugman, anti-financial plutocracy rule in Argentina. That new Argentinian plutocrat and president is called Macri. He is a dancer. It turns out he was the name on shell companies in several places of the Anglo-Saxon plutocratic empire (such as the Bahamas). That was just revealed in the Panama Papers. Never mind.

Macri, as president, reduced the arrogant financial demands of the lower classes in Argentina: he needs all the money in the world, to pay his Vulture Fund friends in New York, whom Obama serves so well. So brand new president Macri threw more than one million people in poverty, by gutting their allowances: more than 2.5% of the total population of Argentina. Such is the way of the admirers of Reagan: make the rich richer, and the economy will reward you (thus, when Obama came to power, he saw the economy and its big banks were sick: so he gave all the money in the world to the big banks, and reduced the tax rates of the hyper rich by 20%, and now you can see the economy is right).

In any case, throwing more than a million to the poor house is glorious: not bad in a few weeks of assuredly very presidential work. Maybe Macri’s dad can propose newly retired super star noble Nobel Obama some 5 star stay in Bariloche, next year? Just an idea. What are friends for, among the world’s rulers, if not grateful?

Patrice Ayme’

WHAT’s WRONG WITH THE ECONOMY?

January 15, 2016

The strategy. The tactics. Everything. Since 2008, the central banks have created money. Why? Key actors of the economy lost too much money in 2008 to keep on functioning. Some of these actors: banks and “shadow banks”.

How did the central banks create money? Mostly by buying government debts from the large private banks. The banks thus made money. Who caused the 2008 crisis? The banks. Thus the very strategy used is Orwellian, and promotes a vicious circle. Upon closer inspection, the situation deep down inside is more of the same and even worse.

The result has been a faltering of economic growth, a creeping destitution of the 99.9% in the West, and the blossoming of colossal inequalities and corruption, worldwide:

Inequality Has Brought Down World GDP Growth. And Bringing That World GDP Growth Too Low Brings War

Inequality Has Brought Down World GDP Growth. And Bringing That World GDP Growth Too Low Brings War

True, banks are more regulated than in 2008 (but much less than before the Clinton presidency brought devastation to the regulation of finance!) However, a large, maybe the largest, part of the banking system is “Shadow Banking”. That’s not regulated. By fostering fiscal heavens and anonymous financial entities, Great Britain and the USA are actually expanding the “Dark Pools” of money which feed “Shadow Banking”.

So what have the banks done with the money generously given to them by central banks? Did they invest it somewhere fabulous? No. There has been no new technological, industrial, economic, social breakthrough which needed, and provided with, the opportunity of massive investment.

(There were some efforts towards “sustainable energy”, but those subsidies and regulations are dwarfed by those in favor of fossil fuels, which total 5.5 trillion dollars, according to the IMF; the key is fossil fuels do not require much new investment, including in research, development and education as new energy sources would.)

No new nuclear program was instituted (say replacing all old reactors with better and safer ones), no thermonuclear powers plants (although a crash program would have probably produce those already), no massive space program (comparable to Apollo in the 1960s).

Even biomedical innovation, hence investment, has petered down (research has been smothered down by marketing, regulations, and cut-throat academia producing poor research).

But, mostly, there has been no new construction program in housing and physical infrastructure. Oh, there is a massive need: the dearth of housing is why real estate is getting out of reach of the middle class, in the top cities, worldwide. (Moreover one can now make positive energy buildings, which produce energy.)

And don’t forget public education has been let go to waste, in the leading countries (with few exceptions: Switzerland, Canada…) It is as if the leadership in the West was afraid that We The People would get knowledgeable and smart.

So where did the money the banks were given by the central banks go? To hedge funds and the like. To the industry of HOT MONEY. One day they buy this, the following week, they sell it, making money, both ways (thanks to financial derivatives). The money created by the banks (which are better regulated, as I said), at this point, once given to financial manipulators, escapes regulation (that’s the whole idea).

“Leaders” know about this. But they obviously intent to keep on getting money from shadow financiers. An example: Obama did not try to tax “carried interest” by hedge funds (although Donald Trump proposes to do so!)

The leading states (USA, UK, EU, China, Japan, etc.) believed that to provide money (“liquidity”) would relaunch the economy. Absent this, massive devaluations would help. Thus Japan devalued by 50%, undercutting South Korea and China severely.

Meanwhile the IMF has allowed these competitive devaluations, following the advice of economists such as Friedman, Krugman. However, this is tickling the tail of the worst devil. War. Economic war is the first step to all-out war, indeed. Competitive devaluations are a form of war.

And what’s the main mission of the IMF? Preventing economic war between the states. This is why the IMF has been created in 1945: “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.”

Thus the IMF is failing to do its main job. Notice that many American economists, from Friedman to Krugman, in their anti-European frenzy, have pleaded FOR the economic war of (European!) state against (European!) state, thanks to competitive devaluations.

Notice too that Abenomics, the devaluation of Japan, has not had much of a dent: Japan is still mired in stagnation, no doubt still afflicted by its main problem, the collapse of its population (a problem many developed countries have, especially in Europe; the USA and UK have escaped demographic collapse, mostly through massive immigration).

The world economic strategy reflects the mood of the times: the so-called “free market” is all the thinking and activity we need since Ronald Reagan. That’s in contradiction with policies followed by Colbert, Henri IV and Sully, or even emperors Diocletian and Darius. (Darius reigned over Persia 25 centuries ago.) They, like Julius Caesar, thought that the economy had to be governed by the state.

Will China try a massive devaluation, a la Abe in Japan?

Since 2008, the governments, mostly in the West, have been cowardly. The USA suffers from massive inequalities (and no, Mr. Obama, the situation is no as good as eight years ago), the European Union suffers from too much regulations (including at the level of services, where the European UNION has not been implemented), China is a dictatorship which became richer by exploiting workers relentlessly, etc.

Those competitive devaluations and lots of money sloshing around have been addictive: central banks engage in them, to give the states space, and the states, momentarily relieved, put off necessary reforms.

Inequalities suck up “liquidity” (so power and means) from average people, while putting huge amounts of money, and power, under the control of a few hands. And this money is invested in liquid investments, instead of serious things such as massive, affordable, state of the art housing and cities. Thus this money slosh around the world, like the waves of a tsunami, devastating all it touches (example: Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, etc.).

The reason the crisis goes on is the confusion between symptoms and disease. That the main actors in power have interest not to understand the nature of the crisis explains why understanding has not been fostered. Thus very few economists have seen it, let alone politicians. (From Obama down to Nancy Pelosi, Krugman, and countless “Republicans”, but also French Socialists, EC bureaucrats, USA universities professors, most actors of influence have interest to sound as intelligent as cows watching a train pass.)

How did the world come out of the slump of the 1920s to 1940s? Through reconstruction in the “30 glorious years” after 1945. Reconstruction from total war. Something to think of. One thing: many countries are on the verge of implosion. One culprit? The obvious world devaluation blatant in the collapse of the price of oil.

What is the way out of the world socio-economic crisis? The same way as it was done after 1945. Massive social, educative, health and construction programs in the West,  building a useful economy, by taxing those who create the inequalities, and grab all the economy, and opportunities to themselves.
Patrice Ayme’

Of Those Who Mind Minds

October 12, 2015

Polls show that two-thirds of Americans want taxes to be raised for taxpayers earning more than a million dollars a year. It’s not happening. Obama is pushing for the TPP, the Trans Pacific Treaty, which democratic presidential contenders oppose. All over, public opinion has been cornered into impotence: the public wants one thing, they tolerate the opposite. The public’s mind has been made into boiled pasta: easy to gobble, no backbone.

Angus Deaton just got the Nobel in economics. Here is an example of his prose: “There is a danger that the rapid growth of top incomes can become self-reinforcing through the political access that money can bring. Rules are set not in the public interest but in the interest of the rich, who use those rules to become yet richer and more influential… To worry about these consequences of extreme inequality has nothing to do with being envious of the rich and everything to do with the fear that rapidly growing top incomes are a threat to the wellbeing of everyone else.”

Where Does "Austerity" Comes From? The Richest Are Sucking Us Dry Through Debt Service

Where Does “Austerity” Comes From? The Richest Are Sucking Us Dry Through Debt Service

As I have explained for more than a decade, this is nothing new. This exponentiating growth in wealth, and thus power, for the few is how the Roman REPUBLIC was destroyed (and replaced by the despicable and stupid Roman plutocracy, aka “empire”).

The same phenomenon also happened when the Imperium Francorum (Empire of the Franks) went from the mild plutocracy known as the “Renovated Roman Empire” to the hard, abusive and demented plutocracy of the Late Middle Ages, “Renaissance”, and “Enlightenment”.

158 families, some of them not even bothering to reside in the USA, are busy buying themselves a president of the USA. Hey, why not? This has been working ever better for nearly half a century, ever since Mr. Nixon using public money to boost Mr. Kaiser’s health maintenance scheme (the President and the Kaiser: quite a program!). Say NYT’s Confessore, Cohen and Yourish, October 10, 2015:

“They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy.

Now they are deploying their vast wealth in the political arena, providing almost half of all the seed money raised to support Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Just 158 families, along with companies they own or control, contributed $176 million in the first phase of the campaign, a New York Times investigation found. Not since before Watergate have so few people and businesses provided so much early money in a campaign, most of it through channels legalized by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision five years ago.”

Notice that the New York Times admits that the Supreme Court has “LEGALIZED” ways to channel the power of the few. Notice that Judicial power legislates. Notice that a new form of power has appeared: it’s expressed not just by the wealthiest, by a subclass of the wealthiest, a subclass which profited from the reorganization of the ultimate values of the USA:

“These donors’ fortunes reflect the shifting composition of the country’s economic elite. Relatively few work in the traditional ranks of corporate America, or hail from dynasties of inherited wealth. Most built their own businesses, parlaying talent and an appetite for risk into huge wealth: They founded hedge funds in New York, bought up undervalued oil leases in Texas, made blockbusters in Hollywood. More than a dozen of the elite donors were born outside the United States, immigrating from countries like Cuba, the old Soviet Union, Pakistan, India and Israel.”

Something the New York Times does not imagine is that these people became so rich precisely because they changed the laws first. An example is the entire financial industry, because of the dismantlement of the Banking Act of 1933 (Glass-Steagall). Hedge funds get money from banks and shadow banks, and that would not have happened before Clinton. If the New York Times does not understand it, those politically connected “donors” do, as the New York Times itself observe:

“But regardless of industry, the families investing the most in presidential politics overwhelmingly lean right, contributing tens of millions of dollars to support Republican candidates who have pledged to pare regulations; cut taxes on income, capital gains and inheritances; and shrink entitlement programs. While such measures would help protect their own wealth, the donors describe their embrace of them more broadly, as the surest means of promoting economic growth ….”

Obama went to a hall in Los Angeles. It cost only $33,400, per person, to be there. A fracking family (family making money from fracking), gave $15 million to a particular Republican candidate. Another family, which made a fortune from a hedge fund, gave eleven million dollars. And so on. Even French TV is taking note, and discovers “it’s a threat to us all“. What? No appreciation for a short and brutish life as in the Middle Ages, serving great lords of finance and drinking fossil fuel water?The New York Times admits wealth prevents democratic expression. Actually the paper seems to be a bit confused between the notion of “democracy” and “demography”:

“In marshaling their financial resources chiefly behind Republican candidates, the donors are also serving as a kind of financial check on demographic forces that have been nudging the electorate toward support for the Democratic Party and its economic policies. Two-thirds of Americans support higher taxes on those earning $1 million or more a year, according to a June New York Times/CBS News poll, while six in 10 favor more government intervention to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly seven in 10 favor preserving Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are.

Republican candidates have struggled to improve their standing with Hispanic voters, women and African-Americans. But as the campaign unfolds, Republicans are far outpacing Democrats in exploiting the world of “super PACs,” which, unlike candidates’ own campaigns, can raise unlimited sums from any donor

What does the concentration of wealth at the top do? Mostly shape minds in a way which serves the top guys.

The degree of manipulation of opinion is astounding, and obviously deliberate. (Media are mostly owned by plutocrats: so it’s no surprise!) One could call it a science. A technique is to write an article relating scientific, or sociological facts, say about global melting of ice, or medical care, or guns, and then allowing only commentary derisive of the article. (The Daily Mail in the UK apparently does this to a particularly obvious extent, I observe.)

Another technique is to (implicitly) present banks, and the money-changers as the savior of humanity (the New York Times’ Krugman does this), while not talking about Too-Big-To-Fail banks, Shadow Banking, or the dark connections between banking, derivatives, and politicians.

Angus Deaton, the Nobelist from Princeton University, has looked at the Dark Side: he observed that a lot of financial help to poor countries backfires, as it makes more sustainable for governments to mismanage the society and economy they rule. So the problem with development is more governance (what I call “empire”) than anything else.

Governance is failing worldwide, and this explains why 80 plutocrats are richer than the rest of the world combined.

New Middle Ages Rising

New Middle Ages Rising

The recipient of the “Prize of the Bank of Sweden in Economic Science” is a harsh critic of economic aid from rich countries, like the United States of America, to poor countries. “I have come to believe that most external aid is doing more harm than good,” he wrote in his 2013 book, “The Great Escape.” “If it is undermining countries’ chance to grow—as I believe it is—there is no argument for continuing it on the grounds that ‘we must do something.’ The something that we should do is stop.” The Scottish born Deaton, indeed, is not afraid of controversy: he questions the widespread presumption that rising inequality is always a bad thing.

In other words, Deaton dares to say aloud that the hysterical pursuit of wealth may be good for economic activity. But Deaton claims to have found evidence that wealth brings happiness… until an income of $75,000 income. After which it starts to backfire.

Patrice Ayme’

Wisdom Not An Itch, But Economy Hitching Dark Side, A Gangrene

September 13, 2015

Is Philosophy Just An Itch? Far from it. Even if it were, as Wittgenstein had it:

“Philosophy hasn’t made any progress? – If somebody scratches the spot where he has an itch, do we have to see some progress? Isn’t genuine scratching otherwise, or genuine itching? And can’t this reaction to an irritation continue in the same way for a long time before a cure for the itching is discovered?”

It is not true that philosophy asks always only the same questions, and it is not true that philosophy has not progressed in 3,000 years.

Instead the opposite is true. contemporary with Socrates was Xenophon, who named and defined “Economics”. Xenophon was student and friend to Socrates, a writer, historian, soldier, general, and retired as a horse breeder.

Krugman Is A Philosopher, He Rules World. But Who Pulls His Strings?

Krugman Is A Philosopher, He Rules World. But Who Pulls His Strings?

[Paul Krugman, appropriately surrounded by the Dark Sides.]

Paul Krugman is one of the world’s most respected – and most feared – economists of our time. Illustration by David Simmonds.” –Handelsblatt which adds: “Many think the U.S. Nobel Prize winner is the most influential economist of our time and a leading voice on the left. But many of his major ideas are controversial. And rightly so.”

Those familiar with my disagreements with Krugman know that we differ philosophically. Our differences are mostly about finance, banking… And especially believing that, if only bankers had even more money, through Quantitative Easing, the world would become richer, fairer, and more comfortable. That is anathema to me, for many reasons, including the fact I do not trust too much power in too few hands, whatever the reasons evoked, or even if one calls these people, bankers, and Obama admires them very much.

Philosophy named and defined much progress.

Behind all and any empire is an economic organization backed up by a philosophy. Darius, founder of the Achaemenid Persian empire, changed economic organizations very quickly, according to circumstances, , from military to command and control, to building the world’s first fast road system, to libertarian capitalism.

It is possible to argue that the Greco-Roman empire failed, because it failed PHILOSOPHICALLY. Namely, its philosophy failed. It failed because the (Macedonian) military leaders got imprinted on the erroneous, despicable, and lethal philosophy of their friend Aristotle, itself all too inspired by Plato, Socrates, and other golden youth, or their fellow travellers.

One can view the Middle Ages greatly as a struggle against much of Aristotelian philosophy: not just against Aristotle’s physics, which was egregiously wrong, but also against his Ethics and his, related, preferred theory of government. Aristotle embraced dictatorship, also known as monarchy, hence theocracy.

In Socrates’ times, democratic institutions were, in many ways, brutally primitive and inappropriate for sustaining the Athenian Republic. These brought not just the death of Socrates, but were decisive to bring the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian war (which nearly brought the annihilation of Athens, and certainly an eclipse of democracy for more than 2,000 years). The People’s Assembly had decided to massacre entire populations (Melos), and brought hatred against Athens.

Much of Socrates’ work was about improving the Athenian democracy, and many of the philosopher’s critiques were addressed during the Middle Ages, by inventing new institutions.

So there has been progress in philosophy, and also considerable social and political progress in implementing progress in wisdom.

We need more. Behind Krugman’s vision of the world, lays a benign, naive trust in human beings benevolence. At least, that’s the excuse.

Friends, Not To Say Lovers Of The Same Values. How Far Are We?

Friends, Not To Say Lovers Of The Same Values. How Far Are We?

Instead, I go further than “French Theory“. French Theory, generalizing Nietzsche’s approach, is suspicious of all and any institutions. I propose to remember what the Marquis De Sade implicitly proposed: those who take, those who are entitled, those end up being able to take decisions on behalf of the many, are, intrinsically, moved by the Darkest Side. Even if they did not start this way, the stress they are subjected to, insures that they end up that way.

Yes, Krugman is a philosopher, in the sense that his work, and advice, and popularity among, thus, power on, the mighty, depends upon his philosophical positions. Yet philosophers to the Dark Side, by their very presence where they are, embrace it.

This is not all just words. I love and respect Paul Krugman. in some ways. However, contemplate this: “Enron, a notorious corporation which conspired in organizing energy shortages in California, later to collapse in scandal and bankruptcy, employed Krugman. Paul’s fee? $37,000 for three days work. It provoked outrage. Wasn’t this excessive?. Mr. Krugman used his column to respond: not at all, he wrote. At the time his fee for a one-hour talk was $20,000. Enron got a deal.”

And the worst? Paul Krugman is very small fry, in the plutocratic world, as far as income is concerned. Donald Trump recently pointed out he “knew hedge fund managers. They pay no tax.” And some of those earn billions. General Electric got (60) billion dollars from the Obama administration, paid no tax for years, and then proceed to buy its French competitor, Alstom. Even the European Commission found that not kosher (although the plausibly secretly compensated by huff and fluff ,French government had approved).

Krugman at some point proclaimed himself the “lonely voice of truth in a sea of corruption”. The worst? It’s true. Because Krugman had dared to say the Obama administration was soft on punishing Wall Street after the 2008 corruption affair (the so-called “crash”), he was not invited to participate in said administration of the useless and redundant (as plutocrats connected to the so-called “Deep State” take all the decisions).

Handelsblatt: “Somehow Mr. Krugman’s fury keeps on growing. The source of this anger may be the man’s greatest enigma, since in fact worldwide there has never been as much Keynesian intervention as there is today…”

The answer to this, Handelsblatt, is simple: the crisis is getting ever worse. To the point the spectrum of war is rising. Even the Pope, noticed this.

Handelsblatt: “Since the crisis began, the largest central banks have flooded the world economy with liquidity, and brought their base rates close to zero. The governments of the industrialized world, with the exception of Germany, are still running huge budget deficits. They have put together enormous rescue packages, partly to rescue the banks, partly to bail out bankrupt states, partly to invest in infrastructure.”

Well, and this is my main difference with Krugman, rescue packages were all about the (“PRIVATE”) banks, and they bankrupt(ed) the states. To correct this, the entire banking system needs to be completely overhauled. In first approximation, the spirit of the reforms of president Roosevelt, ought to be re-introduced.

In Great Britain Jeremy Corbin, an anti-dictatorial (anti-monarchist) was elected to head Labor. Tony Blair, one of the world’s most corrupt politicians, ever (Bliar gets money from various dictator, including that of Kazakhstan) suggested that: “those who say their hearts are with leftwinger Jeremy Corbyn should ‘get a transplant’.

Darius, like the Incas, like Diocletian’s Rome, or the Tang in China, or the empire of the Franks (which mutated into the “West”), or Themistocles Athens, let alone Stalin’s USSR, or today’s China, let alone the mercantilist USA, show that the primary actor, and author, of the economy is not the little capitalist, but the massive state. Handelsblatt claims not to understand this, and calls Krugman a fool.

However, the USA’s government institution revealingly known as the “Fed”, created more than 13 trillions (yes, that’s a t: trillion) dollars of money to inject in the economy, and the European Union, less than two trillion. And yes, that’s a problem: too much money chasing too few investment possibilities. So what ought government to do? Create more investment possibilities. Titanic investment program. As Darius did with his Royal road network. Now the Royal Road ought to lead to Mars. And the Quantum Computer. And Thermonuclear Fusion. And the Space Elevator. And a research program to fight aging (a major economic, not just military problem). Those who don’t want progress get regress, not to say egress.

Imagination, ladies and gentlemen, is more important than austerity, and not just in economics.

Patrice Ayme’

Puerto Rico’s Default: Back To The 1930s?

August 5, 2015

We were told, for years, the outrageous lie that Greece’s debt crisis was “caused” by the Euro… Even by supposedly left wing economists of the USA (Paul Krugman, etc.), and their European parrots. I exposed this as a cover-up of the outrageous state of banking under a thick layer of Europhobia, even more than four years ago. Now Puerto Rico exhibits an increasing unwillingness to pay interest on its debt. Now what?

Puerto Rico’s Default Has Got To Be Europe’s Fault:

It’s only a matter of time before the plutocratic press, or, if you want, the Main Stream Media, make the Euro and Greece the reason for Puerto Rico’s failure. (For such a devious reasoning, see below.)

After 2008, the economy turned bad, and governments borrowed heavily to keep the society going. As the prospects got dimmer, https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/new-york-vulture-justice/, bought Puerto Rican debt. Vultures hate education, as education makes for rebels, and they are in position to reduce educational spending, in Greece or Puerto Rico. When Vulture Funds had their fill, of Puerto Rican debt, they sprang the trap: mistaking Porto Rico for Greece, they required the Porto Rican government to reduce spending in education… So that Porto Rico could pay them the extravagant interest payments.

Is Puerto Rico The Object Of A (Financial Engineered) Genocide?

Is Puerto Rico The Object Of A (Financial Engineered) Genocide?

Debating Puerto Rican debt appears to be about finance, state debt, schools, hedge funds. Yet, ultimately, it’s about who owns Puerto Rico.

The Guardian, and magazine such as Slate, bought the hedge fund propaganda, bait, hook, line, sinker, if not the boat itself. Jordan Weissmann in Slate, a famous electronic magazine, blared: Hedge Funds Think Puerto Rico Should Shut Down Schools to Pay Its Debts. Is That So Wrong?

No, of course, it’s right. Hedge Funds should have all rights you can possibly imagine. They already buy and sell entire countries.

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The Truth About Porto-Rico: Tax Haven, Millionaires’ Haven:

The total tax receipt in Puerto Rico is 10%, a small fraction of what it is in advanced countries (at least 23%). Taxes on the rich are small, full of loopholes. Moreover, the USA treats Puerto Rico like an exploited colony, so full reimbursements and compensations available to full citizens of the USA are not available in Puerto Rico.

Another truth is that educational spending is exploding in the USA, because health spending (Obamacare”) does not control costs (contrarily to what propaganda says). So plutocrats from hedge funds profit from an inflation which fellow plutocrats in health care engineered, thanks to an arguably too Machiavellian by half White House.

Porto Rico is a weird island, a territory of the USA which is neither destined to independence, nor a state. In the 1950s, four Puerto Ricans went to the Congress of the USA, and shot 30 rounds onto the Representatives, to ask for independence.

Krugman says Puerto Rico is not Greece: indeed, Puerto Ricans flee massively to the USA. Greeks no doubt ought to do the same and contribute free, or menial labor, to the splendor of the economy as celebrate by Krugman. People who are in the know stridently contradicted Paul Krugman’s positions and exposed them for what they are: the term “neo-colonialism” is too good. Pursued to the end, Puerto Rico would just vanish, except as a tax haven (just as the Virgin Islands next door).

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Mussolini Fustigated What He Called “Demoplutocracies”:

Hitler joined the Italian dictator in complaining about the “plutocrats”… whom he knew all too well (top Nazis commiserated with him for having to dine with “plutocrats”, and make small talk to “plutocrats“, etc.)  

Does that mean that those who complain about “plutocracy” a lot, such as yours truly, are also fascist?

No. Of course not. First it shows that Mussolini and Hitler called their dinner guests “plutocrats” because that’s what they, all often, were. It also reveals that, in the 1930s, it was a common political truth, worldwide, that plutocrats had caused the financial and economic crisis… As they had, since they were in command (the bubble of the 1920s was deliberately engineered by Lord Montague and his American alter ego, to mitigate British debt from World War One by inflation and over-activity).

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President Roosevelt, Knight Of The Dark Side:

People often ask me what the Dark Side is. Neither “Evil“, nor “Star Wars” do justice to the notion. That force is strong, but its strength varies. The politician who acted the best, for his own country, when faced with that plutocratic crisis, was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt devalued the dollar, shackled Wall Street and the banks, created a Command and Control economy (headed by a young Canadian!). Roosevelt, himself a plutocrat, behaved in an extremely progressive, socialist way. Because he had to. Sometimes, the Dark Side is all about doing what is necessary (I see Obama chuckling in the distance with his drones). Embracing many of the solutions of the hard left, was the price Roosevelt paid to save plutocracy.

Maybe to compensate, for his own exuberant socialism, Roosevelt was abusive with the French (who still adore him), and exploitative with the British. He also helped making sure that Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini could devastate Europe… To the great profit of the USA. In 1939, or early 1940, Roosevelt could have declared war to Hitler. That would have probably made him win re-election in November 1940 in a landslide.

Roosevelt ran for an unprecedented Third Term. President Washington had refused to do so; Roosevelt was not obligated to run for an unprecedented third term. But he was morally, civilizationally, and strategically obligated to declare war to Nazism. FDR never did: Hitler declared war TO him. So why did not he?

Because Roosevelt was a master of the Dark Side: he let Nazism being used as a blunt instruments to destroy the competition in Europe, the other representative democracies (France, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway… and their allies: Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc.) In the USA, this makes him a great man, an immense patriot, the founder of the “American Century”. The judgment of history, is another matter, entirely, let’s hope I contribute to it with my own point of view (“theory“).

In any case, President Roosevelt was a master plutocrat, whereas Hitler and Mussolini depended upon plutocrats. The case of Stalin is different: the Dark Side was so strong with him, he was able to surf over lots of plutocrats, as if they were waves, one after the other. Early on plutocrats of the USA (such as the Harriman Brothers) financed him (say to develop Baku oil fields). Engel in his theoretical book had said to do away with marriage, and embrace, free, secxual love. So Stalin’s satanic approach was pragmatic. Allied to German fascists, from 1916, until savagely attacked by his colleague Hitler, Stalin dictated his conditions to a weakened Roosevelt who was all too happy to give him half of Europe to chew on.

The Pragmatic Approach Can Be Opposed to the Principled One:

The USA stays highly pragmatic, never having ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Obama presented a plan to lead from behind technological progress (it affects energy production, about 30% of the CO2 production, but not transportation, another third, or industry). The solution, of course is to take out all subsidies for fossil fuels, starting with the richest countries, and doing so progressively. If Europe and the USA decided this, they could impose it, worldwide, through a carbon tax.

A conference in Paris is supposed to make desperate efforts to stop the rush through the two degrees Celsius, but the largest sub-arctic zone, Russia, has already barreled right through.

As long as hedge funds feel they can order the world around why should it be any different? What else?

Plutocrats say: all the problems arise from French-like socialism, and the European Unification related to it. Thus, they have got to say that so it is, with Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

Puerto Rico’s debt crisis has to be related to the hydra of European unifying socialism, sneakily propelled by the French.  How could that not be? Contagion, what plutocrats fear the most, this what Greece and France brought: contagion of rebellion. Destroying direct democracy is why Persia financed the war of Sparta against Athens. Plutocrats have profited of this Persian investment, ever since.

The Greeks did not want to pay for their banks’ errors, and the state debt resulting from it. So the Greeks started a mood, a mood where those who owe resist their lords, the lenders. Hence the Puerto Rican legislature sudden decision to resist its masters, the hedge fund managers. So, you see, European leftists are not innocuous, they are already attacking on U.S. soil.

And the climate crisis? Purely a French invention. Proof? The climate conference is to be held in Paris in four months.

Nowadays, thanks in part to the Multiverse fanatics, no proofs are really necessary, screaming insanities is sufficient, to qualify for respect (as long as you have a big gun, or pocketbook, or aura given by those with guns, or pocketbooks). Everybody knows this, by now: the tedium of the medium is the message, and the massage.

Patrice Ayme’

MIT Gangsters Rule

July 24, 2015

Goodbye, Chicago boys. Hello, M.I.T. gang.”

Who says this? No less than Paul Krugman (himself with a PhD from MIT), in a New York Times editorial “The MIT Gang“. I will get back to the murder-friendly attitude of Krugman, who not only extols the MIT influence as a good thing, but moreover glosses over the nefarious influence of American trained economists, “The Chicago Boys“, in destroying democracy. And not just democracy. The role of economic ideology from the American plutocratic universities was so nefarious that tens of thousands were outright assassinated, so that Chicago economics could be implemented. Bad economics is bad in all ways, including the most murderous ones. Not only Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler and the Khemr Rouge had murderous economics. Arguably, present day economics may be even more lethal.

MIT Economics Favors Plutocracy (=Pluto Power)

MIT Economics Favors Plutocracy (=Pluto Power)

After 2008, the MIT gangsters Krugman effrontly lauds, put trillions of dollars at the disposition of the very banksters who had caused the 2008 crash. Yes, those gentlemen gangsters have names. Those gangsters are so famously, they could be called gangstars. Those stars directed the world’s two most important central banks, or played the top roles, just below the ill-fated Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF, or World Bank, etc. (Krugman sings their praise, and their names, in his “MIT Gang” essay).

The crash was actually the transfer of colossal amounts of money from the banks to a subset of plutocrats, ruining the banks. To refloat the banks, public money (see Greece) was called in, both from Treasuries and from Central Banks. The red graph above depicts that transfer as the scarlet exponential of shame. And no one, among those who control the world, condescend to observe it, let alone, explain it.

Although I was diplomatic enough not to even allude to these horrors, I sent the following comment to the New York Times. It was immediately censored:

The Chicago, and MIT economic departments rule. Who elected them, as our leaders? Who elected the Central Banks, and authorized them to buy at outrageous prices the property of private banks? That’s so-called “Quantitative Easing“… Thus enabling the bankers, banksters and gangsters who caused the crash of 2008 to keep on deciding who wins, and who loses, socioeconomically?

The private banks, extend credit to the richest of the rich.Thus they comfort, and buttress the plutocrats… Who then invite the president to gather money during parties in their mansions.

Why have so few people, so much power? Under which political theory? Which theory advocates that only a few people rule? Few: in Greek, Oligos. To rule: Arkhein. Oligos-Arkein: such a theory is called Oligarchy.

So the few rule. Question: why is a MIT gang better than a Chicago gang, a Wall Street gang, or a Sicilian gang?

Because we owe more respect to a MIT gang than to the Mafia? Why? Did we vote to have so much respect for MIT, we want them, MIT gangsters, to take all the decisions about the society in which we live? Our economic well-beings? Our employment? Our lives?

And when did we switch from democracy (Greek: Demos-Kratos, English: People-Power) to Oligarchy? Did we vote to surrender our powers to various gangs? I gather we did not. Thus, when, and how did this silent coup occur? What measures do we need to take, to return to democracy?

Patrice Ayme’

Note: Some commentators have complained that I am too tough on Krugman: he is a good guy, he is on the side of progress, he is on my side, I am biting a fellow creature. Indeed, Krugman is viewed as the standard bearer of social progress, and not at all the standard bearer of plutocratic universities. So let Krugman talk a little bit more in his own offense in the editorial at hand: : “If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the term “Chicago boys” was originally used to refer to Latin American economists, trained at the University of Chicago, who took radical free-market ideology back to their home countries. The influence of these economists was part of a broader phenomenon: The 1970s and 1980s were an era of ascendancy for laissez-faire economic ideas and the Chicago school, which promoted those ideas.

But that was a long time ago. Now a different school is in the ascendant, and deservedly so.”

Notice the pernicious context. What you have to know is that these “Latin American Economists trained at the University of Chicago, who took radical free-market ideology back to theior home countries.”

It sounds innocuous, but actually these “boys” set-up dictatorships in their countries, who killed tens of thousands of people in Argentina alone.

Similar “economic” performance was achieved in Chile, Brazil, and a dozen other Latin American states thus inspired. Nothing that Paul Krugman is allowed to remember while he wants to stay in good standing with plutocracy supreme.

Patrice Ayme’