Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

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 Is Not An Itch, But Economy Hitching The Dark Side, Is 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. Philosophy has progressed enormously in 3,000 years. But short term, there is a lot of noise, and often, what passes for “progress” is truly regression (looking at Hellenistic regimes show much of thinking in regression, and that degeneracy accelerated after the fascist Roman empire and its corrupt officials (such as Cassius and Brutus) took control of Greece during the last century of the Republic… Let alone when Justinian closed the schools, five centuries later, in 529 CE, and this time, for good.

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. Differently from Plato and Aristotle, Xenophon was not on the take.

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

Paul Krugman, appropriately surrounded by the Dark Sides. Krugman Is A Philosopher, He Rules The World Socioeconomy With His Insane Globalism. And Who Pulls His Strings?

Paul Krugman is one of the world’s most respected – and most feared – economists of our time. The illustration above is by David Simmonds.” – from 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.”

I don’t know what the “left” is (although I know what it should be). But I certainly know that “Liberalism”, in the US manner is not from the left… Although common opinion in the USA at this point is that “liberalism” is not far from “socialism” (a huge mistake, and why dozens of millions of US citizens have no health insurance, after decades of “liberalism”).

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 even if 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.

***

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).

***

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).

***

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’

 

Plutocracy’s Fascist, Europhobic Dream

July 20, 2015

Europe’s Impossible Dream” proclaims the New York Times’ Paul Krugman. What dream is that? The dream that Europe needs another currency, besides the dollar. All right American supremacists do not say this in so many words… Instead they use convoluted, illogical reasoning, as I will presently demonstrate.

Good propaganda starts with correct facts. Krugman:

“Greece is experiencing a slump worse than the Great Depression, and nothing happening now offers hope of recovery. Spain has been hailed as a success story, because its economy is finally growing — but it still has 22 percent unemployment. And there is an arc of stagnation across the continent’s top: Finland is experiencing a depression comparable to that in southern Europe, and Denmark and the Netherlands are also doing very badly.

How did things go so wrong? The answer is that this is what happens when self-indulgent politicians ignore arithmetic and the lessons of history. And no, I’m not talking about leftists in Greece or elsewhere; I’m talking about ultra-respectable men in Berlin, Paris, and Brussels, who have spent a quarter-century trying to run Europe on the basis of fantasy economics.”

Commodities Crashing Worldwide: Not A Euro Problem, Mr. Krugman!

Commodities Crashing Worldwide: Not A Euro Problem, Mr. Krugman!

Then Krugman operates his bait and switch:

“To someone who didn’t know much economics, or chose to ignore awkward questions establishing a unified European currency sounded like a great idea. It would make doing business across national borders easier, while serving as a powerful symbol of unity. Who could have foreseen the huge problems the euro would eventually cause?”

Several remarks here: first, for people like Krugman, apparently society and economics is reduced to “doing business”. In truth, having multiple currencies was a major hindrance, I have said this many times. Try a currency in New Jersey, one in New York, one in Connecticut, one in Massachusetts. It’s not just business which will be inconvenienced. Europe has as many states as the USA. Krugman can’t understand this: not smart enough, or with an agenda? You judge.

Commodity Deflation, In Dollars. Not A Euro Crisis, Mr. Krugman!

Commodity Deflation, In Dollars. Not A Euro Crisis, Mr. Krugman!

Good propaganda accuses the scapegoat with wild abandon. According to Nazis, everything was the fault of the Jews, and the French. According to Krugman the ills of the economic world can all be traced to the Euro. Bankers who feed him, are beyond any suspicion. The bait is to enounce correct facts, the switch is to accuse the innocent, in this case “Europe’s Impossible Dream” and the common currency, thus causing unfathomable distraction, away from the real culprits. Krugman:

“Who could have foreseen the huge problems the euro would eventually cause?

Actually, lots of people.”

Who are Krugman’s heroes? Eurosceptics, naturally. Krugman:

“The only big mistake of the euroskeptics [sic] was underestimating just how much damage the single currency would do.

The point is that it wasn’t at all hard to see, right from the beginning, that currency union without political union was a very dubious project. So why did Europe go ahead with it?”

The problem with someone as Krugman, is that he has no idea about European history, whatsoever, except the pro-Nazi propaganda of Lord Keynes. Krugman affects to think Europeans are idiots anxious to please plutocrats, and their obsequious servants:

“Mainly, I’d say, because the idea of the euro sounded so good. That is, it sounded forward-looking, European-minded, exactly the kind of thing that appeals to the kind of people who give speeches at Davos.”

***

Krugman, Or The Pseudo-Left: 

Who is Paul Krugman? Not only does he have a bully pulpit at the New York Times, and a Nobel, but he is, according to polls, the most trusted voice by the left… in Europe. Listening to him too uncritically can only lead to anti-Europeanism.

The domination of English is also the domination of the Financial Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and the ever more sneaky New York Times. The Anglosphere’s tendrils are definitively plutocratic in their outreach.

In his very anti-European article, Krugman says that the case for devaluing the Greece currency is overwhelming: I agree with this, the Euro ought to be devalued.

If Greece had its own currency, and devalued massively, it would not profit much economically: Greece’s main import-export activity is to buy petrol and then sells it refined: all these transactions are priced in dollars. Leaving the Euro would make Greece ready to become a satellite of the USA again (complete with colonels).

***

Why are we submitted to so much anti-Europeanism?

Because the plutocrats and their obnoxious servants have interest to say that the problem is the Euro, not banksters, and banksterism, the situation where bankers create money (as credit) and give it to they friends.

Then said friends run away with the money, banks turn around, and ask treasuries and central banks to allow them to make money again. (One way to do this is Quantitative Easing, something Krugman love as it feeds the banksters, who feed him.)

None of this giant financialo-economic drama has to do with the Euro. To imply that Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland have problems because of the Euro is inaccurate (to put it mildly). Switzerland is also pegged to the Euro, and does great, because of its diversified knowledge economy (where pharmaceuticals dominate).

Krugman is aware, but disingenuously denies, that loving the dollar is hating the euro:

“if you were an American expressing doubts you were invariably accused of ulterior motives — of being hostile to Europe, or wanting to preserve the dollar’s “exorbitant privilege.”

And the euro came. For a decade after its introduction a huge financial bubble masked its underlying problems. But now, as I said, all of the skeptics’ fears have been vindicated.”

***

Why the Euro?

Because France and Germany have had enough to fight each other. The two countries are roughly comparable in all ways, economically and financially. They are converging demographically. They used to be the same country for five centuries, a time during which a unified Germany, and a German language was created.

The re-creation of a unified Germany, after 1,000 years, without, led to near continuous war between France and Germany, for, fundamentally, philosophical reasons.

France won, both sides are now sister republics, ready for total reunification. Thus they need a common currency. Then the in-betweens (truly pieces of France which were torn away from France, to make France weaker) cannot survive without using that same currency. Then one has to add contiguous areas with the same socioeconomic level (Austria, Northern Italy, Catalogne; the latter two long part of French territory, especially if one defines France as more than just the so-called “kingdom of France“, which was often a very small, relevant territory  inasmuch as it was supposed to be the imperial seat). At this point one is well above 200 million people with the same currency, and a GDP only second to the USA.

This territory is the old Francia which founded Western Civilization. Western Civilization is not just Jerusalem, Athens plus Rome, as many have it. It’s also the Franks and the tolerant melting pot they imposed on the Germano-Gallo-Romans, with their home made, advanced, pseudo-Christian philosophy.

How can the rest of Europe be excluded?

The USA acquired its common currency during the Secession War. So far, the attempt to secede in Europe are rather meek. Let’s keep them this way.

Naturally, the USA’s patriots can only hate to have a second world reserve currency. The dollar as world currency was imposed on Keynes through the substitution of the crucial document for another one.

Paul Krugman never mentions the felony that gave rise, over Keynes’ obstinate resistance, to the dollar as world currency.

Europe is not an impossible dream. Should it become so, so will human civilization. Because Europe is a toy model of the global problem of nationalities.

More fundamentally, today’s civilization, all the way to China, Japan and Patagonia or South Africa, was invented mostly in Europe. Admitting it is impossible, is admitting a nice future is impossible.

Is all lost? Did American europhobic university professors win? Not sure. Hollande and Merkel are working on a Eurozone government, democratically anchored through a subset of the European Parliament. It’s high time. “Le nationalisme, c’est la guerre!” (nationalism is war) said French president Mitterrand in one of his last discourses. Ironically, Chancellor Kohl had proposed further political union when he signed on the Euro project, and Mitterrand, then hindered by a divided government, turned him down.

I am sure Frau Doktor Merkel remembers this, and will seize the opportunity.

Patrice Ayme’

Banksterocracy

July 4, 2015

The Champagne region was proclaimed a world heritage site by UNESCO today. Champagne, a method to make sparkling wine, was created by a cleric, Dom Perignon, four centuries ago.

Mr. Yannis Varoufakis, Greek finance minister: “Why did they force us to close the banks? To instil fear in people. And spreading fear is called terrorism.” Indeed. That is what I was saying before: arguably the demons of High Finance, the shills of the IMF, Goldman-Sachs, the ECB, etc, are the main force deep behind Islamist Terrorism, because they cause misery, while weakening enormously the military capabilities.

Added Varoufakis:”The EU will have no legal grounds to throw Greece out of the euro, and then the real negotiation will start with creditors.”

Unbelievably, the European Central Bank has put the entire Greek economy in a deep freeze, with a very low ceiling on the Emergency Loan Agreement (ELA). What for exactly? With which authority? Just because its (ex) Goldman-Sachs head, Draghi, is used to make a profession from dragging people in misery?

Bait & Switch, Or How The Public Was Made To Pay For Being Ruled By Banksters

Bait & Switch, Or How The Public Was Made To Pay For Being Ruled By Banksters

Look at these numbers above: how come France, Germany, Italy, etc. invested in Greece? Of course they did not. What they did is that they “lent” Greece money so that the Greek plutocrats then in command of Greece could refloat the French, German, etc. bank subsidiaries which had gone bankrupt lending to fellow plutocrats they had met earlier, taking champagne baths, all together. Now we are supposed to drain the bath, and serve them more champagne.

Meanwhile, Christine Lagarde, the Marie-Antoinette who proposed that, because gasoline was to expensive for them, the French ought to switch to biking, hangs tough about “Greece”. A buffoon shilling for plutocracy with a misleading French accent. Just look at her shifty eyes: she knows how dirty she is.

As Oxford economy professor Simon Wren-Lewis puts it, the IMF was “captured” by the banksters: “the Troika made a huge mistake in using their citizens’ money to lend to Greece so Greece could partially repay these private sector creditors – that is where most of the Troika’s rescue package went.”

(Yes, apparently, 92% went to banksters; but thanks to propaganda, most people believe We The People of Greece splurged, whereas, it is the banksters who splurged).

The first order of plutocracy, nowadays is banksterocracy: bankster-power. Let me quote extensively from Atrios, a USA citizen originally from Australia, with a PhD in economics. Atrios writes a wildly successful blog, taken seriously by major economists. Quoting others extensively, Atrios comes below to the conclusion I reached more than six years ago, about the nature of who rule us, and this is most pleasing:

“Saturday July 4, 2015: What’s It All About Then

Greece’s Euro “membership” isn’t about using the currency, it’s about having access to various loan facilities and support from the ECB, which it already doesn’t have.

Bloomberg reports that Bulgaria, which is not a Euro member but backs its currency with Euro reserves, has just been allowed to borrow from the ECB at the same rate as Euro members, thus enabling it to firewall its banks from Greek contagion. This is a privilege normally only accorded to Euro members – and it has been WITHDRAWN from Greece. If this is true, then Bulgaria (non-Euro member) can obtain Euros from the ECB while Greece (Euro member) cannot. It is hard to see what benefit Greece’s Euro membership confers, apart from redistribution of seigniorage receipts.

And finally someone gets the logical endpoint of central bank “independence.”

For the central bank of a currency union to deliberately restrict the money supply in regions within the currency union is bizarre. No other currency union central bank on earth does this. It would, for example, be unthinkable for the Bank of England to deny liquidity to Scotland’s banks. But the ECB has denied liquidity to Greece’s banks, not because they are insolvent (which is a reasonable reason to deny liquidity to banks) but because the sovereign won’t toe the fiscal line. It has taken on a political role that it should not have.

Of course, the ECB’s shareholders are the member state governments. But those governments have bound themselves by laws and treaties that prevent them interfering with or in any way controlling the ECB. So the Eurozone is in reality a financial dictatorship run by bankers. I struggle to see why anyone would voluntarily join it, let alone want to stay in it. But that’s democracy for you.

Whatever it is, it ain’t democracy. It’s banksterocracy. The concept of central bank independence was, once upon a time, thought to be necessary to prevent irresponsible governments from doing, or being perceived as doing, irresponsible things with the money supply. Now the point of central bank independence is to hand immense power to a bunch of unelected unaccountable people engaged in revolving door careers with the banking system. Let’s continue laughing at the silly Greeks and their silly corruption.  

The first irresponsible thing to do with the money supply is not to provide enough money to run the economy. This was a major problem during the Roman empire’s Fourth Century (due to a dearth of precious metals and not enough police powers to insure the value of the Fiat Currency). By 300 CE, the imperial government instated a massive command and control system to insure the core functions of the economy.

The problem we have now is different: so-called austerity is actually a refusal to finance important sectors of the economy, including not just basic decency, but also science and education. Meanwhile China has boosted its science budget to a nearly incomprehensible 192 billion dollars (more than all the West combined).

China is right. 100%. (Then the land of Confucius gets accused of “ethical breaches”, by professional bleaters, for pulling ahead on genomic research)

On the other hand, those who have starved, and are starving the European economy, from sheer lack of currency, are not just betraying their birthplace, but civilization itself.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Bank Worship

May 20, 2015

BANK WORSHIP IS ALL WHAT MIGHTY ECONOMISTS KNOW:

I have fiercely condemned, for a decade, the policy of reducing the economy to interest rates. As I have said, and will say again below, this is identical to making (private) bankers into gods. “Liberal” (meaning “left” in the USA) economists love to say that low interest rates is all the socialism we need. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman is trying to make fun of the serious arguments found in scholarly critique of his “interest rate idolatry”. Says Paul:

I’m With Stupid.

No doubt, dear Paul, no doubt. Being stupid is more profitable, quite often, than being smart and moral.

Banksters Steal The World, And Prosper, Ever More

Banksters Steal The World, And Prosper, Ever More

Via FT Alphaville, James Montier has an interesting piece castigating economists for their “interest rate idolatry”, their belief that central bank-set interest rates matter a lot for the economy…” Montier writes down notions I used to brandish at the beginning of the Obama presidency. I stopped after I realized everybody (Very Serious People, Academia, High Finance, Politicians, Media) was on the con. That meant, in practice that, if one talked about it too much one was viewed as mentally imbalanced (just as pointing out that the Qur’an prescribes terrorism may one looks as a racist, according to the Politically Correct insects). Here is part of Montier’s well-thought essay:

A wider idolatry: the greatest con ever perpetuated

Lest you think I am being unduly harsh on the world’s poor central bankers, let me turn to the wider idolatry of interest rates that seems to characterise the world in which we live. There seems to be a perception that central bankers are gods (or at the very least minor deities in some twisted economic pantheon). Coupled with this deification of central bankers is a faith that interest rates are a panacea.

Whatever the problem, interest rates can solve it. Inflation too high, simply raise interest rates. Economy too weak, then lower interest rates. A bubble bursts, then slash interest rates, etc., etc. John Kenneth Galbraith poetically described this belief as “…our most prestigious form of fraud, our most elegant escape from reality… The difficulty is that this highly plausible, wholly agreeable process exists only in well-established economic belief and not in real life.”

This obsession with interest rates as a cure-all rests on some dubious views about the way the world works.”

Montier points out that the fundamental official argument for lowering interest rates down to zero is flawed: …”firms generally rely on internal financing to fund investment, rather than borrowing – witness Exhibit 6. Over 100% of gross investment is financed by internal funds.”

The obsession with interest rates has meant, in practice, that so-called liberal, self-described “progressive”, friends of “We The People” economists, have prescribed, implicitly, to lower taxes on the hyper-rich as much as possible. So they masquerade as left-wing, but, in truth, they are plutophiles. This is an old method, and why Polar Bears are white, instead of brown or black as their ancestors were. Montier:

“Just in case you were wondering about the much-lauded ability of the central bank to create inflation via helicopter drops of cash (or its modern-day equivalent), this is actually a form of fiscal policy, not monetary policy. As I noted above, monetary policy alters the distribution of net worth while fiscal policy alters the levels of net worth. Because helicopter drops effectively give everyone a boost of cash, this is clearly a change in net worth and thus is likely to be helpful in stimulating demand.

As you may have gathered from the preceding paragraph, the good news is that there is an alternative to monetary policy, and that is fiscal policy. These days fiscal policy is deeply out of vogue amongst policymakers and politicians. However, it has a much more direct link to growth than any of the channels suggested for monetary policy – it is part of the construction of GDP, and has a clear impact upon incomes.”

Krugman made a very feeble defense, which mostly consisted, weirdly, but tellingly enough, to laud Lawrence Summers, one of the architect of the dismantlement of the financial regulations under Clinton, to create a class of hyper-rich financiers. To his credit, Krugman published my comment:

In the USA, houses are started massively all the times. It’s a mark of unsustainability (presumably flimsy housing is replaced). Reducing the entire economy to this, is imbalanced. Why not consider infrastructure starts? Research? Health?

The fundamental question is: what is an economic activity which is profitable for the society?

The conventional answer is that banks know best. As the banks’ lending goes up as interest rates go down, bringing the latter down, improves the economy, say banks’ friends.

Let’s call that BANK WORSHIP.

Bank worship has enabled big banks’ heads and associated high financiers they collaborate with, to be so powerful and dishonest, that they changed the hearts & minds of all the power that be in society.

The latest case is the French Societe Generale: the police chief in charge of an inquiry on an eight billion dollar fraud therein, now admits, years later, that she was manipulated by the bank (a lower level employee, Jerome Kerviel, was sued, chased down, and condemned severely, although he claims he acted under orders). The fraud was reimbursed by taxpayers. This means that Societe Generale bosses, just in this particular case, of this particular fraud, stole around 50 dollars to each French citizens. Don’t worry for them: the thieves live big. An even bigger picture is that, in the leading countries, big bankers are banksters, and they corrupted institutions of the Republic (including politics, government, justice and police) thoroughly.

The problem is the same in Anglo-America: time after time, giant frauds of the biggest banks are exposed, and they are condemned to fines. In the end, a bank-too-big-to-fail condemned to a fine means nothing: in the worst possible cases, it’s tax payers who pay. It is the case where the criminals’ punishment is to make the victims suffer.

The latest such case is the LIBOR “punishment”, proclaimed today. In it, big banks in London manipulated the world’s leading interest rate (they call that the “market”). You would think that, after stealing billions the heads of banks such as JP Morgan would go to jail. No. Taxpayers go to jail.

Zero Interest Rates, To Serve High Finance Plutocracy:

Another problem is that zero interest rates have proven devastating for small savers, while providing the banks and their accomplices with quasi-unlimited funds for playing with each other the derivatives’ market, something that is not a real economic activity, except by making the richest ever richer.

One lends to the rich. By making lending ever easier, government policy has made the rich ever richer.

Correct economic activity would consist in the government encouraging activities which are profitable to the people at large, very long term.

The “market” is driven with what bankers think is profitable, short term.

Conventional wisdom by the economists in power is that we can trust the bankers to encourage the economic activity most suitable to the “market”, hence society.

Governments were told by the economists in power to make the job of bankers easier, to make for a better economy, hence better society. Trust bankers, give them all the lending capability, hence all the power they want, and We The People will become richer.

Thus the general strategy of bank worship assumes a trait that is true: a banker is a government official. A banker is a non-elected, uncontrolled government official, with unlimited funds, and inexistent oversight by the People’s representatives.

Bankers control the market, which controls the economy, which control society. Is that the society we want? Do we want to be controlled, financed, by an oligarchy of non-elected little Big Brothers who decide what activities the society will engage in?

Bankers are little Big Brothers who are free to finance the high financial class they belong to, as much as they want. That’s why derivative trading is more than ten times larger than real trade, worldwide. This is also why half of the world’s money is in Dark Pools. And so on.

The cause of this nightmarish world is bank worship. Bank worship is very smart for the Big Bankers. Krugman is NOT with stupid, as he disingenuously claim. He is with the winning crowd. To go interact with people such as Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz, the fact is, one needs to be seriously independently wealthy (then one can become a “student”, meaning a future co-conspirator, or mingle at parties).

It is very stupid for the rest of us to have become adulators of bank worship. Bank worship made society subject to a dictatorial oligarchy operating in the shadows.

What happened to the Enlightenment? It seems to have sunk in “Dark Pools”.

Patrice Ayme’

Beware Of Those Who Brought Greeks Gifts

April 20, 2015

The hidden logic in various human activities is often different from the apparent one. This is true in sociology, politics, economics. Consider NAFTA (North American Free Trade Accord), QE (Quantitative Easing: make banks richer so they be gooder), TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership: Terrifying Plutocracy Punishing China), etc.

For a decade the Greeks, having had their Drachmas converted into Euros at twice their natural worth, brought gifts to the rough Germans, by buying their luxury cars. Now Germany is rich and powerful, and Greece poor, and weak. Best conditions to pay for Greek arrogance.

There is totally no economic reason to keep on punishing Greece at this point. So why do the punishments keep on coming? One has to resort to a few twisted psychological explanations.

Lots Of Debt: Some Can Be Turned Into Tax, Some To Foreign Extortion

Lots Of Debt: Some Can Be Turned Into Tax, Some To Foreign Extortion

My twisted psycho analysis will complement the excellent editorial from Krugman: ”Greece on the Brink”.

“…Can Greek exit from the euro be avoided?

Yes, it can. The irony of Syriza’s [the present governing party, in alliance with nationalists] victory is that it came just at the point when a workable compromise should be possible.

The key point is that exiting the euro would be extremely costly and disruptive in Greece, and would pose huge political and financial risks for the rest of Europe. It’s therefore something to be avoided if there’s a halfway decent alternative. And there is, or should be.”

Notice that Paul Krugman has now an opinion on the “Grexit” exactly opposite to the one he had just two years ago. What he and others have not understood, is that I do not see why Greece could not default and stay in the Eurozone. To identify both concepts, is a way to terrify, but it does not have to be, except as a terror instrument.

Krugman: “By late 2014 Greece had managed to eke out a small “primary” budget surplus, with tax receipts exceeding spending, excluding interest payments. That’s all that creditors can reasonably demand, since you can’t keep squeezing blood from a stone. Meanwhile, all those wage cuts have made Greece competitive on world markets — or would make it competitive if some stability can be restored.

The shape of a deal is therefore clear: basically, a standstill on further austerity, with Greece agreeing to make significant but not ever-growing payments to its creditors. Such a deal would set the stage for economic recovery…

But right now that deal doesn’t seem to be coming together… the creditors are demanding things — big cuts in pensions and public employment — that a newly elected government of the left simply can’t agree to, as opposed to reforms like an improvement in tax enforcement that it can. And the Greeks, as I suggested, are all too ready to see these demands as part of an effort either to bring down their government or to make their country into an example of what will happen to other debtor countries if they balk at harsh austerity.

Rightly so: if Greece default, students in the USA, with an outstanding, non-extinguishable debt of 1.2 Trillion dollars (!) may think: ’Why not us?’

Greece has a ratio of 170 per cent of debt to GDP. However, the debt has a very low interest rate and a maturity of over 15 years. Its impact on the economy is much lower than in Portugal, Spain, or Italy. And that is the entire point: the Italian economy is terrible. Last year 170,000 refugees flooded Italy (they came back to be colonized again by the big bad colonialists!)

A new round of Greek restructuring would create political problems for Eurozone governments which, as a percentage of GDP, face a higher interest bill than Greece. How can the Spanish or Italian Prime Minister tell their aghast subjects: ‘Greece has a lower interest burden than we have, but we need to alleviate their burden! And not yours!’

And then there is the question of countries like France, where austerity is applied, while the country is paid by investors to consent to store their money there. That can only mean that, in the light of our guides, austerity is an absolute good.

Krugman detects the will to torture the Greeks, because:

To make things even worse, political uncertainty is hurting tax receipts [and investing!!], probably causing that hard-earned primary surplus to evaporate. The sensible thing, surely, is to show some patience on that front: if and when a deal is reached, uncertainty will subside and the budget should improve again. But in the pervasive atmosphere of distrust, patience is in short supply.

It doesn’t have to be this way. True, avoiding a full-blown crisis would require that creditors advance a significant amount of cash, albeit cash that would immediately be recycled into debt payments. But consider the alternative. The last thing Europe needs is for fraying tempers to bring on yet another catastrophe, this one completely gratuitous.”

None of these apparently absurd policies imposed on Greece, are absurd. They just look absurd to those attached to human rights. From the point of the perpetrators, they are fully logical. And they are certainly not gratuitous.

Contemplate this: If the Greek government succeeded to augment tax revenues, it would succeed to tax the 1% significantly, especially the super-rich. If, in combination with a primary surplus, that was deemed sufficient for the rest of Greece creditors (including those based in Washington, like the IMF), that would be a demonstration for all to see that the present economic crisis has to do with NOT taxing the hyper rich enough. As taxing them would be enough to solve everything.

This is exactly the lesson the plutocrats and their servants do not want to be advertised.

Hence their reluctance to accept that taxing the hyper-rich is enough. But there is a further twist. The “Socialist” French Finance Minster, Sapin, is as hysterical as his German colleagues to insists Greece should pay… Until catastrophe ensues. Of course, as all the others, he has to think about his income once he gets kicked out of government within 2 years (probably). But there is still another angle.

Suppose catastrophe ensues: Greece defaults, exits the Eurozone. Then what? The Euro probably goes down much more (for a long number of reasons… no least that there would have been a default, and Greece would still have to be helped!)

Then the Euro, may go as low as it was when Germany was in great difficulty, a decade ago. So it would be good for Europe: whereas the USA depends only for 13% upon international trade, France depends at 28%, and Germany much more.

Right wing individuals, many of them who have been partners at Goldman Sachs (Monti, or the head of the ECB), or in general are tied in to High Finance, are not interested in seeing a left-wing government succeed, where the right has failed. Creditors will keep destroying the Greek economy. They may be nice people, but mostly with their kind.

One could point to creditors that they were the ones who converted the Drachma at twice its real rate against the Euro. As co-responsible, they should be punished too! However, this would not go in the sense we are supposed to attribute to history.

This Greek tragedy makes sense. Plutocratic sense. This is a world where the weak and small is in debt to the mighty, and has to learn living that way, as serfs did, in the Middle-Ages. Otherwise, they can be made an example of.

Patrice Ayme’

Essence Of The Economic Crisis

April 7, 2015

In 2008, a financial crisis blossomed. It was caused by the rich, those who control the world. Some of the rich lost considerable amounts of money, mostly to other wealthy people and institutions (who had thus become even richer). So doing, the world financial system got destabilized: bankruptcies could propagate.

The most obvious way out was to recover as much money as possible from the rich. Instead, something else was decided, by the powers that be (themselves electorally financed by those who had set-up the system that crashed, and many of them had profited from).

Since 2007, The 1% Have Gone Off The Charts, Leveraging Crisis, Through Obama

Since 2007, The 1% Have Gone Off The Charts, Leveraging Crisis, Through Obama

To resolve optimally the near-destruction of the financial system in 2008, it was decided to make We the People pay. Saving the richest individuals and institutions was objective number one. So little savers saw their saving rates go down to zero. Workers, even productive workers, such as researchers in fundamental science saw financing go down drastically. Projects went unfinanced, researchers had to quit research. This happened in Great Britain, among nearly all other developed countries (Switzerland being an exception).

Thus “Austerity” is just about We The People going starving, in all sorts of ways and dimensions. Meanwhile, the richest people and institutions in the world kept paying no, or very little, taxes.

Google in Britain made billions, and paid very little tax (a “Google Tax” is supposed to come in, the Conservatives grandly declared, a few months before the elections). Hyper wealthy Brits claim to reside overseas, and thus pay very little tax, and it is perfectly legal.

All over we see the same problem. So question: why do not the richest people and institutions, those with the greatest means, who need very little of what they have, be the first to experience austerity?

Distributing their riches would augments economic activity overall.

Conversely, not distributing the riches of the hyper rich diminishes overall economic activity.

The graph above clearly shows that this entirely a political problem. Policies (at least in the USA) were not friendly to the hyper wealthy, after the crash of 1929-1930. During, and after the war, the USA was managed in a way that was, relatively speaking, socialist.

Reagan though surfed a wave of resentment by the wealthy that originated in California with Prop.13 (and Reagan’s election as governor, and Nixon as president, earlier than that).

So here we are. A few hands take all the decisions, and they are most happy, the more they can grab in money and power.

Larry Fink CEO of the fund company Blackrock (managing more than 4 billion dollars in investments) warned companies that they are demolishing societies by redistributing too much wealth to the wealthy, at the expense of everything else.

Carl Icahn, a plutocrat worth 24 billion dollars, hearing of Fink’s critique, agreed, and lashed out at the CEO class: …”What is even more dangerous and concerning is that so many of our companies do not have CEO’s that have the ability to make investments, let alone run the companies they are now charged with…”

It is even criminal: the hyper rich, and the CEO’s class serving it, are actually not just destroying the world’s socio-economy, but threatening the survivability of the biosphere (the CO2 crisis is a case in point: a handful of plutocrats, fully using their enormous powers, have poisoned world public opinion, and decision making; so we are adding 2% of the total content of CO2 in the atmosphere, every year, half going in the ocean. That was entirely avoidable).

Most very wealthy people are not amused by Fink’s and Icahn’s opinion. They would rather deny there is a problem, they will point out that we live in the best possible world, so far.

So did the passengers of the Titanic, enjoying the most luxurious, fastest trip ever, on a perfectly unsinkable ship.

Reality can be a most ominous fate. Even for plutocrats.

Patrice Ayme’

Plutocracy: I Lie, Therefore I Am

March 14, 2015

Submission To High Finance From Propaganda To Corruption, USA To EU:

IN EUROPE, OR ELSEWHERE. WHAT IS IT TO BE PROGRESSIVE, OR ON THE LEFT?

The debate about what is progress has been going since before Marx was a toddler. Actually, one can go back to Voltaire, and even all the way back to philosopher Abelard fighting Saint Bernard (Twelfth Century).

Abelard believed in debate (“Sic et Non”). Whereas Saint Bernard was all about having explained the world, all by himself, by following the herd, just as the average Christian gnu. Bernard, one of history’s greatest criminals, and thus, a “Saint, said, with revealing madness: ”I believe though I do not comprehend, and I hold by faith what I cannot grasp with the mind.”

Nowadays, many emulate Bernard, holding by faith that what they call the “free market” is the way to whatever they believe we are going to. In the “Free Market”, which is neither free, nor a market, banksters are free to enslave Peoples with as much interest as catches their fancy:

Unemployment Reached Nearly 30% in Greece, To Serve Better Banksters & Their Obsequious Servants

Unemployment Reached Nearly 30% in Greece, To Serve Better Banksters & Their Obsequious Servants

[Well above 50% of the total Greek debt is interest. The graph shall be produced another day! Greece has been ravaged by plutocracy, but is starting to resist.]

My answer is the simplest, to guide those who want a better, or just survivable world: You want progress, go with the truth. And truth is always from debate. That is what should guide the “left”, or whatever they want to call themselves.

Want some simple truths?

***

WHY CLIMATE CRIMINALS ARE RICH:

Vanuatu was just lashed by a grade 5, maximum force hurricane. Those used to be very rare. But heat is energy, so more heat, more energy.

A truth that is simple: California is experiencing the greatest drought in millennia. This is directly related, in my learned opinion, to the general accelerated upwelling observed along such coasts, at such latitudes, worldwide.

Thus the unfolding California disaster (expect striking restrictions within weeks), is part of a much more general catastrophe.

Ironically, California, as the epicenter of USA propaganda, is punished by its own instruments.

This ecological disaster wisdom is percolating down. “70% of the unfolding catastrophes experienced today are caused by the climate change.” Just said in Japan, Laurent Fabius, the extremely experienced French Foreign Minister (an ex-Prime Minister).

His USA homologue, John Kerry warned: “future generations will not and should not forgive those who ignore this moment, no matter their reasoning… It is time, my friends, for people to do real cost accounting,” Kerry said. “The bottom line is that we can’t only factor in the price of immediate energy needs. We have to include the long-term cost of carbon pollution. We have to factor in the cost of survival. And if we do, we will find that pursuing clean energy now is far more affordable than paying for the consequences of climate change later.”

Survival is the concept I have been using for years.

When the greenhouse crisis will strike in full, BILLIONS will die. It’s not just a question of acidic seas rising. One thing will lead to another. Giant wars will erupt as ecological systems collapse.

The attack on Crimea by Putin was fully part of it: Crimea controls half of the Black Sea potential oil fields (and exploration was set to start; now it has been blocked by Western law; companies such as Chevron are blocked; corrupt and backward Russia does not have the tech). Ukraine also has potential vast reserve of Shale Oil and Gas.

One should speak of climate derangement caused by the CO2 CRISIS…

***

PAY SCIENTISTS WELL, THEY WILL SAY AS PLUTO WANTS:

It turns out that some Climate Skeptics” were paid by the fossil fuel industries. All the way to the usual suspect, Harvard University. Cash for claims, that is the faith of academics who grew up in plutocratic universities (I have spent two decades in them, I should have seen many things; I did).

Says the New York Times: “For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity.”

The New York Times then details the case of a Harvard-Heritage Foundation, Asian looking (that seems more serious), prostitute, who got at least 1.2 million dollars below the table to say absurdities about CO2.

“Historians and sociologists of science say that since the tobacco wars of the 1960s, corporations trying to block legislation that hurts their interests have employed a strategy of creating the appearance of scientific doubt, usually with the help of ostensibly independent researchers who accept industry funding.

Fossil-fuel interests have followed this approach for years, but the mechanics of their activities remained largely hidden.

[By the way, the recent revelation are coming, through Greenpeace, thanks to Freedom of Information Act, which acts only on government agencies, in this case the Smithsonian Institution; lying, private, plutocratic universities are not forced to reveal the corruption; and also: why did the Obama administration revealed it by itself?]

“The whole doubt-mongering strategy relies on creating the impression of scientific debate,” said Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science at Harvard University…”

The god debate in the USA is the mother of all plutocratically founded brain washing: thousands of extremely rich people in the USA work for god, and are paid by taxpayers.

Plutocrats love god, because god works for them.

As Jesus will save all Americans, Americans should just lay nailed to the cross, as plutocrats walk all over them, and just thank them for giving us a hard time, easing our way closer to you, my lord (of Wall Street).

***

SWEDISH CIA WHORES CHANGING SONGS:

So Sweden, who told us that it was “illegal” to go interview Julian Assange for hard-to-believe sex charges, is changing its mind. Now that plutocrats have spent already 20 million dollars keeping him caged because he looked at a Swedish CIA woman funny.

After 1,000 days of detention in the Ecuadoran embassy, Julian Assange will be interviewed by Swedish prosecutors inside the embassy (for having sex in a non-Swedish way).

British plutocracy has spent more than 10 million pounds watching Assange. Yes, more than 18 million dollars.

Money in the pursuit of plutocracy has no limits. This, from a government which introduced PAY TO PLAY, all over Britain, including education.

It is widely expected that, as Sweden is a stooge for the USA, Assange would be deported to the Guantanamo Archipelago, to see his human rights trampled into nothingness. Nothing personal, it’s all about terrorizing Americans.

Sweden’s Minister of Justice, Bodström

Two women admitted to consensual sexual relations with Assange, but then asked him, they said, to stop what they had agreed to, and that he did not. After this sort of interrupted coitus interruptus, one woman lauded Assange on the Internet, and to the next future victim, who proceed immediately to be equally victimized, upon apparent recommendation of the first.

It turned out that one of the accusers of Assange provided the CIA torture program called “rendition” with victims. So Sweden’s Minister of Justice, Bodström tortures, and that is OK. (That was obvious all along, as he tortured Assange for all to see.)

Assange’s biggest crime? Publishing a video showing Americans pilots gunning down journalists, and then those who tried to rescue them. The Pentagon immediately claimed that WikiLeaks was a “security threat”.

It obviously said something about the USA, namely that the behavior of police in Ferguson is something that the USA finds so natural (shoot first, check later) that it is anti-American to reveal it.

***

HAVE THE COURAGE TO CALL POLITICIANS CORRUPT CRIMINALS:

Matthew Yglesias repeated like a parrot what I have said for many years: small-country, and even medium-countries (Sarkozy, Brown, Blair, Monti, Schroeder), or large-countries (Clinton) politicians generally have personal incentives to go along with troika, or plutocratic demands even if they are against their nation’s interests:

“Normally you would think that a national prime minister’s best option is to try to do the stuff that’s likely to get him re-elected. No matter how bleak the outlook, this is your dominant strategy. But in the era of globalization and EU-ification, I think the leaders of small countries are actually in a somewhat different situation. If you leave office held in high esteem by the Davos set, there are any number of European Commission or IMF or whatnot gigs that you might be eligible for even if you’re absolutely despised by your fellow countrymen. Indeed, in some ways being absolutely despised would be a plus. The ultimate demonstration of solidarity to the “international community” would be to do what the international community wants even in the face of massive resistance from your domestic political constituency.”

But a genuine government of the left would be very different. And this is what we have got in Greece right now with Syriza. — not because its policy ideas are wild and crazy, which they aren’t, but because its officials are never going to be held in high esteem, and great gratitude by the Davos, private jet set. Alexis Tsipras is not going to be on bank boards of directors, president of the BIS, or, probably, an EU commissioner. Neither he, nor Finance Minister Varoufakis even like to wear ties, and they have announced they won’t wear any as long as the Greek debt crisis goes on.

Yglesias’ cogent remarks are nothing new, I have been writing about them for more than a decade. OK, Yglesias is part of the establishment of sorts, he has high visibility, he went the plutocratic university par excellence, Harvard, studying philosophy, so he is supposed to be taken seriously (Krugman refers to him continuously, while censoring my declarations saying the same for years).

All right, so that leaders of small countries betray their countries to foster their careers, is not new, indeed. Draghi, for example is a pure product of AMERICAN plutocracy (PhD MIT, jobs at prestigious American Think (Sink?) Tanks, Goldman Sachs, etc.). So how come this pure pluto made in USA is one of the leaders of Europe? Because European plutocracy is the poodle of American plutocracy.

Not that I do not like Draghi. He is better than his Prussian alternatives. That was just an example.

The situation with Luxembourg and Juncker has been even worse: we are talking about 200 billions of tax evasion a year, there.

When there is no economy but corruption, Pluto is its prophet.

We need a name for all this activity. We have it: corruption.

OK, let’s take a rest. Next I will explain why, as in Greece, Nationalism may help. Syriza governs with a right wing party. In Israel, the corrupt Netanyahu may lose power to a left wing opposition which proclaims its nationalism (“Zionism”).

But it will not end before the fat lady sings, and it’s in France that she playing Valkyrie. Fear, little Plutos, the pain you visited on the world!

Patrice Ayme’


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Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism