Ignore the debts, the spending, and the funny money. Ignore this chart of adjusted U.S. inflation from 1665 to the near present (especially the period after 1913).
Now, back to the football – for once I’m serious about that.
Ignore the debts, the spending, and the funny money. Ignore this chart of adjusted U.S. inflation from 1665 to the near present (especially the period after 1913).
Now, back to the football – for once I’m serious about that.
Surely Marx, Engels, and Co. were aware of this older episode of “Messianic Communism”. Rothbard’s masterful account deserves reading as a warning to Austrians, Christians, and everyone else.
The first mighty program of this rigid theocracy was, of course, to purge the New Jerusalem of the unclean and the ungodly, as a prelude to their ultimate extermination throughout the world. Matthys called therefore for the execution of all remaining Catholics and Lutherans, but Knipperdollinck’s cooler head prevailed, since he warned Matthys that slaughtering all other Christians than themselves might cause the rest of the world to become edgy, and they might all come and crush the New Jerusalem in its cradle. It was therefore decided to do the next best thing, and on February 27 the Catholic and Lutherans were driven out of the city, in the midst of a horrendous snowstorm. In a deed prefiguring communist Cambodia, all non-Anabaptists, including old people, invalids, babies and pregnant women were driven into the snowstorm, and all were forced to leave behind all their money, property, food and clothing. The remaining Lutherans and Catholics were compulsorily rebaptized, and all refusing this ministration were put to death.
The expulsion of all Lutherans and Catholics was enough for the bishop, who began a long military siege of the town the next day, on February 28. With every person drafted for siege work, Jan Matthys launched his totalitarian communist social revolution.
The first step was to confiscate the property of the expelled. All their worldly goods were placed in central depots, and the poor were encouraged to take “according to their needs,” the “needs” to be interpreted by seven appointed “deacons” chosen by Matthys. When a blacksmith protested at these measures imposed by Dutch foreigners, Matthys arrested the courageous smithy. Summoning the entire population of the town, Matthys personally stabbed, shot, and killed the “godless” blacksmith, as well as throwing into prison several eminent citizens who had protested against his treatment. The crowd was warned to profit by this public execution, and they obediently sang a hymn in honour of the killing.
A key part of the Anabaptist reign of terror in Münster was now unveiled. Unerringly, just as in the case of the Cambodian communists four-and-a-half centuries later, the new ruling elite realized that the abolition of the private ownership of money would reduce the population to total slavish dependence on the men of power. And so Matthys, Rothmann and others launched a propaganda campaign that it was unchristian to own money privately; that all money should be held in “common,” which in practice meant that all money whatsoever must be handed over to Matthys and his ruling clique. Several Anabaptists who kept or hid their money were arrested and then terrorized into crawling to Matthys on their knees, begging forgiveness and beseeching him to intercede with God on their behalf. Matthys then graciously “forgave” the sinners.
After two months of severe and unrelenting pressure, a combination of propaganda about the Christianity of abolishing private money, and threats and terror against those who failed to surrender, the private ownership of money was effectively abolished in Münster. The government seized all the money and used it to buy or hire goods from the outside world. Wages were doled out in kind by the only remaining employer: the theocratic Anabaptist state.
Food was confiscated from private homes, and rationed according to the will of the government deacons. Also, to accommodate the immigrants, all private homes were effectively communized, with everyone permitted to quarter themselves anywhere; it was now illegal to close, let alone lock, doors. Communal dining-halls were established, where people ate together to readings from the Old Testament.
This compulsory communism and reign of terror was carried out in the name of community and Christian “love.” All this communization was considered the first giant steps toward total egalitarian communism, where, as Rothmann put it, “all things were to be in common, there was to be no private property and nobody was to do any more work, but simply trust in God.” The workless part, of course, somehow never arrived.
This now seems like the same old song and massacre. The slightly more equal “leaders” lived in luxury while the slightly less equal peasants starved (or were executed). All in the name of religion. Some might still tell us of the righteousness – Romans 13 and all.
We’ve experienced many episodes of the like since, in God’s name and man’s. Yet, Someone warned us about this sort of thing long before.
John of Leiden, “King” of Munster and All the World, Communist, Murderer, Liar. Wiki.
Just in time for Halloween the Senate has approved a Bill, destined to become law, which would shield banks from class action law suits.
Banks, credit card issuers and other financial companies will be able to block customers from banding together to sue over disputes, after the U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly killed a rule banning the firms from using “forced arbitration” clauses.
Republican Vice President Mike Pence appeared on the Senate floor at 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT) to cast the tie-breaking vote as the chamber’s president and approve the most significant roll-back of Obama-era financial policy since President Donald Trump took office vowing to loosen the leash on Wall Street. The final count was 51 to 50.
The Republican-dominated House of Representatives has already passed the resolution repealing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule released in July, which also bars regulators from instituting a similar ban in the future.
Class actions are a mixed bag. But, in some cases, they do represent an easier way for multiple defendants to air real grievances, usually against a much more powerful plaintiff. An example:
Mega Bank X illegally created a million plus fake accounts in order to boost fees and manipulate earnings, their customers none the wiser. Said actions, already illegal, had financial ramifications for many of the unaware
marks customers. The government, caring nothing for justice, mildly slapped Mega Bank’s wrist, as the guilty executives rode into the sunset with million$ in bonuse$. Many marks customers felt robbed, as they were.
In this case, which I did not make up, a class was formed from the affected victims and proceeded to court. Such action will not be tolerated much longer. The banksters own the government and write most laws for their benefit – not yours. Your job is to suffer and pay and keep quiet.
Oh, and to vote. Please vote. Your vote counts! You must legitimize the system that robs you. It’s your civic duty. And you get a little sticker – just like second grade.
Now, speaking of Halloween: I have a special feature coming shortly. Stay tuned.
Yesterday we learned from the Justice Department [SIC] – and NO ONE could have contemplated this – that there is corruption in college athletics. I, myself, am disillusioned beyond words. Luckily, Gary North has several of them. His economic analysis makes more sense than anything else I’ve heard – certainly from the fake news and
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a cartel. It exists in order to hold down payments to star athletes who are in a position to generate revenues for specific universities. University administrators want to have athletic programs. Major universities in the collegiate sports world, Rogge said, get huge amounts of money from ticket sales. They also get big donations from rich alumni who love collegiate sports. What he said 40 years ago of course applies today, except the amounts of money are so much greater because of televised sports.
Administrators in these sports-focused universities do not want to pay their most valuable athletes a market wage for the privilege of generating money from their performances. So, they collude. This is price fixing, pure and simple.
Unlike almost every other industry, the government allows the NCAA to establish rules forbidding market-based payments to star athletes. The athletes are allowed to receive scholarships, despite the fact that they are not scholars, but that is supposed to be the limit of payments to the athletes.
There is a fundamental rule of economics: unless they are defended by the government, cartels always break down. They can be sustained only by government intervention. The government protects the cartels from members of the cartel who break the rules of the cartel in order to increase market share and thereby increase net income. The government makes cartel-busting a crime. In the case of the movie and also in the case of the latest scandals, net income is really what it is all about.
What we are seeing is the intervention of governments around the country to defend the NCAA’s cartel. If it were not for government intervention to keep coaches from paying full ticket for the valuable services of the best players, major universities would be forced to pay millions of dollars to these players, just as professional sports teams have to pay their players. A free market would prevail.
So, yet again, the very same government that creates the real problems rushes in to punish and prosecute non-issues and side solutions. Neat.
College athletics in America originally started for the most part as student run clubs. Faculty advisers were sought out at some point. Then, as the popularity grew, the schools saw the $$$$$ potential. So they created the racket we now call the National Collegiate Athletic Association. It is a cartel. A racket. It is theft from young, talented athletes for the billion-dollar benefit of the schools, coaches, networks, assorted hangers-on, stadium contractors, and of course, the NCAA.
Auburn University, one of the schools in the DOJ’s case, touted record athletic revenue of $124 Million in 2015. Most of this – a huge percentage – was generated by the football and (men’s) basketball programs alone.
The combined rosters of those two sports total around 115 young men. They gave the university $124 Million.
In return they received “scholarships.” Many were injured. Some very few might have actually learned something. Oh yeah, they get “experience” and “team building” and other buzzword BS. They could get all that on a regular job – along with a pay check.
Let’s just assume the “scholarships” cover everything and that the “scholars” are all from outside Alabama. By that measure and my rough count, the school spent a total of $5,520,000 on labor (assuming full rides at $48,000 per year [out of state estimate]). (And this is likely on the high side). That’s 4% of the total revenues. That’s pitiful.
Paying each “scholar” only $50,000 for the work they perform would raise the expense to about 8%. I’m sure they could live with that, passing the increase on to fans and TV advertisers.
As is, the players get $0 – ZERO – nothing. Only a small handful will ever make money in the NBA or the NFL. The rest are used and discarded in something like a plantation system. (Where are those SJWs???)
Break it up! Independent Institute.
All of this theft of talent and time (and general mockery of academia) is protected by your government. And, if you’re a “die-hard” fan, you’re fostering the problem.
The sports will never return to student organized club activities just for fun. Nor are they likely to go free market, as North suggests, anytime soon. You, your cartel, and its government like the way things are right now.
Take a knee on that.
*Oops, seems I found a few words of my own anyway. Calculator too…
Melbourne, Australia takes the honor for the highest quality of life – the seven year in a row. Good on ya!
Melbourne, Australia ranks as No. 1 for the seventh consecutive year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 10th annual “Global Livability Ranking” of 140 cities around the world. It was followed by Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Adelaide, Perth, Auckland, Helsinki and Hamburg. The first American city to make the ranking was Honolulu at No. 17, followed by Washington, D.C. (No. 20), Boston (No. 34), Chicago and Miami (joint No. 38) and Pittsburgh (No. 41).
Over the past decade, there’s been a European currency crisis, anti-austerity riots, civil wars in Europe and the Middle East, a refugee crisis, mounting terror attacks and, most recently, civil unrest in the U.S. marked by the white supremacist marches. The average global livability score fell to 74.8% in 2017 from 76.1% in 2007. But 12 cities registered improvements in livability compared with just six that registered declines, said John Copestake, editor of the survey.
Log in and see where your town stands.
The stock market, all 22,000+ of it, is but one of many bubbles a bubblin’ away under the economy.
Major U.S. stock-market indexes are trading near record levels, but does that statistic simply mask an ominous picture that’s being painted behind the scenes?
“The good performance of these large companies is masking the fact that many stocks, including REITs and those in the retail sector, have already entered bear-market territory,” Lamensdorf wrote, referring to real estate investment trusts.
Separately, a read on market supply and demand from Ned Davis Research has shown weakening demand for stocks, despite major indexes continuing to grind higher, while the supply metric has started to rise. Rising supply and lower demand could indicate waning enthusiasm for equities at current levels.
There have been other signs of worsening technicals. Currently, 60.4% of S&P 500 components are above their 50-day moving average, considered a positive sign for short-term momentum. In mid-July, nearly 75% were, according to StockCharts. For the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.16% only 47.3% of components are above their 50-day, compared with 67% in late July, a dramatic swing lower.
Recently, nearly 6% of New York Stock Exchange- and Nasdaq-listed securities hit a 52-week low on a day when the S&P 500 ended at a record, according to data from Sentimentrader that was cited by Lamensdorf, who called this “an alarming percentage.”
He added that it was the second-highest level going back as far as 1965, and that “Similar spikes occurred in 1973 and 1999, both directly preceding significant corrections.”
History. Read it.
He may be a little older and maybe a little out of touch but that doesn’t mean he’s not right. Alan Greenspan sees a bubble in the bond market (with broader ramifications):
“By any measure, real long-term interest rates are much too low and therefore unsustainable,” the former Federal Reserve chairman, 91, said in an interview. “When they move higher they are likely to move reasonably fast. We are experiencing a bubble, not in stock prices but in bond prices. This is not discounted in the marketplace.”
While the consensus of Wall Street forecasters is still for low rates to persist, Greenspan isn’t alone in warning they will break higher quickly as the era of global central-bank monetary accommodation ends. Deutsche Bank AG’s Binky Chadha says real Treasury yields sit far below where actual growth levels suggest they should be. Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets, says it’s only a matter of time before inflationary pressures hit the bond market.
“The real problem is that when the bond-market bubble collapses, long-term interest rates will rise,” Greenspan said. “We are moving into a different phase of the economy — to a stagflation not seen since the 1970s. That is not good for asset prices.”
Of course, what’s the worry? We have the same central bank that Greenspan used to Chair in firm control. They’ve never been wrong about anything nor caused anything but growth and prosperity. Bubble, schubble…
They can’t or won’t repeal, replace, tune-up, or modify ObamaCare. They won’t cut taxes. They won’t maintain even the semblance of a coherent legislature.
But rest assured they will raise the debt ceiling. No idea what the guy in the story from Goldman (the one still working there and not in the administration) is fretting about. It’s a done deal.
In a letter to lawmakers Friday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the federal borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, needed to be raised by Sept. 29 or the government risked running out of money to pay its bills.
The Treasury Department has been employing cash-conservation measures since March, when borrowing hit the formal ceiling of nearly $20 trillion. Those measures are expected to run out in early to mid-October. When they do, the government won’t have money to pay interest on debt, write Social Security checks or make millions of other routine payments, unless it can tap credit markets for borrowing to raise additional cash. Missing payments could send financial markets in a tailspin.
It’s canon now; raise it and then raise it again. There’s no pretense anymore about fiscal responsibility. No more “this is the last time,” or “this one and then never again,” or “doing it now and then we’ll pare down the spending…” Blah, blah, blah. Up, up, up it goes.
The question is “how high?” And I have no idea. If they only through in another $Trillion or two, then they’ll be back again with this next year. Why not double it? Triple? Why not just leave it open-ended or infinite?
Four Winds / Newsday.
Paul Craig Roberts on the gullibility of Americans and those ever so happy to lie to them:
The false reality constructed for Americans parallels perfectly the false reality constructed by Big Brother in George Orwells’ dystopic novel 1984.
Consider the constant morphing of “the Muslim threat” from al-Qaeda to the Taliban, to al-Nursra, to ISIS to ISIL, to Daesh with a jump to Russia. All of a sudden 16 years of Middle East wars against “terrorists” and “dictators” have become a matter of standing up to Russia, the country most threatened by Muslim terrorism, and the country most capable of wiping the United States and its vassal empire off of the face of the earth.
Domestically, Americans are assured that, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s policy of quantitative easing, that is, flooding the financial markets with newly printed money that has driven up the prices of stocks and bonds, America has enjoyed an economic recovery since June of 2009, which must be one of the longest recoveries in history despite the absence of growth in median real family incomes, despite the growth in real retail sales, despite the falling labor force participation rate, despite the lack of high value-added, high productivity, high wage jobs.
The “recovery” is more than a mystery. It is a miracle. It exists only on fake newspaper.
Chasing and creating phantoms while the economy rots.
And of the economy, rumors circulate that Trump will soon make it four in a row at the Fed’s helm:
President Donald Trump is increasingly unlikely to nominate Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen next year for a second term, four people close to the process said.
National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn is now the leading candidate to succeed Yellen as the world’s most important central banker, these people said. Yellen begins two days of congressional testimony on Wednesday, and her own future in the job may come up in questioning.
If Trump taps Cohn for the Fed, it could enrage economic nationalists in the White House and some staunchly conservative Republicans on Capitol Hill who don’t like the former Goldman Sachs president’s background as a Democrat who generally favors free trade.
And it would spur a backlash from progressive lawmakers who have blasted the president for picking multiple Goldman alums to run economic policy.
While the departure of Aunt Janet would be a great thing, her replacement by the former president of Goldman does not induce that warm, fuzzy feeling.
The best thing about Cohn is that he isn’t a credentialed economist – those have been dead wrong about everything for the past 100+ years. Otherwise, this will be the fox managing the henhouse.
But, hey, it’s now less than two months until football season…
Cities and counties float bonds to pay for things. Different agencies rate those bonds. Now, Hartford, one of the formerly wealthiest cities in America’s wealthiest state has the distinction of holding junk bond status.
And yet, while Illinois squirms in the agony of the unknown, another municipality that as recently as a month ago was rumored to be looking at a bankruptcy filing, the state capital of Connecticut, Hartford, no longer has to dread the unknown: on Tuesday afternoon, S&P pulled off the band-aid, and downgraded the city’s bond rating by two notches to BB from BBB-, also known as junk, citing “growing liquidity pressures” and “weaker market access prospects”, while keeping the city’s General Obligation bonds on Creditwatch negative meaning more downgrades are likely imminent.
“The downgrade to ‘BB’ reflects our opinion of very weak diminished liquidity, including uncertain access to external liquidity and very weak management conditions as multiple city officials have publicly indicated they are actively considering bankruptcy,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Victor Medeiros. Hartford has engaged an outside law firm with expertise in financial restructuring. Officials also mentioned that the city would initiate discussions with bondholders for concessions to implement a debt restructuring if it didn’t receive the necessary support in the state’s 2019 biennial budget.
S&P also said that Hartford may be downgraded again if the state passage of a budget is significantly delayed, or if the city were not to receive sufficient support in a timely manner that would enable it to manage liquidity and allow it to meet obligations in a timely manner.
Make room in the roost. The chickens are back.
There’s a reason for all this. There’s a reason why our States, cities, counties, and territories are going utterly bankrupt. It goes beyond financial mismanagement and the economic cycle (which we’re supposed to be riding high now). In a word, the reason is “communism.”
They don’t officially call it that but that’s just what it is. From each according to his ability to pay, these locales have taxed the daylights out of the productive. And they give to each of the unproductive according to his needs via the welfare “services” looted from the taxpayers.
The taxpayers notice this and resent it. They are further burdened with co-existing with those non-productive elements, who rapidly move in to take advantage.
The payers take their wealth and abilities and leave. The cities are stuck with a surly, lazy, uneducable, and criminally disposed population. There’s your “very weak diminished liquidity” problem.
One may notice, if one looks around, that this sort of thing is spreading. It would seem unsustainable because it is.
“Collapse” and “reset” come to mind. The questions are: “When?” and “How?”
NBC / Somebody’s Pinterest.