Cliff High – Fed Will Crash & Fed Is the Market


Greg Hunter

TWO TRIBES

TwoTribes2

Internet Data mining expert Clif High’s latest report says, ““The emotions at the moment are projecting a crash of the ability of the state to function. . . . We have the projection that there is going to be some sort of big government crash. It concerns funding, interruption or something. . . . We have something akin to a definition change relative to bonds. . . . One way to think about this is there is going to be a human collective or re-understanding, or new understanding, about the whole bond market as we go forward in August, September and October. This is going to cause huge disruptions for governments, which basically depends on the bonds as its source of funds. I don’t know what that definition is going to mean, but the way the language is presenting itself, it’s very much like the same language that appeared in newspapers ahead of the Bretton Woods conference. . . . At that time, a bunch of countries got together around WWII and talked about how to deal with gold, money and the dollar after the war was over. . . . We have that same kind of language now relative to the bonds. . . .This redefinition is going to cause real problems relative to governments. If I had to guess, I don’t think we will have a stock market crash, but a government crash or Fed crash or bank crash. I don’t think a stock market crash will be meaningful because by the time it crashes, nobody will care because before we get there, the Fed will crash. The Fed is the market.”

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The Federal Reserve Is Setting Up Trump For A Recession, A Housing Crisis And A Stock Market Crash?


TheEconomicCollapse

How The Federal Reserve Is Setting Up Trump For A Recession, A Housing Crisis And A Stock Market Crash

By Michael Snyder

Most Americans do not understand this, but the truth is that the Federal Reserve has far more power over the U.S. economy than anyone else does, and that includes Donald Trump.  Politicians tend to get the credit or the blame for how the economy is performing, but in reality it is an unelected, unaccountable panel of central bankers that is running the show, and until something is done about the Fed our long-term economic problems will never be fixed.  For an extended analysis of this point, please see this article.  In this piece, I am going to explain why the Federal Reserve is currently setting the stage for a recession, a new housing crisis and a stock market crash, and if those things happen unfortunately it will be Donald Trump that will primarily get the blame.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates, and there is even the possibility that they will call for an acceleration of future rate hikes

Economists generally believe the central bank’s median estimate will continue to call for three quarter-point rate increases both this year and in 2018. But there’s some risk that gets pushed to four as inflation nears the Fed’s annual 2% target and business confidence keeps juicing markets in anticipation of President Trump’s plan to cut taxes and regulations.

During the Obama years, the Federal Reserve pushed interest rates all the way to the floor, and this artificially boosted the economy.  In a recent article, Gail Tverberg explained how this works…

With falling interest rates, monthly payments can be lower, even if prices of homes and cars rise. Thus, more people can afford homes and cars, and factories are less expensive to build. The whole economy is boosted by increased “demand” (really increased affordability) for high-priced goods, thanks to the lower monthly payments.

Asset prices, such as home prices and farm prices, can rise because the reduced interest rate for debt makes them more affordable to more buyers. Assets that people already own tend to inflate, making them feel richer. In fact, owners of assets such as homes can borrow part of the increased equity, giving them more spendable income for other things. This is part of what happened leading up to the financial crash of 2008.

But the opposite is also true.

When interest rates rise, borrowing money becomes more expensive and economic activity slows down.

For the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates right now is absolutely insane.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s most recent projection, GDP growth for the first quarter of 2017 is supposed to be an anemic 1.2 percent.  Personally, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we actually ended up with a negative number for the first quarter.

As Donald Trump has explained in detail, the U.S. economy is a complete mess right now, and we are teetering on the brink of a new recession.

So why in the world would the Fed raise rates unless they wanted to hurt Donald Trump?

Raising rates also threatens to bring on a new housing crisis.  Interest rates were raised prior to the subprime mortgage meltdown in 2007 and 2008, and now we could see history repeat itself.  When rates go higher, it becomes significantly more difficult for families to afford mortgage payments

The rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage reached its all-time low in November 2012, at just 3.31%. As of this week, it was 4.21%, and by the end of 2018, it could go as high as 5.5%, forecasts Matthew Pointon, a property economist for Capital Economics.

He points out that for a homeowner with a $250,000 mortgage fixed at 3.8%, annual payments are $14,000. If that homeowner moved to a similarly-priced home but had a 5.5% rate, their annual payments would rise by $3,000 a year, to $17,000.

Of course stock investors do not like rising rates at all either.  Stocks tend to rise in low rate environments such as we have had for the past several years, and they tend to fall in high rate environments.

And according to CNBC, a “coming stock market correction” could be just around the corner…

Investors are in for a rude awakening about a coming stock market correction — most just don’t know it yet. No one knows when the crash will come or what will cause it — and no one can. But what’s worse for most investors is they have no clue how much they stand to lose when it inevitably happens.

“If you look at the market historically, we have had, on average, a crash about every eight to 10 years, and essentially the average loss is about 42 percent,” said Kendrick Wakeman, CEO of financial technology and investment analytics firm FinMason.

If stocks start to fall, how low could they ultimately go?

One technical analyst that has a stunning record of predicting short-term stock market declines in recent years is saying that the Dow could potentially drop “by more than 6,000 points to 14,800″

But if the technical stars collide, as one chartist predicts, the blue-chip gauge could soon plunge by more than 6,000 points to 14,800. That’s nearly 30% lower, based on Friday’s close.

Sandy Jadeja, chief market strategist at Master Trading Strategies, claims several predicted stock market crashes to his name — all of them called days, or even weeks, in advance. (He told CNBC viewers, for example, that the August 2015 “Flash Crash” was coming 18 days before it hit.) He’s also made prescient calls on gold and crude oil.

And he’s extremely concerned about what this year could bring for investors. “The timeline is rapidly approaching” for the next potential Dow meltdown, said Jadeja, who shares his techniques via workshops and seminars.

Most big stock market crashes tend to happen in the fall, and that is what I portray in my novel, but the truth is that they can literally happen at any time.  If you have not seen my recent rant about how ridiculously overvalued stocks are at this moment in history, you can find it right here.  Whether you want to call it a “crash”, a “correction”, or something else, the truth is that a major downturn is coming for stocks and the only question is when it will strike.

And when things start to get bad, most of the blame will be dumped on Trump, but it won’t primarily be his fault.

It was the Federal Reserve that created this massive financial bubble, and they will also be responsible for popping it.  Hopefully we can get the American people to understand how these things really work so that accountability for what is coming can be placed where it belongs.

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The Best Way for Economists to Stay Relevant Today Is to Go Out of Business


TheDailyBell

By Daily Bell Staff – January 11, 2017

How Economists Can Stay Relevant Under Trump … Economists are going to have to approach things a bit differently if they want to stay relevant in the Trump age. Political economy research is going to become more important. Some humility wouldn’t hurt. And they should look someplace other than the federal government to test their ideas.  This is what I took away from this past weekend’s American Economic Association’s annual conference, where I heard a panel with five Nobel-winning economists on the topic of “Where is the world economy headed?” – Bloomberg

God willing, they can’t. Economics, as a profession is part of central banking. Almost no economics, with the exception of Austrian economics rejects central banking.

But economics as a part of central banking includes price fixing. Whenever central bankers meet they fix short term interest rates as a matter of course. Short term rates then influence longer term rates.

Price fixing itself is not endorsed by economics. It is a contradiction because economics as a profession seeking to create an environment where economics can go to work effectively. Every price fix tears down the functioning of economics.

More:

One lesson of Trump’s election is that technocracy — the idea that wise, expert leaders should steer policy for the good of all — is out of favor. Economists may still be the toast of the American and British elite, but that elite has been sidelined by a populist wave.

Free trade, although not the most important issue facing the country, was a hugely symbolic battle. The elite, supported by the vast majority of the econ profession, took the virtues of free trade as a given; the general public disagreed vehemently with the expert consensus.

The eventual victory of the populists has caused many economists to question whether the public will listen to them again in their lifetimes.

This is another reason why economics should severely restrain itself as a profession. (And possibly go out business.) Economics has encouraged technocracy, the regime of the few making decisions for the many.

Economics is the study of the discipline of work and as such does not include statements and proscriptions encouraging a small handful of people to make economic policy.

Economics as a matter of course should back the free market. The free market IS economics. When economics backs something other than the free market, it is not backing functional economics anymore. It is backing something else.

Technocracy is also a price fix and a very obnoxious one. When just a few make economic decisions for the many, the fabric of economics is increasingly threadbare. The best economics encourages a wide variety of financial actors to make decisions in their own enlightened self-interest.

Economics is all about freedom but modern economics is all about restricting freedom and choosing who can make economic decisions for others. This is exactly the reverse of what it should be.

Ultimately economics is not much needed as a profession because it is proactive. It tries to tell government and corporations what to do to make business and profits better but in doing so only makes the economic climate worse.

We don’t need more economic advice and nostrums. We need fewer economics and certainly fewer economic proscriptions that encourage people to “do” things beyond buying and selling.

The best thing that economics could do in the modern era is to shrink itself drastically and return to a science advocating free market solutions. It should advocate as little government as possible and the greatest amount of self-determination for the most people possible.

Conclusion:  If it did this, It would become a real profession again, albeit a smaller one, surviving in the nooks and crannies of academia. But that is where it should be.


Related

The Sad State of the Economics Profession

 

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The False Economic Recovery Narrative Will Die In 2017


This is the first posting of 2017 for this blog. Have been observing the same old BS of last year flowing through this year, what with all the #FakeNews getting more and more rampant. This is the kind of news I wish to see and post from now on…


Alt.Market.Com

Yes, the narrative of the “new normal” has been around for so long now that many people have simply grown used to it. The assumption is that the fiscal “new normal” has become the fiscal “normal,” and though the fundamentals continue to strain under the weight of poor global demand and historic debt levitated by extraneous fiat stimulus, the masses feel far less fear than is warranted. Hey, why should they? We’ve managed around eight years skating on thin ice, why shouldn’t we expect eight more years of the same?

The banking elites have done the job they set out to do, which was to drive the economy to the very edge of the financial cliff, and then keep it suspended there until the general public became comfortable living next door to the abyss.

Why do this? Well, the greater dynamic at play here is something the average person will not understand or refuses to examine — economics today is about mass psychology. The economy is a tool, or a weapon, by which international financiers can influence the public mind and the emotions of the mob. In order to grasp the mechanics of economics it is not enough to deal in statistics and trade principles; one must also grasp human behavior and how it is manipulated. One must acknowledge that in economics we witness the transmutation of societies by word and by force, by chaos and by order. Economics is alchemy.

The globalists (in their twisted view) seek to change lead into gold, and just as in alchemy, these elements are a metaphor for psychological evolution. For the globalists, social engineering is a form of witchcraft; they see it as creation, or a grand form of architecture.

But it is not creation. The globalists are incapable of such art because true art requires wisdom and empathy. All they know is how to deconstruct existing systems generated by nature and free men and rearrange the shattered pieces into something more oppressive and ultimately less interesting than what existed before. Give the internationalists a Mona Lisa and they will shred it, reconstitute it and regurgitate a paint by numbers coloring book.

The globalists only know how to turn gold into lead.

If you do not understand the reality of globalist influence in markets and the nature of economics as a weapon; if you actually believe that the economy operates purely on some kind of free-roaming free market principles, then you will never be able to wrap your head around the otherwise absurd behavior of our financial structure.

The psychology of fiscal “recovery” is a vital tool for change and for developing false dichotomies. For example, I recently came across this article from the pervasive propaganda hub of Bloomberg. In it, Bloomberg outlines a story we are by now very used to hearing from the mainstream — that the presidential era of Barack Obama has left the economy of the U.S. in particular in “far better shape” as he leaves office than when he entered office.

Now, anyone who has been reading my analysis for at least the past six months (if not the past ten years) knows exactly what I think about the current state of the economy and what is likely to happen in the near future. For those new to my position, here is a very quick summary along with linked evidence supporting my claims:

From the 1990’s leading into the year 2007, the Federal Reserve engineered a massive debt and derivatives bubble through the use of artificially low interest rates in the housing market. Alan Greenspan, the presiding Fed chairman at the time, openly admitted in interviews that the central bank KNEW an irrational bubble had formed, but claims they assumed the negative factors would “wash out.” This is a constant meme set forward by the Fed — that they were essentially too stupid to foresee a collapse of the bubble they knew they had created. They prefer that the public believes that the Fed was “incompetent” rather than deliberately destructive.

The low rates fueled a machine of mortgage backed securities and derivatives based on trillions of dollars in loans to people that had no ability or no intention of ever paying them back. The Fed had aid in this program from the ratings agencies, which labeled obviously toxic debt as AAA for years, and the SEC, which refused to investigate any legitimate claims of asset manipulation and ill intent. This corrupt behavior on the part of the SEC was showcased in the testimony of SEC whistle blower Gary J. Aguirre, who warned of dangerous debt pools and manipulation within the banking industry in 2006 before the derivatives collapse and also warned that the SEC interfered with any investigation attempts into the problem.

This led to the well known “Great Recession” triggered in 2007/2008. The Fed along with numerous other central banks around the world had conjured a crisis and then offered their own solution to that crisis. Namely, the solution of massive fiat stimulus programs purchasing toxic debt, treasury bonds, corporate stocks and anything else that wasn’t nailed down.

The “bailouts” and quantitative easing projects, however, were actually cover for a far larger program of untold trillions in overnight loans to corporations, domestic and foreign.  A never-ending river of dollars created out of thin air and pumped into companies for near zero interest. It was these free overnight loans that allowed international conglomerates to sidestep the monstrous black hole of derivatives debt they were circling and purchase their own stocks through stock buybacks, thus reducing the number of existing stocks on the exchanges and artificially boosting the price of the remaining stocks. This caused stock markets to skyrocket from near death to historic highs.

In the meantime, government bureaucracy has worked tirelessly to manipulate statistics to falsely reflect an overall recovery. The stock market is much easier to manipulate than the fundamentals, so, the fundamentals must be misrepresented.  While some numbers slip through the cracks and issues of true supply and demand continue, the vast majority of the populace has little clue that the collapse of 2008 never actually stopped, it was just shifted into a state of slow motion.

The Fed’s low interest rates, specifically on overnight loans, has allowed the economy to sputter along for eight years, and has greatly enriched the top .01% in the process. But now, their strategy is changing.

The problem is that stimulus has a shelf life, and while certain stats can be skewed and the stock market can be inflated for a time, eventually, consequences must be accepted in the real economy for attempting to defy gravity for so long.

The initial collapse was designed to foster an even greater event. Without the derivatives bubble, the central bankers never could have convinced the masses to accept the idea of a fiat stimulus bubble which would eventually put the dollar at risk, along with the overall U.S economy. Taking the brunt of the 2008 crash would have been painful, but not insurmountable. But with eight more years and tens of trillions in added debt along with increased geopolitical tensions and an equities bubble for the ages, the scale of the final stage of collapse will be truly unprecedented.

The purpose of this final event will be to generate so much chaos and desperation that the public will be compelled to search for extraordinary solutions. The globalists will be ready with those solutions, including those they have openly outlined decades in advance in publications like The Economist.

The end game? The formation of a single monetary and economic authority under the management of the International Monetary Fund, and the establishment of a single global currency using the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights as a “bridge” for locking national currencies into a harmonized exchange rate until they eventually become pointless, interchangeable and replaceable.

The problem is, the globalists cannot possibly initiate this end game in a vacuum, otherwise, they would take the blame for the inevitable collateral damage to people’s lives as their “great global reset” is undertaken. The globalists need a scapegoat.

Enter Donald Trump, the Brexit Referendum, and the rise of “populist” movements. For the entire first half of 2016, globalists were “warning” non-stop that a rise in populism (conservatives and sovereignty champions) would result in international financial catastrophe. It was as if they KNEW that the Brexit would succeed and that Donald Trump would win the election…

This has been my position for the past half year — that globalists were planning to allow conservative and sovereignty movements to take the reins of power, that they would allow the passage of the Brexit and the rise of Trump, just before they pull the plug on the system’s life support. The Federal Reserve in particular has already launched the final phase by beginning a series of rate hikes which will remove the safety net of free and cheap overnight loans to companies, thereby sabotaging equities markets. I specifically warned about this over a year ago when most analysts were stating that negative rates and QE4 were “just around the corner.”

And this is where we are today. As noted above, Bloomberg writes an interesting bit of propaganda starting with a bit of truth. Here’s the beginning quote from their article:

“Research suggests factors beyond the control of any U.S. president, not their actual policies, set the course of the economy. Yet with voters, President-Elect Donald Trump will secure much of the praise or blame when it comes to the impact of his agenda over the next four years.”

The recovery narrative from 2008 to today was imperative to the globalist’s greater agenda. For a considerable portion of the public must be made to believe that under a socialist and decidedly globalist president (Barack Obama) the general trend in the economy was positive and that “things were getting better.” The rise of conservative movements today sets the stage for the final collapse and the IMF’s great reset, in which conservatives and sovereignty activists will be blamed, whether there is any evidence of culpability or not, for the crash that the globalists have spent the better part of two decades setting in motion.

After the dust has settled, the argument will be that the world was “on course” before the Brexit, before Trump and before populism. The argument will be that globalism was working and conservatives screwed it up with their selfish nationalist endeavors. After the final crash and perhaps numerous deaths from poverty and violence, the argument will be that the only conceivable solution must be a return to globalism in an extreme form; or total global centralization, so that such a tragedy will never happen again.

Bloomberg helps to set up the scenario, by claiming that Trump is “inheriting” a stable and improving economy compared to the economy that Barack Obama inherited:

“While today’s economy is a mixed bag by historical standards, one thing is clear: Obama has left Trump a 2016 economy in a better state, by many measures, than when he was first elected president in 2008 in the middle of the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”

Of course, Bloomberg fails to mention that the standards and statistics by which they measure economic “improvement” are entirely fraudulent.

For example, real GDP is at -2 percent, not +2 percent as Bloomberg claims, when one calculates for distortions such as government spending, which is counted towards GDP even though government does not actually produce anything. Government can only steal productivity from citizens and reassign that wealth elsewhere.

Bloomberg also cites a vastly improved unemployment rate. They once again refuse to bring up the fact that over 95 MILLION Americans are no longer counted as unemployed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics because they have been jobless for so long they do not qualify to be included on the rolls. This lie of reduced unemployment has been pervasive through the entirety of the Obama Administration.

Bloomberg then mentions a greatly improved housing market that Trump will enjoy when he takes office. They certainly do not include the fact that pending home sales are now plummeting and home ownership rates in the U.S. are so low you have to go back to 1965 to match them.   They do not mention that the majority of the boost in home sales during Obama’s two terms was due to corporations like Blackstone buying up distressed mortgages and turning the homes into rentals. The housing market is NOT being supported by individuals and families seeking home ownership, but corporations snatching up real estate on the cheap and driving up prices.  Wall Street is now America’s landlord.

And there you have it. The globalist setup continues with mainstream outlets telling Americans that the economy is in ascension as Trump and populists move into positions of power, when in truth the economy is as dire as it ever was if not worse off. To add to the theater, Donald Trump has ventured to take credit for the sharp rise in stocks and the impression of improving economic stats.  In one of his latest tweets just after Christmas, he had this to say:

“The world was gloomy before I won – there was no hope. Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!”

Now, if you know anything about the true fiscal situation, you would think this statement is a severely idiotic move by Trump.  No incoming president with any sense would try to take credit for the largest equities bubble in history.  But, take credit is essentially what he did.  That said, if you ALSO understand that the globalist narrative is engineered so that conservatives take the blame for the coming crash, AND if you believe that Trump is knowingly participating in this narrative (as I now do after he lied about “draining the swamp” and front loaded his cabinet with banking elites), then Trump’s statement makes perfect sense.  Trump is playing the role of a future bumbling villain, the populist maniac who gets too big for his britches and brings disaster down on people’s heads.

The false recovery narrative will indeed die in 2017, and it will be because the globalists WANT it to die while nationalists are at the helm. This is perhaps the biggest con game in recent history; with conservatives as the fall guy and the rest of the public as the gullible mark. One can only hope that we can educate enough people on this scenario to make a difference before it is too late.

 

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What Would Actually Happen If All Debt Was Erased?


TheEventChronicle

 

The Invention of Debt

What you may not know is that debt arose recently on the human stage. Throughout more than 99% of our history we have not even had a concept for debt. (The interested reader can pick up David Graeber’s excellent book Debt: The First 5000 Years for full story.)

Anthropological studies of hunter-gatherer societies reveal that there were no barter systems, no currencies to use for money, and — in the absence of these cultural artifacts — there was no debt. With all the great variation cross cultures one might expect from ethnographic research, the anthropologists found that some tribal communities engaged in “gift economies” where status arises from how generous a person is who has acquired wealth, while others have remained egalitarian and non-hierarchical for thousands of years by sharing their food and materials based on the principles of “from each as they are able, to each as they need.”

This belies the great misunderstanding about communism that treats it as a state-centric governing system, when in truth it is the foundational sentiment of any community that builds upon the trust and good will of social relations between people who know and depend upon one another — a condition that has held for all hunter-gatherer societies throughout our long 200,000 year history as a species.

Pick up an economics textbook at random and you will find a classic (and false) “just so” story about the need for barter systems to have money. They all go something like this: Steve has potatoes and needs some shoes. Bob has shoes but does not need any potatoes. They are unable to directly exchange goods due to this mismatch of need, and so must introduce a money system to preserve the value of currency across multiple exchanges that enable Steve to sell his potatoes to Sue and acquire money that he can then use to pay Bob for a pair of shoes. What this simple narrative conceals is the broad evidence from ancient cultures studied by anthropologists that no such problem arises in this way.

What really happens is that a warring society has arisen somewhere (to get a sense of how this happens, read my article about psychopaths and agrarian city states) and is in a mode of conquest. When this burgeoning empire conquers new land, the ruler imposes a system of taxation on the local populace to pay for the costs of war. This imposition of scarcity, by extracting resources from the local population to be hoarded by the warrior chieftain, is what leads to the emergence of barter systems and — in some instances — the introduction of a money system by the ruler.

In the absence of war and conquest, hunter-gatherer societies do not spontaneously create barter systems. Instead they share more or less equally within their tribe and only trade with other tribes through highly ritualized and often conflict-ridden exchanges that take place when two tribes come together for a brief interaction. The pathway that does lead to the emergence of barter systems takes place in agrarian societies where some kind of accounting system has been created to track debts. And from these accounting systems we do find that debt is present.

So where does debt come from if it isn’t naturally a part of human societies? Again it is the imposition of scarcity by the ruling class — designed to extract and hoard wealth in the hands of a powerful elite — that creates the notion of debt. Does this sound familiar in today’s context? Many countries were “modernized” throughout the 20th Century by introducing market systems that structure debt into the economies of newly founded nations. These nations now must pay tributes — in the form of interest payments — to external banks that extract wealth from the poor countries and hoard it in the coffers of wealthy countries.

Stated plainly, debt is created when a powerful group of people impose scarcity upon another group of people who have been conquered. This is the root cause of poverty. It is the destabilizing force of unequal societies that breeds civil unrest and revolution. Thus the need for Hebrew kings to introduce Jubilee. They knew that a revolution might cause the people to rise up and clear their own debts, while also uprooting the monarchy from power. In order to preserve their power base, they would routinely erase the debt and start again.

A Note About Debt and Moral Accounting

The astute reader may already be asking, “What does this story about the creation of debt say about the religious use of moral accounting?” You may have noticed that all the world religions have at their core a transactional relationship between God and humans — where each person owes a debt to their creator and must pay it either by relinquishing sin from their lives or by returning to their maker upon death.

This economic transaction frame for moral accounting is not present in all human societies. Those hunter-gatherer tribes practicing the ethic of distribution based on need have no concept for trading an eye-for-an-eye. Nor do they see a gift as something to be repaid, expressing disgust at the insult of treating their generosity in such a transactional manner.

Instead what anthropologists have found is that debt-based morality is only present in societies that already have accounting systems and also engage routinely in barter and monetary exchange. In other words, this moral accounting system is a product of war and conquest and not a natural part of human society. So the next time you feel a debt to one of your friends, society, or your maker it may help to keep this in mind.

What Would It Mean to Erase All Debt?

We are living in a time when too many of our financial resources are allocated to non-productive activities — principally the accumulation of wealth by “making money with money” and a myopic focus on economic activities that service our massive debts. This is why people work at jobs they hate. It is why investments are not being made in renewable energy, public education, the arts, health care, or the eradication of poverty. We have built a massive financial house of cards on debt — with money itself coming into being when loans are taken out, a pool that grows exponentially due to the interest that accompanies it — and so we are not able to bring consumer culture to an end or focus our creative talents on planetary sustainability.

By the way, this is exactly what my friends at /The Rules are trying to address in their global mobilization effort.

So if we were to erase all debt, the 7 billion people alive today could focus on their passions. We could all come together to address global threats — be they resource-based like the scarcity of fresh water or peaking of global oil production; or cultural like the loss of spiritual meaning in the secularization of society or the soullessness of employment drudgery that comes from working long hours at a mind-numbing job.

What comes to my mind is the way cities try to implement broad solutions to address economic development, transportation, resource management, social justice, and environmental concerns. They must operate within constrained budgets that keep draining further without a clear end in sight. I imagine what would be possible if everyone was able to set out on their own intellectual and experiential journeys without the fear of a debt-collector coming to their door. How then would the peoples of this world choose to live out their lives?

Perhaps you have your own dreams of a better world for you and your loved ones. What comes to mind for you? This is not merely an academic question, by the way, because we each participate in the social realities that are lent our beliefs, our actions, and our obligations. If we were to collectively decide that our debts are no more, they would cease to exist.

This is because what we take to be real in many respects becomes so as a self-fulfilling prophesy. We each have the power to be accountants — defining “the real” by choosing what to measure and imbuing it with significance. In this way, the Gross Domestic Product was claimed as an economic alter for measuring the progress of civilization in the 20th Century. Perhaps in the 21st we will replace it with Gross National Happiness or some other novel metric for capturing the essence of our values and purpose as a civilization on this Earth.

Watch the video below:


Joe Brewer is co-founder and research director of Culture2 Inc., a culture design lab for social good. He is a former fellow of the Rockridge Institute, a think tank founded by George Lakoff to analyze political discourse for the progressive movement.

Source: Common Dreams
Via: Conscious Life News

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Major Economic Warning Sign: The Euro Is Heading For Parity With The U.S. Dollar


TheEconomicCollapse

The collapse of the euro is accelerating, and it looks like we could be staring a major European financial crisis right in the face early in 2017.  On Thursday, the EUR/USD fell all the way to $1.0366 at one point before rebounding slightly.  That represents the lowest that the euro has been relative to the U.S. dollar since January 2003.  Ever since 2011, I have been relentlessly warning that the euro is heading for parity with the U.S. dollar.  When the EUR/USD was trading at about $1.40 that must have seemed like crazy talk, but I never wavered.  I just kept warning people that the euro was going to weaken greatly relative to the U.S. dollar.  Here is one example from March 2015: “How many times have I said it?  The euro is heading to all-time lows.  It is going to go to parity with the U.S. dollar, and then it is eventually going to go below parity.”  After Thursday, we are almost there, and once we do hit parity that is going to be a sign that all sorts of chaos is about to erupt in Europe.

For years, so many people that write about our coming economic problems have been proclaiming that the death of the U.S. dollar is imminent.

But I have always taken a different approach.  I have always maintained that the collapse of the euro comes first, and that the death of the U.S. dollar happens some time later.

So many people have wanted to get rid of all of their dollars in anticipation of the coming crisis, but that is a huge mistake.

First of all, without exception everyone needs an emergency fund that can cover at least six months of expenses in case there is a job loss, a health emergency or all hell breaks loose for some reason.

Secondly, cash is going to be king during the initial stages of the coming crisis.  Later on the U.S. dollar will rapidly lose value, but at first it will pay to have significant amounts of cash available to you.

Most people out there seem to think that a strong dollar is great news and that it is a sign of good things to come under Donald Trump.

But the truth is that an overly strong U.S. dollar is actually very bad news for the global economy.

For the U.S., a strong dollar hurts our exports and tends to drag down our GDP.

For the rest of the world, a strong dollar makes it more expensive to borrow money.  The economic boom in the developing world following the last financial crisis was fueled by mountains of cheap dollars that were borrowed at ultra-low interest rates.  But now the U.S. dollar is surging and interest rates are spiking, and that is starting to cause major problems.

It now takes much more local currency to pay back those dollar-denominated loans that were made in emerging markets during the boom times.  If the U.S. dollar continues to rise we are going to see a staggering number of defaults, and a credit crunch in many areas of the globe seems inevitable at this point.

Of course the big thing to keep an eye on over the coming weeks is the rapidly unfolding crisis in Italy.  The Italians have the 8th largest economy on the entire planet, and we are in the process of watching their entire banking system completely implode.

In fact, their third largest bank is in imminent danger of collapse, and according to Reuters this could trigger “a wider banking and political crisis in Italy”…

Italy’s government is ready to pump 15 billion euros into Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) and other ailing banks, sources said, as the country’s third-largest lender pushes ahead with a private rescue plan that is widely expected to fail.

The world’s oldest bank has until Dec. 31 to raise 5 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in equity or face being wound down by the European Central Bank, potentially triggering a wider banking and political crisis in Italy.

If needed, the government will pump 15 billion euros into the Siena-based lender and several other smaller banks to prevent that, two sources close to the matter said on Thursday.

This is so much more serious than the ongoing economic depression in Greece.

Greece is just the 44th largest economy on the planet, and we saw how much trouble Europe had trying to bail them out.

So what is the rest of Europe going to do when financial collapse hits Italy?

Here in the United States very few people are interested in hearing about a “global financial crisis” right at this moment, because in the aftermath of the election most people are feeling really good about where things are heading.  Just consider the following three facts that I pulled out of a Bloomberg article

#1 “The National Association of Homebuilders’ index of sentiment soared to an 11-year high in December, despite the sizable rise in bond yields since the election.”

#2 “The University of Michigan’s December index of consumer confidence also continued its upward post-election trend, rising to 98. A sub-index that tracks respondents’ opinion of the government’s economic policies spiked to levels not seen since 2009.”

#3 “The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ index of optimism among small businesses posted its sharpest surge since 2009 in November to reach 98.4. An expected improvement in business conditions among small business owners surveyed after Nov. 8 was the largest contributor to the improvement in the headline print.”

Hopefully happy days will stick around for a while.

But it won’t last forever.

As I have warned so many times, the coming crisis is going to hit Europe first, and the United States will join the party not too long after.

And a key marker that we have been watching for is almost here.  The euro is going to hit parity with the U.S. dollar just like I have been warning, and once that takes place expect events to start accelerating significantly.

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The Global Elites’ Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis


Dublin, Ireland
November 12, 2016

Jim RickardsDear Reader,

This week, I’m kicking off my “launch party” for my new book, The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites’ Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis. It will be released on Tuesday on Amazon and in bookstores. When it does, it will retail for as much as $23. But for a limited time, we’re sending free hard copies to Daily Reckoning readers. (Click here to learn how to claim yours.)

I use the term “global elites” all the time in a very specific way. It is not meant to be vague as if we were discussing the Illuminati or the CIA’s clandestine service. I have definite individuals in mind who are quite visible in their organizations and quite public about their intentions for the global monetary system.

A short list would include:

  • Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England
  • Raghuram G. Rajan, vice chairman of the Bank for International Settlements and governor of the Reserve Bank of India
  • Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan
  • William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Agustin Carstens, governor of the Bank of Mexico
  • Janet Yellen, chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve System
  • Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank
  • Zhu Min, deputy managing director of the IMF
  • Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China
  • Robert E. Rubin, chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations.

This A-list of central bankers is just the tip of the iceberg. To be comprehensive, one would include former central bankers, such as Ben Bernanke, and the many deputies and vice chairs of the listed organizations, such as David Lipton at the IMF.

There are many more names we could mention, but the point is that these are real people with real day jobs. They are not hiding under a rock. They’re hiding in plain sight.

They give speeches, hold press conferences, write books and Op-Eds and publish technical academic papers on a regular basis. The central banks and institutions they work for all have websites with huge archives of documents and research that advance the global elite cause. There’s no shortage of technical raw material from which we can discern what the elites are up to.

And I expose their entire agenda in The Road to Ruin.

It’s also critical to understand the revolving door nature of how the elites operate. Academics such as Larry Summers were formerly policymakers (he was secretary of the Treasury). Current think tank scholars such as Anatole Kaletsky were former journalists (he wrote for the Financial Times and The Economist).

When we study the work of the power elite, we don’t stop at their current positions. We ask where they’ve been and where they’re going next in some future political administration.

The elites have their regular hangouts where they can meet face to face and work out deals like the “Shanghai Accord” we described in the last issue of Strategic Intelligence.

These regular hangouts include the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, each January; the IMF Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., at cherry blossom time; the Milken Institute in Beverly Hills, California; and the Federal Reserve monetary conference at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, each August; plus, a few other top-drawer conferences in highly desirable locations. The power elite certainly know how to treat themselves right, often at the expense of taxpayers.

If there is a chairman of the board of the global monetary elite, it’s Robert E. Rubin, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, former chairman of Citigroup, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and current chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rubin’s resumé speaks loudly enough, but his influence doesn’t stop there. Over the decades, Rubin has groomed a younger generation of protégés who now occupy front-row seats in the international monetary system.

These protégés include David Lipton at the IMF; Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative (he negotiates multilateral trade treaties such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, that enrich global corporations at the expense of everyday workers); and Lael Brainard, the new intellectual thought leader at the Federal Reserve. Rubin’s influence is everywhere, and he is still very active in his own right.

Excluding the retired and younger cohorts, it’s not an unmanageably large group. Even with a greatly expanded list, we would probably top out at about 200 names. The point is we know who they are, and we’re watching what they do.

As I explain on pp. 249-50, “The elite quest for power is not new, it is part of human nature. What is new is that means now exist to achieve the ends.”

I explain those means in my new book. Remember, it’s free.

One of our most important contributions at Strategic Intelligence is to speak the elites’ language. It’s one thing to find a policy speech by Christine Lagarde online. It’s another thing to understand the technical jargon she uses and, more importantly, to read between the lines and understand what’s actually intended regardless of any bland phrases.

My graduate degree in international economics (from the same school as Tim Geithner) and my two law degrees (one specializing in international taxation) give me the technical chops to understand the policy implications of the elite plan.

My 35-year career at Citibank, then Greenwich Capital (a Treasury securities primary dealer) and the infamous hedge fund Long Term Capital Management, among other positions, lets me look behind the curtain at the actual plumbing of the global financial system and understand how things work.

Below, I show you exactly how the next financial crisis will spread, borrowing from a fascinating piece of science fiction. Read on.

Regards,

Jim Rickards
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. A drumbeat is sounding among the global elite. The signs of a worldwide financial meltdown are unmistakable. This time, the elite has an audacious plan to protect itself from the fallout: hoarding cash now, and locking down the global financial system when a crisis hits.

In my new book, The Road to Ruin, I expose their plans. And even more importantly, I show you how to guard your wealth as their plan unfolds.

Click here now to claim your free copy. This might be my most important work to date.

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