Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Timid World Order

 Walking On Eggshells,

  This review of Chinese President Xi Xinping's visit to Moscow tries to be somewhat sensational, but there is not a lot to announce. Status quo, with a teaser that in their last remarks together, they agreed that the world would go through changes unseen in 100 years. China's peace proposal was "pretty good for a start, but Ukraine won't negotiate", to paraphrase the Russian response. The US Secretary of State scuttled the idea of peace talks until Russia retreats from the newly-annexed Novorussian oblasts, which are now "Russia" again.
  The US/NATO/etc. have fallen short of weakening Russia, and are now being drained by Russia, as China makes diplomatic inroads. The world sees the American/NATO military as a weakened threat, US diplomacy as a thing of the past, and awaits further developments in the $US crisis. It seems likely that more was spoken about the world doing deals in Yuan.Renminbi than was announced. Sergey Glazyev recently decried the lack of consensus, which is holding back the new BRICS trade currency. It seems likely that there will be much reluctance until the $US sustains some mortal wound.  I'm guessing...

  This announcement serves to strengthen the $US, as do banking backstop measures recently introduced. (Gold went up $2 on the news. Was somebody expecting a bigger 50 basis points hike?) "QT" is relative. The Fed balance sheet grew by $300 billion in the past week.
Fed Hikes Rates 25bps, Maintains QT, Removes Hawkish Guidance

​  Saudi Arabia is taking a more independent course from the US now, and distancing from Israeli interests.​ AMLO declares Mexico, "Not a colony of the US".
Why the West’s standoff with Russia and China is a big opportunity for the world’s second-tier powers
With the US distracted by its attempts to “contain” Moscow and Beijing, other players have a window of freedom

​  Christine sends this about Iran's stock rising as the Petrobuck Empire loses its grip.
​  ​The Riyadh – Tehran detente deal could be a major win for not only the Middle East but also larger projects seeking more integration of greater Eurasia.  If the deal is implemented, China’s Belt and Road Initiative could become a key component of the economic futures of both Saudi Arabia and Iran. The rapprochement could also pay dividends for the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project, which  runs from St. Petersburg to Mumbai in India via Azerbaijan (or the Caspian Sea) and Iran and across the Arabian Sea. The “sanction-proof” corridor connects the Indian subcontinent with Russia without needing to go through Europe while simultaneously being 30 percent cheaper and 40 percent shorter than the existing routes.​..
​  ​About those inadequate Iranian ports and railroads...
​  ​Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said March 15 that Saudi investments into Iran could happen “very quickly” following the agreement to restore diplomatic ties. He added that he does not see any impediment as long as the terms of agreements are respected by Tehran.
​  ​Any Saudi economic dealing with Iran would undercut US sanctions imposed to pressure Tehran, if not violating them outright.
With tens of billion of dollars in Iranian assets blocked worldwide, the prospect of Saudi investments could jumpstart the INSTC and help maintain the peace between Riyadh and Tehran.​..
..​India, Turkey, and Egypt are among the countries discussing free trade agreements with the EAEU. And Iran signed one in January.  The primary driver for the Iran-EAEU integration is to upgrade Iran’s transport and logistics infrastructure, i.e., the INSTC.
​  ​The importance of the INSTC and its link to the Middle Corridor, which enables Russian traffic to head east via Kazakhstan to China, and vice-versa, is growing to include the entire region.

  Mish Shedlock presents the absurd idea that an economy based on oil, coal, gas and mineral ores can spend enough money, derived from those things, to replace them completely, with things that don't even exist as testable concepts yet. The usual solution would be to kill a bunch of people and steal their stuff. 
My take has long been that the Climate Change control-narrative is close enough to the reality of depletion of the finite resources which fuel our industrial life-support system. It provides a lie, because our political class can only work with lies. The truth would paralyze them. 
  That being said, there has not been as much global warming in the last decade as there has been weird weather. The earth goes through worse shifts than what is being forecast from anthropogenic global warming fairly frequently, like multiple years without summers in the pst few hndred years, marked by famine, plague and burning-witches. The more we depend on distant water, high electricity use, distant food, and lots of fuel, the more precarious our lives may soon become.
Don't Worry, It Will Only Cost $131 Trillion to Address Climate Change
The UN is out with another climate change fearmongering report. Let's take a look.

​  Christine sent this article from El Gato Malo about iatrogenic deaths, when the cure is worse than the disease, pointing out the massive deaths from ventilators during COVID hospitalizations, before the viral effects on thelungs were probelrly understood, whch killed so very many people. This we knew, but I did not know that a lot of the deaths from the 1918-1919 "Spanish" Flu may have been from aspirin overdose. The recommended doses of the new drug (8000 to 31,000 mg per day) are now recognized as overdoses that cause pulmonary edema, hyperventilation and contribute to easy bleeding, which was often found on autopsies. OOOPS!​ Aspirin was the new good thing back then. A lot of young adults took it.

COVID-19: Doctors’ Group Says to Recall Vaccine​ (A conservative stance. This might be shared with friends and family)
Is your doctor pressuring you to “get boosted”?
Most doctors probably are. And so are radio ads. An annual COVID shot may become the “new normal,” along with the flu shot.
“Safe and effective” is a constant refrain. But most people probably assume that it is—or else our protective government wouldn’t allow it! Right?
A number of physicians, some former vaccine enthusiasts, are now warning about adverse effects—including sudden death—
and saying “it’s time to stop the shots.”

​  Peter McCullough MD points out that a new study, with better methodology, which does not overcount those who have received COVID-19 vaccine-products, finds that 25% of American adults have never received one of these injections. Uptake has been less than advertised. This fits with studies I have followed.​

Twenty Five Percenter (pictured harvesting kale in Austin garden)

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Broad Negotiations

 ​Historical Participants,​

​  Some views of history may be more useful these days than others. It seems that history is going through a rapid decline of a dominant empire, as with the decline of the British Empire. Much of the functionality of the British colonial system transferred to the $US based neo-colonial system of finance, through the IMF, World Bank, western banking, and increasing military enforcement of the regime after the dissolution of the USSR. There was a unipolar-world moment where the western military-financial regime sought to solidify global power and control, in the "Global War on Terror" after 9/11/01.​ The world was paying for this by using $US, printed in Washington, and based on Saudi oil, and the establishment of global trade in $US, "Super Imperialism", as Michael Hudson called it in 1972. Nixon and Kissinger ran to Saudi Arabia with that football. 
  The actions of the western empire are more chaotic in recent years, certainly since the debacle in Afghanistan, now followed by the loss-of-face in Ukraine. The rest of the world is becoming less fearful, seeing how Syria survived with Russian help. What is the American imperial game plan?
​  ​The actions of the hegemon-in-rapid-decline DO MAKE SENSE in a Dick-Cheney-Energy-Policy kind of way.
“We will take or control all of the energy resources”, was the Cheney plan.
  Oil and gas are limited in a finite world, so control it all, and put choke points in place where tribute must be paid. The countries that pump the oil and gas will grow their economies, gobble it up, and stop exporting, if we let them, so we need to suppress/destroy their economies, to protect our access-to and control-of “their” resources.
  The inefficiencies of that for most people, especially the people in the oil/gas countries, put most-people at odds with the “hegemon”. The hegemon does not serve the interests of Americans, Brits, Canadians, Germans or Japanese any more than is necessary to maintain their compliance.
  The cost of maintaining hegemony cannot be maintained, AND the project is already failing, so it makes “sense” to cut that cost quickly.
 Africa, Cuba, South and Central America, much of Asia and the “Mideast” can receive a peace-dividend for a few years, instead.
This new cooperative, non-colonial arrangement ​might​l be much more efficient in meeting more human needs, especially the needs of the humans who have been getting bombed and starved for food, water and fuel.​ There will be the temptation, especially for China, to copy the same financial imperialist model.​
​  ​Those of us humans who have been getting some ​(pared-down) ​form of the American/European/etc way-of-life are going to be squeezed​ hard.​​ 
We may have our houses and cars repossessed. ​Many people living on the streets of Austin these days look new to the experience.​ 
  Our near futures aren't ​determined quite yet.​ It seems to me that we can still affect this new economic epoch as it forms out of the embers and ashes of the coming fire.​ 
  Being out of debt and able to weather low income and high bills, while maintaining necessities of life seems like the prudent approach. Do prepare to help friends and family survive, also.

  An African conference has been meeting in Moscow as Putin and Xi have been meeting in Moscow. Russia has forgiven $20 billion in African debt, and vows to deliver the same amount of free grain to Africa with or without a grain-deal with Ukraine. We will probably get more news related to this over time. At the moment, it looks like the Chinese Yuan/Renminbi will be used more in international trade. China has not desired this situation because of inherent complications.
Putin To Xi: "We Support Chinese Yuan Use With Asia, Africa, Latin America"
​  ​Additionally, Russia is not alone. The Iraqi central bank announced Wednesday that, for the first time, it plans to allow trade from China to be settled directly in yuan instead of the US dollar to improve access to foreign currency.
​  ​At the very moment that Xi and Putin wrapped up their meeting and transitioned to their televised joint press conference, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made a significant allegation, picking up on prior assertions from Washington.
​  ​Stoltenberg said that NATO has "seen some signs" that Russia requested lethal aid from Beijing in order to strengthen its forces in Ukraine.

​  Joint Statement of the PRC and Russian Federation​ based on recent meetings. There is nothing new that I see. Ukraine peace deal specifics not presented:
​Long, detailed Russian statement: ​

​  ​Moscow is “determined to continue building a strategic partnership” with African nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, expressing confidence that the continent is set to become one of the leaders of the emerging multipolar world.
​  ​The president made the remarks at the International Parliamentary Conference ‘Russia – Africa in a Multipolar World,’ which kicked off in Moscow on Monday and brought together representatives of some 40 nations. The conference comes ahead of the second Russia-Africa summit, which is scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg in July.
​  ​“African nations are continuously increasing their weight and role in international affairs, and are asserting themselves more and more confidently in politics and economy. We are convinced that Africa will become one of the leaders in the emerging new multipolar world order – all objective prerequisites for this exist,”​ ..
..​“We are ready to jointly shape the global agenda, work together to strengthen fair and equal interstate relations, and improve mechanisms for mutually beneficial economic cooperation,” he said, describing African nations as Russia’s “friends in the full sense of this word.”

​  The UK is openly crossing  a red-line, daring Russia to come up with some counter-action, which would risk activating the NATO common-defense clause. 
​(I personally think Russia might best retaliate against London banking, but what do I know of such things?)
​  ​The UK's junior Defense Minister Annabel Goldie told Parliament on Tuesday, "Alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will be providing ammunition including armor piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium."
​  ​"Such rounds are highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles." 
News of Britain sending armor-piercing tank rounds for Challenger II tanks to Kiev triggered a fierce reaction from the Kremlin, with a strong-worded statement emphasizing that such a weapon will be treated as tantamount to using a nuclear dirty bomb.

​  Google Translate Greek War News 24/7 story on the British shipping uranium munitions to Ukraine. "The benefactors send you poison."

  "Second Russian Offensive" story looks at the Russian shift away from attacks in bakhmut in recent days, leaving it surrounded, with one muddy trail out. Russia is engaging other hardened Ukrainian army positions in the Donbas, intending to take out artillery positions that shell civilians, munitions stockpiles, command centers, rail and roadway connections. They might allow Ukrainian reinforcements into Bakhmut, which has been the site of gruesome basement-to-basement infantry bloodshed. Defenses have been dug deeply since 2014. (This article is a bit bombastic, but has facts and perspective.)

  Saudi Arabia apparently feels that it has new protection these days, and is able to openly break from US/Israeli Mideast policy objectives.
After playing a key role in the US-led war to topple the Syrian government, Saudi Arabia reversed course and will re-open its embassy in Damascus 12 years after the start of the war

​  Charles Hugh Smith explains that if recessions are prevented, unhealthy companies persist, weakening the economy, by mis allocating resources to Zombies.
We've Forgotten That Business-Cycle Recessions Are Essential

  Organic Prepper, Daisy Luther, explains that this developing banking crisis won't be "wasted".
FedNow Instant Payments Are Coming and CBDCs Will Follow

​  More than current COVID case-fatality rates.​ The graphs of age-group mortality over time, and shots given, are clearly correlated.
COVID Vaccine Fatality Rates in Europe are Between 0.05% and 0.55%

​  F​indings by Dr. James Thorp: "COVID-19 Vaccines: The Impact on Pregnancy Outcomes and Menstrual Function"; COVID injections are associated with a significant increase in adverse effects​:​  menstrual abnormalities, miscarriage, fetal chromosomal abnormalities, fetal malformation, cystic hygroma, cardiac disorders, arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, vascular malperfusion, growth abnormalities..

​  And all of that comes for nothing, no benefit at all:  Primary Series and Boosters--No Impact on Maternal COVID-19 Test Positivity

​Intervention Free (pictured with Jenny in spring garden)​

Monday, March 20, 2023

Truth Breaking Out

 Witnessing History,

​  ​Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Moscow on Monday for what Beijing is calling a "trip for peace" - but at a moment the White House is emphasizing "We don’t support calls for a ceasefire right now," according to the words of White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. "We certainly don’t support calls for a ceasefire that would be called for by the PRC in a meeting in Moscow that would simply benefit Russia," Kirby said...
​..​"I am very glad, at the invitation of President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, to come back to the land of our close neighbor on a state visit," Mr. Xi said upon arrival. He added: "China and Russia are good neighbors and reliable partners connected by mountains and rivers."
​  ​Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that China's 12-point peace plan in Ukraine will top the agenda. "One way or another, issues raised in (Beijing's) plan for Ukraine will be touched upon during the negotiations," he said. "Comprehensive explanations will be given by President Putin" of the Russian position."
.."We are open for a negotiating process on Ukraine," ​[President Putin]​ added. He noted to Xi that "we have looked at your proposals for the resolution of the Ukraine conflict" and previewed that "we will discuss this question."

​  Moon of Alabama looks at a flurry of recent multilateral diplomacy which is leaving US/NATO power-relationships behind for a new era of peaceful international trade relationships and agreements. Lots of specifics and good contextual analysis. Peaceful trade without paying "insurance" to the empire is now on offer.
Geopolitical Rumblings Leave U.S. Behind

​  ​Xi wrote. “We have been active in practicing true multilateralism, promoting the common values of humanity, and championing the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.”
​  ​“We have every reason to expect that China and Russia, as fellow travelers on the journey of development and rejuvenation, will make new and greater contributions to human advancement.”
​  ​“The world today is going through profound changes unseen in a century,” Xi wrote in an article published on Sunday by Rossiyskaya Gazeta. “The historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation is unstoppable. The prevailing trends of world multipolarity, economic globalization and greater democracy in international relations are irreversible.”​ ...
  Xi .. noted that the world faces “traditional and non-traditional security challenges,” as well as “damaging acts of hegemony, domination and bullying.” He added that countries around the world are “eager to find a cooperative way out of the crisis” as they try to get through a “long and tortuous global economic recovery.” ...
..“We believe that as long as all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and pursue equal-footed, rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation, they will find a reasonable way to resolve the crisis, as well as a broad path toward a world of lasting peace and common security,” Xi said. He added that China’s plan takes into account the “legitimate security concerns of all countries.”

  ​Former Director  of Central Intelligence, George HW Bush, illegally negotiated with Iran to prevent an agreement between Iran and the Carter administration in their (legal) secret negotiations to free American hostages. This announcement by Ben Barnes cracks open the door to that perfidy.​
​  ​As former President Jimmy Carter nears death, an aging Texas politician has come forward to get something big off his chest -- claiming that, in 1980, he accompanied former Texas governor John Connally on a whirlwind Middle East tour aimed at keeping Americans hostage of Iran until after the presidential election that elevated Ronald Reagan to power.
​  ​“History needs to know that this happened,” 85-year-old Ben Barnes tells the New York Times. “I think it’s so significant and I guess knowing that the end is near for President Carter put it on my mind more and more and more. I just feel like we’ve got to get it down some way.” Barnes is a former Democratic speaker of the Texas House and lieutenant governor.
​  ​The claims that Reagan cronies worked to prolong the Iran hostage crisis and torpedo President Carter's reelection bid aren't new, but Barnes is by far the most prominent figure to step forward and claim to have been a witness to such a conspiracy.
​  ​In the wake of the 1979 Iranian revolution, college students sympathetic with the revolution overran the US embassy in Tehran and took 66 Americans hostage. The long crisis that ensured dominated the presidency of Carter..​.

​  The spin is that Biden is getting Buffet to help save banking. That does not seem possible with derivatives having become even larger and more pervasive of a factor than when they kicked-off the 2008 crisis after Lehman's assets got snapped up by super-senior holders of derivatives options, preventing an orderly unwinding of Lehman trades and debts. it seems likely that post-crisis arrangements are being made now, as the crisis seems unavoidable. Those derivatives cannot be unwound in an orderly way.​ Buffet likes to deploy cash to mop up valuable assets in a crisis. He's got plenty of cash.
​  ​Biden In Touch With Buffett On Bank Crisis
​  ​According to Bloomberg, Berkshire’s Warren Buffett has been in touch with senior officials in President Joe Biden’s administration in recent days as the regional banking crisis goes from bad to worse to Savings And Loan 2.0 (if only America had any savings left).
​  ​The buzz of private jet activity centering on Omaha was first reported by Fuzzy Panda who noted that "a large number (>20) of Private Jets landed in Omaha yesterday afternoon" with jets flying from HQs of Regional Banks, Ski Resorts & DC, and prompting the question "Did Buffett just fly all the regional bank CEOs into Omaha & offer a deal to SAVE the banks?"

​  Mish Sedlock points out that savings banks need to be safe for savings, which was well understood by Glass, Stegall and FDR in 1933 when the Glass Stegall Act was signed to separate (risky) investment banking from (safe, conservative) savings banking for most American citizens.
​  The Perfect Solution to the Banking Crisis Is to Make a Truly Safe Bank
We don't need to up the FDIC limit, we need to eliminate the need for FDIC and create a safekeeping bank.

Specifically, we need a bank that puts 100% of its assets in overnight treasuries and makes zero loans. The bank would not need any loan officers or many operational personnel for obvious reasons. There would be no need for FDIC guarantees because there would be zero risk of a run and zero risk of losses. We can still keep the FDIC term in place, but realistically it would not be needed. In essence, we would create a 100% reserve bank.

​  ​Last week, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem broadcast a warning on the Tucker Carlson show about a bill that passed her State House and Senate that she was forced to veto because it changed the definition of money and banned non-govt-issued cryptocurrency like Bitcoin...
​  ​As Daniel Horowitz notes in his initial warning dated March 2, 2023:
​  “The revisions to Article I are very clear now that Bitcoin will not be money, because even though the definition provides for electronic money … it says that an asset that is adopted by a government as its medium of exchange will not qualify as money … if the electronic asset, such as Bitcoin, existed before it was adopted by the government. So Bitcoin, of course, exists today; it existed before El Salvador adopted it as its currency … so it will never be money for UCC purposes. The same for other kinds of crypto currencies.” So there you have it. Officials clearly mean to pave the way for CBDC while explicitly barring all​ ​competition...
..In essence, was the SVB banking collapse, a designed crisis?  And as a result, was the federal government response predetermined and just waiting to be triggered?
​  ​When asked last week why her legislature would do this, Noem responded the state politicians likely did not read the bill as it was constructed by lobbyists.​...
..​The states in green on the map below are states where the UCC revision bill has already been introduced

​  Meryl Nass MD presents this:
​  ​Daniel Horowitz: DeSantis’ state compact against ESG is the blueprint to fighting federal-corporate fascism
​  ​While we all slept for a number of years past, the federal government has worked with global governments and corporations to remake our society, economy, culture, laws, and policy. More recently, these governments and corporations have built an enforcement mechanism against anyone on the wrong side of “total state” values. It’s a trap of human life, liberty, and property that is seemingly incorrigible save one escape hatch that still remains in Madison’s original design. Now Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is utilizing that escape hatch and plowing a path for using it on every other important issue of our time.

​  My reaction to this bill was that it would probably not declassify information from the US bioweapons lab in Ft. Detrick MD. it won't.
​  ​Bill Passed by House and Senate to Declassify COVID Origins Documents May Be Attempt to ‘Frame’ China, Experts Warn
Lawmakers misrepresented a bill requiring the declassification of documents related to the origins of COVID-19, according to several experts who warned that contrary to what the public was told, the legislation limits the types of documents the government must declassify — and that raises questions about the bill’s real intent.  ​

  Fort Detrick: What I dug up in 2021, about the bioweapons lab there, the closure of the lab in July 2019 for "breach" and the mysterious viral pneumonia that killed people at a nearby retirement community that July and August. Only "common cold virus" was ever found.

  But, "Vaccines Save Lives" is such a good story! Whaddaya mean "they don't"?  (I was lectured in Med School that the big life-saving intervention was sewers and clean water supplies, after the class was asked what we thought it had been. It was not penicillin.)  Thanks Luc.
​  ​Published in 1977 in The Millbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, the McKinlay’s study was titled, “The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century.” The study clearly proved, with data, something that the McKinlay’s acknowledged might be viewed by some as medical “heresy.” Namely:
​  ​“that the introduction of specific medical measures and/or the expansion of medical services are generally not responsible for most of the modern decline in mortality.”
​  ​By “medical measures,” the McKinlay’s really meant ANYTHING modern medicine had come up with, whether that was antibiotics, vaccines, new prescription drugs, whatever. The McKinlay’s 23-page study really should be read cover to cover, but in a nutshell the McKinlay’s sought to analyze how much of an impact medical interventions (antibiotics, surgery, vaccines) had on this massive decline in mortality rates between 1900 and 1970:

​..​92.3% of the mortality rate decline happened between 1900 and 1950 [before most vaccines existed]
​  ​Medical measures “appear to have contributed little to the overall decline in mortality in the United States since about 1900–having in many instances been introduced several decades after a marked decline had already set in and having no detectable influence in most instances.”​.....In plain English: of the total decline in mortality since 1900, that 74% number I keep mentioning, vaccines (and other medical interventions like antibiotics) were responsible for somewhere between 1% and 3.5% of that decline.

​  ​Report Linking Fluoride to Lower IQ in Children Made Public After CDC, HHS Tried to Block It
​  ​The NTP, an interagency program run by HHS that researches and reports on environmental toxins, conducted a six-year systematic review to assess scientific studies on fluoride exposure and potential neurodevelopmental and cognitive health effects in humans.
​  ​The report, containing a monograph and a meta-analysis, went through two rounds of peer review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Comments from reviewers and HHS and NTP’s responses also were included in the report released Wednesday.
​  ​According to its website, the NTP “removed the hazardous classification of fluoride” in response to comments in the peer-review process. Yet, the report states:
​  ​“Our meta-analysis confirms results of previous meta-analyses and extends them by including newer, more precise studies with individual-level exposure measures.​"​
​ “The data support a consistent inverse association between fluoride exposure and children’s IQ
​  “The results were robust to stratifications by risk of bias, gender, age group, outcome assessment, study location, exposure timing, and exposure type (including both drinking water and urinary fluoride).”
​ ​“These findings fly in the face of the empty, unscientific claims U.S. health officials have propagated for years, namely that water fluoridation is safe and beneficial,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

​Former Regular Kid (pictured with main stereo speakers unboxed for first time in 12 years)​

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Run Bobby Run

 Disenchanted Voters,

  I cringe pretty quickly when I try to watch or listen-to politicians, but not Bobby Kennedy Jr. 
I was able to watch this fully engaged (occasionally moist eyes).
  RFK Jr. : On March 3, I spoke at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.
One of the reasons I’m thinking about running for President is to bridge the toxic polarization that divides Republicans and Democrats allowing elites to capture our government and plunder our country. They have transformed the world’s model democracy into a corporate kleptocracy — the corrupt merger of State and Corporate power.

This is the vaccine study Bobby Jr. mentioned, which refuted Bill Gates' funding pitch that he was saving tens of millions of ives with his vaccines to Africa.
The Introduction of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis and Oral Polio Vaccine Among Young Infants in an Urban African Community: A Natural Experiment
​  ​When DTP and OPV were introduced in Guinea-Bissau in 1981, allocation by birthday resulted in a natural experiment of being vaccinated early or late.
Between 3 and 5 months of age, children who received DTP and OPV early had 5-fold higher mortality than still unvaccinated children.
In the only two studies of the introduction of DTP and OPV, co-administration of OPV with DTP may have reduced the negative effects of DTP.
​  ​Few studies have examined what happened to child survival when DTP and OPV were introduced in low-income countries. These vaccines were introduced in 1981 in an urban community in Guinea-Bissau from 3 months of age in connection with 3-monthly weighing sessions. Children were therefore allocated by birthday to receive vaccines early or late between 3 and 5 months of age. In this natural experiment vaccinated children had 5-fold higher mortality than not-yet-DTP-vaccinated children. DTP-only vaccinations were associated with higher mortality than DTP + OPV vaccinations. Hence, DTP may be associated with a negative effect on child survival.

​  Meryl Nass MD:  ​FDA authorizes 4th booster for babies--while data from the UK and Germany suggest you cause 22 serious injuries with the shot in order to prevent a single child's hospitalization

​ RFK Jr. podcast with Sasaha Latypova​:  Militarized Healthcare with Sasha Latypova

  People are literally dying and an economy is ruined by the first rollout of CBDC, Central Bank Digital Currency in Nigeria. Thanks Christine. Details here:
The Central Bank of Nigeria Just Paused Its Demonetisation Program After Visiting Untold Damage on Nigeria’s Economy

Chinese elite have paid some $31 million to Hunter and the Bidens

​  Peace and trade; possibly further "newcoin" news. 
China and Russia want Ukraine to join their Eurasian economic club.
​ ​Xi To Arrive In Moscow Monday, Ukraine War 'Core Part' Of Talks With Putin

​Colonel Douglas Macgregor:
  T​he crisis of American national power has begun. America’s economy is tipping over, and Western financial markets are quietly panicking. Imperiled by rising interest rates, mortgage-backed securities and U.S. Treasuries are losing their value. The market’s proverbial “vibes”—feelings, emotions, beliefs, and psychological penchants—suggest a dark turn is underway inside the American economy.
​  ​American national power is measured as much by American military capability as by economic potential and performance. The growing realization that American and European military-industrial capacity cannot keep up with Ukrainian demands for ammunition and equipment is an ominous signal to send during a proxy war that Washington insists its Ukrainian surrogate is winning.

​​Reality Correspondent (pictured last month with glass bowls over tomato seedlings)

Friday, March 17, 2023

Derivative Bomb Ticking

 Fellow "Muppets",

  Michael Hudson says a lot in this interview with Ben Norton, with full transcript. A quick overview. Thanks Christine.
  Today's banking crisis stems from the "fixes" of 2008-2009, when the correction in asset-prices, like mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, was prevented. The Fed bought all of the trash at face value and held it, then lowered interest rates and kept buying trash, in order to inflate asset prices up to the price they paid for the trash. This was the opposite of what Obama had promised, writing-down mortgages and mortgage payments.
  The progression of this reached the point where inflation finally hit the level of consumer prices. It was no longer contained in financial assets, so the stock "solution" was to squeeze the economy to force unemployment up nd wages down, which has been the "solution" so long that many people find some other way to live than work for sub-living wages.
  Now, with interest rates rising, which was inevitable, bond values are falling, and the stock bubble is threatened, as there is a shortage of cheap borrowed money to borroow to bid up asset prices. There are more details about Silicon Valley Bank and Silvergate, and the types of customers they each served.
  Structurally, there is no way out of a financial crisis at this point, because of the actions of 2008-2009, which prevented financial speculators from realizing losses, blew the bubbles bigger, and have locked in the inevitable reset.

  Ellen Brown has this about The Looming Quadrillion Dollar Derivatives Tsunami.
  SVB was the 16th largest bank in the country and its bankruptcy was the second largest in U.S. history, following Washington Mutual in 2008. Despite its size, SVB was not a “systemically important financial institution” (SIFI) as defined in the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires insolvent SIFIs to “bail in” the money of their creditors to recapitalize themselves.
​  ​Technically, the cutoff for SIFIs is $250 billion in assets. However, the reason they are called “systemically important” is not their asset size but the fact that their failure could bring down the whole financial system. That designation comes chiefly from their exposure to derivatives, the global casino that is so highly interconnected that it is a “house of cards.” Pull out one card and the whole house collapses. SVB held $27.7 billion in derivatives..​
​..​As of the third quarter of 2022, according to the “Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities” of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the federal bank regulator),  a total of 1,211 insured U.S. national and state commercial banks and savings associations held derivatives, but 88.6% of these were concentrated in only four large banks: J.P. Morgan Chase ($54.3 trillion), Goldman Sachs ($51 trillion), Citibank ($46 trillion), Bank of America ($21.6 trillion), followed by Wells Fargo ($12.2 trillion). A full list is here. Unlike in 2008-09, when the big derivative concerns were mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps, today the largest and riskiest category is interest rate products.
​  ​The original purpose of derivatives was to help farmers and other producers manage the risks of dramatic changes in the markets for raw materials. But in recent times they have exploded into powerful vehicles for leveraged speculation (borrowing to gamble). In their basic form, derivatives are just bets – a giant casino in which players hedge against a variety of changes in market conditions (interest rates, exchange rates, defaults, etc.). They are sold as insurance against risk, which is passed off to the counterparty to the bet. But the risk is still there, and if the counterparty can’t pay, both parties lose. In “systemically important” situations, the government winds up footing the bill.
​  ​Like at a race track, players can bet although they have no interest in the underlying asset (the horse). This has allowed derivative bets to grow to many times global GDP and has added another element of risk: if you don’t own the barn on which you are betting, the temptation is there to burn down the barn to get the insurance. The financial entities taking these bets typically hedge by betting both ways, and they are highly interconnected. If counterparties don’t get paid, they can’t pay their own counterparties, and the whole system can go down very quickly, a systemic risk called “the domino effect.”
​  ​That is why insolvent SIFIs had to be bailed out in the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007-09, first with $700 billion of taxpayer money and then by the Federal Reserve with “quantitative easing.” Derivatives were at the heart of that crisis. Lehman Brothers was one of the derivative entities with bets across the system. So was insurance company AIG...
..Derivatives are largely a creation of the “shadow banking” system, a group of financial intermediaries that facilitates the creation of credit globally but whose members are not subject to regulatory oversight. The shadow banking system also includes unregulated activities by regulated institutions...
..According to a December 2022 report by the BIS, $80 trillion in foreign exchange derivatives that are off-balance-sheet (documented only in the footnotes of bank reports) are about to reset (roll over at higher interest rates). Financial commentator George Gammon discusses the threat this poses in a podcast he calls, “BIS Warns of 2023 Black Swan – A Derivatives Time Bomb.”
​  ​Another time bomb in the news is Credit Suisse, a giant Swiss derivatives bank that was hit with an $88 billion run on its deposits by large institutional investors late in 2022. The bank was bailed out by the Swiss National Bank...
..Interest rate derivatives are particularly vulnerable in today’s high interest rate environment. From March 2022 to February 2023, the prime rate (the rate banks charge their best customers) shot up from 3.5% to 7.75%, a radical jump. Market analyst Stephanie Pomboy calls it an “interest rate shock.” It won’t really hit the market until variable-rate contracts reset, but $1 trillion in U.S. corporate contracts are due to reset this year, another trillion next year, and another trillion the year after that.
​  ​A few bank bankruptcies are manageable, but an interest rate shock to the massive derivatives market could take down the whole economy...
..Lev Menand, author of The Fed Unbound, is an Associate Professor at Columbia Law School who has worked at the New York Fed and the U.S. Treasury. Addressing the problem of the out-of-control unregulated shadow banking system, he stated in a July 2022 interview with The Hill, “I think that one of the great possible reforms is the public banking movement and the replication of successful public bank enterprises that we have now in some places, or that we’ve had in the past.”
​  ​Certainly, for our local government deposits, public banks are an important solution. State and local governments typically have far more than $250,000 deposited in SIFI banks, but local legislators consider them protected because they are “collateralized.” In California, for example, banks taking state deposits must back them with collateral equal to 110% of the deposits themselves. The problem is that derivative and repo claimants with “supra-priority” can wipe out the entirety of a bankrupt bank’s collateral before other “secured” depositors have access to it.​..
​..​The current financial system is fragile, volatile and vulnerable to systemic shocks. It is due for a reset, but we need to ensure that the system is changed in a way that works for the people whose labor and credit support it...

​  Such public-minded corporate citizens!​ They are pitching in $30 billion to show their support for "the little guys "that "are critical to the health and functioning of our financial system".   [it's not because they fear "the domino effect". Don't be so cynical.]
Action by the largest U.S. banks reflects their confidence in the country’s banking system and helps ensure First Republic has the liquidity to continue serving its customers.
​  ​Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo announced today they are each making a $5 billion uninsured deposit into First Republic Bank.
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are each making an uninsured deposit of $2.5 billion​.  (Well, that is the Big-5 derivative banks there.)​
BNY-Mellon, PNC Bank, State Street, Truist and U.S. Bank are each making an uninsured deposit of $1 billion, for a total deposit from the eleven banks of $30 billion.
​  ​This action by America’s largest banks reflects their confidence in First Republic and in banks of all sizes, and it demonstrates their overall commitment to helping banks serve their customers and communities.

​  Consciousness of Sheep says the current global financial reset will be worse than the 1970s for developed countries, and will be further worsened by the not-yet-unveiled BRICS currency, rumored to be based on gold and commodities.​
​  ​According to Pilkington, were this BRICS currency to emerge – and western leaders’ actions make it likely sooner rather than later – we can expect roughly a 33 percent devaluation of the western currencies… something which would result in what can only be described as hyper-stagflation, with prices of imports – including essentials like food and fuel – rising beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest westerners, even as that mountain of unrepayable debt comes tumbling down so rapidly that it will render most of what we still consider repayable bad as well.

​  Sergey Glazyev is a Russian economist with the kind of clear nderstanding of currency flows that Michael Hudson has and John Maynard Keynes had. He has long been frustrated that the Russian central bank comports itself in the same manner as western central banks. if his advice had been taken, Russia would not have had $300 billion of national assets frozen. He is the cheif economist working out the BRICS currency.​ Pepe Escobar interviewed him recently.
​  ​What Glazyev repeatedly emphasized is that as long as there’s no reform of the Russian Central Bank, any serious discussion about a new Global South-adopted currency faces insurmountable odds. The Chinese, heavily interlinked with the global financial system, may start having new ideas now that Xi Jinping, on the record, and unprecedentedly, has defined the US-provoked Hybrid War against China for what it is, and has named names: it’s an American operation.
​  ​What seems to be crystal clear is that the path toward a new financial system designed essentially by Russia-China, and adopted by vast swathes of the Global South, will remain long, rocky, and extremely challenging. The discussions inside the EAEU and with the Chinese may extrapolate to the SCO and even towards BRICS+. But all will depend on political will and political capital jointly deployed by the Russia-China strategic partnership.
​  ​That’s why Xi’s visit to Moscow next week is so crucial. The leadership of both Moscow and Beijing, in sync, now seems to be fully aware of the two-front Hybrid War deployed by Washington.
​  ​This means their peer competitor strategic partnership – the ultimate anathema for the US-led Empire – can only prosper if they jointly deploy a complete set of measures: from instances of soft power to deepening trade and commerce in their own currencies, a basket of currencies, and a new reserve currency that is not hostage to the Bretton Woods system legitimizing western finance capitalism.

  Greek War News site says Russia has located the MQ9 Reaper drone at the bottom of the Black Sea with underwater drones and has positioned a specialized ship above it to recover it. The US has released a video clip of Russian Su 27 fighter(s) making 2 runs and dumping jet fuel, which caused propeller damage after the second run, though the drone camera footage shown did not show the drone to be grossly unstable at that point. 
  The Pentagon has claimed that a Russian fighter clipped the propeller  with a wingtip, which Russia specifically denies. 
It is likely that Russian pilots were trying to get the drone to turn around, to stop flying towards Crimea. 
The $65 million Reaper drone happens to have fallen very close to Russia's South Stream pipeline.

​  ​The hidden security clauses of the Iran-Saudi deal

  Although the Beijing statement primarily addresses issues related to diplomatic rapprochement, Iranian-Saudi understandings appear to have been brokered mainly around security imperatives. Supporters of each side will likely claim their country fared better in the agreement, but a deeper look shows a healthy balance in the deal terms, with each party receiving assurances that the other will not tamper with its security.
  While Iran has never declared a desire to undermine Saudi Arabia’s security, some of its regional allies have made no secret of their intentions in this regard. In addition, MbS has publicly declared his intention to take the fight inside Iran, which Saudi intelligence services have been doing in recent years, specifically by supporting and financing armed dissident and separatist organizations that Iran classifies as terrorist groups.
  The security priorities of this agreement should have been easy to spot in Beijing last week. After all, the deal was struck between the National Security Councils of Saudi Arabia and Iran, and included the participation of intelligence services from both countries. Present in the Iranian delegation were officers from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and from the intelligence arms of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
  On a slightly separate note related to regional security — but not part of the Beijing Agreement — sources involved in negotiations confirmed to The Cradle that, during talks, the Saudi delegation stressed Riyadh’s commitment to the 2002 Arab peace initiative; refusing normalization with Tel Aviv before the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.                                                                                                                     What is perhaps most remarkable, and illustrates the determination by the parties to strike a deal without the influence of spoilers, is that Iranian and Saudi intelligence delegations met in the Chinese capital for five days without Israeli intel being aware of the fact. It is perhaps yet another testament that China — unlike the US — understands how to get a deal done in these shifting times.

  Moscow rolls out the red carpet for Syrian President Basher al Assad
  The statement also noted that Wednesday is the "anniversary of the conflict" which started 12 years ago in March 2011. Assad emerged victorious especially with Russia's help, given the the Russian military intervention at the invitation of the Syrian leader in 2015... 
  According to details of Assad's red carpet arrival in Moscow:
Assad was received by Putin’s special representative for the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, at Moscow’s Vnukovo international airport.
Prior to a deadly Feb. 6 earthquake that killed 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria, Russia had been mediating talks between the two quake-hit countries.
  Turkish representatives are expected to be present for events related to Assad's visit, with The Associated Press detailing that "The Syrian, Turkish and Russian deputy foreign ministers as well as a senior adviser to their Iranian counterpart are also set to hold talks Wednesday and Thursday in Moscow to discuss 'counterterrorism efforts' in Syria."  
   Given Assad and the Syrian Army have emerged victorious after over a decade of fighting, which also on multiple occasions saw the US bomb government-held cities and areas, including the capital, even Turkey appears to be warming to the idea of rapprochement. Both sides want US troops out of northeast Syria as well. President Erdogan has in particular bristled at Washington's training and support given to Syrian Kurdish groups aligned with the outlawed PKK.

  After Mideast (West Asian) leaders meeting this week, Putin and Xi will make some joint announcement next week in Moscow. China seeks to maintain good relations with both Russia and Ukraine. Xi will speak to Zelensky remotely after meeting with Putin. China can offer a lot of carrot to Ukraine, not just stick.  Ukraine is pivotal to pan-Eurasian "New Silk Road" trade, which China is very much promoting.

​  German Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach has hedged his official position in an interview.
  ​In 2021 he claimed in a Tweet that COVID-19 ‘vaccines’ had no side-effects. Remarkably, his current admission is, “That was an exaggeration that I once made in an ill-considered Tweet. It did not represent my true position.“! It is egregious that a federal Minister of Health is admitting this AFTER coercing most people to get the shots and claiming everyone gave fully informed consent. After a desperate attempt to backpedal, all while looking incredibly uncomfortable, Lauterbach was called out by the interviewer for repeatedly promoting his message that the shots were “more or less free of side-effects”.
​  ​The interviewer to Lauterbach:
“So, you’ve always given the impression that side-effects aren’t really a thing.“
​  ​With respect to severe COVID-19 ‘vaccine’-induced injuries, Lauterbach stated:
“I’ve always been aware of the numbers. They have re​main​ed relatively stable. …1:10,000: some may say that’s a lot, and some may say it’s not that much.“

​  This report is all that I can find about the February 22 crash of an airplane at Clinton Airport in Arkansas, with a crew of chemical analysis experts headed to Ohio.​
​  ​This third part in an investigative series on the Ohio train derailing examines the mysterious plane crash in Little Rock, Arkansas, that killed five employees with the environmental laboratory contracted by Norfolk Southern for field studies of the chemical residues left from the EPA-ordered burn-trench disposal at East Palestine. The highly suspicious downing of a Beechcraft twin-prop plane, owned and operated by the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH), which has been revamped with a bright young team following its 2002 takeover by Irvine-based Montrose from the founding toxicologist, who had been widely criticized for laxity in favoring corporate polluters.
​  ​Despite exaggerated local media reports of strong winds at noon on Wednesday, February 22, the weather conditions posed no threat to flying, which raises serious questions of why the company-owned plane crashed within a minute of clearing Runway 18 at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport. The irregularities surrounding the air-crash included an official cover-up of the actual crash location inside a 3M industrial complex, suspension of phone reception at Little Rock 911 and blatant disinformation by the Gannett newspaper group on the ill-fated Beechcraft’s destination.
​  ​Thus far, a review of that midair blast along with the registered flight destination suggests that the CTEH team was targeted for elimination under the pervasive Biden cover-up of chemical warfare agents in the tanker cars destined for secret use in Ukraine, which instead derailed at East Palestine, Ohio. Crashing a short distance from takeoff, the Beech BE20, an upgraded Beechcraft 200 Super King Air, which has an excellent reputation for flight performance and air safety, was blown to shreds midair before its fiery nose-dive into a 3M factory warehouse on the north end of the complex, barely averting a highway pile-up on Route 440, the link road between I-40 and I-30.​..​
​..​Just prior to noon on Wednesday, February 22, toxic site inspectors Micah Kendrick, Kyle Bennett, Gunter Beaty, and Glenmarkus Walker boarded the CTEH-owned twin-engine Beech BE20 (a 9-passenger business version of a Beechcraft 200 Super King Air) at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas. Earlier predictions of light rainfall had not materialized and winds from the southwest were subsiding to below 40 mph. On takeoff from Runway 18, which is reserved for small aircraft, pilot Sean Sweeney planned to keep the plane climbing toward the south, into the wind, with the aim of circling leftward over the Arkansas River onto a northeasterly flight path toward Ohio with the added advantage of a tailwind. All systems were go, there was no cause for concern at takeoff.
​  ​After clearing the runway, at the start of ascent along a straight line and immediately after crossing the Highway 40 bypass (which connects I-40 with I-30), less than a mile from takeoff, the BE20 was suddenly blown to bits by a powerful explosion. The fragmenting plane nose-dived toward the rear of the 3M industrial complex, crashing through the roof of a large warehouse with truck-loading docks. A pillar of black smoke from burning aircraft fuel rose into the gray sky, and was caught on video by a nearby weather helicopter.
 The steep fast dive allowed no time for a bail-out by the passengers or pilot, who were likely killed in the powerful blast or within a few seconds after being crushed on impact. 
​  ​Phone calls to 911 went unanswered over the next hour.
​  ​Meanwhile, as an emergency crew closed off the 3M grounds and hosed the flames, another team from an as-yet identified agency set up a fake crash-site farther south in a junkyard, hauling pieces of wreckage to that decoy site for reporters to snapsho​o​t.

​  Forests draw water towards themselves in atmospheric flows, and it drops on them. 
This is described here, with link to scholarly paper. Thanks Ugo Bardi.​
​  ​The Forest: a Holobiont that Creates Rain

​Rain Man (pictured sealing the covered decking after sealing all the uncovered decking before the rain)​  

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Money Is Political

 Political Economists,

  Dr. Tim Morgan, Surplus Energy Economics, The Everything Crisis looks at where we now are, in a global economy in absolute decline because the percent of the economy that now has to be spent getting energy sources like oil and gas, is now such a heavy economic price that economies are shrinking in real terms. the ECoE, energy cost of Energy is like an everything tax. There is no truthful economic framework to explain this, so excuses like COVID-lockdowns, War and Russian-sanctions.
​  ​Global trend ECoE (from all sources of primary energy) has risen from 2.0% in 1980 to almost 10% now, and is likely to reach 13% by 2030, and 17% by 2040. What this means is that, from every 100 units of accessed energy, the ‘available for use’ or surplus component has decreased from 98 units in 1980 to 90 units now, and is likely to have fallen to 83 units by 2040.
​  ​It’s important to remember that surplus energy isn’t used just to supply products and services to consumers, but to maintain and replace productive and social infrastructure as well. This means that sensitivity to rising ECoEs is an inverse function of complexity – the more complex an economy is, the greater is the surplus energy required just to sustain the system.
​  ​Complexity is highest in the Advanced Economies of the West which has meant, in practice, that prior economic growth in these countries went into reverse first, happening once their ECoEs reached about 5%, a climacteric which was traversed in the early 2000s. EM (emerging market) economies, by virtue of their lesser complexity, have been able to carry on expanding at ECoEs above 5%, but most of these countries have now hit their own inflexion-points, which occur at ECoEs of around 10%.
​  ​Accordingly, global prosperity per capita peaked in 2019, and preliminary data indicates that world aggregate prosperity may have peaked in 2022.

​  A snippet from Michael Hudson from the presentation he did with Radhika Desai about financial imperialism, and alternatives. "Since Money Is Political" is the first part coming second. Forgive me. 
  What is money, and how is it used? Hudson mentions this option, which the US did before WW-2, and Japan did, and China and South Korea have done, and Germany did under Bismark and much of the time since... (and the Bank of North Dakota still does.)
​  What you say, about finance living in the short run, is very important. There was an alternative and I have a chapter about that in my Killing the Host. And the alternative was Germany and central banks. The banks worked with the government and heavy industry to take a long term view of the economy. And this isn’t something abstract.
​  ​When WWI broke out in 1914, there were articles written in the British press about why Britain was likely to lose the war, and it was likely to lose because they said, “Our financial system is quasi-feudal. It lives in the short run. When a stockbroker in England buys stock, they want to use the company to pay out all of its income and dividends. They don’t want the company to reinvest. They want to make the stockholders rich by paying out dividends and stock buybacks.”
​  ​The Germans, with the government, use their dividends to reinvest in capital formation, and they said that because of the Reichsbank in Germany and other Central European practices, it’s likely that Germany and its allies are going to be able to outlast England because English finance is self-destructive.
​  ​The difference you’re talking about is between industrial capitalism and the old feudal finance capitalism. But after WWI, it turned out that instead of having the productive, socialized German system, you had finance capitalism or neo-feudal money under the direction of the United States, which has always followed the British system, short term, hit-and-run, grab. The more you can impoverish the debtor, the more money you have in your own hand — as opposed to public banking.
​  ​This is all important, as is money and credit. We’re back to: Is it going to be a public utility run in the public interest by governments, or is it going to be run by bankers (whose objective is to impoverish the economy in order to enrich themselves)?

​  Simon Black writes, "If SVB is Insolvent,So Is Everybody Else"​, then he proves it. In 2008, junk mortgage backed securities were the toxic paper that forced banks into massive losses; now it is US Treasury debt, at low long-term interest rates, which is losing value precipitously as interest rates rise.  The Fed holds a lot of it. All of the banks that hold it are either insolvent, or nearly insolvent now. Silicon Valley Bank was audited in January. It was exemplary.

  Michel Hudson, Why The Banking System Is Breaking Up  [Well, not quite yet, I think.]
..Interest rates, which spiked last Thursday and Friday to close at 4.60 percent for the U.S. Treasury’s two-year bonds. Bank depositors meanwhile were still being paid only 0.2 percent on their deposits. That has led to a steady withdrawal of funds from banks – and a corresponding decline in commercial bank balances with the Federal Reserve.
 Most media reports reflect a prayer that the bank runs will be localized, as if there is no context or environmental cause. There is general embarrassment to explain how the breakup of banks that is now gaining momentum is the result of the way that the Obama Administration bailed out the banks in 2008 with fifteen years of Quantitative Easing to re-inflate prices for packaged bank mortgages – and with them, housing prices, along with stock and bond prices.
  The Fed’s $9 trillion of QE (not counted as part of the budget deficit) fueled an asset-price inflation that made trillions of dollars for holders of financial assets – the One Percent with a generous spillover effect for the remaining members of the top Ten Percent. The cost of home ownership soared by capitalizing mortgages at falling interest rates into more highly debt-leveraged property...
 ..But in serving the banks and the financial ownership class, the Fed painted itself into a corner: What would happen if and when interest rates finally rose?
  In Killing the Host I wrote about what seemed obvious enough. Rising interest rates cause the prices of bonds already issued to fall – along with real estate and stock prices. That is what has been happening under the Fed’s fight against “inflation,” its euphemism for opposing rising employment and wage levels. Prices are plunging for bonds, and also for the capitalized value of packaged mortgages and other securities in which banks hold their assets on their balance sheet to back their deposits...
..Any bank has a problem of keeping its asset valuations higher than its deposit liabilities. When the Fed raises interest rates sharply enough to crash bond prices, the banking system’s asset structure weakens. That is the corner into which the Fed has painted the economy by QE.
  The Fed recognizes this inherent problem, of course. That is why it avoided raising interest rates for so long – until the wage-earning bottom 99 Percent began to benefit by the recovery in employment. When wages began to recover, the Fed could not resist fighting the usual class war against labor. But in doing so, its policy has turned into a war against the banking system as well...
..There is an even larger elephant in the room: derivatives. Volatility increased last Thursday and Friday. The turmoil has reached vast magnitudes beyond what characterized the 2008 crash of AIG and other speculators. Today, JP Morgan Chase and other New York banks have tens of trillions of dollar valuations of derivatives – casino bets on which way interest rates, bond prices, stock prices and other measures will change.
  For every winning guess, there is a loser. When trillions of dollars are bet, some bank trader is bound to wind up with a loss that can easily wipe out the bank’s entire net equity.
  There is now a flight to “cash,” to a safe haven – something even better than cash: U.S. Treasury securities. Despite the talk of Republicans refusing to raise the debt ceiling, the Treasury can always print the money to pay its bondholders. It looks like the Treasury will become the new depository of choice for those who have the financial resources. Bank deposits will fall. And with them, bank holdings of reserves at the Fed.
  So far, the stock market has resisted following the plunge in bond prices. My guess is that we will now see the Great Unwinding of the great Fictitious Capital boom of 2008-2015.

​  ​The Federal Reserve Launches Program to Bail Out Banks
​  ​On Sunday, the FDIC created “bridge banks” to handle both insured and uninsured customer deposits. Banking regulators assured depositors that they would have full access to all of their funds.
​  ​Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve announced a loan program that will allow other banks to easily access capital “to help assure banks have the ability to meet the needs of all their depositors.”
​  ​The Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP) will offer loans of up to one year in length to banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other eligible depository institutions pledging US Treasuries, agency debt and mortgage-backed securities, and other qualifying assets as collateral. Banks will be able to borrow against their assets “at par” (face value).
​  ​According to a Federal Reserve statement, “the BTFP will be an additional source of liquidity against high-quality securities, eliminating an institution’s need to quickly sell those securities in times of stress.”
​  ​The US Treasury will provide $25 billion in credit protection to the Fed from the Exchange Stabilization Fund...
 ..As interest rates rise, bond prices fall. With interest rates rising so quickly, banks have not been able to adjust their bond holdings. As a result, many banks have become undercapitalized on paper. The banking sector was buried under some $620 billion in unrealized losses on securities at the end of last year, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
​  ​The BTFP gives banks a way out, or at least the opportunity to kick the can down the road for a year. Instead of selling bonds that have dropped in value at a big loss, banks can go to the Fed and borrow money at the bonds’ face value.
​  ​In effect, the Fed will print money out of thin air to loan to banks. This is the very definition of inflation.
​  ​Also, the Fed is putting its thumb on the bond market by incentivizing banks and other institutions to hold Treasuries instead of selling them into the market. In effect, it creates an artificial limit on the supply of Treasuries, which will artificially keep prices higher than they otherwise would be...
..The plan creates a mechanism for banks to acquire capital they couldn’t otherwise access under normal market conditions. Meanwhile, uninsured depositors will get their money back.
​  ​The government can plausibly claim it is not bailing out SVB or Signature Bank. Both institutions appear to be doomed. But the government is bailing out uninsured depositors and it is setting the stage to bail out other banks that would have suffered the same fate without the loan program...

​  These articles present an economic picture where notional economy and real economy a badly mismatched, and the assumptions about future economy are based on growth, when it must actually continue to contract. This contraction has to spare the necessities, so it must take place in non-necessities, "discretionary spending". 
  Debts are based on the assumption that the economy will grow in the future, so debts are much greater than the real economy, and that reality-gap is growing.
For an economy to work best, the reality of the physical economy should be reflected in the structure and assumptions of the notional economy, represented by money. A debt is an asset, and equivalent to money in the current system. A lot of the stock market gains mentioned above, fed by money at low or effectively-negative interest rates since 2008, do not correspond to company value or dividend payment. They have just been bid-up. Reducing these valuations is possibly the easiest way to bring more realism into the correlations between notional wealth and physical wealth.​ 
  General price inflation, reducing the notional value of money/debt, also brings the notional economic representation closer to the physical wealth in existence. House prices may not fall much, but the dollars will be worth less, a replay of the stagflation of the 1970s and early 1980s, which was a similar adjustment phase.
  A big challenge is to keep a functioning financial system, so that the real economy can keep working, because if it fails, then society has lost its life support system. Nothing would have trade-value beyond a bag of potatoes, water and a propane tank. Cannibalism was widespread in Ukraine during the famine called the "Holodomor". Families ate family members bodies. Parents ate their dead children. Stalin needed money for tank factories and sold too much of Ukraine's grain. The hate engendered drove Western Ukraine, Galicia, into an alliance with the Nazis. 
  As financial losses and monetary inflation bring the notional economy of money closer in valuation to the physical wealth in existence, ownership is critically important. There are easy levers to pull to protect bank-ownership, and to protect bank deposits, though they create money to place into some specific gaps, which is inflationary, difffusing losses to everybody who spends money. 
  When people can't keep up payments on a mortgage, the lienholder takes the whole house, even if it is 90% paid-off. Is that fair? The rich get richer, and the middle class gets poor. How might something like that be arbitrated. The Obama administration said they would help the homeowners, but actually wiped them out and gave their houses to Wells Fargo, instead. Everybody knows that now. Assignement of economc losses will need to be open and fair to maintain a social contract through hard times. The gap between rich and poor is already greater than at any time in US history. Creating an Americn Holodomor would be a gross error. Assignment of most losses of real wealth to the wealthiest could preserve function in American society. How will that be approached and managed, or even discussed, after the banking and equity-market losses are assigned? Roosevelt managed such a task. There were 3 assassination attempts on him, wherein several other people were killed, before he was inaugurated. Then came the "businessman's coup" that USMC ret. General Smedley Butler revealed.
  Countries run by oligarchies, as the US is, still need a powerful executive to act independently in times of rapid and critical economic change. The US oligarchs have not been willing to give up their decision-making power so far, and have held to the failed unipolar-world model within the $US and Eurodollar global financial system. Russia, China, Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia and Iran all have such executives now....
  We can see a lot of systemic blame being tallied-up now, which will be placed on the outgoing political administration, not on the oligarchic "owners", who they serve. The very big question is whether a real executive will be allowed into the office of POTUS, which JFK  was,  until various oligarchs had him eliminated. After WW-2 was all but over, FDR, having had Truman forced upon him as running-mate, against his will and better judgement, died-suddenly. Stalin was sure that he had been poisoned by "Churchill's gang", who certainly had the means and motive to maintain their empire, or maybe just graft its head from the City of London to New York City. We can see that potential real-executives for POTUS 2024 include Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and potentially RFK Jr. , who is in discussions about a presdential run. It would need to be a "different" Democratic Party to allow him to run. Kennedy is much more independent than Bernie Sanders, and Sanders was fraudulently kept from the Democratic nomination twice. Kennedy knows the stakes. He could follow his father and uncle (& maybe cousin John Jr.).

​  ​Jan. 6 Attorney Alleges FBI Criminally Altered Evidence, Requests Special Master Review Of Leaked Messages

  In a country run by bankers: 10,000 Dutch Farmers Protest Govt's Crippling Nitrogen Emissions Target In The Hague
Protesters claim the Dutch government is lying about the extent of the emissions problem in order to grab privately owned land...

​  Xi Jinping will go to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin, presumably to announce something together. The exact date remains secret, so maybe they await an ideal geopolitical moment to make an announcement. Xi will teleconference with Zelinsky after meeting with Putin. I suspect that Putin and Xi can make Zelinsky/Ukraine a much better deal than Washington/NATO can, going into the rest of this decade, but this might not yet be the moment for that.

Ukrainian Official: 'We Don't Have The Resources For Counteroffensive'​

China's Prestigious Middle East Deal May Soon See Challenges, Moon of Alabama
​  ​[C]onfidential clauses were inserted into the Beijing Agreement to assure Iran and Saudi Arabia that their security imperatives would be met. Some of these details were provided to The Cradle, courtesy of a source involved in the negotiations:
​ ​ Both Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran undertake not to engage in any activity that destabilizes either state, at the security, military or media levels.
​  ​Saudi Arabia pledges not to fund media outlets that seek to destabilize Iran, such as Iran International.
​  ​Saudi Arabia pledges not to fund organizations designated as terrorists by Iran, such as the People’s Mojahedin Organization (MEK), Kurdish groups based in Iraq, or militants operating out of Pakistan.
​  Iran pledges to ensure that its allied organizations do not violate Saudi territory from inside Iraqi territory. During negotiations, there were discussions about the targeting of Aramco facilities in Saudi Arabia in September 2019, and Iran’s guarantee that an allied organization would not carry out a similar strike from Iraqi lands.
​  ​Saudi Arabia and Iran will seek to exert all possible efforts to resolve conflicts in the region, particularly the conflict in Yemen, in order to secure a political solution that secures lasting peace in that country.
​  ​According to sources involved in the Beijing negotiations, no details on Yemen’s conflict were agreed upon as there has already been significant progress achieved in direct talks between Riyadh and Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement in January. These have led to major understandings between the two warring states, which the US and UAE have furiously sought to undermine in order to prevent a resolution of the Yemen war.
​  ​In Beijing however, the Iranian and Saudis agreed to help advance the decisions already reached between Riyadh and Sanaa, and build upon these to end the seven-year war.​..
..The U.S. does not like the deal because it diminishes its role in the region. Israel does not like the deal because it lessens its chances to go  after Iran:
​  ​The U.S. and Israel don’t look kindly on the news of the diplomatic breakthrough. They first fear that China is increasingly assertive in its role in the region, and the U.S. does
 not want to experience what Britain experienced in Suez in 1956: a watershed moment signaling its global decline. The U.S. stood up to Britain, France and Israel who combined to attack Egypt after its leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. The event is seen as the final act of the British Empire before joining the more powerful U.S. imperium.
...If the agreement does accomplish the goal of truly bringing peace and amity between the two rivals, China may then enjoy a Suez moment: when the world signals the end of the American Empire like what happened to the British.
​  ​Both, Israel and the U.S, are capable and likely willing to do whatever is necessary to prevent an implementation of the deal. They can probable use their good relations with the United Arab Emirates to make things difficult. False flag attacks in Iran and in Saudi Arabia could be a way to do that. If a new 'Iranian' drone attack happens in Saudi oil fields or new 'Saudi financed' terrorist attack in Iran happen the deal could indeed be scraped.
​  ​One hopes that China and the other parties involved in the deal are conscious of that.

​  Israeli officials are expressing dismay at the Iran and Saudi Arabia peace deal which was announced from Beijing last Friday, with an aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling reporters that it's the result of American "weakness" as well as failings of the prior Israeli government.
​  ​"There was a feeling of US and Israeli weakness and this is why the Saudis started looking for new avenues. It was clear that this was going to happen," the unnamed senior official said while traveling in Netanyahu's entourage in Rome.

​  Flyboys will be flyboys...
​  ​'Reckless' Intercept By Russian Jets Caused US Drone Crash In Black Sea: Pentagon
​  ​The US military statement of events, blaming a pair of Russian fighter jets for "reckless" maneuvers which resulted in the MQ-9 drone being struck and crashing in international waters at a "complete loss":
​  ​Two Russian Su-27 aircraft conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept with a U.S. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance unmanned MQ-9 aircraft that was operating within international airspace over the Black Sea today.
​  ​At approximately 7:03 AM (CET), one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters. Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner. This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional.​  
("Lack" of competence?)
​  ​“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”​   
(​S​o "mission-accomplished", right?)
​  ​“U.S. and Allied aircraft will continue to operate in international airspace and we call on the Russians to conduct themselves professionally and safely,” Hecker added.

​  ​The doctor indicted for not killing his patients​   I sure ​e​mpathize.
​  ​Seventy-five years ago, it was established at the Nuremberg trial for doctors that never again would we allow medical experimentation upon human beings without their consent... Meanwhile, a doctor who took his Hippocratic Oath seriously and allegedly saved nearly 2,000 patients (with FULL CONSENT) from the shots, is facing serious federal charges for conspiracy to defraud the government defrauders...
​  ​In January, Dr. Kirk Moore, along with two members of his clinic’s staff and a neighbor, were indicted on conspiracy to defraud the federal government by allegedly offering nearly 2,000 patients saline injections along with vaccine documentation while disposing of the real shots into the sink. To be clear, he is not being accused of tricking patients. He never offered unsuspecting patients fake shots. These were all people (or parents of minors) who desperately sought him out to bypass the genocidal, unconstitutional, inhumane, and immoral jab mandates, so they could go on with their lives unharmed by this terrible technology...
..According to the AMA Medical Code, “When physicians believe a law violates ethical values or is unjust, they should work to change in law.” However, it adds that “in exceptional circumstances of unjust laws, ethical responsibilities should supersede legal duties.​" That is clearly going to be part of Moore’s defense if he is indeed shown to have given people saline at their request.
​  ​Ironically, Moore is being accused of grifting and running a fake vaccine card ring and earning $98,000 off it. Dr. Moore, though, rigorously disputed this fact in an interview on my podcast and notes that when people asked him for his fee for COVID treatment, he told them to donate it to a 501(c)(3) medical freedom group.

​Treasures in Heaven (took this picture of Jenny with blooming pear tree​)