Friday, July 1, 2022

Trickle Down Inflation

 Informed That It's Raining,

  Michael Hudson has a new interview out, with a transcript, which is long, brilliant, but mostly in flashes of brilliance which are hard to capture without all of the other things being said. I'll try to restate some of the points he makes. 
  Inflation is not as it is modeled in economics classes, but economists have to pretend that it is a battle between paying workers too much and imposing unemployment on them to reduce wages. (Otherwise economists don't get a paycheck.)
  A statistic is quoted in the question that 58% of inflation comes from corporate (rentier) profits. Hudson does not dispute that, but points out that only 8% of corporate profits are recycled into productive investments, 92% go into things like stock buybacks and offshoring of funds to hide "profits", because no successful company has profits any more. 
  Profits are taxable. Hudson points out several mechanisms to eliminate rentier-value-extraction loopholes, which would make productive investments better by comparison. Right now, the western business model is to extract value as profit, both "at home" and abroad, which whittles productive industry down at home, and extracts value from countries abroad, value they cannot invest in infrastructure or serving the needs of their citizens. Stock buybacks at home make capital-gains, while gutting productive capacity. Abroad, the model is to lend at high interest, then foreclose on the factory or other assets when they can't pay the loan. Not-paying-the-loan is a gift from the Fed, which jacks up interest rates just going into economic downturns and makes things like the Asian Economic Crisis. 
  This cycle is just going into that default-asset-stripping phase, and should be a doozie, unless all of the debtor-countries default and join Russia, China, BRICS, Eurasian Economic Union and friends. 
  This never happened before (1978), but it is finally possible for it to happen this time because there is a critical mass of economies , resources and production that would benefit from defaulting on $US debt and joining a new system, with Equity Investment, not financial asset-stripping, enforced by US/NATO., and they've spent 14 years quietly preparing.They are going to use each other's money, gold, and commodities like oil and sugar to back their new trade currency.
Pass the popcorn, please.!
  Trickle down inflation has been happening when central banks make trillions of dollars of loans at negative real interest rates to big financial institutions that have been robbing everybody right and left and still going bankrupt because that is their strong point and they are really way more corrupt than that internally.
  The trillions of dollars of give-away money, and buying up all of the junk mortgages for trillions more, so the prices stay high, and the pretending can go on. 
Eventually this makes prices of real things go high and stay high, like $600,000 houses that were $15,000 houses when they were built, and really need some repairs.   Can't really afford to buy the house we evicted you from? We'll just rent it to you, until we have to evict you again. 
  That's the miracle of trickle-down inflation. Putting people out of jobs won't fix this kind of inflation, because the big money goes to the big players who are not just not-making stuff, but making everybody else stop-making-stuff. 
More money, and less stuff is inflation, and this is the new way it happens. 
All of the western retirement investments are in this snake-eating-itself economy.
The Ponzi keeps working as long as there is enough faith in the system to keep the funds and imports coming in from the whole world.
("!0, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, ....")
  "Equity Investing" is the competing system. The lender takes a stake in the project, and does well when the project does well. The lender does not take everything and sell it if the project has a slow start or a bad year. This is actually "moral". "Economics" used to be taught under "Morality Studies150 years ago. How Quaint!   Even that weird relic "Islamic Finance" considers this to be the ideally moral form of lending. No wonder Iran wants to join up. 
Saudi Arabia won't get suckered like that, will they? Will they? (What's the counter-offer, President Joe?)

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov gave a talk at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. I've picked out 2 statements.
(This first statement says that they have gotten the framework set to bypass dollar trade, and need to implement it with each country putting in national currency.)
​  ​A firm basis has been created for promoting economic interaction within the SCO. It is necessary to work hard to put the existing plans into practice and implement concrete measures intended to ensure food, transport and energy security, develop remote and rural territories, strengthen inter-regional ties, carry out digital transformation, and introduce high technologies and innovations.  It will be of use to approve, as expected, a roadmap on increasing the share of national currencies in mutual payments.​..
(This​ statement appears to say that they have the vast legal and contractual framework already worked out. That has been a lot of work.)
​  ​A vast legal and contractual infrastructure, a huge human and resource potential, multilevel practical mechanisms and the accumulated rich experience of multifaceted cooperation remain a guarantee of the SCO’s further strengthening
(Here Lavrov lists the membership-rules-of-engagement of the newer, more egalitarian world order.​ This is statist/nationalist.​ "Mind your own business!")
​  ​Amid the continuing tectonic shifts in world politics and the economy, our Organisation can and must become one of the core elements of a new, more just and democratic polycentric world order based on the UN Charter, the principles of sovereign equality of all states, non-interference in internal affairs, and equal and indivisible security.

Law In A Multipolar World, Vladimir Putin​:​   Address to Plenary Session, 10th St Petersburg International Legal Forum.​  ​(Excerpted)
​  ​Participants at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum recently discussed the most relevant political, financial, technological and cultural issues on the global agenda; many of these issues directly related to international lawIt is important that you continue this conversation within this forum and discuss important topics like Law in a Multipolar World. ​ 
​  ​It is true, a multipolar system of international relations is now being formed. It is an irreversible process; it is happening before our eyes and is objective in nature. The position of Russia and many other countries is that this democratic, more just world order should be built on the basis of mutual respect and trust, and, of course, on the generally accepted principles of international law and the UN Charter.
​  ​At the same time, it is being said that law cannot adequately respond to the problems and challenges of today, to today’s turbulent and fundamental changes. There are also more radical assessments that the idea of international law is being dismantled. I fundamentally disagree with these conclusions.​..
..Crises happen not because law is faulty, but because of attempts to replace law with dictate, and international standards with the national jurisdiction of certain states or groups of states in a deliberate refusal to follow essential legal principles – justice, conscientiousness, equality and humanity...
(Neoliberal financial colonialism​ and piracy​ must go!)
..Some states are not ready to accept losing their supremacy on the international stage, and they are striving to preserve the unjust unipolar model. Under the guise of what they call order based on rules, and other questionable concepts, they try to control and direct global processes at their own discretion, and hold to a course of creating closed blocs and coalitions that make decisions for the benefit of one country, the United States of AmericaThe natural rights of others in international relations are being ignored; the fundamental principle of indivisibility of security is being used selectively. The West’s unilateral, illegitimate sanctions against sovereign states have reached an unprecedented scale.
  I will add that the countries that advocate their own exceptionalism also overstep the law and cross out such concepts as inviolability of property and freedom of speech in their own domestic policy as well...

..We are focused on joining efforts on crucial issues like the climate agenda, fighting famine, providing stability in food and energy markets, and fair rules in international trade and competition.
  All of these areas require appropriate and flexible legal regulation and meticulous cooperation...
(Historically, legal frameworks are good for a couple of generations, then get degraded when the founders pass away.)
..I am confident that, by consistently following international law and joining our efforts, it is possible to resolve the most difficult problems that the world is facing and to provide for the stable, sustainable and progressive development of all states.

Pepe Escobar, You're either with us or you're a "systemic challenge"
​  ​Fast but not furious, the Global South is revving up. The key takeaway of the BRICS+ summit in Beijing,  held in sharp contrast with the G7 in the Bavarian Alps, is that both West Asia’s Iran and South America’s Argentina officially applied for BRICS membership.​..
..For the NATO/G7 combo, the leaders of the emerging multipolar world as well as the vast swathes of the Global South that want to join in, are a “systemic challenge”.
​  ​Turkiye under the Sultan of Swing – Global South in spirit, tightrope walker in practice – got literally everything it wanted to magnanimously allow Sweden and Finland to clear their paths on the way to being absorbed by NATO.
​  ​Bets can be made on what kind of shenanigans NATO navies will come up with in the Baltics against the Russian Baltic Fleet, to be followed by assorted business cards distributed by Mr. Khinzal, Mr. Zircon, Mr. Onyx and Mr. Kalibr, capable of course of annihilating any NATO permutation, including “decision centers”.
​  ​So it came as a sort of perverse comic relief when Roscosmos released a set of quite entertaining satellite images pinpointing the coordinates of those “decision centers”.

​After a generation, I personally expect China to approach "more equal" status in this new multipolar order, as the US did after WW-2/Bretton-Woods.​
​China Daily: ​BRICS steering development into new era
​  ​BRICS provides an alternative mode of financing for development, is a platform for South-South cooperation, a game changer in the North-South dialogue, and a balancing mechanism in the context of building a fair global economic order.
​  ​The just-concluded BRICS Summit, chaired by China, was the 14th since 2009.​..
..​The NDB​ (National Development Bank)​, the "BRICS Plus" mechanism and the inclusion of new members are three significant directions for the future development of BRICS.
​  ​The NDB, a core part of the BRICS mechanism, has turned a forum into an institution. The NDB does not impose harsh conditions while providing infrastructure financing for the member states or other emerging market and developing economies. Internally, the NDB is a platform for better integration of resources of the BRICS countries, enlarging the effect of investments. Externally, the NDB brings the member states and other developing countries closer, and promotes mutual development.​..
..​This year is ideal to talk BRICS' expansion, because it's been five years since ("most equal"?) ​China proposed to start the expansion process. Although explorations and procedures continue, unofficially the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Argentina and Thailand are among the countries that could join the grouping.

​There is some statistical margin of error. figure these USA numbers could be half, or double, for instance.
Survey: More Than 750,000 Dead, 30 Million Injured Because of Covid Vax

The Ex Post Facto Mindset of the Predator, The Ethical Skeptic  (These mechanisms appear to hold well for narcissists, too: Trudeau, Biden, Macron, BoJo, etc. They just can't back down until there is some big excuse that makes them "victims".) 
​  ​The predator does not think in terms of what actions will serve to clarify, add value, nor alleviate suffering or risk (ethical skepticism). The pathological predator (fake skeptic, debunker, troll, stalker, virtue signaler, pedophile, groomer, exploiter, thief, abuser, poison purveyor, science poseur, and Party apparatchik) thinks in terms of weakness and identifying a party whom they can harm. The sociopath predator allows a third-party agency which co-occupies their mind, to dictate their thinking for them – egging them onward and simultaneously then accusing and justifying them thereafter. Such torment mandates the keeping of appearances. Accordingly, the sociopath is often a person who is well-groomed in terms of social affability and acceptable protocol.

​Making Excuses
(pictured with well-reinforced kitchen cabinets in position prior to full installation)​

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