Monday, December 12, 2022

Assisting Reality


  Ellen Brown makes a valuable speculative foray into what the intentions of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell may be, which reflect upon what his read of the future of the global economy is likely to be.
The Real Goal of Fed Policy: Breaking Inflation, the Middle Class or the Bubble Economy?
  Ms. Brown opens by observing that raising interest rates will make life much harder for working people, who ​have already been pushed to the limits of their credit cards to cope with high expenses and low pay. Jobs will be cut. People cannot afford the expenses required to live in a place and commute to work. This is worsened by raising interest rates, but they could no longer be lowered, as they were effectively negative, lower than inflation. 
  Ms Brown focuses on a particular financial epoch, and speculates that it may be the intention of Mr. Powell to "End The Fed Put"​ , which began after the October 19, 1987 Black Monday crash of the stock market, and was called the "Greenspan Put" as long as he was Fed Chair, then the "Bernanke Put".
  The "Plunge Protection Team" of the Fed was put into place to prevent sudden losses of stock value following Black Monday 1987. They would purchase whatever needed to be purchased and extend credit, in order to blunt sudden drops in market value. This became a ratchet upward for stock valuations over time. What are "risk assets", when "the Fed has your back"? An "investing" entity would take on "risk" of a sort that would be backstopped by the Fed Put, investing in Too Big To Fail entities, which the Fed would be forced to support. This became a riskless financial investment, while the "investor" was "paid to take risk". 
  There was an appearance of a market, but the price-discovery function of any market is to discover when a business can't really pay its debts, and to sell it for much less, reflecting the reality of what the business can-actually-pay.​
  After 2008, the Fed had to do more than extend credit and buy some shares at times. The Fed had to buy massive amounts of bad mortgage debt to "make investors whole". Then there was no limit to what the Fed had to buy to "keep markets solvent".  In August and September 2018 there was a "Repo Crisis" in the market for overnight lending, collateralized by US Treasury Debt, among the largest banks and financial institutions in the world. They could not trust each other in this idealized setting. Counterparty risk was too high, but only they could see it. The Fed had to take over that lending function, also.

  Ms. Brown details that the parasitism engendered by the Fed-Put was that the financial system would continue to take more value over time, no matter what the real economy did, which progressively weakened the real economy, through bleeding it, and transfusing blood into zombie-companies to feed their financial leeches. This is the only financial ecosystem which a generation of investment specialists has ever known. I was working my first job out of internship on October 19, 1987. Anybody under my age, 64 would not have a very professional understanding of those events, having not dealt with them in real-time. Many financial specialists have entered their profession since September of 2008, and are even less connected with any real understanding of a functioning financial market for productive assets. 
  Risk has to be re-introduced gradually to avoid panic. Ms. Powell speculates, and provides many references in support, that Jerome Powell seeks to restore risk to "financial markets" until they are actually financial markets again. 
  The hostage held by Financial Elites is Retirement Benefits. The Ponzi scheme of retirement investments has long been supported at a level of 5% - 7% returns per year on capital. This has been true for decades, despite real economic growth averaging 2% or less in those decades. That can only be supported by a Ponzi financial structure. It seems that price inflation is one of the things which will lower expectations of retirement security. The ultimate economic fact is that the amount of wealth available in the US and other advanced economies, to support retirees, will be far, far less than what has been promised and is owed to them. How can that be revealed and dealt with gradually and stepwise?
  Still, the current parasite-serving financial structure continues to weaken the productive economy, which needs to restructure to align with reality, since reality is what feeds people and powers society.

  How can the physical economy adapt to preserve its primary function of effectively supporting human society? An essential step is to eliminate "Perverse Incentives", which have long existed, to take "financial risks" in risky-businesses, and to push the risk higher by extracting-value, knowing that some form of the public-purse would pay the profits and keep the zombie-company "alive" to provide blood to the leeches-making-the-decisions.
  Let's presume that parasitic control of economic management will cease, by  Mr. Powell's hand, or by inescapable fate. Some form of rational  economic planning and guidance will be needed to support human societies. Societal capabilities and the talents of members of society will need to be coordinated to produce what that society needs in a reliable and sustainable way. The baseline needs to be meeting the human needs of the members of society with the resources available, and in a reliable way, so that the meeting of future needs can be realistically planned.
  Parasitic interests have controlled government to create monopoly-spaces through regulations, which only their corporation happens to be able to satisfy. Monopoly profits accrue from regulatory-capture. Regulatory capture must be identified and eliminated, as it was in the "Trust Busting" years around 1900.
  Some of the monopoly-spaces being created lately pertain to man-made global-warming, which is a real thing, but the regulatory "solutions" being proposed will not work as advertised. Mainly the carbon-credit system will carve out financial profits, while choking productive economy. Other "green economy solutions" , such as electric vehicles, are seen to cause more environmental degradation than similar internal-combustion engine vehicles with efficient design, and they cost more, which is to say that they are also economically inefficient.

  A lot of effort will need to be exerted for the foreseeable future to distinguish efficient economic solutions from clever sales-pitches, and to choose wisely. 
Much of that work has already been done, but it is not publicized, because it is bad-for-business in the current business-climate. Here is a 1000 page example of good work assessing the prospects for a "Green Economic Transition". I spent an hour and a half skimming it. there are lots of excellent graphs, many I have seen before, and I am familiar with the analytical techniques. Charles Hugh Smith found this and sent it out.  
   Assessment of the Extra Capacity Required of Alternative Energy Electrical Power Systems to Completely Replace Fossil Fuels , 
  The initial presumption of this technical analysis is that the transition to green/sustainable energy sources, focusing on electrical generation, will be carried out as planned, and how that objective should be approached. This exhaustive technical investigation does not find any approach which can possibly work to achieve that end, due to shortages of current energy supplies (oil, coal, gas) and inadequate global supplies of necessary mined products like lithium and rare earth minerals. 
  All of the necessary resource requirements fall far short, not just one or two, but all of them. It is not possible, so it cannot happen, so "what's plan-B".

​  Chuck Pezeshki is a Mechanical Engineer and a pretty good human being. Thanks Chuck, and thanks Christine. This article, written just before Halloween, is about how sociopaths bend social norms into sociopathic patterns which create social crises, since they are parasitic ("vampires"). 
Vampire Colonies, AB2098, Transhumanism, and Life in The Matrix
​  ​One of the big questions that is often asked is this: Why are the architects of this shift in the structure of The Matrix doing it? The answer is simple. They are doing it without empathy, or sense of consequence for their actions that exist in their pursuit of power and control. 
How can they do this to children? The answer is unpleasant — as the Joker in The Dark Knight says “I just DO things.”

​  What does "Fascism" mean? Technically it is a union of corporate and state interests (no comments from citizen peanut-gallery).  As used, "fascism" seems to mean "not good people like us", even when the good people might qualify as the first definition. This is happening in Europe. It can't work out well.
Fascism in the EU​ 
 ​Another epithet the EU governments and their most fanatical supporters such as Greens, Liberals and Social Democrats, like to throw at anybody who disagrees with them is “fascist.” This may actually be a bit like a fossil, an old leftover from a century ago when the left used to be attacked by uniformed street gangs, such as the SA in Germany and the Fasci di combattimento in Italy. Indeed, one may call such people nazis or fascists, if only because that is what they called themselves. But in a more objective sense, what are the distinguishing features of fascism as a political system? These include ruthless oppression of the opposition, censorship and control of every aspect of the lives of the citizens. The EU nicely fits that description. But the most important characteristic is that under fascism, both state and society are subject to the dictates of monopoly capitalism, in other words, of big corporations, including banks. This also happens to be the case in the EU. Whereas in nazi Germany and fascist Italy these corporations were called Krupp, IG Farben, FIAT, Ansaldo and so on, today they are called Blackrock, Vanguard, Amazon and Microsoft.
​  ​For many years now, EU legislation, taking precedence over laws enacted by national parliaments, is being written and prepared for passing by a veritable army of lobbyists paid by the monopoly capitalists. These hired hands outnumber the civil servants in the EU capital of Brussels.

​Name calling doesn't work everywhere.
​  Xi Jinping’s Visit to Saudi Arabia and the overthrow of Atlanticism , Matthew Ehret
  The historic China-Arab Summit in Riyadh symbolizes the emerging Eurasianism in the Persian Gulf.

​  As Atlanticists continue their commitment to a future shaped by energy scarcity, food scarcity, and war with their nuclear-capable neighbors, most states in the Persian Gulf that have long been trusted allies of the west have quickly come to realize that their interests are best assured by cooperating with Eurasian states like China and Russia who don’t think in those zero-sum terms.
​  ​With Chinese President Xi Jinping’s long-awaited three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, a powerful shift by the Persian Gulf’s most strategic Arab state toward the multipolar alliance is being consolidated.

​Thanks Eleni.  ​Italy distances from ‘cancellation’ of Russia  M.K. Bhadrakumar
​...​Interestingly, the new season at the La Scala theatre in the Italian city of Milan opened on Thursday with premiere of Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov, with the title role performed by prominent Russian opera singer Ildar Abdrazakov. Italian president Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Italy’s high society, including politicians, businessmen, actors, directors, fashion designers and architects, attended the Russian opera.
​  ​Italy is marking distance from the Russophobic narrative in Europe. Again, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that the West should consider how to address Russia’s need for security guarantees.

​The price cap imposed upon Russian oil by the EU presumes a method of trading oil which does not exist in this world. Therefore, it is mainly preventing oil trades, by throwing a wrench in the trading system which does exist. The only predictable result is that less oil will be allowed to flow. Russia is better prepared than Kazakhstan at the moment.​
The oil price cap that came into effect last week was designed to keep Russian oil flowing into international markets while reducing Russia’s revenues.
While the price cap may have made sense on paper, it has proven to be confusing for oil traders who very rarely trade crude at fixed prices.
To add to these worries for traders, Turkey is continuing to ask for proof of insurance for tankers passing through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, further disrupting supply.​..
​..Then comes the bigger problem, and that problem is that crude oil is just not traded under fixed prices, which is already causing headaches in the sector. In fact, oil is traded in such a way that it could often be impossible to comply with the cap, even assuming Russia would sell to cap backers...
​  ​“Physical traders rarely trade on a fixed price,” John Driscoll, chief strategist at JTD Energy Services, told Bloomberg. “It’s a much more complex space where they trade on formulas and spot differentials to a benchmark crude for the trading of actual cargoes as well as for hedging that follows.”

​Moon of Alabama (Germany) has this in the latest Ukraine update:
​  ​NATO is slowly falling apart. NATO is losing the proxy war in Ukraine and it is losing it badly. The people know it and it will have consequences. An increasingly authoritarian EU will follow the same path.
​  ​But there are powers in NATO that want to prevent that downfall. They will try to get NATO directly into the fight:
​  ​NATO’s secretary general warned on Friday that Russia’s war in Ukraine could expand into a wider war with the Atlantic alliance.
​  ​The official, Jens Stoltenberg, repeatedly cautioned in news media interviews this week against underestimating the situation in Ukraine and emphasized the wider threat President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia could pose to Europe.
​  “If things go wrong, they can go horribly wrong,” Mr. Stoltenberg said in an interview released on Friday with the Norwegian journalist Anne Lindmo, in which he added that there was “no doubt” a full-blown war against NATO was a “real possibility.”
​  ​“I understand everyone who is tired of supporting Ukraine. I understand everyone who thinks that food prices and the electricity bills are far too high,” he said. “But we have to pay a much higher price if our freedom and peace are threatened through Putin winning in Ukraine.”​ ...
​..It is bullshit but it is designed to push for NATO entering the war when it becomes obvious to everyone that Russia is wining it.​..
​..But Stoltenberg has one thing right:
​  ​Mr. Stoltenberg’s comments came two days after he said that Russia was intentionally stalling the war in order to prepare a renewed onslaught against Ukrainian forces next year.
​  ​Let us assume that Russia waits until March for its all out attack on Ukraine. In the meantime it continues to grind the Ukrainian army down without itself having significant casualties. The Ukrainian army will by then have lost another 72,000 men. That is probably a third of its current strength. By then its acute 'regeneration problem' will have become even more acute. It means that it will then be much weaker.

​The Great Green Hope.; "Too-cheap-to-meter-2"   This is an impressive technical breakthrough, but it is a long way from getting more electricity than is put in.
​  For the first time ever, US scientists at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California successfully produced a nuclear fusion reaction resulting in a net energy gain – a source familiar with the project confirmed to CNN.
  The US Department of Energy is expected to officially announce the breakthrough Tuesday.
  The result of the experiment is a massive step in a decades-long quest to unleash an infinite source of clean energy that could help end dependence on fossil fuels. Researchers have for decades attempted to recreate nuclear fusion – replicating the fusion that powers the sun.

Steve Kirsch:  Rasmussen Reports got the same results I did. The vaccine isn't safe.
​  ​Rasmussen polled the American people with a simple four question survey and found that my polls were accurate and so was the V-safe data and so was the Israeli Ministry of Health safety report that nobody wants to see.
The Rasmussen poll of 1,000 Americans found that:
32% were not vaccinated
7% of those surveyed had a major side effect.
A 7% major side effect rate is unprecedented. We know from the V-safe data that this effectively means that the side effect was so bad, they had to seek medical attention.

​  ​New (uh, December 2021) ​research published recently suggests that Pfizer’s erectile dysfunction drug Viagra can decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 69%.
​  The research, which was published in Nature, found that the medication has a direct effect on brain health and significantly reduces the toxic proteins that can cause dementia...
​  ​Another recent study uncovered another unlikely weapon in the fight against dementia: coffee.​..​
..While coffee does not mitigate or fight Alzheimer’s like some medications do, the study found that people with no memory loss who also drank larger than average amounts of coffee were at less of a risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, which is considered a pre-stage of Alzheimer’s disease.

Endophenotype-based in silico network medicine discovery combined with insurance record data mining identifies sildenafil as a candidate drug for Alzheimer’s disease​  12/6/2021
..​We also found that sildenafil increases neurite growth and decreases phospho-tau expression in neuron models derived from induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with AD, supporting mechanistically its potential beneficial effect in AD. The association between sildenafil use and decreased incidence of AD does not establish causality, which will require a randomized controlled trial.

Coffee Drinker (pictured planting onions in Austin fall/winter garden)


  1. Hi John, would love to pick up our conversation on Substack in regards to gardening, health, the universe and everything!