Saturday, March 23, 2024

Systemic Jeopardy

 ​Doubly Jeapordized,

  Systemic jeopardyTHE COMING FINANCIAL CRASH​ , Surplus Energy Economics
  One question, above all others, has dominated our recent discussions here. This is the issue of whether the financial system will fracture as the underlying “real” or material economy inflects from growth into contraction.
  Has some kind of chaotic reset – either contractionary or hyperinflationary – become inevitable? Are we – to put it colloquially – heading into a re-run of the Wall Street crash and the ensuing Great Depression?
  The answer is that we are. Only two outcomes remain possible. One is a cascade of defaults and asset price crashes, and the other is a full-on resort to money-creation, resulting in an uncontrollable surge in inflation.
  The likelihood is that the latter will be tried, but will fail to prevent the former
​..This doesn’t just mean that households will have to get by without various non-essentials hitherto taken very largely for granted. It also means that they will find it increasingly hard to ‘keep up the payments’ on everything from secured and unsecured credit to subscriptions and staged-payment purchases.
​  In an economy shaped by energy, there’s no bottomless well of household financial resources, and any attempt to create one using ultra-loose monetary policies can only lead to the hyper-inflationary destruction of the purchasing power value of money.
​  The outlook for the material and financial economies is quite clear, and is pictured in Fig. 2.
​  Structurally, the departure of the “financial economy” (of money, transactions and credit) from the underlying “real economy” (of material products and services) has introduced enormous disequilibrium pressure into the system (Fig. 2C), pressure that has been rising even as the aggregates of debt and broader liability exposure have been escalating (Fig. 2D).

​..Within our general understanding of economic and financial causation, two big questions remain to be answered. First, what’s going to happen to domestic and international politics as the public, previously promised perpetual material betterment, awakes to the reality of deteriorating prosperity, narrowing choices and worsening insecurity?
​  Second, can the financial system, in its present form, survive the inflexion of the material economy from growth into contraction? The short answer to this question is that it can’t, and the task ahead is to redesign the financial system for a smaller, supportive role in a shrinking economy.
​  The political issue requires a discussion all to itself, but we can already see popular dissatisfaction finding voice in the rise of authoritarian populism...
..We’ll have to go through a GFCII event, this time on a scale that no amount of monetary gimmickry can buy off. Then we’ll have to build a new financial system, just as individual countries have been compelled to do after the hyperinflationary destruction of their currencies.

​  Gilbert Doctorow has news and an opinion. Update on the ‘Crocus City Hall’ massacre
  The death toll has risen sharply from first news last night. It now stands at 143 and may go still higher.  Most of the victims apparently died from gunshot wounds. Some died from asphyxiation linked to smoke from the fire on the premises which the attackers lit with incendiary devices. The event under attack was a rock concert that was about to begin and many of those killed were children and adolescents, a fact which, rightly or wrongly, Russians consider particularly heinous...
​..We know that 11 of those responsible were apprehended, including the four who committed the murders in the auditorium. They were caught in a forest of the Bryansk province, following a car chase and exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers when they tried to evade a roadside control. They were driving their Renault car in the direction of the Ukrainian border.
​  We are told that several at least are citizens of the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan, although Tajik authorities deny that their people were involved. Representatives of the Islamic State terrorist organization have claimed responsibility, although that by itself says nothing about ultimate directions from Ukraine.
​  One of the terrorists revealed under police interrogation that they were paid 500,000 rubles for the attack, amounting to a paltry $5,000. Another 500,000 was to be paid later, following the attack, but it is safe to assume that the paymasters never expected that half to be paid out.
​  Vladimir Putin’s address to the nation was calm and non-accusatory with respect to the puppet masters behind the atrocity.....“Putin: there is information about the preparation of an escape window for the murderers on the Ukrainian side”​...
​  Otherwise, Putin’s opening words were of comfort to the bereaved and relatives of those wounded. We know from other sources that the Moscow and Moscow regional authorities have announced compensation to be paid to all victims and their relatives...​..Tomorrow has been declared a national day of mourning in Russia. The Culture Ministry has cancelled all events involving large gatherings of people and cities across Russia have declared heightened security measures.  Indeed the situation at the Crocus City Hall was exceedingly lax: there were no armed guards. The security people had only wooden clubs, not firearms, and they apparently were in their quarters when they were tracked down by the assailants and murdered first before they proceeded to the auditorium.
​..Let there be no confusion here:  the tragedy yesterday is a turning point in the war. I remain persuaded that it was an American sanctioned or directed provocation intended to elicit the violent response that I mentioned in my last essay – a Russian strike on Kiev with intent to decapitate the Zelensky regime.

​  US Intelligence Says It Knew ISIS-K Was Planning Terror Attack On Moscow
​  The initial reports that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Moscow appeared rumor at first, and has still been subject of widespread scrutiny and debate, however, US media and government officials are saying that the Islamic State (or ISIS-K) statement is authentic. "A branch of the Islamic State claimed responsibility on Friday for the attack in Moscow that killed at least 40 people and injured about 100 others, and U.S. officials confirmed the claim shortly afterward," The New York Times writes late in the day.
​  What's more is that US intelligence knew there was to be an imminent attack on Moscow: "The United States collected intelligence in March that Islamic State-Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, the branch of the group based in Afghanistan, had been planning an attack on Moscow, according to officials. ISIS members have been active in Russia, one U.S. official said," according to more from NYT.
​  The Kremlin had earlier in the day demanded answers of Washington explaining why the US Embassy in Moscow issued an alert earlier this month for all US nationals to avoid public venues and be extra vigilant.

​  Swamp Wins: Senate Approves $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill, Narrowly Averting Gov't Shutdown 
​  The legislation provides 75% of the federal government funding for the coming six months. It includes measures to increase military salaries, eliminate funding to the United Nations agency supporting Palestinian refugees, and enhance security along the southern border.

World Sees Gaza as ‘US Genocide’ Not Just Israel’s

​  The West's Reckoning?  Dr. Michael Brenner
​  Western leaders are experiencing two stunning events: defeat in Ukraine, and genocide in Palestine. The first is humiliating, the other shameful. Yet, they feel no humiliation or shame. Their actions show vividly that those sentiments are alien to them...
..Clues for these abnormalities are provided by their most recent responses as deteriorating conditions tighten the vise – on emotions, on prevailing policies, on domestic political worries, on ginger egos. Those responses fall under the category of panic behavior. Deep down, they are scared, fearful, and agitated. Biden et al in Washington, Macron, Schulz, Sunak, Stoltenberg, von der Leyen. They lack the courage of their stated convictions or the courage to face reality squarely. The blunt truth is that they have contrived to get themselves, and their countries, in a quandary from which there is no escape conforming to their current self-defined interests and emotional engagement...
..French President Emmanuel Macon’s proposed plan to station military personnel from NATO members within Ukraine to serve as a tripwire. Arrayed as a cordon around Kharkov, Odessa, and Kiev they are meant to deter advancing Russian forces from moving on those cities for fear of killing Western soldiers – thereby risking a direct confrontation with the Alliance...
..There already are thousands of Westerners bolstering the Ukrainian armed forces. Roughly 4 – 5,000 Americans have been performing critical operational functions from the outset. The presence of a majority predates by several years the onset of hostilities 2 years ago. That contingent was augmented by a supplementary group of 1,700 last summer which was a corps of logistic experts advertised as mandated to seek out and eradicate corruption in the black-marketing of pilfered supplies. The Pentagon people are sown through the Ukrainian military from headquarters planning units to advisers in the field, to technicians and Special Forces...
..The principal lesson to be drawn from this overview is that the positioning of European troops at key sites as human hostages is not wholly original. Their presence has not deterred Russia from attacking them in the field or, as in the French case, hunting them down in their residences...
..Insofar as the violent ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians is concerned, it is fair to say that the Western government’s complicity via its arming and unqualified backing for Israel’s gruesome actions constitutes grotesque behavior. To single out individual elements among individual governments is superfluous. The entire episode is grotesque. So it is seen by nearly the entire world outside the countries of the collective West...
..There are actions that manifestly represent a clear and future danger of an expanding war in Europe...
..Taken together, the actions of Western leaders – supported by their nations’ political elites – are indicative of a behavior pattern that has parted ways with reality. They derive deductively from dogmas unsubstantiated by objective fact...
​..Back to the ingredients of panic. We noted fear – of both the identifiable and the unknown, and sub-conscious feelings of insecurity... opening opportunities for willful persons or factions who harbor audacious objectives of remaking the world’s geo-political space according to American hegemonic specifications. To that end, our leaders manipulate and exploit conditions of emotional disorientation and political conformity. The outstanding example is the so-called ‘neo-cons’ in Washington (who number Joe Biden as a comrade-in-arms) who have crafted a network of like-minded true believers in London, Paris, Berlin, and at both ends of Brussels.
​  What of the puzzle we noted as to the near complete absence of feelings of guilt or shame – especially over Gaza, of being humiliated in the eyes of the world? In conditions of nihilism, matters of conscience are moot. The implicit rejection of norms, rules, and laws frees the individual self to do whatever impulses or ideas, or selfish interests impel it. With the superego dissolved, there is no felt obligation to judge oneself about any external or abstract standard. Narcissistic tendencies flourish. A similar psychology obviates the requirement for experiencing shame. That is something that can only exist if we subjectively are part of a social grouping wherein personal status, and sense of worth, depend on how others view us and whether they grant us respect. In the absence of such a communal identity, with its attendant sensitivity to its opinion, shame can exist only in the perverse form of regret that one has been unable to meet the demanding, all-consuming need for self-gratification. That applies to nations as well as their individual leaders.

​  Russian servicemen to kill all French soldiers in Ukraine — senior lawmaker
Pyotr Tolstoy pointed out that 147 out of 367 French mercenaries who arrived in Ukraine earlier have been eliminated

​  Andrew Korybko,  Analyzing The Kremlin Spokesman’s Unprecedented Description Of The Ukrainian Conflict As A War
  This should be seen as the Kremlin’s clearest signal yet that it’ll respond to the scenario of a conventional Western intervention by striking those opposing forces in line with the international laws governing this form of conflict.​..
​..Returning to Peskov’s rhetorical shift, the best that it could therefore do is prompt the West to back off from its plans, after which the warring parties could rely on Indian mediation to manage this latest phase of their security dilemma. If the West misinterprets his words as a “bluff” and still goes through with what Macron talked about, especially without India mediating to share each side’s red lines and how they’ll react in various scenarios, then the risk of World War III by miscalculation will be higher than ever.​

​  Aleks at Black Mtn. Analysis interviews Alex Krainer, discussing Economics And Empires , starting from this essay of Alex's, which I recently posted:
They cover a lot of ground after that, and efficiently so. The video is an hour long. Stop when it gets dull. :-)

Mike Benz (5 min): Hunter Biden was advancing a CIA project in Ukraine to swing the natural gas market towards NATO & that’s why he’s untouchable.

CIA Protecting Biden by Blocking IRS Interviews, Says Former Whistleblower​ [Including dramatic SWAT intervention on Hunter's Psychiatrist to ransack his house.]

​  FDA Settles Ivermectin Case, Agrees To Remove Controversial 'Stop It' Post
“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

​  Pierre Kory MD,  The FDA Settled With Us Because They Knew They Were Going To Lose
​  After 4 years of catastrophic health agency tyranny, physicians finally score a legal victory. I think the FDA settled because their Pharma masters were terrified of discovery. Here is the backstory.

​  The Hertz Meltdown Reveals Scale Of The EV Debacle
​  CEO of Hertz Stephen Scherr has been booted out due to a vast purchase of an EV fleet that consumers didn’t even want to rent. The company has now been forced to sell them at a deep discount and in a market where consumers are not particularly interested.
​  Looking back, however, Scherr’s decision to bet everything on an EV boom was a disaster that was highly praised at the time. Only last year, the company bragged: “This morning, [Hertz] was recognized by The White House for our efforts to expand access to electric vehicles across the country. Demand for EV rentals is growing and we’re here to help our customers electrify their travels.”

​Pedestrian Gardener (pictured in garden with squash flower this morning, between pulling weeds and other chores)   

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