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Tennessee bill takes on NSA encryption-breaking facility at Oak Ridge

Tennessee bill takes on NSA encryption-breaking facility at Oak Ridge | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
The state-level effort to turn off water and electricity to the National Security Agency (NSA) got a major boost today as legislators in Tennessee introduced a bill to ban the state from providing material support to the federal agency.
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What is the Value and Purpose of Sharing?

What is the Value and Purpose of Sharing? | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
In the history of humankind, with the possible exception of the Gutenberg Press, there has not been a more disruptive advance in…
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Why the Left Refuses to Talk About Venezuela

Why the Left Refuses to Talk About Venezuela | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
During the 2016 presidential election, Bernie Sanders refused to answer questions about Venezuela during an interview with Univision.
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Is There A Coup Attempt Underway In America?

Is There A Coup Attempt Underway In America? | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, Personally, I’m horrified by the fact that Goldman Sachs goons are in total control of the Trump administration’s economic policy. I’m also horrified that our new President’s first overseas trip will be to the … Continue reading →
Is There A Coup Attempt Underway In America? was originally published on Washington's Blog
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Dismantle the FBI, and Give its Money Back to the States

Dismantle the FBI, and Give its Money Back to the States | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
With James Comey's firing, we're told the FBI is in turmoil, and Washington DC cocktail parties are all atwitter over the excitement of the scandal. But don't worry about the FBI. If history has proved anything, the Bureau, no matter how much chaos it may endure, can always rely on a fat check from Congress — funded by the American taxpayers. 

But why does the US need a huge national police force at all? Can't state police forces do just as well? The FBI continues to assert never-proven claims that bigger governments are better at law enforcement than smaller onces. This myth is not only untrue, but very expensive for taxpayers. 
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THE HORROR! THE HORROR! (PART THREE)

THE HORROR! THE HORROR! (PART THREE) | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
In Part One and Part Two of this article I detailed the decades of propaganda, false flags, and misinformation campaigns used by the Deep State to gain power and control over the U.S. government. When war or a financial crisis is necessary to keep the profits flowing, events will be steered to such an outcome. With the latest financial plundering operation running out of steam, the Deep State is pushing the world toward global conflict.

If at first you don’t succeed with a false flag gas attack, try try again. Knowing a vast swath of the American populace is incapable of critical thinking or able to discern between fake news and factual events, the Deep State and their media lackeys unquestioningly promoted the story of children being killed by a sarin gas attack by Assad. The photos of rescue workers helping victims without gloves immediately invalidated the narrative, as the rescue workers would be dead if they handled sarin gas victims without protective gear.

The faux journalists, pretending to be neutral observers, did not question this blatant lie. They did not ponder why Assad would commit such an idiotic atrocity when he was clearly in control of the battlefield and on the verge of defeating his American funded rebel enemies.
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A Paler Shade of Gray

A Paler Shade of Gray | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
If you seek to know why this country is in so much trouble, check out the lead reports about the health care reform bill in today’s New York Times, WashPo, and CNN. You will find there is no intelligible discussion in any of them as to what’s actually ailing US health care. All you get is play-by-play commentary about which political tag-team is “winning,” as if this were a pro wrestling match — with an overlay of gloat that the Republicans fell oafishly out of the ring in the early rounds.

Of course, an issue even larger than the health care fiasco is this society’s tragic and astounding inability to discuss anything coherently in the public arena, and that might possibly be traced to the failures of education in our time and its effects on the current crop of editors and news producers — people who grew up hearing that reality was just a constructed “narrative” and that one narrative was as good as another.

So, you would surmise from reading the papers (or their web editions) that the health care problem was simply a matter of apportioning insurance coverage. That is what the stage magicians call misdirection. Any way you cut the dynamics of health insurance, as practiced in the USA these days, it is nothing but racketeering, literally a conspiracy between informed players to swindle uninformed “patients.” The debate in congress (and the news media) is just about who gets to be swindled.

This is almost entirely due to the hocus-pocus of pricing for services. For an excellent dissection of all this, I urge you to read Karl Denninger’s comprehensive manifesto, How To Permanently Fix Health Care For All, which he posted one month ago. You have to wonder whether anybody in congress happened to read this, because the debate has been devoid of any of the crucial points that it addresses.

The way it works now, the so-called “providers” (doctors, hospitals) refuse to post the cost of any service, and then charge whatever they feel they can extract, subject to an abstruse and dishonest ceremonial “negotiation” with the insurance company. The result: hospital and insurance executives get paid multi-million dollar salaries, doctors get to drive fine German cars, and the patient gets financially ass-raped, kicked to the curb, and eventually stuffed into the bankruptcy courts.

ObamaCare did nothing to fix this. It just added more victims to the rolls and upped the price of admission for a personal financial ass-raping, so that an insured individual could go to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy and end up getting dunned for thousands of dollars — or even more if one of the hosptial’s favorite cute scams is applied, such as calling in an out-of-network anesthesiologist to knock you unconscious (in which state you are unlikely to inquire whether he/she/zhe is in-network or out).

Under the current system, a hospital can bill you $5,999 to stitch up a cut finger, mitigate a bee-sting, or wind an Ace bandage around a sprained ankle, and you’re sure not to learn the cost-of-treatment until the postman drops off the incomprehensible “explanation of benefits” from the insurance company that states in bold print on top “This Is Not a Bill,” but actually is a report of your own incipient financial ass-raping.

But judging from the news reports this day, none of these issues is actually on the table in the congressional debate. I don’t believe the editors of The New York Times are necessarily “in bed” with the overpaid hospital CEOs and the insurance company fraudsters. They are simply putting up a defense of their previous psychological investment in Democratic Party ideology — in the shibboleth that ObamaCare was unquestionably a great thing because it was created under the magically empowered 44th president.

I can believe that both Democratic and Republican law-makers are not only in bed with the medical fraudsters of all categories, but are performing a particularly odious form of sadomasochistic bondage-and-discipline sex in exchange for payoffs. Note, too, that none of the aforementioned major media have reported what the medical and insurance lobbyists have paid to their rent-boys and doxies in the US capitol. Wouldn’t you like to know?
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The Fed Will Likely Chicken Out on Planned Rate Hikes

The Fed Will Likely Chicken Out on Planned Rate Hikes | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
The Austrian business cycle theory tells us that the injection of new money created through bank lending out of thin air causes an artificial boom; and that the slowdown of credit and money creation, let alone a decline in available loanable funds, turns the boom into bust. Recent bank lending data in the US show a noticeable slowdown in bank lending rates, setting in around autumn 2016. Does it signal trouble down the road?

There is no easy answer to this question. Various forces are at work. As far as the supply side is concerned, banks may have tightened their lending standards due to higher delinquency rates, restricting access to new loans. Banks may also sell off credit exposure to non-banks such as, for instance, mutual funds, insurance companies etc. Both developments would actually translate into a decline in the level of bank lending aggregates and thus their growth rates.
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The Existential Question of Who to Trust

The Existential Question of Who to Trust | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it

The looming threat of World War III, a potential extermination event for the human species, is made more likely because the world’s public can’t count on supposedly objective experts to ascertain and evaluate facts. Instead, careerism is the order of the day among journalists, intelligence analysts and international monitors – meaning that almost no one who might normally be relied on to tell the truth can be trusted.

The dangerous reality is that this careerism, which often is expressed by a smug certainty about whatever the prevailing groupthink is, pervades not just the political world, where lies seem to be the common currency, but also the worlds of journalism, intelligence and international oversight, including United Nations agencies that are often granted greater credibility because they are perceived as less beholden to specific governments but in reality have become deeply corrupted, too.

In other words, many professionals who are counted on for digging out the facts and speaking truth to power have sold themselves to those same powerful interests in order to keep high-paying jobs and to not get tossed out onto the street. Many of these self-aggrandizing professionals – caught up in the many accouterments of success – don’t even seem to recognize how far they’ve drifted from principled professionalism.

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The Horror! The Horror! 

The Horror! The Horror!  | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it

I'm constantly amazed by the ability of those in power to create a narrative trusted by a gullible non-critical thinking populace. Appealing to emotions, when you have millions of functionally illiterate, normalcy bias ensnared, iGadget distracted, disciples of the status quo, has been the game plan of the Deep State for the last century. Americans don't want to think, because thinking is hard. They would rather feel. For decades the government controlled public education system has performed a mass lobotomy on their hapless matriculates, removing their ability to think and replacing it with feelings, fabricated dogma, and social indoctrination. Their minds of mush have been molded to acquiesce to the narrative propagandized by their government keepers.


"The problem isn't that Johnny can't read. The problem isn't even that Johnny can't think. The problem is that Johnny doesn't know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling." - Thomas Sowell
With a majority confused, distracted, malleable, willfully ignorant, and easily manipulated by false narratives, heart wrenching images, and fake news, the Deep State henchmen have been able to control the masses with relative ease. The unanticipated rise of Donald Trump to the most powerful role in the world gave many critical thinking, anti-big government, skeptical curmudgeons hope he could drain the swamp and begin to deconstruct the massive out of control Federal bureaucracy.


His rhetoric during the campaign about repealing the disastrous Obamacare abortion, cutting taxes, dismantling Federal regulatory red tape, making Mexico pay for the wall, dumping Yellen, favoring higher interest rates, and not interfering militarily in countries who are not threatening the United States, appealed to many libertarian minded people.


I've watched with disgust over the last month as the promises of non-interventionism by a presidential candidate have been broken by the third consecutive president. George W. promised a humble foreign policy with no nation building. He had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist:

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Why Taxation is Slavery: Words From Frederick Douglass

Why Taxation is Slavery: Words From Frederick Douglass | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
What do you call it when someone takes 100% of your labor by force? Slavery.

Slavery is being forced to work against your will for the benefit of your master, your owner. The only reason they own the products of your labor is because they own you. If you had exclusive control over what is done to and with your body, the most basic right of self-ownership, you would not owe anybody your labor.

So then a lesser percentage of forced labor is also slavery, though to an obviously lesser degree.

Whether a cent or a million dollars is taken without consent, it is theft. And if someone forces you to work for them 1% of the time, or 100% of a time, that is still slavery.

Frederick Douglass was a slave, by any reckoning. So it is interesting to read his own words, on having his rightfully earned wages taken by force. In his book My Bondage and My Freedom, Douglass laments the state of his servitude, that all his hard work is confiscated from him.
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Money In America

Money In America | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it

There is a great truth in what Bryan says, though, I believe, in service of the exact wrong direction. What he, like de Tocqueville, had noticed is balance; a simple and yet altogether insanely complex ideal. There must be money and there must be rules governing that money, but those must be stable as well as faithful to the balance to labor. We cannot swing too far in any one direction, as Bryan proposed with his further silver agitation, for that is the place where all economics becomes the pure politics of dissatisfaction and revolution; from the contradictions of early America to the constant upheaval of 19th century France and Europe.


This can, at times, seem like all ancient stuff. Surely the modern 21st century has left long ago the criticisms of the 1800’s like those of Karl Marx (who was no fool). But Marxism has undergone resurgence, and a big one that should not be underestimated, and all because of the bastard lie of the Great “Moderation.” Economists tells us that it was the golden age where technocratic prowess of perfect ideals was put best to work in fashioning stable growth – and then leave us with no answers, none, to the asset bubbles as well as what really happened ten years ago.

They have done this under the banner of capitalism and free markets. And so the grave dissatisfaction over this lost decade everywhere in the world has taken on those proportions for a sizable minority (feel the Bern). The longer this is allowed to continue, the closer to the tipping point we might get.


The irony of classifying the Great “Moderation” as one age of ideal capitalism is its utter lack of capital. Money has become so fungible as to be purely undefinable. If money is such, there cannot be balance of capital to money, nor of most importantly money to labor. That hidden imbalance of the last few decades in that regard is everything about the stagnant world left in its wake; the economists of the 1980’s forward have allowed the US and global economy to transverse the Ohio River to the Southern side. By that I don’t mean the socialists are right and that we all are slaves regardless; rather, I mean simply that by allowing money growth to go so far out of control (in both directions now) labor is no longer honored as it needed to be, and still does.


The affliction of wage reduction, in aggregate terms, is not at all about drug addicted, lazy Americans and their retiring grandparents; it is the lack of restored balance in money. It is, again, just that simple as well as insanely, incomprehensibly complicated.

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The End of Ultra-Easy Money?

The End of Ultra-Easy Money? | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
After eight years of extremely loose monetary policy, the economy is great again and we are to enter into a post-stimulative era of monetary policy. So said Yellen at a recent discussion at the University of Michigan. In her words, the Fed had given the economy all the "oomph [they] possibly could" and it was time to "allow" the economy to coast along.

Paying no attention to their own econometric constructs such as the GDP, the Fed has declared that the economy is fantastic. After all, the unemployment rate has leapt downward over the last several years (just don't look at the denominator — the labor participation rate) and the Fed's inflation measures are right around their arbitrary 2% level. Allegedly, these two pieces (and the unrelenting stock market) means everything is great! 

According to the WSJ's summary: "Fed officials plan to continue gradually raising interest rates unless the economy begins to deteriorate." So the financial system, after eight years of balance sheet expansion at the Fed, is stable, unless it's not. Then what? Well, then the rate-rising narrative will quickly reverse and we'll be back where we were — more stimulative monetary policy!
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The Cost of a Trump Presidency

The Cost of a Trump Presidency | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Trump’s capitulation makes it abundantly clear that the system itself is beyond repair.  Getting the right individual to salvage the American welfare/warfare state cannot be done.  Trump had many advantages that no future candidate will likely possess which means that anybody that follows will be an “insider.”  Much of his base, therefore, will no longer support a future Republican candidate or will give him only lukewarm support .  With no independent personality to rally around, the millions of disappointed Trumpians will seek new governing paradigms which hopefully will lead to the growth of secession movements.

Ultimately, however, a permanent American foreign policy of non intervention, peace, and free trade will only come about when there is a change in the prevailing ideology of society where all contenders for political office espouse such a notion and today’s warmongers are seen for what they are: enemies of humanity and its Creator.
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Ron Paul Interviews Nassim Taleb: "We'll Destroy What Needs To Be Destroyed"

Ron Paul Interviews Nassim Taleb: "We'll Destroy What Needs To Be Destroyed" | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
"We have today so many people sitting in an air conditioned office, who can dictate foreign policy with zero risk... interventionist foreign policy often fails because federal-government bureaucrats and other outsiders don’t have 'skin in the game'..."
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What Do Governments Want from Bitcoin?

What Do Governments Want from Bitcoin? | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Several large regimes have hinted they'll be looking more favorably on bitcoin, leading to record prices for the digital currency. Everett Numbers reports at The Anti-Media: 
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The World's Central Banks Are Frozen with Fear

The World's Central Banks Are Frozen with Fear | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
2016 was supposed to be the year that the Federal Reserve "normalized" its policies. As much as two years ago — after years of a near-zero target rate — the Fed was swearing that it would begin to raise rates back to "normal" levels and cut its balance sheet. 

That never happened. 

Yes, the Fed has increased its target rate from 0.25 percent to 1 percent over the past 19 months. But if we look at this in context, it would be absurd to declare a target rate of 1 percent as anything other than an easy-money stance. Remember that throughout the 1990s, the Federal Funds rate was usually between 5 percent and 6 percent. 

After December 2008, though, the target rate remained at 0.25 percent for seven years. Now that we're nine years into this "recovery" the Fed is talking about hiking rates, but we're in a strange world indeed when a 1 percent target rate looks like a central bank "tightening." 
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The Myth of the Rule of Law

The Myth of the Rule of Law | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Any state, no matter how powerful, cannot not rule solely through the use of brute force. There are too few rulers and too many of us for coercion alone to be an effective means of control. The political class must rely on ideology to achieve popular compliance, masking the iron fist in a velvet glove. Violence is always behind every state action, but the most efficient form of expropriation occurs when the public believes it is in their interest to be extorted.

Mythology is necessary to blunt the violent nature of state power in order to maximize the plunder of property — and, most importantly, provide an aura of legitimacy. The perception of legitimacy “is the only thing distinguishing a tax collector from an extortionist, a police officer from a vigilante, and a soldier from a mercenary. Legitimacy is an illusion in the mind without which the government does not even exist.”1

State authority, and public obedience to it, is manufactured through smokescreens of ideology and deception. These myths sustain the state and offer an illusion of legitimacy, where orders, no matter how immoral or horrific, are followed because they are seen as emanating from a just authority. The state cannot implement violence against everyone everywhere and overwhelm the host, so the battle is waged against the hearts and minds of the public. Fear is exploited, language is distorted, and propaganda is spread, while narratives and history are tightly controlled. The gulag of state power, first and foremost, always exists in the mind.

If the mythology of state power is smashed, then the state is exposed for what it is: institutionalized violence, expropriator of the peaceful and productive, and entirely illegitimate.
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Venezuela Before Chavez: A Prelude to Socialist Failure

Venezuela Before Chavez: A Prelude to Socialist Failure | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Venezuela’s current economic catastrophe is well documented. Conventional narratives point to Hugo Chávez’s regime as the primary architect behind Venezuela’s economic tragedy. While Chávez and his successor Nicolás Maduro deserve the brunt of the blame for Venezuela’s current economic calamity, the underlying flaws of Venezuela’s political economy point to much more systemic problems.

Observers must look beyond stage one, and understand Venezuela’s overall history over the past 50 years in order to get a more thorough understanding of how the country has currently fallen to such lows.
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One-Third of Americans Are on Government Healthcare

One-Third of Americans Are on Government Healthcare | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
The US House of Representatives voted today to "repeal and replace" Obamacare. Unfortunately, those who use the phrase "repeal and replace" are greatly exaggerating the extent to which the Affordable Care Act is actually repealed. 

While perhaps a tiny step in the right direction, the new legislation signals no departure whatsoever from the long-established trend of expanding the role of government programs in subsidizing and regulating the healthcare industry. 

Perhaps worst of all, since this is being called a "repeal," many may be prompted to think that the US health care system is a "free market" system, or that government spending has only a very small role in the industry. 

This couldn't be further from the truth. 

In fact, the US is fourth in the world in terms of per capita government spending on health care, behind only Norway, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. That's government spending, not overall spending: 

In fact, those numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO) are from 2014, and with the expansion in Medicaid spending under Obamacare, it's entirely plausible that the US has moved into third place in the past two years. 
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What Nassim Taleb Can Teach Us

What Nassim Taleb Can Teach Us | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Nassim Nicholas Taleb does not suffer fools gladly. Author of several books including The Black Swan and Antifragile, Taleb is known for his incendiary personality almost as much as his brilliant work in probability theory. Readers of his very active Medium page will experience a formidable mind with no patience for trendy groupthink, a mind that takes special pleasure in lambasting elites with no “skin in the game.”

“Skin in the game” is a central (and welcome) tenet of Taleb’s worldview: we increasingly are ruled by an intellectual, political, economic, and cultural elite that does not bear the consequences of the decisions it makes on our (unwitting) behalf. In this sense Taleb is thoroughly populist, and in fact he correctly identified trends behind the Crash of ’08, Brexit, and Trump’s election. He understands that globalism is not liberalism, that identity and culture matter, and most of all that elites don’t understand how randomness and uncertainty threaten the inevitability of a global order. 

Thus Taleb argues the intelligentsia are not only haughty when they plan our future, they are also clueless: fragility abounds, and threatens to crash the Party of Davos. Hubris results from unearned wealth and prominence, coupled with a blindness to the Black Swans lying in wait.   
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Here’s Why Trump Is Talking About Breaking Up the Biggest Wall Street Banks

Here’s Why Trump Is Talking About Breaking Up the Biggest Wall Street Banks | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Yesterday, Bloomberg News reporters Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev snagged an interview with President Donald Trump. Headlines quickly spread that during the interview Trump had indicated he was looking at breaking up the biggest Wall Street banks (so that commercial banks holding taxpayer-backstopped deposits were no longer under the same ownership as the high-risk investment banks which had failed so spectacularly during the 2008 financial crash).

Bloomberg News has now released a transcript of the interview. The portion pertaining to the Wall Street banks reads as follows:

BLOOMBERG NEWS: Should we break up the big banks? Do you support that?

TRUMP: I’m looking at that right — I didn’t know this one was going to be brought up. But we are looking at that.

There are — you know, some people that want to go back to the old system, right? So we’re going to look at that. We’re going to — we’re looking at it right now as we speak.

And Dodd-Frank is — is going to be very, very seriously changed so the banks can go back to loaning money.

The “old system” that Trump is referring to is the legislation known as the Glass-Steagall Act. Congress passed the legislation on June 16, 1933 following a period of unprecedented commercial bank failures in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash.  Many of the failures could be traced to the banks’ involvement in trading activities on Wall Street using depositor funds. The legislation created Federal insurance on bank deposits to restore confidence in the nation’s banks while also banning banks taking insured deposits from owning stock trading/underwriting firms. The U.S. financial system was safeguarded under this separation for 66 years until the Bill Clinton administration repealed the Act in 1999 with pressure from Citigroup.
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Hedge Fund CIO: What Central Banks Have Done Is "Stunning, Unprecedented"

Hedge Fund CIO: What Central Banks Have Done Is "Stunning, Unprecedented" | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
We start a quiet Sunday with a big picture anecdote from Eric Peters' latest weekend note explaining why what central banks are trying to do is impossible, why the trend of inflation over the past 70 years is "stunning and unprecedented" and why "volatility suppression" always eventually fails.

"Anecdote", by Eric Peters of One River Asset Management

“For all of history - prior to 1955 - there was roughly equal probability of inflation or deflation in any given year,” said the economic historian.
 
“But since 1955 we’ve experienced uninterrupted annual inflation. It’s a stunning fact, unprecedented. To an economist in 1955, the coming 60yr inflation would have appeared less probable than a catastrophic meteor impact.”
 
After enduring a series of world wars, and social upheavals, policy makers conducted an experiment, removing the deflationary left-tail of our economic cycles.
 
“We created history’s greatest volatility-suppressing machine, and it delivered breathtaking stability.” Of course, we endured volatile periods since 1955. But life is short. And we thus lack the reference points to compare our minor wobbles to the wild booms and busts of our great grandparents.
 
“Minsky taught us that stability begets instability. And it stands to reason that our volatility-selling machine will break one day. We saw a glimpse of this in 2008-09.”
 
Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the severity of that crisis was the response of our body politic. “In 2007 if you had shown the top 100 economists a list of the extraordinary measures that central banking and economic elites would unleash in the coming decade, not a single one would have believed you.”
 
Politicians hate change. With very few exceptions, they stand for stasis. Our central bankers seek stability. And investors have learned to front-run them all, selling volatility into every spike using ever more complex strategies.
 
“But volatility suppression at the lows is much easier in many ways than at the highs. In a crisis, our central banks simply go full-throttle. At the highs though, they seek the unattainable, which is perfect economic balance in a world that is inherently unstable - they attempt to crystallize the entire ecosystem. Which is as arrogant as it is impossible.”
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Breaking Up the Big Wall Street Banks Is Back in the Headlines

Breaking Up the Big Wall Street Banks Is Back in the Headlines | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
The problem with the newspaper debate today is that almost no one has their facts straight. On April 13, John Authers correctly wrote at the Financial Times that “The continuing yearning for Glass-Steagall shows that the world (not just the US) has not come to terms with the crisis of 2008. Justice has not been seen to be done; remedies to prevent a repeat have not been seen to be applied. Dodd-Frank has failed to instill confidence.” All that is absolutely true. But Authers also bizarrely states that “Bringing back Glass-Steagall would not alter the scale of today’s financial institutions.”

The Financial Times journalist is apparently not aware that the hundreds of trillions of dollars of derivatives sitting on the books of the biggest Wall Street banks would not exist but for the insured deposits providing the ballast and credit rating.

Next came the Washington Post’s Editorial Board on April 19, which went with the headline: “A Depression-era law could get a new life under Trump. Here’s what it should look like.” But the article made the preposterous claim that “The actual causal link between the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the financial crisis is a matter of great dispute…because the investment firms whose failures triggered the panic, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, had never been subject to the law.”

The multiple errors in the above sentence are symbolic of a general lack of public understanding of the financial crisis. Every Wall Street firm was “subject to the law” until its 1999 repeal. Bear Stearns collapsed in March 2008 – long before the real panic set in during September of that year. Lehman Brothers was not only subject to the Glass-Steagall Act but it benefitted dramatically from its repeal by engaging in insured-deposit banking. As we reported in 2012:

“Lehman Brothers owned two FDIC insured banks, Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB and Lehman Brothers Commercial Bank. Together, they held $17.2 billion in assets as of June 30, 2008, 75 days before Lehman went belly up. Lehman Brothers Banks FSB is where Lehman handled its mortgage loan originations. When the FDIC approved the Lehman Brothers Commercial Bank application in 2005, it specifically noted that the FDIC insured bank ‘anticipates acting as a derivatives intermediary, engaged in matched trading of interest rate products, primarily interest rate swaps, as well as forward purchase agreements and options contracts.’ ”

The New York Times has played a leading role in obfuscating what actually caused the financial crash – first through writer Andrew Ross Sorkin and more recently under the pens of economist Paul Krugman and writer William Cohan.

In a July 2015 column, Cohan ridiculed Senators Elizabeth Warren an
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Alan Greenspan, Sellout

Alan Greenspan, Sellout | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Once close to the levers of power, matters were different. He wished to become Paul Volcker’s successor as Fed chairman, and he knew that firm opposition to Fed policy would hurt his chances for the job. Going against his earlier analysis, he supported the “largest bank bailout in U.S. history,” the rescue in 1984 of the Continental Illinois National Bank. He admitted the dangers of the bailout, but it was, as Mallaby summarizes his position, “necessary and appalling.” Appalling, one suspects, because of its effects on the free market; but necessary to advance Greenspan’s career. By the time he became Fed Chairman, the transformation was complete. By 1989, his “libertarian rejection of bailouts was long gone; what he wanted above all was the space to fight inflation.”

Greenspan wanted to fight inflation; but the best way to do it was no longer acceptable. A gold standard, he had long ago recognized, would bring with it monetary stability; but to replace the Fed with a commodity standard not subject to control by the government would erode his power. Accordingly the gold standard had to go.

He cast aside the gold standard with a transparent sophism: “A necessary condition of returning to a gold standard is the financial environment which the gold standard itself is presumed to create. ... But, if we restore financial stability, what purpose is then served by a return to a gold standard?” (quoting Greenspan). Why a gold standard cannot help create a stable financial environment, but instead presupposes it, Greenspan left unclear. Even less clear was how the Fed was supposed to preserve stability in the absence of the gold standard. Evidently we were to rely on his supreme powers of judgment in steering the economy.

Greenspan in his long career as Fed chairman gained the power and acclaim he coveted; but the crash of 2008, two years after the end of his tenure in office, led to a sharp decline in his reputation.

In their attitude toward compromise, Greenspan is the polar opposite to Murray Rothbard. Rothbard could have tailored his views to win the favor of Arthur Burns, who was a family friend, but he refused to do so. He never abandoned his principles, and he took the measure of Greenspan. Writing about him in 1987, Rothbard observed: “Greenspan’s real qualification is that he can be trusted never to rock the establishment’s boat. He has long positioned himself in the very middle of the economic spectrum. He is, like most other long-time Republican economists, a conservative Keynesian, which in these days is almost indistinguishable from the liberal Keynesians in the Democratic camp.”

In looking over Greenspan’s fall from free-market grace, the melancholy first lines of Browning’s The Lost Leader, addressed to Wordsworth, come to mind: “Just for a handful of silver he left us,/Just for a ribbon to stick in his coat. ...”
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Shovel Ready: How The Fed Makes Us Dig Our Own Graves

Shovel Ready: How The Fed Makes Us Dig Our Own Graves | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it

Observe the classic Keynesian economic system of plugging a power cord into itself which our government has been operating on for over a century.

The Fed’s Land of Make Believe

The fed cannot increase the actual value of the economy, all they can do is change how people react to that reality. When there is actual capital–not dollars but value, production, wealth–then interests rates would naturally go down as money can be risked by lending it out in various forms.

As this money is used for projects and becomes more scarce, interest rates would naturally rise because it would become riskier to lend. It is supply and demand, which the fed ignores, instead opting to create bubbles.

And what the New York Times article ignores is that the government cannot create value out of thin air by taxing and spending, it can only move value, and redistribute wealth. Sure, we can build more roads to employ people, but if there isn’t enough food being produced, full employment won’t stop people from starving.

The broken window fallacy persists. The lie is that a broken window stimulates the economy. What they leave out is that money is spent on a new window instead of being spent on something else. It doesn’t stimulate the economy, it manipulates where wealth is steered.

The fed and the government go around smashing windows pretending it will improve the economy. Of course, when the government is in bed with the window-makers, it helps them out a lot!

And this is why war is so popular among the Keynesian economic system our government uses to destroy wealth. Instead of broken windows, it is tomahawk missiles, jets, and drones. When these things are destroyed, it “stimulates” the economy exactly where the government wants it. The defense industry gets rich, instead of that money being spent on whatever the robbed taxpayers were going to spend it on. Any number of industries suffer because our money is stolen and thrown into the trash-pit-of-destruction that is the defense industry.

At least when welfare recipients take our money they only kill themselves if they spend it on cigarettes, alcohol, and crack. The welfare whores in the military industrial complex spend it on killing others and inflaming international tensions.

What do they care? More war only makes them richer.
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My Strategy For Confronting and Defeating the Status Quo

My Strategy For Confronting and Defeating the Status Quo | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
There’s one main reason the vast majority of Americans continue to lose and suffer, while a very small percentage of people continue to win and prosper, and it can be summed up with one word, unity.

I know this sounds corny and cliché, but that doesn’t make it untrue. There’s a reason a small group of vested parties are able to run this country in their interests alone while the general public gets scraps, and it’s not simply money. A big part of the problem lies in ourselves and our inability to form mass movements that cross political lines on issues of tremendous importance. The “elite” don’t suffer from such divisiveness, which is how they are able to hold on to power despite repeated failures spanning decades.

A perfect example of how the status quo comes together when their collective interests are threatened was on full display during the 2016 election. Many of us stood in shock with our mouths open in horror as corporate Democrats, neoconservative Republicans and the corporate media formed a total alliance in opposition to Donald Trump. Those of us who pay attention to the world knew this had nothing to do with Trump’s comments about Mexicans or Muslims. All of that was merely a smokescreen for what really concerned them. What really got them terrified was the prospect that Trump would reverse course on the reckless late-stage imperial foreign policy that has been relentlessly pursued since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

To see what I mean, watch the following video of General Wesley Clark describing the days after 9/11:
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