Jan 182017
 January 18, 2017  Posted by at 3:31 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

René Magritte The Art of Conversation 1963

Sometimes you best fight fire with fire. This knowledge goes back to the advent of agriculture. Australian aboriginees have used it since as long as their stories of dream time can remember. For Native Americans it was an essential part of their lives. These days, we need Trump to fight the fire of an elite class world power that is a threat to all of us.

Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
Threaten the threatener and outface the brow
Of bragging horror

Shapespeare: King John, 1595

Been greatly enjoying Donald Trump’s pair of interviews with the European press this weekend, in the shape of German scandal paper Bild’s chief, very-right Kai Diekmann, and disgraced Brexiteer Michael Gove for the Sunday Times. What a pair of choices, by the way, what’s next, a Russian interview conducted by Zhirinovsky?. Who picked those clowns? Let’s just hope it was the Trump campaign.

Enjoying it not in the least because Trump is right in just about everything he says. At least, as per what we at the Automatic Earth have been saying about some of the topics involved all along. And we’re not Trump fans, we just think the others are more wrong than he is, and that it’s high time to abolish the EU, and NATO, and sure, the CIA too.

Speaking of which: Chuck Shumer has made it all the way to Senate leader for the Democrats, right? And then he says about Trump’s criticism of US intel and the Steele ‘report’:

“Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. For a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Want to take any of that back, Chuck? While you still can? Because, you know, threatening the president-elect with the might of the CIA, what does that say about your view of who actually rules the country, Charlie? That’s not a gaffe, that’s what would in America’s better days have been a career buster, buster. But your own rudderless party won’t call you on it, and Trump would love for you to keep your seat; one less worry. Still, c’mon, you just can’t say sh*t like that. It’s beyond any pale. Or, you know, it once was.

What did Trump get right? Here’s what. First, NATO should not exist anymore, since as we’ve said 1000 times, and Ron Paul said 10 times more, it’s merely a hammer looking for a nail, having turned for the purpose, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, from a defensive collaboration into the planet’s worst aggressor. The 1000s of additional US troops gathered at or close to the Russian border recently are more than plenty evidence of that.

Trump wants far fewer nukes on the planet, and proposes to negotiate a deal with Russia to achieve that goal. Ergo, 30 years after Reagan met Gorbachev in Reykjavik to accomplish just that, Trump must meet Putin in that same spot to do it all over again?! That’s the legacy of NATO. It would be mighty symbolic, though we might want to remember the 1972 Spasski-Bobby Fisher chess ‘world cup’ there, and the American’s paranoia at the time. Not a good example. But they’ll meet someplace, for sure.

Second, Trump likes Brexit. So do we. Beautiful Brexit. Because it is a preliminary step towards the dissolution of the EU, which, as Trump very correctly remarks, has degenerated into a “vehicle for Germany” to compete with the US as a global trading force.

And of course Germany would deny this. After all, didn’t the notorious FinMin Schäuble say -again- just a few days ago that Europe’s problem is not Germany’s surplus, but the weakness of other nations? This week, German foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schäfer added:“For the German government, Europe has never been a means to an end, but a community of fate which, in times of collapsing old orders, is more important than ever.” A community of ‘fate’? An ‘old order’ vs a ‘new order’? Are we taking notes?

Anyway, this is cheap quatsch as long as a huge part of Germany’s surplus comes from its trade with co-EU nations. Because in that scenario, there’s only so much surplus to go around, and the rest will all of necessity run deficits. If that is hard to understand, let’s dive up these stats again, and close that discussion once and for all:



The EU very much IS a vehicle for Germany, and it eats people alive. That has nothing to do with Germany taking in immigrants, it has to do with economic and power policies, with the destruction of Greece and Italy. The structure of the EU makes it possible, inevitable even, that the strongest partner forces all the others to do its will. That really is all you need to know about why the EU is doomed to failure. All the rest is just about describing the process of how that failure unfolds.

Setting and keeping the euro at a rate that is beneficial to Germany condemns poorer EU nations to ever deeper poverty. That’s what those numbers say. And if anyone thinks Schäuble is not aware of either the numbers or the principle itself, get help. Merkel and Schäuble have been elected to represent Germans, but then they wind up making decisions for 400 million other people, who are the victims of the very policies that benefit Germany. There’s nothing difficult about it.

‘Community of Fate’.. Let’s just hope something was lost in translation there. Point is, Trump is right on the money, and he’s about the first person to put it as simply and poignantly as that. The EU is a vehicle for trade domination. It’s a means for Germany and Holland to acquire access to a huge market for their products, free of just about any trade restrictions. Promoted with the flogged dead horse of the ‘tide that lifts all boats’. It does no such thing.

Other than times of open warfare, for countries like Greece and Italy the EU is the worst thing that ever happened to them in a long time. Brussels stands for economic warfare labeled as a unifying force for peace. It’s a blatant lie wrapped in sheep’s clothing. And of course more nations will want to get out, they’d be crazy not to.

Which is what’s so painfully missing from all the Brexit talk in the UK: everyone goes with the idea that the EU will continue to exist as is, just without Britain. The chance of others leaving, and the effect that will have on the ‘Union’, is never discussed. Though it might put the exit from it in a whole different light, politically and especially economically.

German Vice-Chancellor en Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel puts his foot in his mouth in much the same way Schumer does, in a reaction to Trump’s interviews. As Tyler Durden describes Gabriel’s ‘Trump shock’:

Responding to Trump’s comments that Merkel had made an “utterly catastrophic mistake by letting all these illegals into the country”, Gabriel said the increase in the number of people fleeing the Middle East to seek asylum in Europe had partially been a result of US-led wars destabilising the region.

Slamming US foreign policy – and thus the Obama regime, not to mention Angela Merkel’s close friend Hillary Clinton – as a culprit for the European refugee crisis, Gabriel said that “there is a link between America’s flawed interventionist policy, especially the Iraq war, and the refugee crisis, that’s why my advice would be that we shouldn’t tell each other what we have done right or wrong, but that we look into establishing peace in that region and do everything to make sure people can find a home there again,” Gabriel said.

First, if you are against America’s deeply flawed and ‘deeply deadly’ regime change policies of the last few decades, as Gabriel pretends to be, you should be pro-Trump, because the man who will be the next US president a little over 50 hours from now is not only of the same opinion, he will be in a position to do something about it. And while you’re at it, why not tell us of all the heroics Merkel has performed over the past decade of her reign, to make it stop?

And do yourself one better: describe in detail the role your EU partners France and Britain have played in these failures. In which untold trillions were spent and untold millions of lives lost, but in which the arms industries of these nations, and certainly Germany’s too, have made mind-boggling profits. Once you’ve done all that, Mr. Gabriel, feel free to criticize the 45th president of the United States.

“In that area Germany and Europe are already making enormous achievements – and that’s why I also thought it wasn’t right to talk about defence spending, where Mr Trump says we are spending too little to finance Nato. We are making gigantic financial contributions to refugee shelters in the region, and these are also the results of US interventionist policy.” Gabriel, who will likely run as the centre-left candidate against Merkel in Germany’s federal elections in September, said Trump’s election should encourage Europeans to stand up for themselves.

Here is where Gabriel’s foot enters his mouth:

“On the one hand, Trump is an elected president. When he is in office, we will have to work with him and his government – respect for a democratic election alone demands that,” Gabriel said. “On the other hand, you need to have enough self-confidence. This isn’t about making ourselves submissive.

What he says about trade issues, how he might treat German carmakers, the question about Nato, his view on the European Union – all these require a self-confident position, not just on behalf of us Germans but all Europeans. We are not inferior to him, we have something to bring to the table too. “Especially in this phase in which Europe is rather weak, we will have to pull ourselves together and act with self-confidence and stand up for our own interests.”

If that is your idea of exuding confidence, of being and/or appearing strong, Trump will have you for breakfast. “in this phase in which Europe is rather weak, we will have to pull ourselves together” , “you need to have enough self-confidence. This isn’t about making ourselves submissive.” Or how about some genuine pouting: “We are not inferior to him, we have something to bring to the table too.”

No, Mr. Gabriel is not the horse you want to place your bets on. He’s a left wing leader sitting in a government with right wing Merkel, in the kind of flawed consensus model that haunts both the EU and its member states, leaving large groups of people without anyone addressing their issues. This is where ‘populists’ are born. In the US, it gave us Trump.

Gabriel is just one of many who are all wedded to the broken Obama/Merkel/Hillary ideal, financed by a deep state class that profits greatly from the fake notion that what is good for the rich is also good for the poor. Should have given them bread and circuses, guys.

Home Forums Fire With Fire

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  • #32224

    René Magritte The Art of Conversation 1963 Sometimes you best fight fire with fire. This knowledge goes back to the advent of agriculture. Australian
    [See the full post at: Fire With Fire]


    You cheer Humpty Dumpty.


    Or maybe Don Quixote?

    Dr. Diablo

    I’m continually amazed that you can sit across the ocean, immersed in the European outlook on things, and repeatedly understand Trump with such clarity. Because we can’t. Even here, people have got themselves worked up into quite a lather about it. That is to say, if you don’t believe Trump is Hilter, PolPot, and Stalin all wrapped in one, you’re a Trumpeteer, taking checks from Putin…personally, as was recently reported. #notfakenews. This might be, how do you say, a rather extreme outlook on reality? That only the furthest extremes imaginable are possible and credible, yet it’s impossible for anything to exist in the great span between? Is it television that has created this perspective on life? I find it disorienting.

    In the real world, as you say, Trump is just some 70-year-old guy who’s run some businesses well and lost others. He’s said some good things and some bad things. He has smart policies and dumb policies, and like other Presidents doesn’t run everything, control everything, either in theory or in fact. He is constrained by the Congress, the courts, the military, the press, and the public, as have all others before him. He is the public spokesman for a more complex and less public power block, as Presidents have been since before U.S. Grant. Like other Presidents, he is not in control, as a dictator. If anything, he is less in control than his several predessessors.

    The main things he’s constrained by will be the 45-year setup in the economy, the energy supply, and the reality of the shape of the “economy” that has developed around that evaporating reality. Presidents can do their better or worse with that situation, but it wasn’t theirs to make. The party was had, all money spent, all accounts indebted, leaving the entire catastrophe to us, the young, and then complain bitterly about us, our ingratitude and lack of work. It’s only ours to cope with 20% unemployment with 20% less pay while they collect pensions and fraudulent stock market gains.

    The challenge the president has will most likely be a collapsing bond market, a currency re-set and the resulting frozen economy, the re-balancing of world influence among Asia, Europe, and the US, and the dislocation of energy supplies, leading to the dislocation of goods that supply mankind. This is what we’re talking about when finally–FINALLY–someone can speak the words “NATO is obsolete”. NATO exists solely as a counterweight to a Soviet Empire that vanished 26 years ago. That we (or say the older generation) can suffer a collective gasp only shows how fake the reality is that we’re living in, and how long that lie has been perpetuated, and how deeply it is believed.

    That the EU is still arguing their pre-eminence even AFTER Brexit, while the Italeave and Frexit are already a foregone conclusion can only reinforce how diabolically fake, how suicidally out of touch they are. “They” being virtually everyone who speaks: the Atlantic Media, the experts, the leaders, the billionaires, the generals, the bankers, the markets, the spies. Apparently in the new world, reality doesn’t exist until someone says it does, who says the words that were more than obvious in the Greek crisis, the EU banking crisis, back all the way to the entirely unelected, undemocratic construction of the non-Union itself. Like other psychotics, they are only angry — and provably violent — when someone confronts how transparently illusionary their beliefs are.

    It’s quite a job. Not one a narcissist would take, to be the most reviled man on earth, no longer a billionaire, possibly assassinated, children shunned and discredited, and cutting the inaguration parties from dozens to one in order to do more work you’ll only be reviled for. No wonder so few have taken the banner. More than grasping the nettle, it’s like volunteering to be beaten with one. For no clear reason.

    The reality is they’re obsolete. NATO, the CIA, markets, world influence, are all going to disappear, because things are going to decentralize. Trump has nothing to do with any of it. It was all slated to happen before he was born.


    kudos diablo


    Fire With Fire

    Elementary, my dear Watson!


    Diablo “…while they collect pensions and fraudulent stock market gains.”

    For the time being.


    Max Keiser has said the EU was the German path to the 4th Reich for several years.


    I found the “cumulative gross labor income growth” chart fascinating. It is the clearest picture I ever saw of what is happening in Europe.

    However, there is no source given, could you tell me where it came from?

    Miguel, Florence, Italy

    Joe Clarkson

    Excellent rant, Diablo.

    Makes one wonder why so many think that Trump matters at all. Too many (who should know better) see him as a potent protector of the oppressed working classes striking back at economic elites and the deep state. Even if he actually had working class interests at heart, he won’t be able to delay economic collapse for even a second. Or be able to mitigate the horrific after-effects at all. His whole impotent presidency is likely to be a not-so-soothing distraction from reality, until reality bites back hard.

    Trump is a narcissist though. If collapse does happen on his watch, he’ll know for sure it couldn’t possibly be his fault. It’s delightfully ironic that, in such an event, he’ll be right, perhaps for the first time.



    Pretty sure it’s OECD. I was thinking about where I got it, can’t recall. There’s one direct link I can find, but it’s a paywall thing.

    John Day

    @Joe Clarkson
    Trump seems to be egotistical, but not necessarily narcissistic. He looks to be an effective egoist, which is a certain role for a chess piece on the global board. Hubris (literally “erect penis”) is the tragic flaw, and I’m not certain that Trump has it.
    He plays a loose-cannon on TV, but I would not be so certain that he really is that caricature.
    Trumps negotiation-style is like the “Drunken-Monkey” style of Kung Fu, which keeps the opponent guessing. It has its weaknesses, as well as strengths, and can only be effectively practiced by a master. I think Trump pulls it off.

    Joe Clarkson

    @John Day

    Here’s an article that has a main source who is someone very familiar with Trump’s personality. You may find it interesting.



    If you believe everything Trump says, I have some stock in one his failed casinos to sell you.

    He says that he wants to abolish nuclear weapons but is currently talking about accelerating the arms race his predecessor started. He says he wants to fight the elites but he’s appointing some of the worst ones to his Cabinet.

    He wants to block the inflow of refugees and commit mass deportations of “illegal immigrants”, even though many of the immigrants are economic and political refugees from countries in free trade agreements in the U.S. or, in the case of Honduras, chaos driven to the U.S. by the U.S. support for a coup there. You are right to lambast Europe for their treatment of refugees, but you should take a look at the detention centers for immigrants in the U.S. and the way that breaking up families has become acceptable. Obama was the deporter-in-chief and now Trump wants to build up on that.

    Granted, Trump’s policy towards Russia has a certain degree of sanity towards it compared to the Democrats (ironic that Obama joked, “the 80’s called, they want their foreign policy back” to mock Mitt Romney’s outdated world views). NATO should have been disbanded in 1993. Yes, the TPP is dead, thank goodness. But just as Obama followed through on his promise to renegotiate NAFTA by introducing the TPP, it’s not hard to see the possibility that Trump will replace the TPP with something worse.

    Yes, the Democratic Party is flailing like a cocaine-addicted octopus out of water and good riddance as far as I’m concerned. But as (presumably) a white man in Europe, you might have a hard time understanding what it is like to have people in your government who openly hate you if you are a person of color or LGBT. You should be appalled that Trump is a climate denier at a time when looming environmental disaster threatens the human race and life as we know it.

    There’s nothing wrong with bringing up the positive aspects of a Trump presidency but you undermine yourself by ignoring the negative side. Trying to erase it by saying “Really, I’m no fan of his” doesn’t elevate your credibility on this issue.

    I’ve been following the Automatic Earth for a few years and have appreciated the insights your blog has had to offer. But your Trump cheerleading looks like a tabloid page inserted into The Guardian–out of place and well beneath you..

    I urge you to take a closer and more critical look at Trump.

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