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  • in reply to: The Last Remaining Store Of Real Wealth – 1 #6834

    A very clear account of what is happening in 2013:


    My guess is that the event that will tip us over the edge is climate change-caused food shortages.

    in reply to: A Big Bad Brick Wall #5314

    Maybe it won’t matter anymore.

    Paul Beckwith, doctoral student in climatology at the University of Ottawa, posted the following on Google docs on August 27:


    By his analysis, the Arctic sea ice will be gone by September 30. Yep, that’s September 30 of this year, 2012. I can’t interpret all of the data, but his comments in red are instructive. The last slide in the set tells you what he thinks this all means.

    in reply to: Arctic Methane DOOM #4321

    Thanks for this, Brunswickian. I’ve read it twice now and can’t fault it, but I’m no climate scientist. Someone who *IS* a climate scientist, however, has also taken a look.

    Guy McPherson on his blog, “Nature Bats Last” has evaluated the article and comes to even more frightening conclusions:


    which I tend to support. The comments on this post range from agreement to violent disagreement and I looked carefully at them. The disagreement comes mostly from ad hominem remarks, but there are some well reasoned analyses. Unfortunately, all of them are addressed and dismissed.

    I haven’t found any other considerations online about Malcolm Light’s work on this. People who quote peer-reviewed research to dispute Light’s conclusions are (in normal times) right to do so. Again unfortunately, let’s consider the position of the journal “Science” or “Nature” or any high quality climate science publication. Could the editors justify publishing anything that says the planet has, at most, fifty years of DNA-based life left to live? The IPCC has been toned down by sovereign governments for its entire existence. Could journals be any more independent? I doubt it. I never thought I’d say that, but there, I’ve done it now.

    in reply to: The Orkin Man: Which Side Are You On? #4178

    There are several objections to the “Orkin solution” as proposed here and some have been expressed above. The metaphor of “pests” to be “cleansed” is abhorrent and reeks of eugenics. One problem with this path is that you can’t get them all. You can never get them all. This is because the characteristics you are trying to get rid of are in all of us. That’s right – ALL of us. Never mind that innocents will be killed as well. Some day the deciders and the planners and the executors of the Orkin plan will be tried and convicted and they themselves will be killed by others who have decided (at long last when they have re-invented law) that they committed crimes against humanity. This will be the right thing to do since those who perpetrated this violence will have lost their humanity by then, by killing others whom they had deemed to have lost their humanity. Societies have always claimed the right to kill members who violate the rules (laws) but it’s a decision taken by the society, not a few individuals.

    Our species is overrunning its habitat and biology is kicking in. Billions will die and we don’t have to help it along. I am convinced that the Orkin moment will happen as described, but I did not expect to see the manifesto published on TAE. It seems to be what people do when things get too complex. Ian Welsh has a post up about this and one commenter said, “I knew you would write this.” Some above have said that we should leave it to god. I say leave it to biology, but yes, this Orkin impulse is genetic and therefore biological.

    In the 1990’s I heard an interview with the man who invented nitrogen fertilizer and caused the “green revolution” as it was called in the 1950’s. He said the invention saved 5 million people from starvation. The interviewer said that due to soil depletion caused by the use of the fertilizer, now we face 50 million people starving to death. Was it worth it? He answered yes. I say no.

    The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, wrote about all of this in his work, but no one paid attention and he decided to kill some people to get his work known. Have you read his stuff? I bet you would agree with it. There’s a good article on him in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education, called “The Unabomber’s Pen Pal.” What line did he cross, in your opinion?

    Our technical solutions, including Orkin, will make matters worse, not better. Let biology crash the species. If it includes me, and it will because I’m old, that’s fine. Jared Diamond argues that even agriculture was a mistake. Any technique that allows some people to produce enough food to feed more than their own families causes: religion, formal leadership, soldiers, war, guns, germs and steel. What exactly was wrong with hunting and gathering? We are animals and we should live like it. If we did, then famines, natural disasters, accidents, epidemics, etc. would control the population and we can be in balance with the rest of the planet. It seems humans cannot resist messing with success.

    Good to see these posts by I&S and I look forward to the detailed updates and commentary on these ideas from Ash. I read this today and I think it answers many questioners we see on this blog. From Dimitri Orlov:


    It’s all about how easy it is to predict collapse and how difficult it is to predict timing. With graphs, mathematics, and examples. Read this and you’ll quit asking, “But, but, when?”

    Then you can see the European collapse accelerating by reading John Ward’s entry:


    Bad signs.

    in reply to: The Global Liquidity Peak #1638

    We may be closer to the brink than many realize:

    “Ben Bernanke has once again said “No QE for now, but we are not out of the woods”. Observers need to wise up to the fact that this is a man who knows he must hold his fire, for far worse is coming.

    Despite this, JP Morgan and Bank of America seem to have passed the Federal Reserve’s stress tests. JPM I can get behind, but BoA? Stress tests, I increasingly believe, are so-called because they are primarily designed to reduce global investor stress.

    It would be good to feel that the European Troika knows what is down the road. I’m sure Lagarde does, but the rest leave me more convinced than ever that rising to top positions has very little to do with creative talent. There was much talk today in Brussels of slapping Spain’s Rajoy down, with the IMF declaring that Portugal is ‘on track’. There was in turn further gobblegaggle on the subject of Greece now undershooting its 2020 deficit target. Mind you, it was Wolfie Strangelove who said this, so we must judge the observation for what it is: unmitigated bollocks.

    Jens Weidmann of the German Bundesbank continues to be a thorn in Mario Draghi’s side. Just when the Italian Stallion thinks he’s got away with another scam, Herr Weidmann bashes him with more statistics to demonstrate what a dangerous game the ECB is playing. Today – in a bid to ram home the message as loudly as possible – Jens reported that Bundesbank profits had fallen from €2.2bn in 2010 to just €643m in 2011 “after substantially increasing reserves set aside to cover risks associated with the ECB’s crisis-fighting measures”. Take that, you Dummkopf Schweinhund.

    Meanwhile, the EU’s FinMin agreed to suspend transfers to Hungary of its share of funds for poorer countries on the grounds that it had dared to contradict a Sprout edict. The UK, Austria and Poland thought this was a bit heavy, so the compromise is that the funds could be reinstated in June if FinMin ‘determines that the government is working to bring its budget policies in line with EU rules’. Orders vill be obeyed at all timess.

    Still no news on the hard-to-explain-away 107 bn euro pot of further Greek liabilities. Or indeed on the fact that the EU is sticking very strictly indeed to a policy of bailing Athens out with worthless paper. Or indeed on the subject of all those deal-dependent things that the Athens government hasn’t done as yet. As long as the ‘bailout’ is being funded with toilet-tissue, I’m sure the Eurocrats will be happy to go along with it. But my water tells me Venizelos is in for an imminent kidney-punch.

    China is slowing down while trying to grapple with the wriggling dragon formerly known as the property market. It’s also dumping Dollar debt as fast as it can, as the Currency Wars that Jim O’Neill says don’t exist continue to escalate. Nobody seems to have given a lot of MSM thought to how the US will borrow if that policy continues. Beijing must not, of course, sew up the mouth that devours its output. But I continue to wonder what America will do when China achieves a degree of self-sufficiency, and then decides to focus 100% on supplying its own population with what it needs to become eternally placid.

    The West in general – and former Goldman Sachs employees in particular – continue to pin their hopes on inflationary subterfuge that will eventually dilute the obscene debt. The chances of them doing this without Chinese retaliation are zero. But rather more to the point, if (in the act of trying to dilute debt) you let loose funny money to the value of ten times global GDP, who will benefit?

    The short answer is ‘Nobody’. But we are dealing with Masters of the Universe here: we must not intervene, for they know what they are at, whereas we are mere mortals unable to understand their mysterious ways.

    Perhaps a bit heavy on the irony pedal there. However, the reality is that contagion will escape, banks will not be prepared for a wall of monetising requirements, and by the end of 2013 at the very latest the entire Hollywood-set facade-folly will have crashed to the ground. For all I know, it may do so the week after next. Nobody knows. Let’s face it: if anyone did, they wouldn’t be arsing about writing blogs like this one.” – John Ward

    blog entry: https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/the-economic-world-is-much-closer-to-the-edge-than-the-commentariat-realises/

    in reply to: Greece Has Assembled a Coalition of the Willing #1428

    “There seems to be general agreement across the board that the current level of takeup [for Greek bond swap] is, give or take a few per cent, around 30% of the total. Anything under 90% acceptance will require the use of compulsion by Athens (CACs) and most probably then trigger a technical default, following which Wall St’s insurance sector will argue, wriggle, sue and appeal…but almost certainly not pay up.

    Anything les than 66%, and completion cannot take place. Greece will then have seven days to avoid insolvency and – as Bankfurt reminded the Venizealots two days ago – the 130bn euros of bailout will be snatched back. So you can rest assured that, until 66% has been passed, Putin Electoral Rules will apply. Anyone ruling out the likelihood of massaging the numbers is being truly, deeply naive. (It’d get found out in the end of course – but cans, roads, boots etc etc).

    Now, the difference between 30% and 66% is 36%. So far we know that a smallish Swiss Group and two smaller Greek institutions have rejected the offer. The highest estimate I can put on their share is around 4% – a moveable feast because concerned legal groups don’t like the way investors are being pushed around by the rainbow coalition of those who do want the deal to go through, and are encouraging smallholders to band together. Anyway, observe:

    Declarations: 30% pro + 4% anti = 34%.

    100% – 34% spookily = 66%.

    66% – 30% = the Greek government’s target to persuade = 36%.

    34% – 4% = the anti-deal holdouts target = 30%.

    Now on paper, this looks like Athens is in good shape: only 4% naysayers, and 30% already in the bag. The two realities that change all this are (1) the 30% needed by the anti-dealers probably don’t need persuading to stay out at all: if they were in, they’d have said so by now; and (2) if the Venizealots miss their target by just 1%, they’re dead. The anti-dealers, by contrast, need only another 22% out of 30 to knock the acceptance level below 75%, and require a quarter of all bondholders to be compelled using CACs.

    Two further points here. First, my hunch based on feedback from Frankfurt yesterday is that under 75% take-up will trigger at the very least, howls of protest among the German-American-Troika contingent who want Greece amputated right now. They will spend every waking hour between now and March 12th (next Monday) finding things the Greeks didn’t do or lied about in order to save their 130 billion bailout for…who knows? Italy, Spain or perhaps even France. (It sure as hell is not going to be spent on Portugal or Ireland).

    Second, there is still absolutely no accurate assessment of the value of bonds held by Hedge Funds. The total bond pot is 177 billion euros, so around 54 billion is already accounted for. The organisations claiming to ‘represent’ Hedgies tell me their exposure is 10 billion (which I don’t believe) and the doom theorists tell me it’s 50 billion. Let’s say for now that the number is twenty billion. That leaves a whopping 100 billion of junk bonds still unaccounted for.

    Who are these folks? As far as I can tell, nobody knows. Here’s a worryingly consistent set of estimates from the MSM during the last 36 hours:

    ‘The most likely outcome may well be that Greece passes its 75 percent target and then uses CACs to ensnare the remainder’. (Reuters)

    ‘People familiar with the matter say Greece is confident it can get to around 75%’. (Wall St Journal)

    ‘Many of the potential holdouts’ bonds are hedge funds…but takeup is expected to be about 75 per cent’. (FT)

    Tell you what I think: it’s bollocks.”


    in reply to: Uneconomic Growth: When Illth Trumps Wealth #1388
    in reply to: Is China just another debt addict? #1346

    And the Greek situation seems to be coming to a head. Have a look at this blog, by John Ward in England. I’ve been reading it every day and I find that he has some good sources and insightful judgements:

    GREEK BONDHOLDERS: The last big unknown on the road to Greek default

    in reply to: Modern Myths that Destroy Humanity #1206

    Great post, Ash! I must say, your posts have been getting more clear and well-written and more to-the-point lately. This is a masterpiece. So can we infer from the logic here that being poor will soon become both “a sin” and “illegal” and therefore subject to punishment? Surely this state of non-participation cannot be allowed.

    in reply to: Modern Myths that Destroy Humanity #1204


Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)