Forum Replies Created
The way Trump has cut a swathe through the GOP is a model for how incompetent and inept are the organs of the state. The party claims to be fit to govern and is making critical decisions about the nation’s economy and social structures and processes and is utterly incapable of responding at all to whatever Trump is, it cannot formulate a strategy, build a plan on that and execute it, it is utterly hamstrung by a reality that it cannot even see, let alone understand and engage with. And yet it influences to a great extent the most dangerous complex of forces in human history.
The Dems are a little better, but not much, they at least have 2 candidates capable of pursuing a complete sentence and at least articulating a position on an issue and, mostly, being consistent with that position from one sentence to the next. Their unwillingness to acknowledge for most of the last 8 years that they have been opposed by people whose only thought is that the black man in the white house gets NUTHIN, has been pathetic to watch and does not bode well when they decide that a WOMAN is even worse. Look for multiple attempts to impeach her every year on top of “she gets NUTHIN!”
And lets not forget that its a global problem, all of the west and most of the rest haven’t a clue what’s happening and can’t even respond to the things they THINK are happening
Aaaaaaand, another halfwit holding down a chair in the rabbit warren of idiot stenographers. https://tinyurl.com/jkbjh43
To quote, “In other countries that have struggled with prolonged bouts of “deflation”, like Japan, falling prices have occurred at the same time that growth has stagnated.
But that is not the case in Australia. Not yet.
Economic activity has been strong enough to generate enough jobs to pull the jobless rate comfortably below 6 per cent. And it has been heading lower.
You might not have received a pay rise for a while but, by and large, you’ve still got a job.
And why mourn that pay rise when today’s figures show the prices you pay for common consumer items are falling?
Forget the rising cost of living: food, clothing, holidays and petrol are all getting cheaper.”
But deflation, yep, Aussie has it, official.
Chris makes the absolutely fundamental point about our economic system, ” our economies have become dysfunctional because our consumers don’t have enough income to consume their own production”.
Lets simplify it a little. Lets say there is only one company that produces everything and employs all workers to make the stuff. Since the wages are only part of the cost of production, and since the only customers of the company are either their own workers directly through their wages or indirectly via the government which will take taxes and then buy goods and services from the company at retail.
If the sale price of all goods to be bought by all wages paid exceed the value of the wages, the system must fail. It can paper over the cracks by exploiting the powerless and by issuing debt that, by definition, can never be repaid, but all these processes have a finite limit and when that limit is reached, like now, the system has no option but to fail.
The costs of all products ad services can NEVER be paid for by the wages of those who produce those goods and services as long as there are also profits to be extracted and production methods that deplete finite resources or generate pollution.
“Someone grabbed Cameron by the nuts?” Presumably someone with a microscope and a very small pair of tweezers.
Agreed Greenpa. Steve’s plan tries to address the issue of debt by, essentially, drowning it in credit. The last version I saw called for everyone to be given the same amount of money so that those who had acted prudently would not feel left out. Then those who had debts would have to use their new cash to pay off their debts before they could keep any of it while those, like me, who have no debts, would keep the lot.
One problem includes the strike rate for the payment. Would it be $100K? Not enough to make a sufficient dent, $200K, a million? What is the effect measure for such a plan? Another is how to retrieve all that free cash from the system so that those of us who don’t have debt wont use it to bid up the cost of everything else for those who lose it all to debt repayment. And lets not forget that those who borrowed extravagantly would then get to keep their mansions while those who saved would be cash rich but probably stuck in their much more modest homes. What would be the process for sorting out the envy/schadenfreude factor?
Those without debt could afford to have their savings no longer earn interest because their capital would have been massively increased and having to spend it down in retirement, for example, should be no great hardship as long as the unretired don’t bid up the prices as above.
And what to do about all the debt that has no asset backing? And, of course, the funds would flow immediately into the banks’ hands but they would no longer be able to lend it out and how does the system deal with the vast flows of money where some of it extinguished in the bank’s ledger system but a big chink of it doesn’t?
Then there is the whole bank business thing. Without being able to arbitrage the lending and borrowing rates, their business model vanishes so close them down and simply have a single national central bank responsible to money creation and destruction? Good luck with that, and if successful, good luck keeping it out of political hands.
What he needs is a model much closer to the social credit idea that has a process for creation and destruction of money to meet ongoing social and, by extension, business needs. Which would demand an electorate and political class some orders of magnitude smarter and more honest than anything currently available.
No, really, LOL. Commerzbank got suckered into buying an “investment” called Millstone? Millstone? Good god, how did they not get the joke? Idiots.
Dang, imagine GS possibly getting some actual, verifiable matter in the “real” world correct. As I see the price of oil slide gently below $40 today. Plainly there is a disturbance in the farce.
Diablo, I’m so glad your perspective allows you to be so upbeat, long may you live in that frame of mind. I would be ecstatic, seriously, to find that you are right. However, you might want to think about the whole planet, not just your corner.
It is true that certain areas are indeed cooler than their long term averages, but that’s kind of the point in taking a global average. For example, your state may be 2 degrees cooler this year than average; however Antarctica may be 15 degrees warmer (for argument’s sake). It is still cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey in Antarctica and if you step outside in your bikini you WILL die very quickly, but that temperature rise is what matters on a global level. As a denizen of NZ I am now anticipating that the southern oceans will have more ice, not less and that ice will cover a much wider area than at present (see the latest Hansen paper for details). That will create a much greater ice/air interface leading to much cooler air above the southern seas. As the tropics continue to get warmer, they will average out in the usual way, through storms in the 45 south latitude range, right where I live. Hansen refers to them as superstorms and we can expect winds not in the 150kph range which we are seeing increasingly, but double that, or more. My country will probably be blown off the map. Possibly within my lifetime, certainly within my daughter’s lifetime. But I’m sure she will be grateful for your sunny perspective in the process.
As for wood, you might have noticed that fire works faster than growing, so the effects of burning more wood will come first while the mitigation will come very much later, by which time other factors such as the abovementioned storms will have made a lot of the mitigation moot. Still, we should be able to offer a whole country about the size of Japan or Germany to grow trees, if they can stand the winds.
As for Iceland, you are still with me Diablo? Anyway, there we agree wholeheartedly, justice is so very small these days for sure.
It staggers me that you have to keep explaining this. If inflation/deflation are actual things, then prices cannot be part of the definition. Prices change for any number of reasons, a new, vastly more efficient buggy-whip production method drives down prices a productivity per wage $ increases, a new buggy whip mine opens, and prices fall again, causing most of the others to close so prices rise, then along comes the gas powered car and people stop buying buggies and whip prices tumble again; none of that has anything to do with monetary shenanigans yet all of them cause price changes, what the hell is so difficult?
If all that business is done on capital derived from savings, the economic and financial effects will be different from doing it on debt. At some point debt gets so big that the price of money either falls or the ability toi pay the interest vanishes. So money-creators reduce the price of debt till if falls below zero. Now those who have saved are getting caned for their prudence and remove money from the system, either by using it to pay off their own debt or by converting it into land, gold, paintings, whatever they think will hold “value”, however they define it, or they take it out in cash and stick it under their pillows. But once they have paid off their debt and/or stuffed their mattress with it they have effectively extinguished money, deflating the financial system. defaulting on debt does the same thing. Good grief its not rocket science.
As with “rogue” securities traders and bankers, so with engineers apparently; it is, by definition, never the fault of management because management is not capable of faults.
In NZ we have this thing called the fiduciary duty of boards. They have an obligation to KNOW what the fuck is going on in their organisations and if they don’t they are in breach of that duty and it is an actual crime. And you can do time.
If they didn’t know, their massive failures of governance has exposed their companies and shareholders to catastrophic losses. For that alone they should be marched without their damned golden parachutes and then prosecuted.
It is a measure of their power at every level that only the engineers and the traders will do the time and this shower of pricks will walk away scot free.
The key to this is that those of us who have tried through various means to “raise awareness” and to lead change and do all the other things that might have led out of the mess are genuinely wasting their time. We have been dealing with something written into the DNA of life, all life.
There will be no awakening, no “realisation”, no switch to concerted, let alone collective action to deal with the predicament; none.
Some of us who have tried to get ahead of the curve will have found a safer place to experiment with live on the planet afterwards and some of those will find that way. Everyone else gets to fail at different speeds and in different ways but, whatever their condition, they will have no descendants. Perhaps in that way the gene for resistance to change will be extinguished from the human species.
Even that is not my question. My only interest is how far along the process we already are.
I write to defend and thank LordffingtonThreeSticks for his contribution.
Thank god someone has the courage to wake up every morning inside that vile, fruitless cesspit of a mind, one that, were it not already occupied by LETS, might draw in and imprison any one of us.
May we be grateful that his living death is not ours and wish him a speedy release from his pain.
Good god,. what are these people thinking? Fucking HOBBITS? The same factors that have driven down our dairy prices are sucking the blood from the tourism business as well. Not only is China our biggest dairy market, it is our biggest TOURIST market as well. If they can’t afford our milk they sure as hell can’t afford to holiday here. Holy crap we are in the hands of dolts and morons.
BTW, our fabulously smart dairy giant Fonterra managed to push up the price of dairy products at the last auction. By withholding product from the market. In the same paper a couple of days later came the story that, while farmers are starting to cull stock, production is still rising, presumably because the projects in the pipeline that started out when prices were sky-high are still coming on stream, counteracting any reduction by anyone else.
And withholding product is SUCH a smart idea, nothing like building up a backlog that costs you to store while you wait for the Godot of returning prosperity to bring back the gravy train.
Idiots all. And we no less for not dragging them into the street, dipping them in cowshit and feathers and riding them out of town on a rail. Actually, hold the cowshit and feathers, at least I can do something productive with those.
And STILL Marc Faber says, “wealth is being created through, essentially, a mixture of capital spending, and land and labor” and doesn’t include energy. When WILL these guys get it? What will it take for them to wake up to energy?
Carbon Waste LF, you might want to tune your irony meter, you may not be agreeing with what you think you are agreeing. Unless of course YOUR irony level is set to really REALLY fine grain.
Meanwhile, the DOW does a 616 point upward arabesque. So that’s alright then, nothing to see here. Volatility? What volatility. Oh, and that damned oil below $39 still, what the hell is THAT about? Fracking shares, sure, gimme a bucketful guys. Throw in some coal while you are at it.
I never try to predict what the “”markets”” will do within any operational time frame. Which is why I have no financial investments of any kind. What I HAVE done is act on the kind of thinking that TAE and Chris Martenson and Steve Keen and Gail Tverberg and co have been doing in public for the last dozen years or so.
I have no idea whether my actions will have made me and my family any more able to mitigate what is coming than someone who has done nothing at all, but there will be a grim satisfaction in being able to place on my headstone, “he was ahead of the curve for a while and he did his best”.
Assuming I can afford a headstone.
Assuming there are even graveyards functioning.
As a permaculturist, I would prefer to go back into the soil right here and close my final loop anyway.August 19, 2015 at 10:19 pm in reply to: The Boundaries and Future of Solution Space – Part 5 #23315
Diogenes. There are similar thoughts lurking in my mind but I am guessing that the compulsion phase would have to come earlier in the financial failure process because at the latter end, the ability to use money to buy compulsion services will be much more limited and by that stage, those with the compulsion powers will be the ones making the decisions, not their erstwhile employers.
It will be a case of use it or lose it and those who really get it will act earlier. For years I have said that I kind of hoped that TPTB were in fact cynical and corrupt assholes who actually got what the underlying reality was but were prepared to manipulate its public face for their own ends. My fear was that these people really do believe what they are saying, in which case they will pretty much go down in a heap when reality is undeniable any longer.
So, on balance, peak compulsion early-ish, or not at all with a possible landscape of random bands of ex-compellers preying on the producers. Even that will be hard to manage given that so much of the compulsion apparatus is also embedded in the failing system and fossil fuel dependent.August 19, 2015 at 7:45 pm in reply to: The Boundaries and Future of Solution Space – Part 5 #23313
I’m interested to get a handle on what you expect to happen at a slightly finer grain about issues such as debt. With a collapse of central authority that needs both money and energy to enforce laws, contracts etc, what will be the probable fate of those with debts like mortgages.
Do you expect banks to fail utterly and the debts be lost in the dust or will there be residual institutions with claims to property etc and in practice how might they try to enforce those claims given an absence of buyers? Or will they have some kind of rushed process, selling of their debts to whoever has cash and letting them settle it with the mortgagor?
I can see the 1% trying to buy up the debt but I can;t see them putting together their own armies to enforce the change of ownership, dependent as they are on the serfs paying for their own control through taxes.
As a debt-free holder it makes no direct difference to me but it would be good to know what my neighbours might face in the process, especially if we are also to share resources that might benefit them but might also be taken over by the new lord of the manor.August 16, 2015 at 7:38 pm in reply to: The Boundaries and Future of Solution Space – Part 1 #23226
This is a very timely piece because its good to know that others are in the same boat. I had been working on my plan for a number of years and making what I thought to be reasonable progress until about a month ago when I read James Hansen’s latest paper and realised that my estimation of the climate issues is many orders of magnitude too optimistic.
Since then I have been pretty depressed and paralysed and I’m only just starting to climb out of the grief and try to figure out what I might reasonably do next. Its good to see that people like Nicole (as I would have expected) are also staring hard down the barrel and into the abyss. I look forward to the next in the series. I would copy to my friends and family but given their response to my personal crisis, I realise also that it will be a waste of time.August 16, 2015 at 7:34 pm in reply to: The Boundaries and Future of Solution Space – Part 1 #23225
Prof, the situation you describe, ie cashless money, is already the case. The vast predominance of all “money” is both in the form of debt and as electronic entries. I don’t know for sure the share of actual printed money, but it is trivial.
As for being able to generate it faster than it is withdrawn, very possibly, but it could only be withdrawn electronically and one would have to trust its value, which, as you suggest, cannot be guaranteed.
But the biggest problem with that path is that its hyperinflationary effects would enable those in debt to pay off those debts very quickly and those who own the debts have no interest (literally and figuratively) in doing so. The banking system has created vast amounts of debt by fiat, with no actual collateral to back it up and when all debts become unpayable, they will be the ones rushing to grab whatever they can in the way of collateral which will suddenly be worth something real.
The situation Nicole describes already exists in the Chinese port of Quindao where owners of piles of iron, steel, copper etc have been borrowing money from the shadow banking sector against that “asset”. Because the shadow banks don’t publish their books, and certainly don’t tell each other what they are doing, unscrupulous types have been able to mortgage the pile many times over. When, about 2 years ago, one of the owners became unable to pay his interest, the banks tried to seize his asset only to find there were 6 other banks already there fighting over ownership.
That is what has happened on the grand scale. Greece, for example, was loaned billions more than its underlying assets were worth even then, and would be worth even less in a fire sale, the only reason the banks did not end up fighting over those assets was because they had the power to force the EU to buy their debts at 100% using public money.
And that is also why we have not seen hyperinflation while the world’s central banks have borrowed into existence, literally trillions of $ in the last 7 years; there is no way that those dollars have been allowed into circulation, they have been used exclusively to prop up banks’ balance sheets and then fed into intangible assets such as shares which are endlessly exchanged among the banks or their proxies at ever higher values while the original debt is used by governments to maintain basic services that can no longer be supported by taxes from an economy that is breaking down.
Its fascinating the way even very intelligent people can have such blind spots. That Mish should find it so hard to get the idea of the velocity of money is amazing, The old gag about the guy who leaves $100 deposit on a rental car and the rental car guy uses it to pay his mechanic who uses it to pay his grocer who uses it to pay her hairdresser who pays his landlord who pays his hooker who pays the rental car guy who returns it to the renter when his car comes back is quite simple, if any one of them sticks it under his mattress or keeps even some of it, the whole game collapses, but as long as everyone keeps playing the economy works.
When even Steve Keen, whom I admire hugely, doesn’t get that not all price rises or falls are inflationary or deflationary, who doesn’t see, for example, that Moore’s law or rising prices because of crop failure are about actual production costs and demand/supply issues in an uninflated economy, I have real difficulty grasping why.
The whole abiotic oil thing is both daft and a red herring, I have even stipulated to a believer that it could be true but its irrelevant, the RATE of new abiotic oil formation is plainly not enough to meet the demand, otherwise they would not need fracking, deep sea and arctic oil at all, so the net is still that we are past peak oil flow and all the calculations apply, adjusted by 0.000001% to allow for abiotic oil generation.
Sorry Diogenes, instead of arguing that climate change is a hoax I will only bother reading such posts when you stipulate what it would take to convince you that it was a fact. Give us a list, any list of any length that says, “if these things were true I would accept that climate change/global warming was happening”. Then we can have a conversation. An Trivium, you do TAE a disservice to claim that climate change is about reducing pollution, Nicole especially has done a lot about food security as affected by climate change, not to mention the economic effects of Florida disappearing or California dying of drought etc etc. Again, its real, its here and the discussion about whether or not is closed, all we can talk about now is scale, effect and whether ANY mitigation is possible.
Prof. Like me, you have been a lurker round here for a long time. So I assume you generally agree that inflation is a monetary phenomenon; too much money chasing too few goods and services.
What Nicole is describing is the other end of exactly what you have suggested, the hyperinflation has already occurred, but it has occurred almost entirely in the financial world in shares and other derivatives, real estate, commodities etc the prices of which have been bid up, and paid up, to levels far beyond any rational relationship with the underlying asset.
The reason this has happened is because all the printing has been in the form of debt, accessible only to financial institutions who have zero incentive to lend it into the real economy, creating the kind of price rises that everyone associates with Zimbabwe, the Weimar Republic etc. There is no pathway for that money to reach your bread shop so the traditional form of hyperinflation is off the table.
How, for example, can you see the prices of consumer goods rising because people have too much money in their pockets to pay for them? How can they rise at all when the underlying resources, from energy to metals to milk powder are falling in price like a rock?
The vast amount of unfounded money is already loose in tne world and right now it is being extinguished, the deflation is no longer in the future, it is underway.
Only 4 white rhinos left? Wow. I would bet you could get $1m each to shoot the females with a bazooka and maybe $10m for the male if he went first.
The Swiss option exists. A Tobin tax that captures ALL transactions, including cross-border ones. If every time a Franc passed over the border in any direction it had to pay a 3% tax, not only would that give pause to the arbitragers and safe haven searchers because they would face the reality that when they NEEDED to extract the money again they would lose another 3%, but the Swiss government would have a nice cashflow that it could use to soften the damage to Swiss social and economic activity.
BUT we all know its never going to happen so the Swiss people just better get used to living right up there on the top of the currency peak with no food, no water and a very cold wind blowing.
I have been listening and humming along to you two on TAE for years now. I have heard Nicole, online and in person, say exactyl this as an indicator and a consequence of deflation “While prices have gone down, they have done so at a much smaller rate than incomes”. If you guys and people like Steve Keen and Chris Martinson etc can have got this 10 years ago, why has it been SO hard for the people supposedly, but not actually, in charge to see and act on it.
I know, corrupt, feckless cowards springs to mind, but even so.
Indeed Diogenes. For all the movies made about the western alliance, in hard war-fighting terms it was the Russians who won the war. Apart from taking appalling casualties, their military killed about 3 million Germans against the entire rest of the world’s 300,000.
While body counts are not everything, in wars such as WW2 they did matter and the Russians did the heavy lifting. We are not taught that, we should be, which is why we are not.
Ilargi, what is your source for the comment, “NZ exports fell 27% in 2014”?
Seems to me that what the smart guys will really be looking for is “someone” to take out a major Saudi oil processing facility, and maybe a port. That would punish the Saudis for having the temerity to undermine the shale debt boom, massively cut global production, drive up the cost of oil again as everybody in the ME panicked over whether they were going to be next and restore the shale profitability, and hence their debt-service-ability.
And I’ll give you fair odds that one of those “somebodies” is sitting in a Koch basement right now, chortling over how simple its going to be to get the damned world back into line.
The piece on the BOE is truly disturbing. There is part of me that hopes that, at the heart, these people are hard, cynical and corrupt; that they act as they do despite the risks they are running with people’s live bvecause they simply don’t care.
Apparently they drink their own Kool Aid, they are true believers incapable of any connection with reality that is not mediated by their belief system.
As a long-time reader of you guys, Steve Keen, Kunstler, Martenson, Tverberg et al. I knew that as I moved, debt free, into my new NZ home on August 10 2007, I had just scraped in before the shit hit the fan. If I knew that, there is utterly no excuse for those with the power to change things were not aware.
Callous indifference I can at least understand, this level of deep, DNA level self-blindness and culpable ignorance beats me entirely.
While superficially I agree, in fact, if you can get a 90%+ mortgage, I would say go for it. Sequester any other assets in a trust, take the house and gently fade off your repayments. If the crash is as close as we suspect, the chances that the banks will get to you, or WANT to foreclose and reveal their massive losses grow slimmer by the day.
There’s even a good chance that said bank itself will go under and, since the banks few actual creditors are covered by FDIC and the rest of the money is fictional, you may get to live there for a long time.August 8, 2014 at 3:31 am in reply to: Debt Rattle Aug 7 2014: Europe Teeters On The Edge #14458
4 points of clarification.
1. We Kiwis are NOT closet Hobbit Commies, we are, mostly, Out Hobbit Commies, or perhaps Cobbit Hommies, I can never decide.
2. Our PM used to “work for Merrill Lynch, in which he became head of global foreign exchange in 1995, a position he would hold for six years. In 1999 he was appointed a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York until leaving in 2001”. He is a “Insider” on the right not the left and his government strings out to HIS right..
3. Even the Russians can’t get it right. There is no prospect of NZ being able to cash in on the dairy vacuum because all local dairy producers who can, are already fully engaged in the Russian market. To do that, they need a special permit issued by the Russian Govt and no longer able to be issued (not sure why but the dairy people were saying that this morning).
4. Meanwhile, of course, the other dairy producers will be forced to dump their excess Russian product on other global markets, driving down prices in an already weak market. So not only will our dairy prices fall further, undermining the biggest source of foreign funds for NZ, but we wont be able to make it up by pinching their Russian sales.July 31, 2014 at 7:32 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Jul 30 2014: The State Of The Union Is Shocking #14354
Prof Locknload, I’ll have a $100 worth of the bet on a wage increase of 7%. How long do you want fort that to eventuate? Lets say under 2 years?