Category Archives: US economy

High stock prices are a danger to the US economy

How could high stock prices be a danger to the US economy? It just can’t be so, but it is. Paradox? Not really. How could persistently rising stock prices be bad for any economy? That is not possible, because people who own stocks feel wealthy. They will spend more, consumption goes up. Firms rev up production, hire more workers, wages rise, and the virtuous cycle is established; if only this were true!

Persistently rising stock prices suck the blood out of the economy and direct financial energy into the stock market. Corporations buy their own stock with cheap borrowed money, close plants, move operations overseas and leave US cities delapidated ghost towns. Tax revenues collapse, infrastructures collapse and the US slowly turns into a third world nation. This is the dark side of persistently rising stock prices.

In rising stock oriented society, wages do not grow.  In fact, the buying power of wages actually falls. Poverty, anxiety, chronic illnesses, obesity, and violence increase.

Economists, academics, decision makers, politicians sing the same ol’ song: “The US economy is resilient!”, and they point to the rising stock market. It is not!

Another component contributing to the rising stock market are persistently low interest rates, draining savers of their deserved interest income.

It would be better if the stock market was at 5000 and the economy was humming with rising wages, job growth, universal single payer health care system, affordable quality education, massive infrastructure renewal programs, quality affordable housing, etc. but this will never happen.

It will never happen as long as the rising stock market sucks the blood out of the economy, turning the country into an economic desert with areas of oases where the 2% ownership class lives with the 5% overseer class.

It will never happen as long the Federal Reserve and US Treasury’s economic policy is to support the stock market. The stock market will continue to suck the blood out of the economy until the final collapse.

No change will occur without the final collapse.

 

Is the US facing the same problems as Third Century Rome?

The world, but particularly the US, is entering a period of great uncertainty, as did Rome in the third century AD. There were external threats and internal instability. Inflation was destroying the internal fabric. The coinage was diluted of its precious metals, silver and gold. People lost faith in its institutions, its army and its emperors. Through such inflation, the people were getting poorer. The longevity of its emperors was very short after the assassination of the Emperor Alexander Severus in 235 AD  The Empire fragmented and was in danger of collapsing. Two external threats were ever present: the Tribes of Northern and Eastern Europe were pressing on the Empire and in the East, there were Persian threats. Three emperors lost wars with Persia, and one, Emperor Valerian, was even captured by the Persians in 260 AD through a ruse.

The 42nd Emperor Claudius Gothicus, (268-270), stabilized the frontiers by defeating the Alemani and the Goths, but unfortunately, died of some kind of infection.  The 51st Emperor Deocletian, (284-305), further strengthened the Empire by reducing inflation, further stabilizing the frontiers, and introducing tetrarchy to government. Tetrarchy is four person rule.  Deoclitian split the administration into a Western Empire centered in Rome, and an Eastern Empire centered in the future city of Constantinople to be founded by Emperor Constantine the Great in 330 AD. When the Western Empire fell in 476 AD, the Eastern Empire or Byzantine Empire lasted for almost one thousand years until Contantinople fell to the Turks in 1453.

Is the US in a similar situation? Possibly?  The US has been in decline since President Nixon defaulted on the gold obligation of 35 dollars for one ounce of gold. Nixon proclaimed it would be temporary, but almost 50 years later is still going. As a result inflation became rampant, Congress became generous and passed the law that allowed Americans to own gold again. President Roosevelt and Congress banned ownership of gold except in jewelry in 1933.

Economic conditions were deteriorating slowly. Inflation in the seventies, Reaganomics in the eighties, Clintonomics in the nineties, subprime mortgages and the tech bubble in the first decade of the new millennium and a severe bust in 2007-09 that nearly collapsed the entire system. Throughout this period, living standards for Americans were going down. The main culprits were debt, public and private, quality job losses, inflation, lack of affordable universal health care, expensive education, and foreign military interventions.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, the three pillars of paper, all based on debt, are keeping this system afloat, but just barely, and they are the dollar, the stock market, and the bond market. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury are keeping the system going by shunting new money into stocks and bonds creating conditions for a financial shock that is becoming inevitable. Zero interest rates and quantitative easing are propping up the system, but not curing it; it cannot be cured.

One could call the US economy a “mirage” because there has been no actual growth since the late 1960’s. The living standards of the people have been going down and down, but the lies and deceptions have been going up. One does not know whom to believe. In socio-economic terms, three economic classes have developed in the US: the owner class of 1%, the overseer class of 4-5%, and the Precariat class of around 95%. The Precariat Class is composed of all ethnic groups, religions, and races, but it is kept divided by the Ownership Class for its own interests. The Precariat is on the whole totally dispossessed, and they live from pay cheque to pay cheque, with the loan sharking firms eating them in between.

The present recovery after the almost system collapse 0f 2007-8, has been nothing but “a mirage”, a statistical “recovery” propped by a series of quantitative easings and zero interest rates. The ownership class and the overseer class are doing extremely well, but the precariat class is barely surviving.

In foreign policy, the US, a hegemonic power, has become a reactionary force in order to maintain its world wide empire based on dollar indebtedness and exploitation of the rest of the world. Through its policy in the Middle East, it has lost Iran and now may lose Turkey, two large countries dominating the key strategic areas of the Afro-Eurasia. It is true, the US has gained  eastern Europe through the European Union and NATO, but Europe itself has become unstable.

In the Middle East, some claim that the US and Israel have created ISIS and Al-Qaeda  to destroy Syria and Iraq in order to get to Iran, and take total control of the Middle East and its natural resources. If Turkey switches to Eurasia, and a compromise is reached between Syria and Turkey, the US will lose the Middle East. The next shoe to drop will be Saudi Arabia because of its disastrous war in Yemen, as well as internal dissension.

Never before in its history has the US faced such complex problems as a dying economy  reflected in dying cities, dilapidated infrastructure, poor but costly education and health care; city violence could be a precursor to a general revolt.

The world is waiting with bated breath the results of the US presidential elections, The precariat class is flocking to Mr. Trump for salvation and the ownership class is in a panic. How the elections will turn out nobody knows, but if there is a financial collapse Trump would win massively. In that case, it is quite likely that martial law would be proclaimed and the elections postponed. Only time will tell.

The new economic Black Death

The Black Plague, also known as the Black Death, took place in Europe from 1346 to 1353. In a span of seven years almost half the population of Europe was dead. Anywhere from 75 to 200 hundred million people died. It was the most horrible experience since the Fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD. It was caused by a bacteria, Yersenia Pestis, aka, Pasteurella Pestis. It originated somewhere in China or Central Asia, and via the Black Sea trade entered Europe. The agent of transmission or vector was a rat aboard the trading ships. The population of Europe was estimated at around 250 to 350 million, and the population of the whole, known world was around one billion people. The Western Hemisphere was not known or had been discovered yet. Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in 1492.

In 2016, mankind ( with a world population of over 7 billion people) is facing another Black Death, caused not by bacteria but by human evil. There is no economic recovery in the West, and there will be no recovery until the West restructures totally and completely by embracing  a new system that will cherish life and the environment of the earth.

The economic system of the West, the new Neo-liberalism, has entered a phase of exhaustion from which there is no escape. The reason for the exhaustion is the immense debt which can no longer be sustained. There are several components to this world debt that must be explained.In 1944, the dollar became the official currency of the world as decreed by the Anglo-American Powers. All of the world’s trade would be done in dollars, and, the dollar would be the reserve currency of the world. The US became, in effect, the ruler of the world. The only country who opposed this arrangement was the USSR. That same year, Winston Churchill suggested,                “Operation Unthinkable”, the plan that Anglo-Americans join with Germans in fighting the Russians. The Cold War was in full swing. The official proclamation of Cold War was announced by Churchill in Fulton Head, Missouri in 1947.

The West, aka, the Anglo-American countries, realized that debt could be used as an instrument of power in re-enslaving the newly independent countries of Africa and Asia, by lending them money for so called “development.” The already independent Latin American countries were subjected to the same treatment with similar results, as were the Eastern European countries.

Domestically speaking, Americans were encouraged to go into debt. The reason for this was the fear that the slack in demand would lead into another “Great Depression”, and that was no,no policy in a time of “Cold War.” Wasteful consumption and debt was encouraged. Credit cards were created to increase consumption and debt. Economists glorified debt as good. Debt was no problem, the Americans were told, “after all we owe it to ourselves.”

Debt can be considered “safe and useful” in an economy that is growing, if wages and jobs are also rising. People feel good and secure. Buying houses on a mortgage is a sound economic policy. Also, in a prosperous economy, the crime rate decreases.

Internationally speaking, no effort is spared to indebt as much of the world as possible in dollars. The dollar indebtedness is the “Carte Blanche” for giant Western corporations to exploit the Third World. This situation enhances the power of the West and enslaves the rest.

The largest corporations are moving factories to the Third World because of the very cheap labor, and the cheap products are re-exported to the entire world at immense profits. By this policy, the US has de-industrialized itself, but enriched the trans-national corporations. This was the Age of Globalization which was pushed on the rest of the world. The World Trade Organization was established, which is above the law of each individual member country, as is the City of London above the British law, and the Federal Reserve Bank of the US, a private bank, is above the US laws. The trans-national corporations are modelled after the Dutch East India Company and the British East India Company. These two companies controlled the world trade in slavery, spices, and the opium trade with China. They were progenitors of modern globalization. Nothing has changed in the last five hundred years except technology and the intensity of plunder and exploitation.

The Third World is already in maximum debt and depression where the poor are already dying and the anger is growing. Third World countries are trying to pay the interest on their debt, and some are trying to pay the debt off, so commodities are cheap and the dollar is strong.

Domestically speaking, the West is suffering from lack of consumption, because the vast majority of people are barely making enough to survive. Unemployment rates of the European Union and the US are sky high. According to John Williams of Shadow Stats, the unemployment rate is 23 percent in the US, and the work force participation of 62.8 percent has been the lowest in years. The number of people out of the labor force who can and want to work is around 95,000,000. The number of people on food stamps is around 47,000,000. The velocity of money has collapsed which implies that people have no money to spend. Pay Day Loans with monthly interest rates of 20 percent or more are increasing. One should not wonder why crime, prostitution, and drug use are increasing. ( Incidentally, the Baltic Dry Index is decreasing, which is a sign of collapsing world trade.)

The economic system of the West and the World has entered the phase of exhaustion, and nothing can save it. The ruling elite of the West thinks that a massive war with Russia or China, even nuclear war, will save the system, but nothing will. There will be collapse of the monetary system based on usury, and those responsible will be punished. Hunger, starvation, and deprivation is on the horizon. Violent revolution is inevitable, and nuclear war cannot be excluded. Only time will tell.

 

Gold Will Not Be Available At Any Price

In one of my previous blogs, I stated that gold does not need the dollar or any other currency, but the dollar needs gold to be the Reserve Currency or Official Currency of the World. Without the connection to gold, a Fiat Currency is a useless piece of paper that is imposed on the people by legal tender law. No other currency can be used in the US except the Dollar. The Bretton-Woods Agreement made the Dollar the official currency of the world with the convertibility of the dollar into gold at 35 dollars an ounce. All trade in the world was conducted in dollars. The US became Master of the World.

In 1950, the US had twenty thousand tons of gold and the rest of the world had very little. The gold reserves of the USSR were secret, but Western Intelligence analysts concluded that they were significant. By 1968, the run on the gold was significant, and in 1971 President Nixon defaulted on the US gold obligation of 35 dollars for an ounce of gold. Very significant events took place after the US defaulted. The War of October 1973 started between the state of Israel and the Arabs, which Israel would have lost without US help. In 1973, OPEC, the Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries, was formed with the help of the US. The US was the godfather of the OPEC, and OPEC promised that the dollar would be its’ official currency. The price of oil was encouraged to rise many, many fold. Third World countries went into massive dollar debt buying needed oil. Inflation ensued, followed by high interest rates imposed by Paul Volcker, the Federal Reserve Chairman.

So far so good. The US economy boomed due to the growth of debt. The Crash of 1987 did not matter. In 1989, Communism disappeared, the USSR collapsed, and Japan, the economic power house, went into irreversible decline, which continues to this day. The 1990’s were characterized by the plunder of the Russian Federation under the leadership of Yeltsin. In 1998 occurred the Russian default. The Stock Market boomed, not because of the NASDAQ dot com bubble, but because of the plunder of the Russian Federation by the West with the help of the Russian-Jewish mafia. Vladimir Putin is appointed Premier of Russia by President Yeltsin and the US stock market took a plunge, because the plunder of Russia was about to end.

The economy was on the skids, so  September 11, 2001, happened, but we do not know for sure who is really responsible, but it was good enough reason to declare the War on Terror to revive the economy. Osama bin Laden and his people were blamed. Osama was in Afghanistan, so Afghanistan was bombed and invaded. The Afghani War continues to this day with no end in sight. After the invasion of Afghanistan, the opium trade boomed as production rose from 96 tons annually under the Taliban to over 6000 tons presently and that is more than a several trillion dollar business, the biggest business in the world denominated in US dollars and controlled by the US. (The US dollar is not only the Petro-Dollar but also the Narco-Dollar.) In 2003, Iraq was invaded and Saddam Hussein hanged, not because of weapons of mass destruction but because Saddam refused to sell Iraq oil for dollars. The war in Iraq still continues; the War on Terror keeps the Western Economy alive.

In 2008, due to subprime mortgages and too much debt, the Stock Market and financial markets everywhere faced serious collapse. Under the leadership of Hank Paulsen, the US Treasury Secretary, the system was propped up. By 2011, gold went up to over 1900 dollars, and silver went up to near fifty dollars. After the economic debacle of 2008, the US and the World has been enduring negative energy flow. There is no real economic growth in the US, but statistically there is a concocted growth. Europe is just as bad, if not much worse, and Japan is dying. China is in a precarious situation as well. Third World countries are in depression or even super depression. Eastern Europe is similar. Russia is suffering, but is self sustaining, with very little debt and is the cleanest shirt in the laundry…

Non Western Central Banks are buying and hoarding gold by the tons. Some Western countries are repatriating their gold. People all over the world are buying physical gold and silver. People who buy physical precious metals do not sell them unless forced by circumstances. OPEC is in disarray, many members are selling their oil for other currencies such as the Euro and the Yuan. The dollar is still important but no longer absolute. The world is de-dollarizing. A point will be reached when there will be a panic for buying of gold and no gold will be available. Gold trading will be closed and gold will not be available at any price. The well being of countries such as the US will be changed for ever. Only time will tell.

 

 

The Dollar Armageddon

The essential plan of the West is total domination of the Earth, which would result in the flow of all natural resources and all natural wealth to the International Community of the West from the rest, as was done under Colonialism. This new phase of exploitation is being carried out under the banner of Globalization. The Anglo-Americans, the British Empire and the US, were the organizers of the new financial system in 1944 at Bretton Woods, New  Hampshire, US., today known as the Bretton Woods Agreement. The chief players were John Maynard Keynes of the UK, Harry Dexter White, and Henry Morgenthau Jr. of the US Treasury.

The Anglo-Americans realized that the Colonized World wanted to be decolonized and independent, and since they could not prevent decolonization, they decided they could slow it down and install their own puppets. Any new leader who rebelled against Western control would be overthrown or even killed. Winston Churchill proclaimed the Cold War against the USSR in 1947 in Fulton Head, Missouri, USA. Patrice Lumumba of the Belgian Congo comes to mind. He was impaled and killed in 1961.

Globalization began. Beautiful phrases, such as “Food for Peace” programs were used to entrap  newly independent states. Foreign Aid was used not to help but to enslave. The International Monetary Fund{IMF}, and the World Bank were the chief agents of debt enslavement.The Cold War was in full swing.

Despite the massive destruction of the USSR caused by the German invasion in the Second World War, the basic living standard of the Soviet Union was higher than that of the US.  Housing was tight, and families lived together in cramped quarters because of the war destruction, but the Soviet People had jobs, free education, free health care, one month vacation, and one year maternity leave with pay. Public transportation was available. Just compare the metro systems of the two countries in the nineteen fifties. Basic consumer goods were available, but an abundance of consumer goods was not. The Soviet People had job security and a sense of serenity which was not available to the West.

Western policy makers decided to push three things on the world: abundant consumerism vs socialist austerity, wide spread debt at home and abroad, and world-wide militarization as exemplified by NATO, SEATO, and CENTO*; in other words globalization. US banks and corporations were everywhere. American Culture, food, and military bases were everywhere; the US was omnipotent. Credit cards were introduced in the 1960’s. (Remember the commercial for American Express? “Don’t leave home without it.”) Western corporations yearned for profit and huge profits were associated with cheap labour. Western factories were moving East to China, when China opened up in 1979, and to other countries of the East and South as well.

Wages in the US were deteriorating for the working class since the early sixties of the last century, but the US corporation has been doing great. In the 18th and 19th centuries Western corporations were moving slaves from Africa to the plantations of North America, the West Indies, and South America. In the latter half of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st Century, corporations have been moving their plantations, factories, to the slaves. 95% of Americans today belong to what I call the Precariat Class, a totally dispossessed economic class.

In 2016, Americans still don’t have tax based universal health care, no free education of superior quality, no affordable housing, no public transportation, and outright home ownership is only around 11%. No wonder Americans are angry, and this is why Donald Trump is winning. The ownership class cannot stop him in an “honest way”, so they will try to stop him either by hook or by crook. Massive demonstrations may occur in defense of Trump. Martial law may be imposed, and the presidential election may be postponed or even cancelled.

Economic conditions are no better. Real unemployment is high, anywhere from 20% to 42%. Wages are stagnating. Ninety million Americans are not working. Obesity, a side effect of the American economic system, is in epidemic mode. Sixty six percent are obese and thirty seven percent are morbidly obese. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer are rampant. Life expectancy is going down. Basic infrastructure is collapsing. People are over medicated. Grocery stores are full of embalmed, genetically modified food ( but beautifully packaged!). All for profit, and without giving a damn about people or the environment. Just look at Flint, Michigan and their drinking water. The US, the hope of mankind, is becoming a third world country.

The world economy is no better. Much of the world is either in severe recession or depression. The Baltic Dry Index has imploded, with slight improvement lately. World consumption has collapsed, hence massive slowdown from South Korea to Germany. Japan is in perpetual depression. China is slowing down. Latin America, Africa, and South Asia are either in near or full depressions. Canada, Australia, the European Union are either in severe recession or are entering one. The Ukraine is on the verge of exploding. The Middle East is a cauldron that will enlarge. The only area of stability is Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Sanctions against Russia are great blessings in disguise. Import substitution and self reliance are engines of growth and power. Presently, Brazil and Venezuela are being destabilized from outside and inside.

In summary, unnecessary consumption is collapsing world wide. Debt in dollar terms is still growing  but at a snail’s pace. World wide trade is collapsing. Countries with an independent foreign policy such as India, Iran, China, Russia, and others are accumulating gold and shunning the dollar. This is a nightmare for the US. It is quite possible that some obscure company somewhere in the South Asian region will reject trade in dollars, but will accept gold or Chinese yuan. Panic will set in. The dollar could drop by twenty percent in overnight trade. Gold and silver would sky rocket. Trade between the US and the world would collapse. Interest rates in dollars would rise to an unbelievable level, but would not help the dollar. The US could not import anything with its currency, but only with gold or some foreign currency which was convertible to gold. The Armageddon of the dollar is coming. The ownership elite of the US will know for the first time in its history what it’s like to actually work for a living rather than living off the suffering and labor of others. My analysis is very, very correct and true but only time will reveal that.

 

*= NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization SEATO: Southeast Asia Treaty Organization

     CENTO: Central Treaty Organization

 

 

 

The role of oil in geo-economics

The Indios of Latin America call petroleum [ the oil of rock], the blood of Mother Earth. Oil comes from the innards of the earth and fills numerous huge caverns as it seeps to surface. It is not dead trees and animals. The discovery of oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859 changed the world. The individuals and countries who controlled the petroleum resource had obtained such a power that is almost unimaginable.

Oil is not only fuel, but also building material. It is the raw material for pharmaceuticals, for cosmetics, for plastics of all kinds, for clothing of all kinds, and many other products. It is also the essence of US power. After the October War of 1973, which Israel was about to lose, a massive US military resupply intervention ordered by President Nixon saved the day. The US was able to convince OPEC to price oil in US dollars. Overnight, the Dollar was not only backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government, an empty promise, but also by the most  valuable commodity for the modern world, OIL. The dollar became the most powerful instrument of US Power and it no longer needed gold. President Nixon was a great President. His reward: Impeachment.

Entering the New Millenium, the World and the US have faced new economic problems. The economic meltdown of 2008 led to a so called “Recovery” from which the world has never recovered and the US economy is still ” recovering…”

The recovery is impossible, because by decreasing the price of oil intentionally to punish the Russians , the world’s liquidity started to decrease. There is a shortage of dollars. Value of the dollar went up. Debt burden of the Developing  World increased and is becoming unbearable. To service the debt, they had to sell their natural resources at any price. The price of the commodities has collapsed. The Third World countries, especially the oil producers have decreasing revenues to buy manufactured goods. Hence, China, South Korea, Japan, and Europe are slowing down, and that further puts pressure on the commodities, especially the Oil. Also the first world economies of Canada and Australia are in collapsing mode.

Ivy League economists are gloating that lower gasoline prices are positive for the economy, but they never ask why consumption of gasoline is decreasing in the US if there really is a recovery. It is not dropping because of electric cars or modern public transportation system, which does not even exist in the US. The consumption of gas is dropping because people have no money. The US has three economic classes: ownership class, 1%, doing exceptionally well; the overseer class,4%, doing well; and the Precariat Class, 95%, doing very poorly and not being able to afford gas.

The world may be entering a new and very severe economic winter or even a new economic ice age because of human evil, which is using oil as an instrument of economic war. Only time will tell.

The Precariat Class

In my previous posts I stated that the economic system of the US is based on three pillars of paper, and all three are based on debt. The three pillars of paper are the dollar, the bond and the stock market. If one falters, all three will collapse, and the economic system which is so blindly venerated will collapse. The capitalist system of the West has become totally parasitic, and it no longer can  grow  at the rate that is needed to sustain itself. The debt or usury rate has to grow. Every year the growth of debt has to be much bigger than the previous year. If debt grows but not as fast as in previous years crisis develops which may lead the system into total collapse. This is happening right now.

The Western economic system since 1980 has had no real growth. Immense debt growth has been used to claim that there was real growth. Reaganomics was the last “hurrah.” The middle class has collapsed because the good jobs have disappeared. Now we have three economic classes in the US: the ownership class {one percent], the overseer class {five percent}, the Precariat class {ninety four percent}. Precariat means uncertain in Latin. Ninety four percent of Americans live in great uncertainty, hence, the Precariat Class.  The country is decaying: infrastructure, education, health, housing. The Precariat class senses that there is something profoundly wrong with the country, and that it will get worse. No recovery but great upheaval is awaiting the country.