A postscript to the Last Word

Couldn't resist this opening. Health advice takes a back seat for the moment.

There is one underlying truth that theorists disregard and it causes no end of trouble when new proposals are promoted from theory and are put into play.

Mark these words: I don't believe these O&G thoughts have been expressed in such precise terms previously.

Isolated elements, money, credit, policy of all kinds, governmental assistance to business, even historical comprehension of events are entered into theoretical math as "neutral" and never change their nature. It has always left an irritating mark on O&G's memory cells, yet, it is the only way the economic equations can prove themselves. Not being considered "neutral" means constant and unanticipated change as one element meets (or collides with the next - like atomic reactions, nearly never-ending with no measurementof the energy contained in any of the elements). In reality, when they do meet, the reaction is similar to any collision no matter what the degree of impetus or how dormant the energy, the unexpected occurs. Yet, nearly everything is deemed "neutral" for the convenience of bringing the series of equations to an end - sometimes at what seems mid-point.

[This was expressed in a popularized description in the tsunami thread when the devil's advocate in the war-room was mentioned, message #873.]

The list of these economic factors or elements is endless, almost any issue addressed by the study: beginning with money and credit, including regulation and free markets, deregulation and "betterment" of society, stability and feeding the competitive frenzy, along with a flood of others. There's a limitless number of ways to pair up the grating relationships of economic factors and elements. And, by including the variable force of impact we introduce a limitless variable. Theorists don't have time to deal with that.

It would be difficult to find anything ever benign - or "neutral" in commerce or business, humans can not operate other than as they do, use whatever is handy to pursue your personal goal, which then energizes the element - or elements. But, that benign attitude is not only essential but indispensable for equating economic theory since Jevons introduced the approval of turning economics, basic human activity, into a mathematics game. All of which means: for nearly a century and a half we've been parading confident egoism down a long dark hall which is growing ever darker and leading us into still more darkness toward total confusion. But that's the way it is when an essential first principle is totally disregarded.

It's unfortunate that economic theory has taken the turn it has, which not only leaves us at a dead end but demands we turn back and reset the game plan. None of our theory now allows for calculating not only which elements exert grating incompatibility but to what degree under what circumstances. We are mired in a mindset that does not allow for late entries; thus, we are wandering in circles totally helpless as we await the next eruption from the boiling cauldron of theory we've created on the supposition that things are benign - that they can be reworked on a moment's notice, or worse still, that they will work themselves out - which they cannot and do not.

All that Ostry, et. al. at IMF (in the work saldeck references in her post The Unstable United States) point out in their piece are matters of absence of benign "neutrality". And, they are correct in pairing items as they do; yet not one of the pairs can operate in tandem at a comfortable, compatible or innocent benign pace. In their consideration, debt, exchange rates, financial policy, capital controls, and credit are offered as options, but how? Separately? Or a melange of a little of this and a little of that? - Whatever. - We know these have all been tried and failed before. Another application is certain to produce yet another serving from that boiling cauldron of trouble. Even a discussion of paying down the debt during stable periods would be confronted by the belligerent mass campaign contributors protesting - this is not what they bought and paid for! That would surely render such a proposal inoperable! So that, too, fails the test of operability.

It all traces back to theory: whether found in the catch-all basket of neoliberalism, macroeconomics, macroprudentail, has been put into action, and found to have lost its attraction. It hardly suffices until we cast about looking for the next repeat of another failed policy whose sharp edges have eroded and appears attractive, less threatening again - from a distance, of course!

There are still a number of respected economists who look at most controls with skepticism which is justifiable from an historic perspective. While Fischer inquires after the usefulness of international capital flow controls, while others ask if there is truly benefit in any international trade! Nor, is this new. 1834 saw a publication by one John Rae calling Adam Smith to task for carte blanche embracing international trade and a few other postulates included in Wealth of Nations (including the definition of wealth itself!) with the accusation that Smith was mistaken in his details. His effrot does not go unnoticed; Canada honors Rae today by awarding a prize to the Canadian Economist with "the best research record in the past five years". Rae retains some recognition as a precursor of "endogenous growth theory".


By no means is this current transition over yet or the turmoil it has created been placated, nor is it explicitly and comprehensively defined anywhere with the intensity it has in the tsunami thread and here at Duff's. What happens through this current US presidential campaigning and USA elections is immaterial to the changes under way. We've had the suggestion before us that the stock market serves little more purpose today than feeding the day trading frenzy. Investors disregard it generally except when labeled as "risk". An economist at the St Louis Federal Reserve Bank, Joseph Ciolli, has offered a paper, May 11, 2016, stating that stock markets are not related or responding to the economy and are not a measure of anything economic (nothing new here!),

Outstanding businesses today are resisting IPOs (through the stockmarket, of course) - (which are down significantly recently - 15 out of the 25 most distinguished recently established companies prefer to remain private rather than associate with the wild speculation of day traders (O&G would presume) which can give a corporation a bad name should day trading take an unfavorable turn in its stock and publicize something untrue for the hour's or day's gain. For that matter, stock market volume is down. . . a series of days show a DJIA consistency below 4 bn trading volume recently which includes the HFT boost. It is not dead yet, but there was a reason why it changed hands recently. One might conclude that the NYSE has passed its heyday.

It's all part of the changes underway. Other signs are yet to be highlighted. The current issue of Fortune Magazine carried a cover story, So Long Wall Street: Why Companies are Going and Staying Private.

A second publication delving into the future is the recent IMF Monitor, April, 2016, following on the heels of their April, 2016 issue of the World Economic Outlook, by the same IMF staff - with an opening salvo which suggested to O&G that economists can't handle the problems we face and that responsibility should then be shifted back onto politicians. The presumption then is, if politicians can't respond properly we'll just continue to stagnate and vulnerability will increase. As for the chances of politicians promoting remediation? The Fiscal Monitor notes -

Fiscal positions have worsened significantly in the past year.

From this starting point it worsens.

Translation of the opening salvo? Politicians do no better than economists. Are either of the two depending on beneficial results only from their policy making? Or, is everyone so busy no one can park their personal problems long enough to devote proper attention to our weak and weakening condition? It shows up in the flagging interest in "consolidation", the reduction of the debt/GDP ratio which has climbed in nearly every global economy since 2009 - and lately at very nearly the same threatening pace as in 2009. All of which should be frightening the bejeebers out of economists, politicians and businessmen; but since they are silent on the subject, they are either cowed by their own short-comings or ashamed of their incompetence in recognizing essential failures in economics and business, both theory and practical application.

The real trouble spots: Weaker global growth; Commodity price decline; Trade slowdown; Tighter financial conditions; and, Geopolitical tensions. Is that enough to begin with? Or, is it too over-whelming to elicit response?

Expect little help from the "advanced Nations" since they adopted a "neutral" stance (and our discussion of "neutral" above may put a new spin on that assessment). However, despite the slim hopes of immediate correction, the title of the latest IMF Fiscal Monitor is "Acting Now, Acting Together". In the face of the "geopolitical tensions" exemplified in the USA as saldeck points out, the publication is very careful, as always. to indicate that "the views expressed in the publication are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF's Executive Directors or their national authorities" - and it avoids any in depth discussion of the meaning of that "Togetherness" in their title.

In total - head on or on a slant - either way, the message is not encouraging.

A bientôt.

Is Economics The Biggest Fraud Ever Perpetrated On The World?

The case against economics:

- The promise economics offers is seductive. How to allocate scarce resources in society. It is a false promise.
- Economists write as if the economy=society, and societal problems=economic problems. The coflation is false too.
- Once there was political economy=economics,ethics, politics. Economists have stripped morality from economics, leaving an arid science.
- The high points of economic thinking are theories, not data. Reliable experimentally derived data are anathema for most economists.
- Economists see health as an economic good. It is an opportunity cost, with zero intrinsic value.
- Rationality for the economists means subjecting every thought, decision to a cost-benefit analysis. A wholly narrow view of humanity.
- The big idea in economics is the market. The assumption is that human beings make cost-benefit decision based only on self-interest. No.
-Economists deny the existence of citizens. They see only consumers.
- It is accettable to worsen the lives of some provided the gains of others compensate. Economists institutionalise inequality.

What else?

Organizing Chaos is Failure

Economics is an observational not pro-active component of a profession that is not primary or essential to life or living. We don't need finance to live but finance needs lives to validate it's existence.

Certain people would be offended if I described a scenario of how far out in left field we are today. Many people lack basic functionality skills (beast on Earth) and many more are so far gone and distorted that as we correct... they instantly train wreck.

Colleges needed to stay in the background and promote higher education as a stepping stone or briefcase component of a full array of input sources to make one more capable-competitive in the real world. Instead, colleges sold degrees as tickets to better paying jobs, not competence. As the ranks and files filled with hollow shallow psychopaths, the weight of their arrogance and incompetence has collapsed any opportunity for remedy recovery repair reconstitution.

Every Economist knows this. They-- as a human- have zero capacity to steer their own future using the skills they acquired by becoming Economists. That said-- every single person forced out of this global psychotic scam that has generated massive debt, bogus wealth, false credentials and lousy people masturbating to a dysfunctional societal abortion-- knows economy like no one else does. You may be offended by my mention of gas chambers, but honestly... what do we do with a few million people totally incapable of re-assimilating into actual society because they do not possess the mental capacity needed to do so?

What you do NOT want to be in relative groups today... an administrative college degree, a Twitter subscriber, a card-carrying Republican or Democrat, a business platform executive, a Linked-In participant, a pecking addict, a career politician, associated with a Central Bank, a stock share holder, a Fund Manager. THere are more but you get the idea. The peasants did not evaluate the guards at the Bastille... they were like any other brick in the way of freedom from oppression and suppression.

The only "talent" worth anything ever in the world is-- the ability to stand back up after being knocked down and then to begin walking again. Sounds easy... so few will pass that test based on how far down society has devolved and how much organized ineptitude clings to us all.

Wasn't always that way

Economics wasn't always fraudulent. Basic economics once taught that savings was good and excessive debt was bad.
I remember the "investment" pyramid that I was taught as a freshman in high school. Savings was the base. High quality bonds were next. Stocks and risky assets were the peak.
Modern economics is certainly a fraud. Central Banks and their politico minions now encourage debt. Discourage savings by ZIRP and NIRP policy. Everybody, from individuals to pension funds and insurance companies, are being herded into riskier vehicles.
Economics has become so distorted that bad economic news indicates a rising stock market because interest free money will still be available to the few that buy based on momentum instead of fundamentals.
The current chapter is coming to an end. People are becoming aware that sovereign and much personal debt will not be repaid. It's already happening. Many college graduates are declining to accept low pay starting positions because student debt repayments will kick in. People on government assistance are refusing work since working will result in a lower standard of living.
Refugees migrating to Europe choose countries with generous social welfare systems, not because they are lazy but because they feel they have some security. It's a no brainer for them. Hmm, where should we settle? Sweden or Bulgaria?.
Change is accelerating now. Nobody knows for sure what that change will be like but more are realizing it's coming. This is a major reason why consumer spending is declining. Even if you have a job, you are less likely to spend when insecure. Manufactured inflation won't change that. It'll only aggravate it.
Regardless of what cycle or wave theory you prefer, they are all indicating the inevitable P3 (Elliott) is in progress. It doesn't matter what the stock market does. It's happening anyway.
After the crash and ensuing chaos, I like to believe a more sober realistic way of life will evolve. Maybe not, but I'm a dreamer and optimist deep inside.

Change... Why Some Is Better Than Others

If we soar up to 30,000 feet right now, we see clearly that 'economics' is not an issue, it's a premise. There is a group from each far camp attempting to control the outcome exactly as two had in the French Revolution Era. One of the camps is outright greedy and we all know that initiative by it's current blatant course. Those folks are not in a good position with Trump hoisted high. His support is a double-edged sword... they gain control of the position, but the person achieving that is so arrogant that he will indeed do us wrong in the role. That premise-- will take control away from the background group and restore it to the People by necessary opportunity. No wonder Paul Ryan is so quickly attempting to roll-out his new Right Wing blueprint. Too bad he fails to realize Trump's supporters are mainly former Left/now Middle and destitute; therefore completely unlikely to tolerate what Ryan spews. He is now an inept figure really close to the pull of the Black Hole is own side created.

The Putin Kitten- Clinton is a Fascist. I write it that way for good reason... she does not want to be President of the United States, she wants to be in Power. So does Putin. Clinton cannot defeat Putin at his own game and does not possess the backing to force it. Men in America are now wholly divided- there are righteous arrogant GOP supporters literally committing crimes daily to remain financially super on top of ivory towers. There are pot-smokers reliant on Federal Assistance (change resistant). There are in the camp in the woods next to that one-- former good men of character, skill and ability foraging daily... suppressed and oppressed by both of the others. Most women in America are working. We are chock full of dick-less men (women pretending to be men) who follow the Clinton Regime. They hide behind Women's Rights all day and hate all men except those they need in their lives. There are Middle Women that choose values like shoes and have plenty of them in boxes in closets. There are feral women that try not to cling to anything too much because they know we cannot sustain this imbalance and want the chance to shift when the playing field falls away.

To run to nations because of entitlements (social programs) is a bad reason for flight (change) because there is no possible way such falseness can continue. The premise is-- endless money for? Omnipotent power for? Wealth in concentrations for? Big instead of viable for? Every "expert" we endure today (like Economists) has no experience beyond the classroom, society vacuum, and has no formula for Chaos. We have created a place where the successful are completely useless outside of their camp... which encroaches daily.

You realize... a Trump versus Clinton competition has nothing to do whatsoever with Freedom, Life, Liberty or the Pursuit of Happiness. It has to do with the fake power of Lawyers, Financiers, Politicians and Administrators, all having to be present in one location coming soon. Like a well-festered pus-filled pimple begging to be popped.

Some Try To Prevent Change

The Washington Post has a long story about Charles' Kock's attempt to influence the economics profession with massive donations of money to large numbers of Universities. Why?

One way to see this is as a defensive reaction against the interventionist turn in economic thinking. On many issues, academic economists are now less pro-free-market than the general public. And the most famous public-facing economists now tend to be left-leaning rather than right-leaning - Hayek and Friedman have given way to Piketty. So the Kock donation campaign might be an attempt by libertarians to stem the tide.

Another way is to see it as a defensive reaction against the overall leftward turn of academia. Many social science disciplines - anthropology, social psycology etc. seem to have been captured by leftist ideology to a greater degree than economics was ever captured by libertarianism. Kock might be using his hundreds of millions to try to preserve economics as a bulwark against this leftist capture of social science.

A final interpretation is that Kock is just doing what Kock always does - steadily pushing libertarian thought on the world by whatever means seem most expeditious. Whatever it is, though, I don't like it.

That Sudden Realization... Oh Oh...From Psychopaths


It's the Harris Poll article. They polled long-term unemployed and got a [duh] realization. They didn't poll the under and struggling self-employed or they would have gotten more realization than they knew what to do with. The FACT is-- garbage technology that screens, blockades, censors, suppresses, oppresses, denies and stops FREEDOM now dominates us all. Even Obama can see that there is not a 4.8% unemployment rate, there is a crisis and catastrophic failure is absolutely straight ahead. What then?

I think it is sober and prudent to say this-- if you have lived well by artificial unsubstantiated means in a false prosperity built on delusional misdirection (the Obama Era), you are about to fall down HARD. If you have had to be suppressed and endure during these times, you are negative, oppressed, frustrated to compromise and... a survivor with a real-time perspective that 'could' see you rise as cream IF you can rise about wanting revenge. I certainly am not happy with what my life was forced to be these past 8 years but like the time before that, I learned from my lessons and possess far greater wisdom today for them. There are things I do now that I never thought I would need to in my lifetime. I also grasp precisely-- what is fleeting and what is false.

The World Bank downgrades the world economies because they can see the checkmate approaching. Medvedev in Russia tells an old woman there is no money left so-- buck up (at $125/month now). http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/there-is-no-money-left-bye-russia...

We will start hearing that around the world. It is more likely that people will gather soon at the San Andreas Fault and start hopping up and down trying to agitate it into breaking Silicon Valley off and sinking it into the Pacific. Obamacare cost America millions of jobs but it did put fat-assed paper-shufflers into marketplace jobs. Current healthcare programs assume you will stay well and away from care. We all pay cash for emergencies now. If we seek care at all.

Today, Obama meets with Bernie Sanders to tell him to end his campaign. Clinton can (and should) be indicted for her misdoings with Benghazi BUT the next debacle shows- she "made up" a million Twitter accounts tweeting herself a queen and popular. Her campaign funds are dubious. Her platforms are suspect (how does a former Wal-Mart Board member who voted AGAINST raises for hourly personnel now claim to be for those people?). She is pro-LGBT but the reality is-- she supports Women in Charge and Power and unequal Rights. New World Order is hemorrhaging all over, but Obama wants the fighter to hang up his gloves and get behind the criminal. Once again... the background POTUS demonstrates a complete detachment from fairness.

May this era end with everything it wrought and bought coming back around to those who got theirs and let them all repay plus nosebleed interest rates. We will need all we can get to recover from this terrible time.

psychopathic MSM

I consider the hijacked MSM to be the greatest danger. More dangerous than central banks and politicians. The garbage they report, regardless of how outrageously false, is not questioned by journalists that spent 6 yrs going to college.
For example, from V_L's 1st link above:
"While much has been made over the decline in the labor force participation rate — at 62.6 percent, it is just off its lowest level since late 1977 — some economists think the fear is overdone. They argue that the drop is due in large part to an aging population, among other causes.

"Almost all of the decline that we've seen over the last decade or so is due to three factors: retiring baby boomers just leaving the labor force, college students getting more education than ever, and disability," Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at job placement site Glassdoor, said in an interview. "I don't think it's particularly worrisome."

There was one optimistic sign in the survey: 22 percent said the reason they are out of work is because they quit, up from 15 percent in 2014, a trend economists generally equate with a more mobile labor force."
Overdone!!! I'm so sick of politicians, economists, and the MSM, spewing untrue data about labor participation rate declining because of retiring boomers. We are still adding more young people seeking work than the amount of people retiring. And who in their right mind equates quitting with a mobile work force? Is there some data to support this? Maybe they're thinking of hobos riding the rails in 1931. I'm not a journalist or an economist but please don't insult my limited intelligence by saying the employment situation of <5% is better than Europe's or Japan when employment measurement is calculated differently in each of these places. As far as I know there are no apples to apples comparison.
A little from Stockman about the boomer retirement myth:

"The flyover zones of America are wanting for work and buried in debt. That’s the legacy of three decades of Washington/Wall Street Bubble Finance. The latter has exported jobs, crushed the purchasing power of main street wages and showered the bicoastal elites with the windfalls of financialization.

The graph below depicts the main street side of this great societal swindle at work. There are currently 126 million prime working age persons in the US between 25 and 54 years of age. That’s up from 121 million at the beginning of 2000.

Yet even as this business cycle is rolling over, the 77.1 million employed full-time from that pool is still 1.2 million below its turn of the century level and accounts for only 61% of the population. On top of that, average real hourly wages have fallen by 7% (based on the Flyover CPI), as well."

Some Additional Talking Points On This...

The segment of Millennials becoming working age to graduation into the REAL world from college world are not seeking jobs, not in stock markets, sleep all day, stay up all night, refuse conformity, don't hold driver's licenses, won't buy homes, don't shop a lot and spend nearly all their time INSIDE technology, not just use it. They have been-- and it isn't going to stop anytime soon-- hacking away at the dead stump of the overgrown GOP beanstalk.

They will sea-change whether the powers that control want it or not.

DATA doesn't matter. As we here on Duffminster have written so many times... when you pee in a cup of fresh water it is no longer fresh and you cannot separate the fresh and toxic content. It is polluted. All things financial are now toxic. All jobs are toxic. All assets are toxic. As we change Administrations, all polluted things come to light and become critical issues. The Japanese society has been dead since 1981. What they have done since contributed a LOT to toxic state of everything else. The premise for the European Union is based largely on Japanese extended credit. The "BREXIT" singularly isolates Europe as a standalone economy without function. Russia has run out of money and it too has no economy.

There are 126 million prime working age people in America? What we won't see in "data" is a simple way to validate economy... what percentage of those earning less than $80,000 in annual household income save more that 5% of that outside of pre-tax employer programs and... what percentage of those earning more than $80,000 spend at least 5% of that in the economy, not invest it? Largely, the figure is the same and that means-- polarization. Everyone from fast food clerk to professional suffers from a waning economic base. There are no more consumers just a bunch of investors in financial that literally has all pee, no fresh water in 100% of it's vessels.

I still say-- we will see more than cracks before the end of July and a global ship on fire by September.

We'll survive

An interesting photo from The Automatic Earth today. This is what the world was like until recently. The photo is from 1909 (edited):


Just one comment possible. .

Enough to make a grown man weep.

Not too much later, I was born!!

To Everything

To everything there is a season, turn turn turn... I time to be born, a time to die...

Song lyrics and Bible verse, it tells of a Cycle of Inevitability. A reminder that everyone in the photo knew this Reality and shorter thereafter came fantasy financial and flappers. Seasons change but so do We... The difference is-- seasons return whereas everything else cannot.

1909... Think of what came directly after.

Military Spending Makes People Poorer As Well As Less Safe

Let me vent.
At the latest G7 Summit held in Japan, the assembled political leaders were reportedly concerned about the dimming prospects of economic growth and rising poverty and unemployment within their societies. Is it not ludicrous for these so-called leaders to express such concerns, yet they allocate trillions of dollars each year to war machines?
How much of France's unemployment problem, for example, could be solved if its government henceforth directed the country's $50 billion annual military spend towards socially productive activities?
Nonetheless and perversely, the French government of Hollande instead demands that workers' rights and public services be gutted in order to boost the economy.

The contemporary point is this: has anything really changed when we survey our modern world? The same obscene waste of resources and human life appears to prevail - all at the behest of unaccountable rulers and their corporate masters.
The United States and its Wewtern allies, every year spend an estimated combined total of $1 trillion on military. The US allocates the lion's share, with some $600 billion a year. By comparison, the expenditure by the US-led military alliance on productive economy and public services of education and health is a fraction of that devoted to the means of war.
Russia and China are compelled to devote more of their economic resources to spending on military at the expense of productive social development within their societies.
This vicious circle of militarism and war becomes global and self-reinforcing.

It seems that we are standing in poverty and social deprivation waiting for the sounds of war to explode.

It Doesn't Matter...

The Golden Era arrogant humans believe they can take it with them and make us die as they do.

The Techno Era arrogant humans believe they can peck an economy into existence and kick back.

Two completely inept and incompetent segments of our species- viral to the world like a plague.

One Earth being destroyed by both.


There has never been a species as destructive as humans. We are the only species that will actually exert energy to destroy something that is no threat to us.
The 17 yr cicada emerged this year in Ohio. While they are very noisy in our parks, you are lucky to hear just one in the suburbs. I remember hearing the sounds of millions as a boy in Cleveland.
Much has been said about the demise of the European Honeybee. Little is said about the demise of native pollinators.
Man, as intelligent as he supposedly is, has allowed himself to be brainwashed into believing that the main spring food source, the dandelion, must be destroyed. Some suburbs demand it by code. So man dutifully rushes off to the store and spends countless dollars and energy buying herbicides and insecticides for eradicating harmless plants and insects, which in turn eradicate the birds that he has erected feeders for.. He then feels oh so proud when he separates his trash into recyclables.
We're not very smart.


Frustration and stress are rising. Yellen spoke today and no one listened. Why? Because she hasn't said anything worthwhile or construction since POTHOLE put her in as Fed Chair. POTHOLE-- President of the Hell on Legalese Earth we live on. Anyone see economy? Anywhere? Please... speak up. Yellen does. No one else does.

Investing In Death

There are many publically traded companies and countless millions of people who invest in them. Each of these companies belongs to an industry of companies in similar businesses.

1. The Funeral Service Industry. Investing in death from natural causes.
Almost gone are the days of small, family owned funeral homes. They are being gobbled up or swamped by funeral service corporations that promise investors healthy returns, at least if you buy one or more of the "stock to die for".
2. The Gun Industry. Investing in death from domestic guns.
It is said that Americans have had a love affair with guns and cars for a century. Until recently more people have died from car accidents than from guns. There are more guns than cars in America, now.
Firearms' makers and sellers tell investors and Wall Street that massive gun killing are a ripe opportunity for investors.
3. The War Industry. Investing in death by International Murder.
This industry is the war industry, not the defense industry.
The war industry yields very good return on investments if one is not squeamish or morally inhibited about investing in merchants of death. And thousands upon thousands of investors are not.

People who invest in the gun and war industries are as morally and socially irresponsible as people populating the military/political/industrial complex and are not only investors in death but also accomplices of death by murder.