Friday, September 19, 2008

We Have Met the Enemy And It Is Us

I will be leaving for the ASPO Conference in Sacramento tomorrow and unable to contribute to or possibly even moderate this blog until Thursday. - JO


We Have Met the Enemy And It Is Us

Jenna Orkin

Congress is getting it and they are "stunned." This is where our economic paradigm has brought us, to the brink of destruction. It cannot all be blamed on greed, unless we acknowledge that the greed of the few bastards at the top is only a concentrated version of our own greed, the greed of "everyman." Those of us who thought we could live on borrowed money forever - because didn't real estate values only go up? - were in fact living on borrowed time.

We thought the nebulous, Godlike "they" who ran the world would figure out a solution. Some Bill Gates of economics would come along and get us out of this mess because that's what has always happened in the past and history repeats itself.

History is indeed repeating itself, but it is not our recent history of ups and downs always to be followed by another up; it is the history of an economic 9/11, the history of an unimaginable, unprecedented event.

In fact, the event was not so unimaginable by those who looked more deeply into how the system works. It was "imagined" if that is an appropriate word to use for a real future event; it was warned of and it was described, sometimes in unbearable detail which is why the vast majority of the population preferred to ignore the distant rumble of thunder. Maybe it would go away.

At the same time as we are witnessing our house of cards tumble while we're still inside, both presidential candidates speak of change, the need for an overhaul of Washington.

But in their next breath both candidates speak of restoring growth.

They have not faced the depth of change needed, away from growth and towards what Herman Daly describes as a steady state economy. We have to get out of the house of cards and build a new, more sustainable house.

This would undo centuries of dependence on an economic spiral which, like Woody Allen's description of relationships and sharks, must continue ad infinitem or die.

The notion of interest, when it was first introduced, was considered diabolical by all three major Western religions: Islam, Judaism and Christianity. They understood that making money without doing any work or undertaking any risk could only lead to no good. They may have also understood that in a finite world, nothing can grow forever except cancer.

Over time all three religions came around, even Islam, to some extent.

Interest came to pass, then paper currency based on gold, then paper currency and forget about the gold, then derivatives.

Derivatives are an order of magnitude more potent than interest. Now nobody's doing any work. The whole game is risk. And the risk is infinite, because you can bet with money you don't have.

Nice work when you can get it, especially if you're so big, the government can't afford to let you fail. Instead they bail you out.

Thus there are now more derivatives in the ether than there is money in the world.

Congress must grab the ironically metaphorical bull by the horns. It will not be enough to put a bandaid on the system or even do surgery on it. A detective who solves a case doesn't just explain one or two aspects of it; he or she puts together the whole puzzle, understands the whole story.

Until Congress looks at the WHOLE picture, tracing it down to is roots, its original sin, we will continue ever closer to the abyss.

Ebert review
Russian Aims in Georgia
Stability in Russian Chechnya and Other Regions of the North Caucasus: Recent Developments
Russian Political, Economic and Security Issues and U.S. Interests
Russian Natural Gas: Regional Dependence
Biden, McCain and PNAC
Note that both Biden and McCain signed this.

The Standard of Living Bubble
New Guidelines Would Give FBI Broader Powers
McCain Office Mailed Threat: White Powder
Hair Samples Don't Match in Anthrax Case
Criminals Dumping Dollar for Euro
Connected Dots

USDA Seeks Georgia Scientist to Clone Virus
Satellite Pictures Reveal More Ice Melt


marketTrader2 said...

US to use Gold to back up mortgage market.

FTW admin said...

To the person who posted an offer of hospitality in Sacramento:

Your email address doesn't come through via blogger so I'm responding this way. Thank you greatly for your generous offer but reservations were put in place months ago. Perhaps you will come to the ASPO conference - some interesting people are going, not all of whom are speaking.

Thank you again.

Tyler Havlin said...

Congressional Leaders Stunned By Warnings

Mikael said...

Will the Russians now start to sell its Oil and Gas in Rubels ??

gaelicgirl said...

Entitled "Financial Bailout: America's Own Kleptocracy", this is a very, very interesting article on the US financial crisis. Something about the rush to "save the financial system" smelled quite bad to me, and here it is:

Tyler Havlin said...

Across from a farmer’s market, feeling a draft

“What are you going to do about the fact that we’re going to have to initiate a military draft again?”

He said that it’s the one subject politicians are afraid to touch– and he believes that most government leaders in Washington realize a draft is inevitable, but refuse to admit it to voters.

"Our military is so stripped right now," he said. "Families are being torn apart, soldiers are being sent for two and three tours of duty, and no one will say out loud what they know in their hearts– that the draft is coming back."

Rice Farmer said...

Well now, lookie here. Just the other day I said that I suspect the US actually does not plan to pay its creditors. By the looks of this, I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Financial crisis: Default by the US government is no longer unthinkable

Jacob said...

Last major investment banks change status

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve said Sunday it had granted a request by the country's last two major investment banks — Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — to change their status to bank holding companies.

Paul said...

Outraged? TAKE ACTION!

Protect the taxpayers & middle class!

Call Congress:

- Demand immediate debt forgiveness for all households making less than $250K annually (for without debt relief, the system will fail no matter how many times Congress bails out Wall Street crooks).


- Promise a NATIONWIDE GENERAL STRIKE that will shut down the entire nation until the taxpayers and especially the Middle Class is protected!


agape wins said...

Everyone needs to read, or at least review , "Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein!
This book underlines what Mike has always said.
Who are these people who WILL remake us as they see fit?
With a Rothschild, & a Rockefeller backing McCain, does it mean they have reached an agreement to speed up the new World Order, or to resist in defense of the old Order which they have controlled for so long?
YouTube - Naomi Klein - The Shock Doctrine

The book documents the involvement of the CIA, almost says, in 2 places, that 9-11 was planned! On p 20, the second paragraph sounds like what is happening today, as we live. The last Laboratory, or experiment was Katrina, the gloves are now off, they have proven it can work, & want to bring it about!

P.533 describes "Corporate Government", as a way around our democratic Republic, to create a World of haves, & have not's, enforced by armed "Contractors",
who have their own rules, & walls where required.
"Noise Barriers" have gone from Ceder fences, to 12 ft. cement block walls! All we need is the "Check Points", the National ID is already being put in place.
Read about Sri Lanka from p 487 to 512, Malaysia, p 334 to 340, Maldives, p504to 509!
I think these "BYE OUTS" are intended to bankrupt US, as a nation, soon after the
"Shock" the Coup begins!

Will this happen before the votes are counted, or is the election just another diversion, to keep our eyes off the people behind the screen; the Hoods will come later?

Can someone name these "Clean Slate" reformers? I am sure they want to stay nameless.
The CIA has never worked in the open.
These are just my thoughts, no one else's!

Tyler Havlin said...

Jack Welch says U.S. faces "deep downturn"

"I now believe we are in for one hell of a deep downturn," Welch told the World Business Forum in New York on Wednesday, adding that the first quarter of 2009 will likely be "brutal."

Until recently, Welch said, he had believed the U.S. economy could avoid recession, but he has changed his mind.

"I am now caving," he said. "Get ready for real tough times. They're coming. There is no credit available."

DurangoKid said...

Is it possible that this financial train wreck is the first move toward the "demand destruction" talked about as an elite solution to Peak Oil? It amounts to another massive transfer of wealth from the working class to the financial class. When workers have less money, they buy less oil. And, of course, congress is clueless. There will be no fundamental reform of the monetary system such as the end of debt-based currency or eliminating fractional reserve lending. Until you change the way money works, you change nothing. Where have I heard that?

Mikael said...

Pure greed like alcoholism is a deesece.

Most of us can drink a glas of wine without becoming adicted to it.

And most of us are contented to be able to suport our family.

We are NOT walking around thinking about how to make big money at
ANY COST. 24-7-365.

Most of us are humble people with no desire to risk other peoples life or way of living.
By getting them into finacial problems.
Just for the purpose of enriching oneselves.

Why is that ?

I think its in our ability or disability to imagine the consequences that would follow.

And that ability is probably something we were born with...
Or without..

So .. until we find the Blueprint of the Human Mind ....
History will repeat itself ..

over and over again..

Its our true DESTINY


FTW admin said...

JMCSwan: Andrea Murrhteyn has left a new comment on your post "We Have Met the Enemy And It Is Us":

Thought you guys and Mike may appreciate this... confession by a former derivatives trader...

F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street, by Frank Partnoy

Andrea Muhhrteyn said...


Interesting, red or white glass of wine?

You taken note of Fed. Res's OFFICIAL Data: Fractional Reserve Debt Based 'Economic Growth' Financial Titanic is Sinking...


Mark said...

An excellent and humble analysis. Kudos.

One minor thing: cancer doesn't grow forever, it dies after it kills its host.

FTW admin said...

rocklicker has left a new comment on your post "We Have Met the Enemy And It Is Us":

China banks told to halt lending to US banks-SCMP
Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:52pm EDT

MidnightCoder said...

The fascist coup in the United States is nearly complete.

Over the past few years the U.S. government has abolished countless freedoms of the American people... all in the name of "national security."

They've spent trillions of tax dollars on an imperialistic military to fight a never-ending, un-winnable war on terror, while all but neglecting our growing domestic problems.

The government and CONgress protects big business to create a symbiotic business/government relationship giving supreme power to the corporate elite.