Charles Hugh Smith looks at debt default ("the final frontier") and where the defaults might be imposed within society. Things like this don't just happen, losses are "imposed" upon classes of debt holders by the power structure. The western power structure has long been divided, and has borrowed more and more to avoid imposing losses. The phantom "wealth" is huge. What classes of investors can take the losses without destroying the society? Is this possible?
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The destruction of phantom wealth via default has always been the only way to clear the financial system of unpayable debt burdens and extremes of rentier / wealth dominance. Let's guess that a bare minimum of $100 trillion of the $300 trillion mountain of global debt will default far sooner than most expect. The only question is who will absorb the $100 trillion in losses. Choose wisely, as defaults of debt that are transferred to the public end up bringing down the entire system via political overthrow or currency collapse...
..The favored solutions of the state--printing money or transferring the losses to the public--are no longer viable. Now that inflation has emerged from its slumber, printing trillions to bail out the wealthy is no longer an option. The public, so easily conned into accepting the bailout of the wealthy in 2008, has wised up and so that particular con won't work again. ("Bail out the super-wealthy now or your ATM machine will stop working!" Uh, right.)
The state is the protector of the wealthy, and so defaults that actually impact the wealthy are anathema. The wealthy will demand the state absorb their losses (recall that profits are private, losses are socialized) The only equitable solution is to force the losses on those who bought the debt as a rentier income stream...
..Very few ordinary households own other people's debts as assets. It's the wealthy few who own most of the student loans, vehicle loans, mortgages, government and corporation bonds, etc.
Yes, ordinary households may own other people's debts through pension plans or ownership of mutual funds, but by and large debt is a favored asset of the rentier class, i.e. the wealthiest few.
We're constantly told that mass defaults would destroy the economy, but this is flim-flam: mass defaults would destroy much of the wealth of the rentier class which has been greatly enriched by the global expansion of debt, while freeing the debtors of their obligations. https://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly22/default7-22.html
More from Charles: The Real Policy Error Is Expanding Debt and Calling It "Growth"
..The financial punditry is whipping itself into a frenzy about aFederal Reserve "policy error," which is code for "if the music finally stops, we're doomed!"In other words, any policy which reduces the flow of juice sluicing through the sewage pipes of the financial system (credit, leverage and liquidity--the essential mechanisms of financialization and globalization) endangers the entire rickety, rotten structure of phantom wealth that's enriched the few at the expense of the many...
The history of central banking is actually quite simple:
1. Central banks act to protect the wealth and power of those who own / control most of the wealth. This is their core unstated reason to exist.
2. To justify this absurdly transparent protection of the elite in the eyes of the public,central banks go through the motions of trying to extinguish the business / credit cycle, that is, trying to eliminate defaults and credit crunches which are the frequent but low-intensity fires that burn up the financial deadwood...
..When $100 trillion in global deadwood-debt burns to the ground, that merely returns global debt to the levels of 2012. Central bank policies guarantee the forest will be consumed by an uncontrolled conflagration.That's the cost of claiming waste and debt are "growth" and protecting the phantom wealth of the few at the expense of the many.
Again, the extreme actions taken during the pandemic were for maintenance of the parasitic financial structure, not public health.
The IMF and World Bank have for decades pushed a policy agenda based on cuts to public services, increases in taxes paid by the poorest and moves to undermine labour rights and protections.
IMF ‘structural adjustment’ policies have resulted in 52% of Africans lacking access to healthcare and 83% having no safety nets to fall back on if they lose their job or become sick. Even the IMF has shown that neoliberal policies fuel poverty and inequality.
In 2021, an Oxfam review of IMF COVID-19 loans showed that 33 African countries were encouraged to pursue austerity policies. The world’s poorest countries are due to pay $43 billion in debt repayments in 2022, which could otherwise cover the costs of their food imports...
..COVID was a crisis of capitalism masquerading as a public health emergency...
..By late 2019, many companies could not generate sufficient profit. Falling turnover, limited cashflows and highly leveraged balance sheets were prevalent.
Economic growth was weakening in the run up to the massive stock market crash in February 2020, which saw trillions more pumped into the system in the guise of ‘COVID relief’...
..Come 2019, former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King warned that the world was sleepwalking towards a fresh economic and financial crisis that would have devastating consequences. He argued that the global economy was stuck in a low growth trap and recovery from the crisis of 2008 was weaker than that after the Great Depression.
King concluded thatit was time for the Federal Reserve and other central banks to begin talks behind closed doors with politicians. That is precisely what happened askey players, including BlackRock, the world’s most powerful investment fund, got together to work out a strategy going forward. This took placein the lead up to COVID.
Aside from deepening the dependency of poorer countries on Western capital, Fabio Vighi says lockdowns and the global suspension of economic transactions allowed the US Fed to flood the ailing financial markets (under the guise of COVID) with freshly printed money while shutting down the real economy to avoid hyperinflation. Lockdowns suspended business transactions, which drained the demand for credit and stopped the contagion.
COVID provided cover for a multi-trillion-dollar bailout for the capitalist economy that was in meltdown prior to COVID. Despite a decade or more of ‘quantitative easing’, this new bailout came in the form of trillions of dollars pumped into financial markets by the US Fed (in the months prior to March 2020) and subsequent ‘COVID relief’.
The IMF, World bank and global leaders knew full well what the impact on the world’s poor would be of closing down the world economy through COVID-related lockdowns.
Yet they sanctioned it and there is now the prospect that in excess of a quarter of a billion more people worldwide will fall into extreme levels of poverty in 2022 alone.
Single excerpt of Michael Hudson from an interview with him and Steve Keene:
A central element of the World Bank from the beginning is to convince countries not to grow their own food, but to create plantation agriculture, to prevent family-owned farming of food, to grow plantation export crops, and to become dependent on the United States for their grain. Well, if imports are a benefit and imports mean that the United States can put a sanction on you and starve your people like the United States tried to do in China in the 1950s, do you really want to become import dependent on food?
Let’s compare the World Bank to the Chinese Belt and Road and the BRICS bank that’s proposed. The World Bank would only make foreign exchange loans. That meant it would only make loans to countries who would invest in infrastructure that would help its exports. Well, imagine how this works for agriculture.
If you were going to develop your agriculture in the global South countries, you’d do pretty much what the United States did in the 1930s that had the most rapid increase in productivity of any industry in the last few centuries. And that was because the government took the lead in agricultural extension services, seed testing, educating farmers as to seed variety, setting up local farm management organizations.
Before the time that Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland became the great intermediaries in promotion of domestic self-sufficiency for farms, the World Bank wouldn’t make any loans at all for this, even though the World Bank local commissions and reports all said that this is what they need. The World Bank was almost always headed by someone very close to the US Military, starting with John J. McCloy at the beginning and going through McNamara and all of the subsequent Pentagon people who were put in charge of the World Bank.
And above all, they wanted to continue to base America’s export boom in agriculture and to make other countries food dependent. And that is one of the things that has led them into debt. So if you have a country like Chile that has the richest land in the world because it has the richest supply of guano deposits in the world. It also has the most unequal land distribution in Latin America – latifundia and microfundia – not any kind of balanced food production.
So that all of Chile’s exports and copper, by specializing, have been overwhelmed by the costs of importing food that it could have grown all by itself. So the idea of free trade is shaped by what will the international organizations controlled by the US give credit for, ends up to create underdevelopment and dependency instead of development. And that developmental aspect is a different story from MMT money creation. And we’re talking about something else that is part of a much bigger system. https://thesaker.is/michael-hudson-podcast-with-michael-hudson-steve-keen-steve-grumbine/
Canadian crops are looking good, also.
Infrared satellite imagery designed to measure moisture levels and the health of farmlands suggests that staple crops such as wheat are in poor condition and in sharp decline among major exporters including the Ukraine, the US and India. Two countries do have bumper crops so far though; namely Russia and China. https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/satellite-imagery-shows-global-crop-declines-except-russia-and-china
The US, Israel and Saudi Arabia are (still) plotting war with Iran
A war with Iran would be a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. It would spread swiftly throughout the region. The Shiites across the Middle East would see an attack on Iran as a religious war against Shiism. The two million Shiites in Saudi Arabia, concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern province; the Shiite majority in Iraq; and the Shiite communities in Bahrain, Pakistan and Turkey would join the fight against the U.S. and Israel.
Iran would use its Chinese-supplied anti-ship missiles, rocket and bomb-equipped speedboats and submarines, mines, drones and coastal artillery to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, the corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil and liquified gas supply. Oil production facilities in the Persian Gulf would be sabotaged.
Iranian oil, which makes up 13 percent of the world’s energy supply, would be taken off the market. Oil would jump to over $500 a barrel...
..In 2002, the U.S. military conducted its “most elaborate war game” ever, costing over $250 million. Known as the Millennium Challenge, the exercise was between a Blue Force (the U.S.) and the Red Force (widely considered as a stand-in for Iran). It was meant to validate America’s “modern, joint-service war-fighting concepts.” It did the opposite.The Red Force, led by retired Marine lieutenant general Paul Van Riper, conducted a swarm of kamikaze suicide boat attacks and destroyed 16 U.S. warships in under 20 minutes.
Stocks Soar On Report Russia Will Restart Nord Stream 1 Gas Flow On Thursday
A crucial turbine from the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline was airlifted from Canada to Germany on Sunday,Kommersant newspaper has reported, citing its sources.The part will then travel for another five to seven days by ferry to its destination in Russia, the paper revealed on Monday. If everything goes smoothly and there’s no delay at customs,the turbine will be fitted and ready to pump gas in early August, Kommersant noted. The Siemens turbine was stuck in Canada after undergoing repairs there due to Ottawa’s Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia.Canada initially refused to return the part, as it regarded the equipment as a dual-use product subject to sanctions.https://www.rt.com/business/559156-russian-turbine-return-canada/
Russian state energy giant Gazprom has signed a major deal with Iran worth billions at a moment President Putin is in Tehran to meet with President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.https://www.zerohedge.com/energy/gazprom-iran-sign-tentative-40bn-energy-deal-russia-threatens-europe-gas-supply
Moon of Alabama (German) Gazprom is a strong partner and can not be hindered by U.S. sanctions. Iran will finally be able export more of its plentiful gas. Russia will also have a chance to work with Iran to keep the prices at a certain level. With such a large deal will also come protection. Iran will be able to call on Russia should someone start hostilities against it.
When Iran produces enough gas it can also revive the old project of a pipeline to India. This could either go through Pakistan or, as India would probably prefer, through an undersea pipeline:
A 1,300-km undersea pipeline from Iran, avoiding Pakistani waters, can bring natural gas from the Persian Gulf to India at rates less than the price of Liquefied Natural Gas available in the spot market, proponents of the pipeline said on Tuesday.
Releasing a study on the Iran-India gas pipeline, former oil secretary T.N.R. Rao said natural gas imported through the over $4 billion line would cost $5-5.50 per million British thermal unit at the Indian coast, cheaper than the rate at which some of the domestic fields supply gas.
Despite U.S. sanctions Iran is again becoming fully integrated into its region. It is a great success and the gas and transit deals will help its economy to make some gains even as the U.S. adds new sanctions. Russia, India and China are partners who can and will ignore those. https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/07/in-the-multipolar-world-iran-will-no-longer-fear-us-sanctions.html#more
NATO has not been able to deploy the 40,000 man force, which supposedly exists, so NATO will declare this "virtual" force to be 7.5 times larger.
Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, recently announced the US-led military bloc’s goal of expanding its so-called ‘Response Force’ from its current strength of 40,000 to a force of more than 300,000 troops. “We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels,” Stoltenberg declared. “We will transform the NATO Response Force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000.”
The announcement, made at the end of NATO’s annual summit, held in Madrid, Spain, apparently took several defense officials from the NATO membership by surprise, with one such official calling Stoltenberg’s figures “number magic.” Stoltenberg appeared to be working from a concept that had been developed within NATO headquarters based upon assumptions made by his staffers, as opposed to anything resembling coordinated policy among the defense organizations of the 30 nations that make up the bloc. https://www.rt.com/russia/558555-nato-uk-response-force/
The State Department on Sunday implied that Ukrainian forces are allowed to use US-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) against Russian targets in Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014.
When the US first announced it was sending HIMARS to Ukraine, Biden administration officials said they received “assurances” from Ukrainian officials that the rockets won’t be used to target Russian territory.
When asked if the ban on Ukraine using the HIMARS to target Russian territory applies to Crimea, a State Department spokesperson told Antiwar.com, “Crimea is Ukraine.”
“The United States does not and will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. We will continue to stand up against Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war against the people of Ukraine,” the spokesperson said.
On Saturday, a Ukrainian intelligence official said that Ukrainian forces should start attacking Russian facilities in Crimea and suggested US-provided HIMARS could be used for such strikes.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy chair of Russia’s security council, warned Sunday that if Ukraine launched attacks on Crimea, it would mean “doomsday” for Ukrainian leadership.
“Should anything of the kind happen, they will be faced with a doomsday, very quick and tough, immediately. There will be no avoiding it. But they keep on provoking the general situation by such statements,” Medvedev said, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.
Medvedev also said that the fact that Ukraine and Western nations don’t recognize Crimea as Russian territory poses a “systemic threat” to Russia. https://news.antiwar.com/2022/07/17/us-implies-ukraine-can-use-himars-against-russian-targets-in-crimea/
Crimea is of particular strategic importance to Russia as it includes the headquarters of its Black Sea fleet at Sevastopol. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-attack-on-crimea-will-ignite-judgement-day-response-says-russias/?cmpid=rss
Ukraine will crush Russia’s Black Sea fleet and regain control of Crimea with Western weapons, the country’s Deputy Defense Minister, Vladimir Gavrilov has vowed during a visit to the UK.
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which is based in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, is “a permanent threat” to Ukraine, and Kiev has to address this issue, Gavrilov said in an interview with the Times on Tuesday.https://www.rt.com/russia/559240-ukraine-crimea-fleet-peskov/
Moscow orders troops to prioritize destroying Ukraine’s Western-supplied long-range missiles On Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered his generals to prioritize destroying Ukraine's long-range missile and artillery weapons. His order came after the Western-supplied weapons were employed to hit Russian supply lines.
According to a statement by the defense ministry, after inspecting the Vostok group which is fighting in Ukraine, Shoigu “instructed the commander to give priority to the enemy's long-range missile and artillery weapons.”
The statement also claimed that the weapons were being used to strike residential areas of Russian-held Donbas and to intentionally set fire to wheat fields and grain storage silos. https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/07/18/685843/Russia-Ukraine-West-weapons-Shoigu-Donbas-EU-grain
The Ukrainian website Mirotvorets, meaning peacemaker, publishes the names and addresses of those it deems to be “enemies of Ukraine.”
The opening page shows pictures of dead Russian soldiers.On the list are domestic and foreign journalists, politicians and citizens that are believed to have aided or worked with pro-Russia forces in the country in some way. Now, surprisingly enough, children are being added to the list. Faina Savenkova is 13 years old. And she has been writing about her experiences here in Donbas. After her name appeared on the list, she started to receive threats of physical violence online. Numerous journalists and public figures have been murdered after being put on the list. Like Oleg Buzina who was shot near his home in Kiev. And Andrea Rocchelli, an Italian journalist. After he was killed on the front line, the website posted the word “Liquidated” over his photo. https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/07/15/685642/Ukrainian-nationalists-putting-children-on-kill-list
On Monday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he delivered a letter to President Biden last week where he pleaded for the US not to prosecute Julian Assange and renewed an offer to grant asylum to the WikiLeaks founder.
Lopez Obrador said he explained in the letter that Assange “did not cause anyone’s death, did not violate any human rights and that he exercised his freedom, and that arresting him would mean a permanent affront to freedom of expression.” https://news.antiwar.com/2022/07/18/mexican-president-renews-offer-to-grant-asylum-to-julian-assange-in-letter-to-biden/
Steve Kirsch: The UK government now has a huge problem. A triply vaxxed child is 45 times more likely to die than an unvaccinated child. That makes the vaccine the biggest child killer ever deployed by any government and makes COVID deaths look like rounding error (45X vs. 0.05X). https://www.globalresearch.ca/uk-government-official-data-shows-they-killing-their-children/5787045
Pfizer Crimes against our Children: Cardiac Arrest of Two Month Old Baby an Hour after Experimental Vaccine
58 Babies Who Received mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Suffered Life-threatening Adverse EventsAn analysis of VAERS reports shows that contrary to the FDA's briefing document claiming that the majority of adverse events in Pfizers' clinical trial were non-serious – at least 58 cases of life-threatening side effects in infants under 3 years old who received mRNA vaccines were reported. For some, it is unclear if they survived. It is also unclear why the infants were vaccinated, and whether they were part of the clinical trials. https://rtmag.co.il/english/breaking-58-babies-who-received-mrna-covid-19-vaccines-suffered-life-threatening-adverse-events
Geert Vanden Bossche Ph.D. in Virology, is a vaccine expert with a good track record during COVID, much quoted in alternative media. His view is that COVID-vaccinations are making the vaccinated more susceptible to the newer strains, even as they had apparently started doing by June 2021, in those vaccinated over 6 months in UK data series. All of that continued to progress, with more heavily vaccinated populations now having more COVID infections and hospitalizations per capita. He sees unvaccinated as being at lower risk as viral mutation proceeds to further target those vaccinated against January 2020 spike-protein. Unvaccinated can now largely forget about contracting severe C-19 disease as the next big mutation will most likely make the unvaccinated resistant to the virus. However, if they have not yet been infected at all by any of these highly infectious variants, they could still contract C-19 disease (before that new variant emerges) and become seriously ill (but not ‘severely ill’ as longas they are in good health with no comorbidities and predisposing factors). To avoid this, they should either prevent risky contacts (difficult) till the next variant appears (in my opinion, just a matter of weeks) or take Ivermectin orHCQ as soon as symptoms manifest (but not prophylactically). https://www.voiceforscienceandsolidarity.org/scientific-blog/q-a-18-what-would-be-your-prediction-for-those-who-are-both-unvaccinated-against-covid-19-and-never-previously-infected
Dr. Vanden Bossche advocates, as do I, treatment with repurposed antivirals, like HCQ and Ivermectiin for illness. Not prophylaxis at this point. (I'll add that most people who don't surf daily in Hawaii, or do landscaping work, should take 5000 units per day or more of vitamin-D, to optimize blood level in the normal range of 30-100, to allow normal immune system function.)
This late December 2021 post regarding OTC Rxs for Omicron remains practical and useful. https://www.johndayblog.com/2021/12/otc-covid-rxs-for-omicron.html
Health Advocate (pictured recently with a sink, still awaiting custom countertops)
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Privatise the profits, socialize the losses.
Been working well for thousands of years.
Good, thanks. Yes there's few things as grounding as a construction process. Lots of instant enlightenment, lots of simple truth. Good luck with all this! I contemplated redoing our kitchen but couldn't figure out anywhere else to stash the Malamutes who sleep there almost all day