If you want to understand America’s dangerously deepening travails, you have to start at the Federal Reserve’s Eccles Building…
After a 30-year rolling coup d’etat, its occupants have imposed a regime of destructive falsification on America’s financial, economic, political, and social life.
It has become the heart of mushrooming darkness taking prosperity, liberty, and democracy down for the count.
How do we get 50 million unemployed… the stock market at record highs… companies trashing their balance sheets to buy back stock and do vastly overpriced M&A deals… doctors and politicians savaging the economy and the livelihoods of millions… and Washington going incontinent on the fiscal front?
The answer is simple:
the rapidly-spreading dysfunction is rooted in the giant financial fraud embedded in the Federal Reserve’s $7 trillion balance sheet.
The latter is blissfully taken for granted by the politicians and C-suites of corporate America and desperately insisted upon by the unhinged gamblers of Wall Street.
Even if you believe that a regular infusion of money is needed to catalyze the wheels of capitalist growth (we don’t), there is absolutely no economic logic that says the central bank’s balance sheet should grow by orders of magnitude faster than GDP over an extended period of time.
If the robustly growing GDP of 1987 needed $5 of central bank money per $100 of GDP, there is no reason why that ratio should have differed in 2008 or 2020.
But it did and does.
In June 1987, the nominal GDP was $4.8 trillion, and by all current estimates, it clocked in at $19.4 trillion in June 2020. That’s a 4.1X expansion over 33 years.
In contrast, the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet stood at about $240 billion on the eve of Greenspan’s arrival at the Eccles Building in August 1987 and clocked in at $7.2 trillion at the end of Q2 2020. That’s a 30X gain.
Since the early 2000s and the dotcom crash, it has only gotten far worse. The chart below of the Fed’s balance sheet and GDP is indexed to 100 as of January 2003. It tells you all you need to know.
During the past 17 years, the Fed’s balance sheet (purple line) has risen to 983% of its starting value, even as GDP (red line) has risen to only 192%.
What was fostered in the vast area between the two lines above was excess liquidity, debt, speculation, and malinvestment. This was accompanied by a complete breakdown of financial discipline in all sectors of American society.
These long-term growth factors are not even in the same zip code or planet—and the massive excess of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet versus GDP did not happen like a tree falling silently in an empty forest.
On the contrary, it turned the financial and economic world upside down. That’s because the effect was to systematically suppress the cost of debt and speculation and drastically inflate the value of financial assets. As a result, everyone got false price signals and changed their behavior accordingly:
Wall Street investors became leveraged speculators;
Corporate business builders become financial engineers;
Middle-class households became debt slaves living hand-to-mouth on borrowed money; and
Washington’s politicians became free lunch spendthrifts piling on public debt like there was no tomorrow.
The tragedy is that the clueless speculators on Wall Street, and the politicians of Washington who are riding the most egregiously inflated financial bubble ever, don’t even get the joke.
So what happens next?
We’d say nothing very pleasant.
* * *
The truth is, we’re on the cusp of a economic crisis that could eclipse anything we’ve seen before. And most people won’t be prepared for what’s coming. That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released a free report with all the details on how to survive an economic collapse. Click here to download the PDF now.
As always, do your research! But so many feel that September is going to be critical on all levels:
The Big List Of 33 Things That Are Going To Happen In September 2015
By Michael Snyder, on August 19th, 2015
Is September 2015 going to be a month that changes history? For months, there has been an unprecedented amount of buzz all over the Internet about what is going to happen in September. And without a doubt, we are going to witness a convergence of events during that month that is quite remarkable. What I have attempted to do in this article is to put together a list of things that we know will happen next month. Some of the lists that I have seen contain things that cannot be proven or that are simply inaccurate. And of course it is very likely that some things will happen in September that we cannot anticipate right now. I am just providing the information that I have at this time, and it is up to you and your family to prepare for what you believe will happen. The following is my big list of 33 things that are going to happen in September 2015…
September 11 – The last day of trading on Wall Street before the end of the Shemitah year
September 12 – Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour opens in the United States. The first stop is in Washington D.C. and according to Holly Deyo the “opening theme is Desecration of The Bride and Arrival of Fallen Angels”
September 12 and September 13 – Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, a leading authority in Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, has indicated that the Messiah that the Jewish people are expecting could come at this time
September 13 – The last day of the Shemitah year. During the last two Shemitah cycles, we witnessed record-breaking stock market crashes on the very last day of the Shemitah year (Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar). For example, if you go back to September 17th, 2001 (which was Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar), we witnessed the greatest one day stock market crash in all of U.S. history up until that time. The Dow plunged 684 points, and it was a record that held for exactly seven years until the end of the next Shemitah cycle. On September 29th, 2008 (which was also Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar), the Dow plummeted 777 points, which still today remains the greatest one day stock market crash of all time in the United States. Now we are in another Shemitah year. It began in the fall of 2014, and it ends on September 13th, 2015.
September 14 – The first day of trading on Wall Street after the end of the Shemitah year
September 15 – The 70th session of the UN General Assembly begins on this date. It has been widely reported that France plans to introduce a resolution which will give formal UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state shortly after the new session begins. Up until now, the U.S. has always been the one blocking such a resolution, but Barack Obama has already indicated that things may be different this time around. It would be extremely difficult to overstate the significance of this.
September 15 – The Jade Helm military exercises are scheduled to end
September 17 – If there is going to be a rate hike in September, this is probably when the Federal Reserve will do it
September 17 – This is the deadline for Congress to vote on Obama’s deal with Iran
September 17 – Constitution Day – most Americans do not even know that this holiday exists
September 23 – The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, also known as “the Feast of the Sacrifice”, begins
September 23 – Pope Francis arrives at the White House to meet with Barack Obama
September 23 – The 266th Pope will be meeting with the president of the United States on the 266th day of the year. Some have suggested that “something is being birthed” on that day since 266 days is the average length of the human gestation period.
September 24 – The Pope addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress
September 25 – On May 14th, 2014 French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius famously proclaimed that we had only 500 days to avoid “climate chaos”. His time frame of 500 days ends on September 25th.
September 25 – The Pope will hold mass in Madison Square Garden in New York City
September 25 to September 27 – The United Nations launches a brand new “universal agenda” for humanity known as “the 2030 Agenda”
September 25 – The Pope appears at the UN to deliver an address to kick off the conference at which the 2030 Agenda will be unveiled
September 28 – The first day of the Feast of Tabernacles
September 28 – This is the date for the last of the four blood moons that fall on Biblical festival dates during 2014 and 2015. This blood moon will be a “supermoon” and it will be clearly visible from the city of Jerusalem.
Due to the ending of the Shemitah year and numerous other factors, there is rampant speculation that a stock market crash is going to happen in the United States during the month of September. Previously, I have expressed my view that a major global financial crisis is imminent, but my warning covers all of the remaining months of 2015. Since I cannot prove that a stock market crash will happen next month, I have left it off the list. But without a doubt, we are entering the danger zone.
There is also lots of speculation about unusual activity at the Large Hadron Collider during the month of September. In my research, I have not yet come across anything that confirms that. If you have solid information concerning this, please send it to me. But certainly, what they are doing with the Large Hadron Collider concerns me greatly. This is something that I covered in a previous article entitled “Will The Large Hadron Collider Open Up A Portal To Another Dimension?”
In addition, I am also aware that there is a tremendous amount of speculation about an asteroid or a meteor that may or may not be heading toward our planet next month. At this time, I have no way of proving this is true, and I have no way of disproving it is true either. I have not come across anything that I can independently verify that indicates that this will or will not happen. In law school I was trained to stick to the facts, and I don’t have any facts. If you do have some solid and verifiable information, please share it with me.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge that there is plenty of speculation about certain natural disasters that may happen in September. They may indeed happen, but I cannot prove anything of that nature right now so I have left those natural disasters off the list.
Needless to say, next month promises to be absolutely crazy, and our time for preparing is running out.
Gallups identifies specific incidents when civil society collapsed, most notably in New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina.
“You ended up with the worst of both worlds,” Gallups observed. “You had widespread criminality, anarchy and disorder, and somehow, at the same time, you had government officials going around enforcing wildly tyrannical guidelines and even confiscating firearms.”
As a result, Americans may be forced to rely on themselves for protection, meaning Christians have to begin planning now.
Even if it doesn’t happen next month, life in America is about to change dramatically.
The infrastructure and government services that we have all come to take for granted may not be there in the future.
It is imperative that we all start to learn how to become more independent of the system, because the system is going to start failing in thousands of different ways.
The versatile chia seed has a long history of cultivation and use in Mexico, Central and South America. Warriors of the past have recognized chia’s exceptional energy and stamina supporting attributes. Over the last several years, those wishing to boost vitality have discovered the extraordinary power of this seed as well. Incredibly, even the workers on Wall Street have adopted chia to healthfully promote stamina in lieu of dangerous stimulants.
A member of the mint family, chia has been grown since 2,600 BCE in the southern regions of Mexico. Cultivation spread to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations where it claimed such importance. It was used as currency to pay tribute to the nobility and priesthood. Known as the “running food,” Aztec warriors were exclusively fueled by chia seeds and water during conquests. Due to its high level of easily digestible protein, omega-3 oils, and abundant fiber, chia kept ancient societies healthy and strong.
The rediscovery of chia
The outstanding benefits of chia have also been embraced by present-day health enthusiasts who value potent, nutritionally dense food. Many have used this tiny seed to slim down, gain energy, and increase endurance. Since chia absorbs up to 10 times its weight in water and is an excellent source of fiber, consumption promotes a feeling of satiety, thereby helping one to eat less. Vigor and stamina are enhanced by the high quality protein found in the seed. As an added bonus, chia is a hearty, environmentally friendly crop that is drought and pest resistant.
An unexpected use in an unusual place
As reported by David Sax in Bloomberg Businessweek Lifestyle, a startling craze is sweeping through Wall Street: using chia as an alternative to the usual stimulants of coffee, energy drinks; and, yes, even cocaine. According to the article, chia’s popularity is due to the best selling book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall about Tarahumara Indian marathon runners who thrive on chia seeds. After reading the book, Dan Gluck and Nick Morris, a manager and trader in New York, began using chia to take advantage of all the nutritional and energy-boosting benefits. Both were so impressed with the results that they began spreading the chia news to friends and coworkers in finance. Soon a trend was born.
Workers at Evergreen Energy Solutions, a worker-owned cooperative in Cleveland, Ohio.
Social pain, anger at ecological degradation and the inability of traditional politics to address deep economic failings has fueled an extraordinary amount of practical on-the-ground institutional experimentation and innovation by activists, economists and socially minded business leaders in communities around the country.
A vast democratized “new economy” is slowly emerging throughout the United States. The general public, however, knows almost nothing about it because the American press simply does not cover the developing institutions and strategies.
For instance, a sample assessment of coverage between January and November of 2012 by the most widely circulated newspaper in the United States, the Wall Street Journal, found ten times more references to caviar than to employee-owned firms, a growing sector of the economy that involves more than $800 billion in assets and 10 million employee-owners—around three million more individuals than are members of unions in the private sector.
Worker ownership—the most common form of which involves ESOPs, or Employee Stock Ownership Plans—was mentioned in a mere five articles. By contrast, over 60 articles referred to equestrian activities like horse racing, and golf clubs appeared in 132 pieces over the same period.
Although 2012 was designated by the United Nations as the International Year of the Cooperative—an institution that now has more than one billion members worldwide—the Journal’s coverage was similarly thin. More than 120 million Americans are members of co-operatives and cooperative credit unions, 30 million more people than are owners of mutual funds. The Journal, however, devoted some 700 articles to mutual funds between January and October and only 183 to cooperatives. Of these the majority were concerned with high-end New York real estate, with headlines like “Pricey Co-ops Find Buyers”
The vast number of cooperative businesses on Main Streets across the country were discussed in just 70 articles and a mere 14 gave co-op businesses more than passing mention. Together, the articles only narrowly outnumbered the 13 Journal pieces that mentioned the Dom Perignon brand of champagne over the same time frame, and were eclipsed by the 40 Journal entries that refer to the French delicacy foie gras.
Another democratized economic institution is the not-for-profit Community Development Corporation (CDC), roughly 4,500 of which operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Such neighborhood corporations create tens of thousands of units of affordable housing and millions of square feet of commercial and industrial space a year. The Journal ran no articles mentioning CDCs in 2012 and only 43 over the past 28 years—less than two a year. Meanwhile, the word château appeared in 30 times as many articles, and luxury apartments received 300 times as much coverage over the same period.
Not surprisingly, the growing “new economy movement” championing democratization of the economy has itself received even less coverage, despite growing citizen involvement on many levels. Over the past year, major national, state and other conferences focusing on worker-owned companies, cooperatives, public banking, nonprofit and public land trusts, and neighborhood corporations were oversubscribed, reflecting the growing interest in these forms. The Journal, however, gave scant coverage to the movement.
Thousands of other creative projects—from green businesses to new forms of combined community-worker efforts—are also underway across the country but receive little coverage. A number are self-consciously understood as attempts to develop working prototypes in state and local “laboratories of democracy” that may be applied at regional and national scale when the right political moment occurs. In Cleveland, Ohio, for instance, a complex of sophisticated worker-owned firms has been developing in desperately poor, predominantly black neighborhoods. The model is partially structured along lines of the Mondragón Corporation, a vibrant network of worker-owned cooperatives in northern Spain with more than 80,000 members and billions of dollars in annual revenue.
Since 2010 legislation to set up public banks along the lines of the long-established Bank of North Dakota has been proposed in twenty states. Several cities—including Los Angeles and Kansas City—have passed “responsible banking” ordinances that require banks to reveal their impact on the community and/or require city officials to do business only with banks that are responsive to community needs. But municipally led responsible banking initiatives appear to have received no attention in the Journal, whereas the newspaper published seven articles this year discussing President Obama’s birth certificate.
The limited nature of the coverage can also be seen in particular cases. Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is a highly successful consumer co-op with $1.8 billion in sales for 2011, allowing it to share $165 million of its profits with its 4.7 million active members and 11,000 employees. Organic Valley , a Wisconsin-based cooperative dairy, generated more than $700 million in revenue for nearly 1,700 farmer-owners. From January through October 2012, the Journal referred (briefly) to REI in just three articles; Organic Valley rated just one mention. In combination, REI and Organic Valley appear in the Journal only as often as the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, a breed of dog that turned up in four entries in the Journal’s pages this year.
Further perspective on the coverage is offered in the way in which “hot topics” are presented, and others of greater economic significance played down. Co-ops in the U.S. generate over $500 billion in annual revenues. The global market for smartphones is estimated by Bloomberg Industries at $219 billion—less than half as large. Furthermore, there are 20 million more co-op members than smartphone users in the United States. The Journal, however, published over 1,000 print articles that included the terms “smartphone” or “smartphones” from January through October this year—more than five articles for each piece mentioning co-ops (many of which, as noted, were about upscale Manhattan apartments.)
The print coverage of the Journal was analyzed by the Democracy Collaborative of the University of Maryland through the online database ProQuest. Although the assessment focused on the Journal, the nation’s preeminent source of news for economic and business affairs, a preliminary review suggests that other national media outlets devote a similarly minuscule proportion of space to the exploding “new economy” sector. This highlights the need for greater media exposure regarding important developments toward a more democratic, sustainable and community-based economy.
Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism, is a Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook. Keane Bhatt is a research associate of the Democracy Collaborative.
Thousands of Americans occupied Wall Street without violence – an epicenter of global financial power and corruption. They are the last rays of light in a new movement for social justice that is spreading rapidly around the world: from Madrid to Jerusalem, and 146 other cities, with others joining all the time. But they need our help to triumph.
The families of workers are footing the bill for a financial crisis caused by corrupt elites. The protesters are demanding a real democracy, social justice and fighting corruption. But they are under strong pressure from the authorities and some media are portraying them as extremists. If millions of us around the world support them, we will increase our determination and show the leaders and the media that the protests are part of a massive movement for change.
This could be our year, our 1968 of this century, but to succeed it must be a movement of all citizens of all social classes. Click to join the campaign for real democracy. A giant counter will be erected in the center of the occupation in New York and when one of us signs the petition, it will be shown and relayed live on the petition page:
The worldwide wave of protests is the latest chapter in the history of this year’s global power of the people. In Egypt, people went to Tahrir Square and overthrew their dictator. In India, the fast of a man brought millions onto the streets and the government was forced to give in – winning a real action to end
For months, Greek citizens protested without a break against unfair cuts in public spending. In Spain, thousands of “angry” protesters defied the ban on pre-election demonstrations and set up a protest camp in Sun Square to speak out against political corruption and government manipulation of the economic crisis. And this summer, Israelis built “tent cities” to protest against rising housing costs and for social justice.
These national issues are linked by a narrative of global determination to end the connivance of the elites and corrupt politicians – that in many countries helped cause a damaging financial crisis and now they want the families of workers to pay the bill. The mass movement that is responding to this can only ensure that the onus of the recession does not fall on the most vulnerable, but it can also help to improve the balance of power between democracy and corruption.
In each revolt, from Cairo to New York, the request for a responsible government that serves the people is clear and our global community has supported the power of the people around the world, wherever it has appeared. The time when politicians were in the hands of the few corrupt is ending and, instead, we are building real democracies, of, by and for the people.
Herman Melville (1819–1891). Bartleby, the Scrivener. 1853.
Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street
I AM a rather elderly man. The nature of my avocations for the last thirty years has brought me into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men, of whom as yet nothing that I know of has ever been written:—I mean the law-copyists or scriveners. I have known very many of them, professionally and privately, and if I pleased, could relate divers histories, at which good-natured gentlemen might smile, and sentimental souls might weep. But I waive the biographies of all other scriveners for a few passages in the life of Bartleby, who was a scrivener the strangest I ever saw or heard of. While of other law-copyists I might write the complete life, of Bartleby nothing of that sort can be done. I believe that no materials exist for a full and satisfactory biography of this man. It is an irreparable loss to literature. Bartleby was one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable, except from the original sources, and in his case those are very small. What my own astonished eyes saw of Bartleby, that is all I know of him, except, indeed, one vague report which will appear in the sequel.
Ere introducing the scrivener, as he first appeared to me, it is fit I make some mention of myself, my employées, my business, my chambers, and general surroundings; because some such description is indispensable to an adequate understanding of the chief character about to be presented.
Imprimis: I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best. Hence, though I belong to a profession proverbially energetic and nervous, even to turbulence, at times, yet nothing of that sort have I ever suffered to invade my peace. I am one of those unambitious lawyers who never addresses a jury, or in any way draws down public applause; but in the cool tranquillity of a snug retreat, do a snug business among rich men’s bonds and mortgages and title-deeds. All who know me consider me an eminently safe man. The late John Jacob Astor, a personage little given to poetic enthusiasm, had no hesitation in pronouncing my first grand point to be prudence; my next, method. I do not speak it in vanity, but simply record the fact, that I was not unemployed in my profession by the late John Jacob Astor; a name which, I admit, I love to repeat, for it hath a rounded and orbicular sound to it, and rings like unto bullion. I will freely add, that I was not insensible to the late John Jacob Astor’s good opinion.
Some time prior to the period at which this little history begins, my avocations had been largely increased. The good old office, now extinct in the State of New-York, of a Master in Chancery, had been conferred upon me. It was not a very arduous office, but very pleasantly remunerative. I seldom lose my temper; much more seldom indulge in dangerous indignation at wrongs and outrages; but I must be permitted to be rash here and declare, that I consider the sudden and violent abrogation of the office of Master of Chancery, by the new Constitution, as a —— premature act; inasmuch as I had counted upon a life-lease of the profits, whereas I only received those of a few short years. But this is by the way.
My chambers were up stairs at No. — Wall-street. At one end they looked upon the white wall of the interior of a spacious sky-light shaft, penetrating the building from top to bottom. This view might have been considered rather tame than otherwise, deficient in what landscape painters call “life.” But if so, the view from the other end of my chambers offered, at least, a contrast, if nothing more. In that direction my windows commanded an unobstructed view of a lofty brick wall, black by age and everlasting shade; which wall required no spy-glass to bring out its lurking beauties, but for the benefit of all near-sighted spectators, was pushed up to within ten feet of my window panes. Owing to the great height of the surrounding buildings, and my chambers being on the second floor, the interval between this wall and mine not a little resembled a huge square cistern.
At the period just preceding the advent of Bartleby, I had two persons as copyists in my employment, and a promising lad as an office-boy. First, Turkey; second, Nippers; third, Ginger Nut. These may seem names, the like of which are not usually found in the Directory. In truth they were nicknames, mutually conferred upon each other by my three clerks, and were deemed expressive of their respective persons or characters.
Now my original business—that of a conveyancer and title hunter, and drawer-up of recondite documents of all sorts—was considerably increased by receiving the master’s office. There was now great work for scriveners. Not only must I push the clerks already with me, but I must have additional help. In answer to my advertisement, a motionless young man one morning, stood upon my office threshold, the door being open, for it was summer. I can see that figure now—pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn! It was Bartleby.to read the rest, go to: http://www.bartleby.com/129/