22 July 2018

Shepherd Me O God

"God is my shepherd
So nothing shall I want
I rest in the meadows
Of faithfulness and love
I walk by the quiet waters
Of peace.

Shepherd me, O God
Beyond my wants
Beyond my fears
From death into life."

Marty Haugen, Shepherd Me O God (Psalm 23)

Paul Jay and Real News: The Russian Plutocracy and Its American Cousin

"...we had come to the stage where for our people what was needed was a real democracy; and of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of a plutocracy."

Theodore Roosevelt, Autobiography

"A few thousand people with families, kids and so on, who are real rulers who concentrate economic and political power. Executive power. They control ruling party, administration of president, and they control main part of wealth of Russia. Seventy percent of Russian wealth is concentrated in the hands of less than one percent of population...

And key resources in the hands of a few families, one hundred, two hundred families. So, the problem is that they have common interests, but they have clans, like in, I don’t know, court of Louis XIV or XV in France, different clans of aristocracy fighting between themselves. But generally speaking, it is one power, one strata of aristocrats who has power."

Alexander Buzgalin, Is Putin’s Rule a Dictatorship?

"“Political decisions helped to create the super-elite in the first place, and as the economic might of the super-elite class grows, so does its political muscle. Surging income inequality is such a strong violation of our expectations that most of us don’t realize it is happening...

Somebody ought to sit down and think about this, because your corporate types are soon going to be a stateless superclass, people who live for deals and golf dates and care a lot more about where you got your MBA than the country you were raised in. It’s the Middle Ages all over again, these little unaffiliated duchies and fiefdoms, flying their own flags and ready to take in any vassal who will pledge his life to the manor...

They are becoming a transglobal community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home. Whether they maintain primary residences in New York or Hong Kong, Moscow or Mumbai, today’s super-rich are increasingly a nation unto themselves.”

Chrystia Freeland, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else

"Trump represents the latest iteration of a very particular sort of global plutocrat. These super-wealthy elites have a penchant for nationalism, and often xenophobia. They boast authoritarian streaks, and exhibit total shamelessness about mixing business and politics. You often can't tell where one form of power ends and another begins...

Such government-run self-enrichment schemes are classic Putin, too. The economic chaos that followed the Soviet Union's fall created a market ruled by feudalistic Russian business elites.  Putin took advantage to install himself as Russia's permanent leader, enriching himself and his compatriots along the way. "

Jeff Spross, The New Global Plutocracy

Plutocracy is a form of government in which a relatively small ruling class of the wealthy wields extraordinary power over the rest, mingling money and power, politics and business, while bending the rule of law to its own self-interests. 

In that sense it is corporatism without becoming overtly fascist, at least on the surface.  It is not a democracy, although it may mimic that form of government as a facade or mask to cover its true nature.

Here is an interesting interviewed conducted by The Real News with Paul Jay which examines the current form of Russian government which is not a dictatorship but a plutocracy. The transcript can be found at the RNN web site here.

America is heading in the same direction, if not already there thanks to a well-funded campaign of deregulation, campaign finance laws, and court rulings like 'Citizens United.' And it has been here before in prior periods of history with record economic inequality, such as The Gilded Age.

If one looks carefully at what the corporate Democrats do, rather than what they say, and compare it with the GOP t becomes readily apparent that despite the external trappings, the corporatists of both political parties are not so much ideological opponents as they are competing organizations within the same mold and system, like rival crime families.

And the great foe of both are the Progressives, and any other group that wishes to change or reform the system that they themselves have built, and which has richly rewarded them.

20 July 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Trade Wars, and Rumors of Currency Wars - Quiet Stock Option Expiration

"Intellectual Phase-Locking is a condition that results when dogmatic 'scientific' assumptions inhibit further inquiry."

Rupert Sheldrake

Economics is one of the phase-locked professions, almost as bad as politics and accounting and medicine.   And most of these are phase-locked to cash flows from wealthy donors and foundations.

It was a quiet stock option expiration today. The market wiseguys had already moved the market where they wanted it earlier in the week.

Trumpolini threw some cold water on markets today, sending the punditry class on the financial networks into anxious spasms of speculation about what he might do to impede the Fed.

As I said the other day, you will know the Deep State, and those who serve them, by the amount of hysteria generated when anyone acts the unbeliever towards them.

So stocks finished off a bit, and gold and silver rallied back from a deeply short term oversold condition.

Let's see if the metals can put a bottom in ahead of the Comex precious metals option expiration next Thursday the 26th. I suspect they have already decimated the longs, but we will have to see.

On inquiry as to his recent hiatus in posting articles, I have heard that Koos Jansen is not doing very well. We all miss his analysis and hopefully will remember him in our prayers.  As I do remember you all as you know.

I have included a calendar of next week's major economic news. As for any pop up Trumpolini twitter storms, well, they are pseudo-random events.

Need little, want less, love more. For those who abide in love abide in God, and God in them.

Have a pleasant weekend.

19 July 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Gold Rebounds as Dollar Plunges on Trump's Offhand Remark- Stock Option Expiration

"We looked into the abyss if the gold price rose further. A further rise would have taken down one or several trading houses, which might have taken down all the rest in their wake.

Therefore at any price, at any cost, the central banks had to quell the gold price, manage it. It was very difficult to get the gold price under control but we have now succeeded. The US Fed was very active in getting the gold price down. So was the U.K."

Eddie George, Governor Bank of England, in a conversation with the CEO of Lonmin, September 1999

The dollar plunged and gold sharply rebounded this afternoon, thanks to an offhand remark by Trumpolini in a CNBC interview that he is 'not thrilled' with the Fed raising interest rates.

I think this highlights how divorced gold and silver, but especially gold, are from supply and demand, with gold being treated as just another currency cross and paper trading vehicle.

But Asia keeps taking more and more physical gold off the table, into their own deep storage, not to be seen again for many years.

This is going to blow up in the faces of the Banks and the regulators, and will shakes many an institution and exchange to their foundations.

It was a quiet trading day with stocks off a bit, 'digesting' their recent gains if you will.

Weakness in the earnings reports, despite the huge gift of corporate tax cuts, has the Street feeling a bit uneasy.

Those companies that have mastered their accounting, and reside primarily in the world of financial paper shuffling like the Banks, are doing well.

But for corporations with ties to that pesky real world economy, not so much.

Wages are stagnant for workers, but the banksters and their congressmen are buying yachts.

What could go wrong with that?

I was thinking today about something Thomas Frank said in his video Q&A at Politics & Prose bookstore that I had posted yesterday.

He said that while he did not like Trump, but he was glad that we had this kind of bad actor now, one who is not particularly good at pulling the levers of government power, like Ted Cruz would have been.

Uh, Thomas, that is exactly why so many people, including and especially Democrats, did not vote for Hillary. Because she was exactly that kind of clever creature.   Even without having both houses of Congress in her party, the damage she could have done would have been profound.   Her husband Bill did more to advance the deregulation of financial markets and neoliberalism than many a Republican in his ruthless pursuit of self-interest.

And Hillary showed a ruthless disregard for the people in pursuit of power in the way in which she manipulated the elite insiders in her party to crush progressives and the rising populism which threatened the money flows to the corporate Democratic pockets from Wall Sttreet's Big Money.

Not to mention how she and her crew, even while not in power, can whip up hysteria like Russiagate to take the public eye off the shocking revelations in their emails.  But the credibility trap keeps so many people from accepting this.

And if you want to know who the members of the Deep State are, they are the ones against whom no criticism, not even skeptical doubt, can be permitted or tolerated by the punditry class.

It is unpatriotic not to trust them, blindly.  No matter what they say, no matter how little evidence they may provide to back it up.  No matter what lies they have been caught in recent memory.

And we are seeing quite a bit of that sort of establishment outrage at the very kind of skepticism that keeps a democracy healthy, and secures it from the abuse of official power.

Need little, want less, love more. For those who abide in love abide in God, and God in them.

There is a stock option expiration tomorrow.

Have a pleasant evening.