08 April 2015

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Profiles In Hypocrisy, In the Garden of Beasts

"The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy."

William Hazlitt

"The U.S. went off the gold standard in August 1971. With no benchmark, central banks could print money and debase currencies. That opened the door for huge bailouts after big banks screwed up in a big way. Taxpayers—not incompetent bankers—paid the price.

By [the late 1980’s], the Federal Reserve Bank and large U.S. banks had established a pattern to control the public relations damage each time banks had a major screw-up: accountants and regulators let banks lie about the size of the problem to stall for time; the Federal Reserve blew smoke at the media; finally, the Fed would bail out the banks in a way that most taxpayers would not understand.

Banks didn’t have to get smarter or more competent. The Fed trained the banks that uninformed taxpayers would eat the losses, and fake accounting would let bank officers keep their positions and their money."

Janet Tavakoli, Decisions: Life and Death on Wall Street

Gold and silver were pushed back to their assigned round numbers, with gold barely holding above 1200 and silver pushed well below the 17 handle.

Ted Butler has a rather striking piece about the rigging in the silver market which you can read here.

Speaking of silver it appears that Turkey had record imports of silver bullion in March. You can read about that here. I am not sure how significant that is. We can certainly keep an eye on it to see if this is a one time thing or a trend.

 Thoughts of silver drachmas and dirhams come to mind, but it is most likely improbably premature. Still, this is a currency war and things seem to be building to a reckoning of sorts.  Who can say what desperate people might do to end repression?

Nothing really happened at the Bucket Shop on the Hudson.  A few contracts of silver were claimed, and inventory was shoved around the plate in the warehouses.  The real action is taking place in the Mideast and Asia.

We have become a coarse and careless people, smugly confident in our 'Exceptionalism.'   We are no longer shocked about lies, but instead critique the style and performance of the liars, and try to emulate them in our own professions.  
How can we not cringe at some of the more shocking abuses that pass for generally acceptable behavior in public figures these days?  And we encourage it, by both our silence and our acceptance.
Oh yes, we recoil in horror at any kind of sex, at the human form, with great puritanical umbrage, but stealing and cheating, and abusing the poor and the defenseless in even the most petty and vicious ways is looked upon with admiration, because we are in love with power. 
Power is our new golden calf.   Even some so-called 'reformers' are falling all over themselves at a chance to move near the circles of power, to have influence, to be seen as connected.   All we seem to want is to get paid, to get ahead, to 'win.'

And the example of our cultural and societal icons are certainly leading to a general corrosion of all morals and civilities.  And that is a shame, which eventually will have significant repercussions and consequences for us as a people and a society. 
Where will we finally draw the line and come to our senses?  How far are we willing to go?  How many crimes and abuses, how much theft and torture are we willing to overlook?   Why do we allow our society to be defined by sociopaths?  
When will we finally look about, and see that we too, despite all our smug superiority, have created our own garden of beasts?

Have a pleasant evening.

"Hobbes had argued the need for a despot because men were like beasts; Townsend insisted that they (people) were actually beasts and that, precisely for that reason, only a minimum of government was required. From this novel point of view, a free society could be regarded as consisting of two races: property owners and laborers. The number of the latter was limited by the amount of food; and as long as property was safe, hunger would drive them to work. No magistrates were necessary, for hunger was a better disciplinarian than the magistrate...

The paradigm of the goats and the dogs seemed to offer an answer. The biological nature of man appeared as the given foundation of a society that was not of a political order. Thus it came to pass that economists presently relinquished Adam Smith's humanistic foundations, and incorporated those of Townsend...Economic society had emerged as distinct from the political state...

To the politician and administrator laissez-faire was simply a principle of the insurance of law and order, with the minimum cost and effort. Let the market be given charge of the poor, and things will look after themselves...

What induced orthodox economics to seek its foundations in naturalism was the otherwise inexplicable misery of the great mass of the producers which, as we know today, could never have been deduced from the laws of the old market. But the facts as they appeared to contemporaries were roughly these: in times past the laboring people had habitually lived on the brink of indigence (at least, if one accounted for changing levels of customary standards); since the coming of the machine they had certainly never risen above subsistence level; and now that the economic society was finally taking shape, it was an indubitable fact that decade after decade the material level of existence of the laboring poor was not improving a jot, if, indeed, it was not becoming worse...

The acceptance of near-indigency of the mass of the citizens as the price to be paid for the highest stage of prosperity was accompanied by very different human attitudes. Townsend righted his emotional balance by indulging in prejudice and sentimentalism. The improvidence (lacking personal responsibility) of the poor was a law of nature, for servile, sordid, and ignoble work would otherwise not be done. (born to be vile?) Also what would become of the fatherland unless we could rely on the poor? "For what is it but distress and poverty which can prevail upon the lower classes of the people to encounter all the horrors which await them on the tempestuous ocean or on the field of battle?"...

Robert Owen, in 1817, described the course on which Western man had entered and his words summed up the problem of the coming century...The organization of the whole of society on the principle of gain and profit must have far-reaching results. He formulated these results in terms of human character. For the most obvious effect of the new institutional system was the destruction of the traditional character of settled populations and their transmutation into a new type of people, migratory, nomadic, lacking in self-respect and discipline—crude, callous beings...  

Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation