22 March 2023

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Images and Shadows - Dueling Jawbones


"And must there not be some art which will effect conversion in the easiest and quickest manner; not implanting the faculty of sight, for that exists already, but has been turned in the wrong direction, and is looking away from the truth?"

Plato, Republic: Allegory of the Cave

"To reduce a complex argument to its bare bones, [Sheldon Wolin, 'Inverted Totalitarianism'] since the Depression, the twin forces of managed democracy and superpower have opened the way for something new under the sun: 'inverted totalitarianism,' a form every bit as totalistic as the classical version but one based on internalized co-optation, the appearance of freedom, political disengagement rather than mass mobilization, and relying more on 'private media' than on public agencies to disseminate propaganda that reinforces the official version of events.

It is inverted because it does not require the use of coercion, police power and a messianic ideology as in the Nazi, Fascist and Stalinist versions (although note that the United States has the highest percentage of its citizens in prison of any nation on Earth).

The main social sectors promoting and reinforcing this modern Shangri-La are corporate power, which is in charge of managed democracy, and the military-industrial complex, which is in charge of superpower. 

The main objectives of managed democracy are to increase the profits of large corporations, dismantle the institutions of social democracy (Social Security, unions, welfare, public health services, public housing and so forth), and roll back the social and political ideals of the New Deal.  Its primary tool is privatization [and deregulation].

One other subordinate task of managed democracy is to keep the citizenry preoccupied with peripheral and/or private conditions of human life [culture wars] so that they fail to focus on the widespread corruption and betrayal of the public trust.

Among the commonplace fables of our society are hero worship and tales of individual prowess, eternal youthfulness, beauty through surgery, action measured in nanoseconds, and a dream-laden culture of ever-expanding control and possibility, whose adepts are prone to fantasies because the vast majority have imagination but little scientific knowledge.  Masters of this world are masters of images and their manipulation.

Toward the end of his study he [Wolin] produces a wish list of things that should be done to ward off the disaster of inverted totalitarianism:  'rolling back the empire, rolling back the practices of managed democracy; returning to the idea and practices of international cooperation rather than the dogmas of globalization and preemptive strikes; restoring and strengthening environmental protections; reinvigorating populist politics; undoing the damage to our system of individual rights; restoring the institutions of an independent judiciary, separation of powers, and checks and balances; reinstating the integrity of the independent regulatory agencies and of scientific advisory processes; reviving representative systems responsive to popular needs for health care, education, guaranteed pensions, and an honorable minimum wage; restoring governmental regulatory authority over the economy; and rolling back the distortions of a tax code that toadies to the wealthy and corporate power.'

It is extremely unlikely that our party apparatus will work to bring the military-industrial complex and the 16 secret intelligence agencies under democratic control. Nonetheless, once the United States has followed the classical totalitarianisms into the dustbin of history, Wolin’s analysis will stand as one of the best discourses on where we went wrong."

Chalmers Johnson, A New Way of Understanding How the U.S. Is Controlled, May 16, 2008

Today's market action just made me laugh.

Fed Chairman Jay Powell and His Merry Pranksters did good work to soothe the risk markets today, doing their required 25 bp rate increase, but wrapping it well and tenderly with whispers of all the right dovish nothings.

But alas Yellen, the Iron Banker, responded to the Congress today that there were no formal plans to backstop the entire banking system by insuring all deposits fully.

Which by the way would require an Act of Congress, as if.  

These jokers are too busy trying to take away food relief for the hungry and any hopes for decent healthcare at affordable prices. 

And so after the warm Fed afterglow, the risk markets headed south in what might be termed as a 'fit of pique.'   Or  a 'hissy fit.'

Les enfants terribles of the financial system, the Banks, led stocks lower.

The Dollar dropped.

Gold and silver rallied higher.

VIX rebounded.

Let's see what tomorrow may bring.

Have a pleasant evening.