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Fascinating and in-depth article by Paul Craig Roberts wherein he asks how interest rates can remain so low, and the US dollar and bond market strong, despite the fact that the US government is adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt every year due to budget deficits? And, how long can they keep the game going?
It’s a long and sordid story- but the article is worth reading all the way through. Roberts explains how the game is rigged, including the manipulation of the price of gold and silver – and in the process builds a strong case for impending collapse. Intuitively, we know this. But Roberts explains why. Here are a few quotes:
Not long ago the Fed announced that it was going to continue this policy for another 2 or 3 years. Indeed, the Fed is locked into the policy. Without the artificially low interest rates, the debt service on the national debt would be so large that it would raise questions about the US Treasury’s credit rating and the viability of the dollar, and the trillions of dollars in Interest Rate Swaps and other derivatives would come unglued…
The post mortems on the disastrous recall defeat in Wisconsin have begun and many of them rightly focus on factors such as the role of money, the failure of Democrats and labor unions to get their message out, and the flawed strategy of channeling activist energy solely into electoral politics. But I want to focus on a more fundamental problem, one that preceded Governor Scott Walker’s first election and the historic protests, and that extends beyond Wisconsin. That problem is exemplified by this story from a Charles Pierce article in Esquire magazine. Pierce was reporting on Monday night campaign rallies prior to Tuesday’s election.
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This post got me into some hot water with the peak oil folks. I originally submitted it to Energy Bulletin and was asked to “tone it down” and avoid “personal attacks” if I wanted them to publish it. Both Nate Hagens and Robert Rapier were offended by the piece, and Rapier even tried to get posters at the Oil Drum to avoid responding to my posts. At the time I refused to revise, saying I didn’t think I was personally attacking these men. Re-reading the post nearly a year later, I stand by that. I attacked their public support, as leaders in the peak oil community, for the oil industry. Their defense of the downtrodden oil industry, and failure to develop adequate analyses of corporate power and economic inequality, are distinctly unhelpful in our transition to a “post peak” world.
May 9, 2011
It’s no wonder that so many Americans believe “peak oil” to be a hoax instigated by the oil companies to justify high prices at the pump. Prominent “peak oilers” Nate Hagen and Robert Rapier sound like shills for the industry and appear oblivious to the economic plight of ordinary Americans in their most recent articles, Complaining about Mosquito Bites While a Crocodile Bites Our Leg (Hagens), and Getting Even with Exxon Mobil (Rapier). Hagens begins his piece by announcing that he is “not an oil industry apologist” – then goes on to do just that. “It’s a stretch,” he writes, “to say that Exxon is undertaxed.” Hagens defends Exxon’s 2011 first quarter earnings of $10.65 billion, a 69% increase, saying that “vitriol” directed at the oil giant is “misplaced” and “counterproductive.”
Originally published at the Smirking Chimp, September 12, 2010.
This is the first entry I posted on the Smirking Chimp. Here I explore the assertion by government officials that “some people” are just not meant to own homes – and the implicit blame for the housing crisis on individual home buyers rather than deregulation and the greed of the financial industry.
Although the public narrative that “some people” just aren’t meant to own homes quickly died down, policy recommendations continue in that direction.I read the other day that the federal reserve wants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make their backlog of foreclosed homes available to investors at a discount to rent out to the rest of us.
In the wake of the housing fiasco, government officials and think tanks are now signaling abandonment of decades-old public policies to promote homeownership. Such policies were well-intentioned, so the narrative goes, but sadly misguided because “some people” aren’t meant to be homeowners. The new buzzword is “sustainable homeownership.”