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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2019, 05:00:03 pm »

January 11, 2019


JACQ JONES: 👍 It is in the best interests of any business to ensure that their employees are able to meet their own basic needs. This is also a matter of ethics for me. I may be old fashioned, but I believe that I should not be relying on government subsidies to stay in business. If I am paying my employees at a level where they are relying on food stamps to eat and Section 8 for housing, the government is picking up the tab on my substandard wages. Thatís not an ethical business; thatís stealing from the taxpayers.

Read or view:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 11, 2019, 07:27:24 pm »

China Leads the Way in Eradicating Extreme Poverty

January 10, 2019

Greatest contribution to global poverty reduction has come from China says Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

Story Transcript

MARC STEINER: Welcome to The Real News Network. Iím Marc Steiner, itís great to have you all with us once again.

Weíre watching intense struggles taking place between the United States and China. Thereís a lot under that weíre not seeing. And we see the Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, arrested in Canada. We hear of tariff battles going on, what do they really mean? Stock market crashing, is that connected? Then, we see other reports about plummeting poverty around the world. But that too seems to be wrapped up in China in ways that we donít take a deep understanding of. But beneath of that is another reality, that the world is in the middle of a war over globalization. And some of the things we do not want to tackle, like most of the poverty that has been wiped out in the world has taken place where? China.

And mostly lost on debates of angst over trade and jobs and the rise of the right wing populists in the world is that the fastest growing economy on the planet is China. And itís pulling all along with it parts of Asia and the developing world as China positions itself as the greatest importer of the worldís goods, which weíll explore. And the left seems to have little response, which will also explore. So what do we make of all this and what this reality says, and what does China bring to the world and what does this say about the former state capitalism that seems to be showing itself to be the strongest among many others? What are we misjudging here, and what does it portend for neoliberalism and the future, both politically and economically?

Weíll find out as much as we can. Joining us today from Washington, DC is Mark Weisbrot. Mark is codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and author of the book Failed: What the Experts Got Wrong About the Global Economy. And Mark, welcome back to The Real News. Good to have you with us.

MARK WEISBROT: Thanks, Marc. Good to be with you.

MARC STEINER: Thereís so much here. So let me just start with kind of a popular idea here. So we see Trump constantly thumping the table, his Tweets I should say, that we have to have tariffs, that we have to cut off China, we have to battle them and keep jobs in America, even though thatís not happening. So we see this battle around globalization promoted by Trump, and many other things, the notion workers are losing jobs, which they are. So whatís the reality between the Trumpian bellicoseness and the reality weíre facing?

MARK WEISBROT: Well, first of all, you see one response from the people who are defending the globalization of the last few decades, in the media here especially, is that theyíre willing to concede that for most workers here, globalization has been a loss in the United States and in the rich countries. But they say, well, what about the more than a billion people in the world who have benefited from their globalization? And this is one of the defenses. Itís not the main one, but itís an appeal to liberals, to people who care about the rest of the world. They say you canít disrupt this kind of global order. And thatís not to say that Trump is doing anything positive with his random tariffs and just creating distractions all the time. But they do defend the global economic order in this way, so I think itís important we have an understanding of what globalization has really looked like for the poorest people in the world.

Now, one of the things that you see in the news and in these arguments is that extreme poverty, which the World Bank measures as $1.90 a day, people living on $1.90 a day in 2011 with purchasing power parity dollars, and that has dropped. In the last 25 years, itís fallen by 1.16 billion people, and of course in percentage terms the drop looks even more. But if you look at where that happened, the net decline in the number of extremely poor people has mostly been in China. Two thirds, thatís 65 percent of it, has been in China. And so, if you take China out of the picture, you have very little reduction in net poverty.

And then, of course, even for that other third that wasnít Chinese people coming out of extreme poverty, that other third was also helped a lot by China in the 21st century especially, because China became the largest economy in the world and it started importing more and more from Africa and from Latin America and from other countries, other developing countries. And so, many of the people who were pulled out of poverty in those countries, that other third of the net poverty reduction, was also a result of China. So when all of these people you see in the media, including President Obama in 2016 made this argument as well at the United Nations, and theyíre praising the globalization that they have brought to the world, their kind of neoliberal globalization, theyíre really talking about the success of China and not the success of their brand of globalization, because that was very, very different from the policies produced by China.

MARC STEINER: So they must know this reality, right?

MARK WEISBROT: Oh, yeah. I mean, you can put any economist in the country who knows anything about this and theyíre not going to disagree with any of it. These are World Bank statistics, World Bank data, IMF data, and nobody really disagrees on it. And they will all say this, they just wonít say it unless you ask them.

MARC STEINER: So if thatís the case Ė well letís take a step back for a moment. So we know that China, I mean it has a different system than most Western countries, as weíve talked about earlier; controlling the banking system, their own exchange rate, state owned enterprises, as opposed to corporations kind of controlling politics, their politics controls the corporations in China. So how does that factor into all this in terms of what China is able to do, the West cannot, and why neoliberal democracies in the West are having such a difficult time coming to grips with all of this?

MARK WEISBROT: Well throughout this period, since 1980, theyíve increased their per capita income 17 times. No country in the history of the world has ever done anything even comparable to that, even though their economy is slowing now, but as you mentioned, still about the fastest in the world at six and a half percent annual growth. And so, they were able to control investment and make sure that even the foreign investment that came into the country, and this is one of the things that Trump complains about, there are restrictions on it and they make sure, through most of this period at least, they made sure that the foreign investment fit in with their development plans.

The government controls the central bank, and thatís very important. And the reforms that the neoliberal globalization then, the U.S. and the IMF and the World Bank, which are controlled by the U.S. in most of the world, they push it completely differently, they want the central bank to be independent of the government, to be unaccountable, like our Federal Reserve is mostly unaccountable and theyíve caused almost all of the recessions in the post-World War II period and are likely to cause the next one. So these are advantages for China in that first, they didnít follow the neoliberal globalization that the United States pushed all over the world, and that enabled them, for example, to transition smoothly, with very fast growth, from a planned economy to a more mixed economy of both market and planning.

Whereas if you look at what happened to Russia and the Eastern European countries, they went through a terrible collapse and a Great Depression in Russia. From 1992 to 1996, they had something comparable to our Great Depression, they didnít really start to recover till í98. And so, they went through terrible transitions that cost them a lot in terms of poverty and life expectancy and other social indicators. And thatís been the pattern, by the way, for most low and middle income countries between 1980 and 2000. That period in particular was a very bad one for the vast majority of developing countries as compared to prior years.

MARC STEINER: One of the things I think about this is the New Yearís message that came out of China, from the leaders of China, was that ďweíre a 5000 year old civilization, the West canít tell us what to do, we know what weíre doing.Ē So the question is, in many ways what youíre describing here is a state system that has adopted huge portions of capitalism inside their system but controlling it, while the Wild West version of neoliberalism is kind of falling apart on some levels around the world, or the countries at least they invested in are falling apart. So this sets up an interesting debate I donít think most people have had about whatís really a war here in terms of systems and what theyíre saying to the world. China clearly wants to make a profit. Theyíve clearly got huge influence in Africa and Latin America now, growing every day, so I think thatís something that we have not explored at all in terms of what the planetís really facing.

MARK WEISBROT: Yeah, there are a lot of differences. I mean, for example, China invests in Africa, they invest in Latin America, they invest a lot of countries, but they donít use the World Bank or the IMF to try and tell those countries what their macroeconomic policies should be. So for most developing countries, itís a better deal to get investment from China than it would be, for example, from U.S. corporations, or to get loans, for example, from the World Bank and the IMF which have these conditions attached to them. So thereís a difference in their foreign economic policy. But there are just many, many differences between them. Obviously, the Chinese model is Ė there are many things that are not perfect with it or not right in that it wouldnít apply, for example, to the United States, to a developed country, many elements of it.

But nonetheless, as a developing country itís obviously been an enormous success. And you canít attribute it to the globalization that all of the defenders of Washington-sponsored globalization are referring to. They promoted very opposite policies; the privatization of state-owned enterprises all over the developing world, the liberalization, deregulation of the financial sector and financial services, all kinds of deregulation of the labor market to weaken unions, and all the things that they promoted. Also, in many countries they redistributed income upward as well. And China, of course, has also had an increase in inequality thatís quite large, but their growth was so rapid that it was able to pull seven to eight hundred million people out of poverty.

MARC STEINER: So in the time that we have here, I mean I think itíd be important to explore just how we judge economies. And one of the things that we never take into account is this idea of purchasing power parity and judging economies that way and how we really adjust our view of how economies are doing. So talk a bit about that and what that kind of masks.

MARK WEISBROT: Yeah, thatís kind of important because in the news, they often say that Chinaís going to become bigger than the U.S. economy in X years, and thatís using an exchange rate measure. So they just take the Chinese economy in its own currency and they measure it in dollars at the exchange rate between the renminbi and the dollar. And thatís one measure of the two economies, but itís not the one that most economists use for most international comparisons. Most economists would use for most purposes whatís called purchasing power parity, which adjusts for prices between the two countries. So this is very important for example for military power, because it doesnít cost as much to train a pilot and build a plane in China as it does in the United States.

So if you adjust for prices in this way, and the IMF has this measure on their website and you can see it in other places, the Chinese economy is already 25 percent bigger than the economy of the United States. And in 2023, itís going to be one and a half times the size of the United States. And in the next decade, in ten years or so, itíll be twice as big as the United States. And thatís going to be a very different world. And for people who, and there are a lot of people like this in the foreign policy establishment, they want to have an arms race with China, a country thatís twice the size of us, thatís going to be extremely costly, not even really feasible. We had an arms race with the Soviet Union when it was a quarter the size of our economy and it was costly.

So this is something that we should be thinking about. And itís very hard to say these things here the United States now when Chinaís being portrayed as an enemy, but we should take account of these facts that all economists know.

MARC STEINER: Well, Iíd love to pick up on that point and do a great deal more the next time. Mark Weisbrot, I always appreciate your views here and your company at The Real News, thank you so much for joining us today.


MARC STEINER: And Iím Marc Steiner, here for The Real News Network. Take care.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 11, 2019, 04:59:32 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: The following comments tell the hard truths that the article they reference gets exactly backwards. Powell, like all the U.S. Oligarchy front people at the Fed, has always been a double talking, ex nihilo money (i.e. counterfeiting) liar.

Yeah...all that QE and "free" money created the illusion of prosperity and profitability for corporations with deep enough pockets to get those large low interest cash infusions for buybacks and such.

It's scary that the "masters of our destiny"  don't seem to grasp the concept of equilibrium.  If you put your thumb on the scale, it's not gonna stay down after you remove your thumb just because you want it to!

There IS a finite point to how high the Fed can pump this market via its open market operations, QE etc.  It has probably been reached last year.  Now its only a question of how high this secondary rally can go.  Dow 26,000?  Nasdaq 7000 (fib .618) are possible targets.  Does Powell have the balls to make the hard choices to tame the monster they have created?  I think not and the market knows it.  That's why just the market rallied based merely on the moderating talk from Powell.  Every one of these Fed chiefs are unprincipled, double talking fraudsters who do not care that their policies have resulted in impoverishing the masses at the lower end of the economic spectrum.  When the buying power of the medium of exchange (the dollar) is destroyed, it destroys those living on the margin.  This is THE REASON we are seeing tent cities mushrooming all over America as costs rise and the poor cannot afford basic necessities.

    Those that MUST own 401k's are the hostages.  The Fed is the guard with the gun.

    The removal of defined benefit retirement plans, including all federal gov't civilians, has caused wild ride on Wall St.

    Citizens have few options other than the company offered 401k (or similar) plan.

    The stock market goes up- Citizens feel comfortable or rich!

    The stock market goes down-Mental depression and the realization that it was all a scam....

by Tyler Durden Fri, 01/11/2019 - 15:13

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 11, 2019, 02:35:23 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 11, 2019, 12:35:36 pm »

hedgeles_horseman 👍
Valuation 🔥 inferno?

What is the SP 500 valuation?  Whatever Simon Potter 😈 wants it to be.


The 33 Liberty* VFD** 😈💵🎩🍌🏴‍ responds to any and all valuation infernos by blasting them with their tanker trucks of 💵🍌 liquidity.

* Federal Reserve Bank of New York 33 Liberty Street New York, NY 10045.

** Volunteer Fire Department   

James diamond squid 👍
Here we go again.  Zirp, nirp, qe. price fix the bond market and force risk and elevate price on every other asset. Price fixing works until it doesn't and then it blows
💥 sky high. The cork on interest rates could last a day or a few more decades, but that cork will not hold forever. ...


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 09, 2019, 07:21:52 pm »

Janary 9, 2019

Republicans are scared. The incoming group of progressive U.S. Representatives represents a massive shift away from business as usual in Washington.

One newly-sworn in Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), is under fire from Republican lawmakers and Wall Street alike for her calls for a 70% marginal tax rate on incomes over $10 million. But a 70% tax rate on the top income bracket is not at all new. In fact, it was that rate in 1980, and in the 1950s and 1960s the top tax rate was 91%.

So why is Rep. Ocasio-Cortez under attack? Republicans are scared that a young, powerful, woman of color is about to disrupt Wall Streetís lock on Congress and have the American people cheering alongside her.

Americans overwhelmingly believe that the wealthy and corporations need to pay their fair share of taxes. (Thatís a major reason Trumpís tax cuts were such a flop in last yearís election.) And when they do, we can invest in our countryís future including expanding access to healthcare, universal pre-K education, a Green New Deal, infrastructure and more.

Americans for Tax Fairness is providing activists and elected officials alike with the research, advocacy and mobilization to back-up our demands that the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share. And we need your help to support our champions in Congress as we work together to repeal and replace Trumpís tax scam benefiting the well-off.

WATCH: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezís interview with Anderson Cooper

Americans for Tax Fairness is providing activists and elected officials alike with the research, advocacy and mobilization to back up our demands that the rich and corporations pay their fair share. And we need your help to support our champions in Congress as we work together to repeal and replace Trumpís tax scam benefiting the well-off.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 09, 2019, 06:07:31 pm »

What Is a Marginal Tax Rate? The Rich Are Misleading You.


When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 👍 recently floated the idea of a 70 percent marginal tax rate to help pay for a "Green New Deal," the panicked response from Americans exposed an important truth: Most people don't understand how tax rates work. The rich and powerful are exploiting that lack of knowledge and the complex nature of marginal tax rates to put forth false narratives about its impact.

Read the Article →
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 09, 2019, 02:34:53 pm »


They 👹🎩🍌 Are Cornering The Market

Posted on January 8, 2019 by Fantasy Free Economics


So the middle class and below, might ask, ďWhy would I not want the stock market to go up?Ē ďWhat harm can that possibly do? The practice of politically managed stock markets will destroy every economy in the world.

That is because managing the stock market prevents the economy from eliminating waste.  It also guarantees a situation of resources being massively inefficiently allocated. Do not mistake the Deep State for a social or political philosophy. It is a crime syndicate with a negative utility to society.

Read more:


Agelbert NOTE: Wealthy People outside the USA, observing closely this obviously hyperinflationary gaming of the U.S. Stock Market, are beginning to react accordingly (see below).


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 08, 2019, 07:09:52 pm »

Economic Update: Capitalism: Slow-Motion Implosion


Democracy At Work

Published on Jan 7, 2019

Support the show! Become an EU patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/economicupdate

Economic Update: [[S9 E01] Capitalism: Slow-Motion Implosion

THIS WEEK'S TOPICS (w/timestamps):

00:54 - Updates on Canada cutting corporate tax rates in a race to the bottom;

05:31 - Macron pleases big business while outraging the French people;

08:02 - Italy's new gov't budget provides for its people;

10:26 - Hillary Clinton joins the right in scapegoating immigrants;

12:45 - and how "quantitative easing" policy after the 2008 crash made the rich richer;

14:11 - announcements.

15:11 - SPECIAL GUEST: Interview with Dr Harriet Fraad on the psychological implications of the US mid-term elections.

To watch the second half of the interview, please visit us at https://www.patreon.com/economicupdate

Follow us ONLINE:
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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 08, 2019, 12:32:09 pm »

Tue, 01/08/2019

Authored by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard via The Sydney Morning Herald


The balance of probabilities is that the world will muddle through 2019 without any of these landmines detonating. Yet the drift of events is clear. The Western liberal order we took for granted at the end of the Cold War is under existential threat.

Read more:

Agelbert NOTE: Truth filled comment by He-Mene Mox Mox.

He-Mene Mox Mox
Trump 🦀 is severely handicapped at negotiating anything. He never was schooled on it, and has a bulldozer mentality, which doesn't go well on the international scene. 

And, he doesn't seem to understand that America is no longer #1 in manufacturing, or in military might. So, those options aren't going to help him in economic negotiations, or in power projection through-out the world. 

What he is about to get slapped with is a financial collapse of the dollar, and he is no way prepared for it. Lose the value of the dollar in international trade, and you can kiss whatever is left of the American economy goodbye.  Then Trump will be in the doghouse, getting blamed for it. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 07, 2019, 10:03:35 pm »

Nobel-winning economist says Ocasio-Cortez tax policy is Ďfully in line with serious economic researchí

written by Martin Cizmar / Raw Story   January 6, 2019


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 06, 2019, 12:00:24 pm »

Why are People Talking About Socialism? Ė with Paul Jay

January 2, 2019

From Donald Trump, Karl Rove, and Fox News to an invigorated progressive movement and many newly elected members of Congress, many are saying that socialism will be the issue in the 2020 elections Ė a viewer mailbag segment with Dharna Noor and Paul Jay

Story Transcript 🕯️

DHARNA NOOR: Itís The Real News. Iím Dharna Noor. And Iím back in the studio with our editor-in-chief, Paul Jay.

For the past few days weíve been taking a look at viewer questions and comments from The Real News Network. And weíre here to discuss some of those. Howís it going, Paul?


DHARNA NOOR: So we recently were looking at a segment that you did with Francesca Fiorentini on November 2, which was called Trump Defines Socialism as a Key Issue in the 2018 Elections. And often when we put socialism in a headline or discuss socialism in pieces we get lots of viewer comments that are pretty skeptical. They say socialism doesnít work, itís never worked. Look at, for instance, a country like Venezuela. What goes through your mind when you see things like that? Whatís your response to those sorts of critical viewers?

PAUL JAY: Well, first of all, let me say again what I said to, you know, some of the other mailbag things. Iím giving you my opinion. Real News does not have an opinion on whether socialism is a good thing or a bad thing.

DHARNA NOOR: But Paul Jay might.

PAUL JAY: But I do. And Real News does have an editorial guideline that we should try to follow evidence and facts. And so my response is, and may be the the most common one these daysĖand by the way, everybody all of a sudden thinks socialism is the thing to talk about. Trump, as you said, itís the issue of the 2018 elections. Karl Rove 😈 wrote an op ed saying itís going to be the issue of the 2020 elections. Fox News 👹 canít stop talking about socialism, of course, how bad it is.

DHARNA NOOR: And the Democratic Socialists of America has grown in membership. We have people really excited about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-avowed democratic socialist.

PAUL JAY: Who Tom Perez says is the future of the Democratic Party. Thereís arguments about what is social democratic socialism versus socialism, and so on. So itís a big topic. Everybodyís talking about it. And so weíre weíre going to talk about it too. And the reason I think everybodyís talking about it is not because socialism failed in Venezuela, which is a particular case. And it did, in a sense, fail in Venezuela. But weíre talking about it because capitalism is failing. And the reason socialism has come again to such a forefront of conversation is because capitalism is out of solutions. You can barely talk about an area of life which is critical to our existence, whether itís climate, whether itís the threat of accidental nuclear war, if itís the threat of financial meltdown and financialization, whether itís the coming of artificial intelligence which, at the very least, could be replacing millions and millions of jobs. Mass unemployment. Like, take all the big picture questions. Capitalism is not offering solutions to any of it.

But letís say, yes, socialism failed in a lot of countries where it was attempted. But before we kind of get into that, capitalism has failed on a far grander scale. Because you got to ask, you know, capitalism succeeded for whom? Failed for whom? Capitalism gave us World War I, and capitalism gave us World War II. Capitalism has given us endless wars since World War II. I mean, you know, you can go on, from Vietnam, to Korea, to Iraq and Syria. I mean, you canít endĖcapitalism has given us endless numbers of outright fascist dictatorships. Capitalism gave us Hitler. Capitalism gave us Mussolini. Go on with all the Latin American dictatorships and capitalism gave us kleptocracy in Africa. You go on and on. Capitalism has been, for most people, a disaster, and continues to be for the majority the people of the world. 

Now, if youíre an American, and particularly if youíre a white American, but not only, capitalism hasnít been so bad until recently. Especially after World War II, there was a big expansion of the United States. The United States became the global hegemon. The United States grew into a position where it could essentially plunder much of the wealth of the world. And the elites, the oligarchs the United States, did share some of that wealth; at least with the upper stratum of the working class. You know, workers living and working in critical areas of the economy. The auto industry, transport, telecommunications, where workers had real leverage, because if the workers went on strike in those sectors they could close down whole sections of the economy. And of course the Democratic Party, that was an important base for the Democrats to get elected, this upper stratum. Some people called it the labor aristocracy.

So yeah, so capitalism workedĖand even you could say empire 🦍😈👹💵🎩🍌🏴‍☠️🚩 workedĖfor a large section of the American population for quite a while. Western Europe, for a lot of period of this expansion, most of Western Europeís standard of living was pretty good. The kind of social democracy that developed in Europe, which is important to distinguish that from what most people think socialism is. Social democracy, European style, the governments that came to power, is essentially just reining in some of the excesses of capitalism. Thatís their words. But it continues concentration of ownership, private ownership, and concentration of political power. And you can see even in Europe eventually, you know, the savagery of capitalism asserts itself as soon as you brought online the availability of getting cheap labor from China and other places, and you could start undercutting the wages both of American, Canadian, and West European workers.

So when you start assessing whether socialism failed in a Venezuela, or even a Soviet Union, or whatever, we have to first of all acknowledge that yeah, more or less, it did. I think one example which I think was, you know, relatively positive was Cuba, but a tiny place that could never withstand the global forces without some big ally. Cubaís a long conversation. Itís certainly no utopia. But the main point is that when we look at this issue of what socialism is, and does it make sense, and is it possible, the starting point is the absolute failure of capitalism. Even though, sure, it made some people rich. And somebody wrote in we have cars and nice houses. But how many people lost their cars and nice houses in the 2007-08 crash?

DHARNA NOOR: That was Mike Newman commented.

PAUL JAY: And thatís coming again.

DHARNA NOOR: So I think, again, there are viewers who are writing in and saying that this is kind of a whitewashing of socialism. Somebody wrote in saying, well, coming from a socialist countryĖthey donít say which oneĖI can tell you that itís terrible, very very bad, but not so different in some aspects from the U.S. present system. And evenĖI mean, Francesca, in your segment with her, mentioned that the basis of the Venezuelan economy, though of course more democratic, was based on the extraction of oil. Which, of course is, I think we can both agree, a flaw of Venezuela. So whatís your response to people who say, well, I lived there, or I went through it, and it wasnít so great?

PAUL JAY: Well, you know, you have toĖand I havenít walked a mile in those peopleís shoes. And for example, if you were living-

DHARNA NOOR: Youíre from Canada. Thatís not a socialist utopia?

PAUL JAY: No. And that is an important point, actually, that just because you have a socialized healthcare system doesnít make the country socialist. But listen, if I had grown up in the Soviet Union, if Iíd grown up in Eastern Europe, if Iíd been who I am, I mean, I could likely have been in jail. So I understand the sort of anger and rage, even, people had to how bureaucratised, especially in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, it got. The extent to which it became very much like a police state. I think itís sometimes exaggerated, especially in Eastern Europe. I think itís very exaggerated in Cuba. Itís, you know, Cuba is a kind of unique situation.

But Venezuela, just to take it, because thatís the one theyíre talking about all theseĖsocialism is not just somebody has a good idea, oh, letís have, letís have a socialist system, any more than capitalism was just a good idea. Oh, feudalism. Yeah, kings, and aristocracy, and lords. You know what? Iíve got an idea for a whole new system. Letís have capitalism. It doesnít begin as an idea. It begins as an objective process of how human society develops, and how human economy, the economies of human society, develop. And you know, we learn how to make tools, and now we donít want to haveĖyou know, our tribal society that was built on just gathering berries and, you know, running around chasing animals. All of a sudden we had agriculture and animal husbandry. And our society changes. And with that the ideas change. So we start to become conscious of whatís possible because of objective developments. Itís not all just springing from peopleís heads.

So to apply that idea to Venezuela, I mean, Hugo Chavez comes to power because neoliberalismĖand one of the first big mass protests against this hypercapitalist policies was in Venezuela prior to Chavez getting elected, and prior to his involvement in the attempted coup. But these policies were destroying Venezuela. And people, you know, they rose up against these policies. Hypercapitalism wasnít working. And the exploitation of the oil resources was, you know, a tiny elite was benefiting from it, and people were conscious of this.

So sure, socializing the benefits of that oil, it was obvious as a way out of the situation. You have a movement, and you have leaders that emerge from the movement, and it is what it is, meaning, you know, it wasnítĖthey didnít have some great worked-out plan. It wasnít you know a party where they had economists and all kinds of people to figure out what to do once you get elected. You know, stuff happens. They may have been been as surprised as anyone that they actually wound up running the country. And with all its defects and all its weaknesses and all its warts, the Venezuelan or Bolivarian revolution, it accomplished a lot. And it wasnít just about spreading more of the oil money around. There was, and I guess still isĖI havenít been for a while, and I donít have the same kind of a handle on itĖbut the kind of community decision-making, community governance at the local levels. There was a, there were real experiments and development, developing different forms of democracy, which has to be part of the socialistic conversation. Because, like, you have a big state-owned sector in China, right. But you donít have any democracy to speak of. And you have a class of billionaires that have emerged that run the Communist Party.

So I donít know what kind of socialism it is. Itís not socialism just because you have state ownership. And on the other hand, thereís a certain amount of planning going on in China. Peopleís standard of living is going up. These are complicated processes, and we need to analyze them as such. But Iíll go back to where it was in the beginning. The reason we need to have this conversation of what does a modern socialist system look like, and how will it operate, and what are the features of itĖyou know, we talk about even the United States is a mixed economy. Thereís socialistic features. Weíve got a publicly-owned post office. We have public libraries, and schools, and such. Why? Because it made so much sense. But the same sense that it made to do that has made sense to have socialized healthcare in virtually every advanced capitalist country. It makes sense here. But once that makes sense, so does banking. Why would you let big banks 👹💵🎩🍌🏴 blackmail the whole society and whole economy so that they can go speculate? So it makes sense. You should have socialized banking. 

DHARNA NOOR: Yeah. Or here in Baltimore, Baltimore recently became the first major city in the U.S. to ban water privatization. And in my reporting on this I found a lot of peopleĖpeople in Baltimore are generally pretty fed up with the Department of Public Works because there have been so many instances of, you know, false bills that have been sent to people. The price of water has gone up so much. And so many people I spoke with would say, well, public ownership shouldnít really be on the table because, you know, we have a publicly controlled system right now. Itís not doing very well. But I think the point that I want to make is that just because not privatizing doesnít fix everything doesnít mean itís not the right first step. I mean, the statistics show that the price of water goes up across the United States when a private 😈 system does come in.

PAUL JAY: And thereís cities that privatized and went back again because it was such a failure.


PAUL JAY: I guess I just want to end on where I started. Itís not just some intellectual conversation, is socialism good or bad. Yeah, thereís beenĖas, frankly, any major transformation of human societyĖthereís going to be tremendous fallout and weaknesses and stupidities. Especially if you talk about the Soviet Union building, trying to build socialism in what was a very backward country. And that was a matter of great debate at the time.

But we need to look at this. We need to talk about it, because capitalism has failed. Itís failed most of the population of this world for at least the last hundred years. But most importantly, it has no solutions to the actual threat to us as human society. Capitalism is completely out of steam with the most urgent threats facing us. So this is not just some idea, I mean, cafe conversation. This is about our existence or not. And unless somebody has some other idea, and I donít think there is, when you look at what there is, you need to take whatĖyouíve got to break up the concentration of ownership. Because with concentration of ownership goes concentrated political power. Everybody understands that. But thereís no way to weigh against that without public ownership. How else do you break up concentrated ownership? Itís not because youíre going to give everybody a share of a company. Thatís not going to happen. The only counterbalance, counterweight, to concentrated private ownership is public ownership.

On the other hand, public ownership in a small number of hands, like a single-party state or some of the models of the 20th century, thatís as dangerous. Because concentrated power, even if itís in the name of socialism, will also be a disaster. Will be aĖyou know, become a dictatorship. Because concentrated ownership equals concentrated political power. So weíve got to look at how does this public ownership look in a way thatís very diversified? You know, whether itís ownership at a city level, at a state level, at the federal level when necessary. Whether itís workers co-ops, whether itís regional conglomerations.

But you know, but Iíve said this before. Weíre in an era now, because of artificial intelligence, where you could coordinate an economy like that. You could have a Green New Deal which is mostly built out of public ownership in many ways, so that it doesnít get too concentrated, and still coordinate that. I donít think it was ever possible in human history to have the kind of socialism that could also be democratic. And as I said before, I donít think thereís any choice to this. The alternative is weíre not going to have civilization at all.

DHARNA NOOR: Right. Thanks very much, Paul.

Again, weíre in the middle of our end of the year fundraising campaign right now. Weíre going to keep doing this. Paul and I are going to keep discussing your viewer comments and questions. So if you have any comments or questions about this or anything else, put them down below, and please support The Real News Network. We donít take any corporate funding or government funding, and we donít sell ads, which means that the only people we have to answer to are you. So please help us make Real News, and stay in touch.

Thanks, Paul. And thank you for watching The Real News Network.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 04, 2019, 03:52:07 pm »

Fri, 01/04/2019

Agelbert NOTE: Truth filled comments:


Does anyone here think the markets won't react with elation as soon as the Fed acts the least bit supportive?  This idea that some shovel here that the markets will panic and fall when they see the Fed is desperate is nonsense I think.  It shouldn't be, but this BS market shouldn't be up half this high either .... but it is.  It's the one thing that makes me wonder if I'll ever get to buy again because every time we hit a worrisome, critical level we see buying that really looks like intervention.  I still think a panic could come because of algos and ease of computerized trading but I also think it will rip back because the Fed will be as irrational as they have been or more.  It's not like they're going to say "well, we tried but we better take our medicine now because this didn't work and is irresponsible".

Any real trader will tell you that the markets acted completely differently before 2008.  Now whenever they hit key technical levels they rip the other way instead of following through and they do it indiscriminately.  Any legit buyer would take their time and absorb what they could without running the price up but they don't .... just like how the big orders come into the gold market at times with no liquidity during off hours.

The whole thing stinks and they're probably using our tax money to prop up the markets and making us pay much more than we should just like in Japan.  Everyone should be furious about it if they understood it and it creates this boom bust cycle instead of letting us calmly invest with confidence over time.

     Wisely lamented. To which I can add only, "this too shall pass."

     It's much, much worse...
     the MATH behind keeping the market where it is and all the various operations of the U.S.A. functioning, not to
     mention the 200+ trillion in unfunded obligations, means that hyperinflation, at least behind the curtain and on the
     central bank black books, is well underway...

         I can't see it any other way (hyperinflation) as we know they won't be reasonable, admit their failures and just
         go back to market clearing forces.  They will have no choice but massive QE of some unimagined kind ..... but I
         also would have thought they wouldn't have been able to keep it up this long or some reasonable voices would
         have stepped in already.

            The "professional" community is just horrible as they know how ridiculous all this is and have hardly voiced
            any criticism when they should have demanded a stop to it long ago.  They don't even slightly acknowledge
            the absurd hypocrisy of constantly saying "the markets are fundamentally great ....... but we still need
            emergency measure stimulus".

Read more: 🤔   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 03, 2019, 04:39:59 pm »




PUBLISHED December 29, 2018

In this interview, economist Richard D. Wolff discusses how market-based economies have had their critics since the times of Plato and Aristotle, how both major US political parties have become subservient to the gospel of capitalism and how technology isn't always constructive.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:07:09 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 30, 2018, 01:44:38 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 30, 2018, 12:55:14 pm »

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has vanished

By Lincoln green 

2018/12/30 ∑ 09:17
I donít mean Mnuchin has literally vanished. If you could find him, you could no doubt still see him. What I mean is that Mnuchin has been missing from public view since his disastrous attempt a week ago to calm US financial markets as they were heading south, and thereís no telling if or when heíll reappear. Hereís a timeline:

Wednesday, December 19. The S&P 500 drops 1.54%, a bad day on Wall Street.


Thursday, December 20. Mnuchin goes on Fox Business Network and says ďThe market reaction is completely overblownĒ. The S&P 500 does a bit worse, a 1.58% drop.


Friday, December 21. The S&P 500 heads further south, dropping 2.06%, an exclamation point on the worst week on Wall Street since the Great Recession.


Sunday, December 23. Mnuchin calls major bank CEOs, who all reassure him they have plenty of cash on hand. Mnuchin releases a bizarre press statement celebrating the call. Was this his idea, or was it Trumpís orders? Nobody knows.

Monday, December 24, is an even worse day in the markets. The S&P 500 falls another 2.71%, the biggest Christmas-Eve drop ever. Mnuchinís press release takes much of the blame. Mnuchin himself is silent.


Tuesday, December 25, Christmas Day. President Trump is asked in the Oval Office whether he still has confidence in Mnuchin. He says ďYes, I do.  Very talented guy.  Very smart personĒ ó using the same ďvery talented, very smartĒ persiflage that Trump tossed off December 7 to describe diplomatic novice Heather Nauert, his nominee for UN ambassador. Mnuchin continues to be silent.

Wednesday through Saturday, December 26Ė29. Continued radio silence from Mnuchin. No press releases, no tweets, nothing 🙊😈. As of this writing, Mnuchin is not scheduled to appear on Sunday morning talk shows either.




Often the important news in Washington is what isnít happening, and you can see that by comparing Mnuchin last year to Mnuchin this year. Last year after Christmas, Mnuchin announced new North Korean sanctions, and retweeted Pence on how great the US economy was doing.

But now lower-ranking administration officials like Kevin Hassett are taking up the slack to do things like reassuring the public that the Trump shutdown should not damage the economy permanently. Although Mnuchinís defenders (such as they are) might argue ďHey, heís on vacation in Cabo San Lucas!Ē that vacation didnít stop him from making his bizarre press release, or from tweeting before his disastrous performance last weekend, so there is almost surely a deeper story here.

Every so often we hear about how Trump is unhappy with Mnuchin, such as reports in November about Trumpís disapproval of Mnuchinís choice for Federal Reserve chair. Itís easy to dismiss these reports, as Trump seems to disparage everybody. But the anti-Mnuchin drumbeats are getting louder, and on Wednesday CNN quoted an anonymous source close to the White House as saying ďMnuchin is under the gun.Ē

Mnuchin no doubt fears Trumpís petulant outbursts and knows that the best way to avoid them is to say and do nothing. And Mnuchin also knows that heíll be toast when the economy turns south, as Trump will surely make him a scapegoat for any recession. And even if the recent Wall Street downturn is temporary, Mnuchin will be in Trumpís crosshairs soon anyway, because as the IRSís boss Mnuchin has the legal responsibility to give a copy of Trumpís tax returns to House investigators when they ask for them, as they surely will next year when they look into foreign influence in the Trump administration. And although Trump will no doubt tell Mnuchin to defy Congress over the tax returns, Mnuchin has already signalled that heíll follow the law ó and at that point Trump will be so angry with him that thereís a good chance heíll fire him.

Does the name Justin Muzinich  ring a bell with you? If not, now might be a good time to find out more. Justin Muzinich was a key designer of Trumpís tax cuts for the rich, Trump nominated him in April to be Deputy Treasury Secretary after others declined the job, and the Senate finally confirmed him on December 11 so he will be a backstop if Mnuchin quits or is fired. However, Muzinich is a Bushie: he worked for Jeb Bushís 2016 campaign and seems to be more of a tax-cut guy than a circle-the-wagons-for-Trump guy. So he quite possibly will run into Trumpís short fuse sooner even than Mnuchin did, and itís not clear how well heíll be able to run Treasury in the brief time that Trump will give him.

In short, although Mnuchinís vanishing act should prolong his stay in the short term, until Trump leaves, the US Treasury will be on shaky ground due to an increasingly dysfunctional president and administration. This will not be good for American taxpayers or for the American people. Donít say I didnít warn you.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2018, 04:41:04 pm »

Do Most Americans Have a Retirement Plan?

In 2013, Wells Fargo surveyed 1,000 middle-income Americans earning between $25,000 USD and $100,000 USD a year, and asked if anyone planned to work until they died, or until they were too sick to work. They found that an astounding 37 percent of respondents were resigned to the fact that they would not be able to save enough to ever stop working. And an additional 34 percent figured that they would have to work until they were at least 80 years old.

A not-so-sunny future:

Fifty-nine percent 😨 of respondents said that their top financial concern was paying day-to-day bills. About 42 percent admitted that they weren't able to pay their bills and save for retirement at the same time.

Only 30 percent of those surveyed said they had a retirement plan. Forty-five percent said they didn't have enough assets to warrant having a plan, while another 25 percent said they didn't know how to set one up.

Around 75 percent of respondents said they were not confident that their savings would be safe if invested in the stock market. About a third said they would be relying on Social Security as their primary income during retirement.


Agelbert NOTE: What needs to be done (but probably will not be done ) to stop the oligarchic, family impoverishing, Capitalist Madness in the USA:

֍ To begin with, all those now indebted due to health care costs or college loans whould have their entire debt written off by the U.S. Government. That amount would be a pittance compared with all the Zombie Capitalist Bank debt that was, for all practical purposes, written off by the U.S. Government in 2008 through ex nihilo money printing by the Fed.

Take the cap off the maximum income for Social Security withholding,

Begin to Social Security Tax "unearned" income (i.e. Capital Gains),

Use the CPI-E cost of living formula AFTER DOUBLING all current Social Security pensions (in order bring them to the purchasing power they have LOST in the last 35 years, since the Alan Greenspan CROOK adjusted the formula to severely understate inflation) to reflect reality and finally,

Fund the whole deal with a transaction tax of $0.001 on each and every stock purchase.

After that,

💐 The age for eligibility for Social Security needs to be dropped one year,

💐 each year, until it gets to age 1.  💫

💐 Obviously, the Social Security eligibillity requirement of a certain number of "working quarters" needs to be eliminated along the way.

🎍 As part of the above morphed Social Security Pension system (i.e. Transformation to a Universal Basic Income system), health care would no longer be a cost item. IOW, people, from the cradle to the grave, would go to a doctor, dentist or hospital when in need and never see a bill. The U.S. government would be billed. The government would pay health care professionals directly.

🕯️ All education, from pre-kindergarden child care to college and graduate education, would also become a no cost item.

It could EASILY be done.

BUT, the crooks and liars running the system 😈 👹 💵 🎩 🍌☠️🚩 (into the ground) just don't want to do it because they insist on irrationallly clinging to their failed CAPITALIST ideology. 👎👎👎

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 28, 2018, 04:47:29 pm »

Fri, 12/28/2018 - 16:05

by Tyler Durden


... once traders realized that this was just one giant fake out meant to force stops and squeeze shorts, they started buying... bonds, with the 10Y yield sliding as low as 2.7146%, the lowest since February 2018. And as the bond were bid, stocks tumbled losing all intraday gains, and turning negative.


..., in what may be the biggest unspoken story of the day, the LSTA leveraged loan index tumbled to new multi-year lows: as shown below, the price of leveraged loans has been a one way train down, which together with another week of record outflows from the loan market, is the most ominous signal because should the loan market freeze up, 2019 will be nothing short of a credit disaster as billions of M&A and LBO deals lock up.

Full reality based article:


Agelbert NOTE: Expect a Trump Tweeting Tantrum. If you don't think the Trump Wrecking Crew was involved up to their crooked necks in the market manipulation of the last three days, including the trader uptick massive head fake, you are not paying attention. They won't stop trying to rig the market any time soon because their mafia boss POTUS Trump is toast without a rigged bull market. Fasten your seat belt.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 28, 2018, 02:26:34 pm »

Trump Administration  Asked Top Hedge Fund Investor For Advice How To Halt Market Rout

by Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/28/2018 - 12:16

Confirming once again that all that matters to the current administration is the market, CNBC rpeorts that a high-ranking Trump administration official reached out to at least one notable hedge fund investor for advice on markets after the record Christmas Eve rout, which saw all major US indexes tumble more than 2 percent as rumors swirled that President Donald Trump was contemplating firing Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

It is unclear who the "well known" investor was.

The source told CNBC that the administration was "determined" to boost equities which have become a key barometer of Trump's "success" , at least in the president's own view.

The investor was said to tell the official to tell the president to end his criticism of Powell on Twitter, stop administration turnover and reach a trade deal with China in order to help markets.

Whereas Trump celebrated a consistent rise for stocks during his first year in office, frequently tweeting all memorable market milestones, markets have faltered in 2018 amid a trade war with China, concerns about the Fed's four interest rate hikes and fears about slowing global growth. Trump 🙊 😈 has yet to tweet about markets despite the recent sharp two-day rebound.


Even with the recent spike in the S&P, stocks were still on track for their worst December since 1931, with the S&P down about 10% and down almost 7% for the year.

Prior to the Monday plunge, Trump repeatedly blame market carnage on the Fed, most recently tweeting that "the only problem our economy has is the Fed." He contended the U.S. central bank does not "have a feel for the Market."


The tweet followed the Fed's decision to raise the target range for its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to 2.25 to 2.5 percent.


Agelbert NOTE: Truth filled comments:

666D chess
The orange swine only cares about his masters on Wall Street. It's should be clear to anybody with an average IQ.

It's a casino stupid, double down in half the time on nine trillion of other people's time(money). Find out how a falling rate of return happens in a fiat collapse cycle. Just remember this though, ten years ago ground beef was 69 cents a pound now its just over four bucks.  The multiplier required to keep a market propped up must double in capital with half the time continuously and your only real metric to how BAD it gets will be the super market.

Ironically the people most effected will be vegetarians, aka the mob picky eaters, since field to table is directly influenced by intermediary pressures caused by the just time delivery systems which are mostly staffed by vegetarians that produce the food.

Just saying watch your backs if you force it, it will break along with all those plans.

"Last American Bull Market" for current Fiat system..

Wall Street Gangsters are ALL IN!!!

Son of Captain Nemo
Going on more than 2 decades and multiple looting operation(s) for energy rich "holdouts" (https://www.ae911truth.org/) to prop up it's flagging $reserve currency status... Taking the U.S.A. from $6 trillion in nominal debt 18 years ago to as far as the eye can see beyond $200 trillion 18 years later...


Zandic Saytanic
The fraud market is the ONLY thing Trump cares about. Sickening. Quite a disappointment from candidate Trump.

    10,000 + American on American murders, not a peep from the Orange Julius Caesar whom the republicans worship
    as their god.

    Question: among your pantheon of gods, including reagan, bush sr., chaney, rumsfeld, bush jr, etc., is he your god
    of war by chance?

    Remember: American on American murders are o.k., it's just when an illegal murders a citizen is it considered an

    Ok, got it!

666D chess
The PPT is making a tremendous effort to prop back up my big fat ugly bubble. Kudos to them.

                                                                                                 Downald Jones Trump
    Arrest Trump for Market Manipulation

       its only market manipulation when obama does it.

       trump is in the clear, being newly crowned as Caesar by the republican populace

juggernaut x2
Poor Little Donny- he may be as dumb as a mule post but he is smart enough to know that his presidency hinges on Americans' worship of money

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 28, 2018, 12:54:17 pm »

Fri, 12/28/2018 - 11:23

Things are so horribly distorted now that NO ONE at the FED will be honest even if they wanted to. Trillions unaccounted for in DOD budgets, PPT shoring up indexes. The very moment that anyone is honest the wheels come off of this Pretend Happy Talk show and 💥 explosively

Agelbert NOTE: Truth filled comment.

red pill economics

Current byline: "Nomura: "It Is Increasingly Obvious That Powell Believes The Fed Has Engendered Outright Asset Bubbles" "

Re-write: "Nomura: "It Is Intuitively Obvious To The Most Casual Observer That The Fed Has Engendered Outright Asset Bubbles" "

QE was debt monetization pure and simple; banana republic kind of stuff.

Reference (and this is coming from a Fed person!):


Federal Reserve Banks of Dallas

Speech by Richard W. Fisher, President and CEO (2005Ė2015)

"The math of this new exercise is readily transparent: The Federal Reserve will buy $110 billion a month in Treasuries, an amount that, annualized, represents the projected deficit of the federal government for next year. For the next eight months, the nationís central bank will be monetizing the federal debt.

This is risky business. We know that history is littered with the economic carcasses of nations that incorporated this as a regular central bank practice. So how can the decision made last Wednesday be justified?"

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 27, 2018, 04:58:05 pm »

by Tyler Durden

Thu, 12/27/2018 - 16:02

Agelbert NOTE: If these Trump 🦀 Fed PPT crooks think they can engineer another 2008 post crash 16 trillion dollar stock market save, they are criminally insane.

Fasten your seat belts, folks. THIS is going to get REALLY UGLY for the US DOLLAR if the PPT does not back off and let the Bear market destroy Trump.

At this point it is either destroy the Trump Kochroach or destroy the US Dollar. I know what choice Trump favors. He will NEVER put country before Trump. He will NEVER admit fault. He will ALWAYS try to blame others for his abysmal incompetence. He cares for nobody but himself, PERIOD.

Everyone who is sane, unlike Trump , favors a strong US DOLLAR.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 27, 2018, 02:12:43 pm »



"When certainty frays, capital gets skittish."

Confidence in capital itself is fraying.  Capital has been leveraged, rehypothecated, securitized, and falsified to the point that no thinking person trusts it any more.  When I see a rich man with a big house, fancy car, trophy wife, and $2K suit I immediately suspect that he's some kind of con man playing financial games.  If I have a little bit of capital I want to invest I immediately assume that every investment vehicle offered me is some kind of ******** con game, run by some kind of ******** con man, to cheat me out of my hard-earned savings.

The bank says it's got a fortress balance sheet, with plenty of ready capital on hand?  I don't believe it.  It's got some ******** balance sheet with plenty of phoney capital on hand.  All perfectly legal, you understand.

Article that the above truth filled comment responded to:

Thu, 12/27/2018 - 11:15

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog

The net result is capital is impaired in eras of uncertainty. Uncertainty also leads to polarization, as people cling with irrational certainty to ideologies and policies that are failing.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 27, 2018, 12:52:01 pm »

Thu, 12/27/2018 - 10:14

Agelbert NOTE: It's even worse than depicted in the above article. Real unemployment in the USA is FAR higher than publicly acknowledged. The fact is that we have been at DEPRESSION LEVEL unemployment for OVER 10 YEARS!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 27, 2018, 11:09:37 am »

The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?

Proverbs 21:27 KJV
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 26, 2018, 09:06:54 pm »


December 26, 2018

Mother of All Sucker  Rallies Sends Dow 1,000 Points Higher

by Mike Mish Shedlock

Following a brutal four days in a brutal month, stocks staged a massive rally. Alas, it won't last.

The Wall Street Journal reports Dow Industrials Leap More Than 1,000 Points.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 1,000 points for the first time in a single session Wednesday, rebounding after a bruising four-session selloff put the blue-chip index and the S&P 500 on the brink of a bear market.

All 30 stocks in the Dow industrials notched gains, as did each of the 11 sectors in the broader S&P. Shares of Amazon.com , Facebook and Netflix climbed more than 8%, while retailers rallied as early data on the crucial holiday shopping season appeared robust. And a nearly 9% rise in oil prices offered a respite for shares of beaten-down energy companies.

Verge of Bear Market?

The WSJ 😈 says the S&P 500 was "on the verge of a bear market". 

I disagree. I claim the S&P 500 is in a bear market.


Who's right?

Arguably, we both are. It depends on where you measure from.

The high of 2940.91 as shown in the above chart was an intraday high. The high the previous day was 2930.75. That was also the highest close ever. On a close-to-close basis the S&P only fell 19.78%

Is the WSJ ridiculously splitting hairs? Yes.

About Bear Market Rallies

Today was a typical bear market rally. I posted some charts on December 24: S&P 500 Slips into Bear Territory on Worst Christmas Eve Trading Ever

Yes Virginia, it's a bear market. Expect a lot more days like today, with everyone caught believing "the bottom is in", every step of the way.

The next real bottom will not be in until everyone is totally disgusted with the stocks and gives up. Demographically-speaking it will come at the worst time for boomers.

There was one and only one thing surprising    about today: Trump did not yap about it.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


Agelbert NOTE: Mafia bosses, like Trump, NEVER "yap" about things they RIG. When they DON'T rig is when they yap. Trump's 🙊 silence on the stock market massive goosing by the Fed PPT is a DEAD GIVEAWAY that he KNEW the FIX WAS IN. If he brags that he CAUSED IT, the confidence in every stock that went up tanks immediately, so he has no choice but to play the innocent lamb for the suckers that think this rally was based on "fundamentals" and/or Trump's "great economy" (see below).

Stock market rally? What stock market rally? I don't know what you are yapping about.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 26, 2018, 05:36:51 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Enjoy the paper profits from the Trump PPT HEAD FAKE while you can. The reality of our crumbling economy will continue to manifest itself, no matter how much crooked fun and games the Fed engages in. This is NOT 2008. There are NO ADDITIONAL 16 TRILLION PLUS dollars to be ex nihilo printed to paper over, ONLY FOR for the oligarchs 👹🎩 and the greedballs 😈 speculating in the stock market, this economic mess like they did in 2008. If they do that, the dollar dies. So, they won't do that. Have a nice day.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 24, 2018, 06:10:13 pm »

How about that education at West Point? What did you do with that gift from the taxpayers? Why aren't you a general or something. You were groomed to be cog in the wheel of the USMIC.

An education from West Point isn't a gift from the Taxpayers.  It's a part of the MIC designed to groom young men to be leaders of warfare.  They failed in the task with AG.  He did go on though to have a good career teaching people to fly and then as an Air Controller, before the stress nailed him.



He's just exactly like you.

He's the son of a rich man. He comes from privilege. He blew through a lot of opportunities, sabotaged his own life, and ended up sick and broke.

Now he's a socialist. A Good Christian who believes in the Golden Rule.

Not really much of a surprise.

None of which would bother me........if he didn't want to rag on my working-class ass. He's a **** fool is what he is, and he's in good company here.

I dare you to leave this post up. I don't think you have the balls.

I see the good doctor has left his gloves at the dental practice...

Here's the problem with discussing the VALUE of this or that way of living with a CAPITALIST. Their ideology frames "good" and  "bad" exclusively in terms of money. After that, it gets even worse. :P Anyone who does not embrace the "fiduciary responsibility" of making as much money as possible is somehow "irresponsible". 

Let's take the good doctor's assumption that I do not contribute to society (while he does) and therefore I am a "loser parasite".

In 1986, if my memory serves me, I was given a couple of awards as a Federal Aviation Administration computer analyst. You've all read about the dude that suggested mail boxes and other post office stuff be painted in one color that saved them millions, if not billions of dollars. Well, I haven't done the math, but a program for Air Traffic Control that I cooked up paid for (at least) 10 times the pension I will get in this lifetime, even if I live to be 120    ;D.

I had controlled traffic, both at the enroute air traffic control center level and the approach control level, before I got the computer analyst job. I was a good CAPITALIST in those days and I got this idea to save the gooberment some money by cutting ATC jobs. 

You see, there are well over a hundred approach control facillities in US airspace. They are (roughly) birthday cake shaped portions of airspace 30 miles in diameter and 10,000 feet high. The ATC Center "hands off" descending aircaft to the approach control with a "slew and enter" using his track ball and keyboard on the data block. It flashes in the approach control facility. The approach controller "slews and enters" on the data block, which causes its sector tag to change and it stops flashing. At the Enroute ATC Center, the sector tag changes, which signals the enroute ATC person to tell the pilot to switch to approach control frequency. All this was done over a land line before computer automation.

During moderate to heavy air traffic periods in these facilites, which are staffed 24 hours a day, they needed a Coordinator position. The Coordinator was a Journeyman Radar Air Traffic Controller (three years including school plus On The Job training minimum). The pay for a Journeyman Radar Air Traffic Controller now is about $80,000 to $100,000 a year (roughly speaking - it varies by facility level - Starting salary for a GS-14 employee is $89,370.00 per year at Step 1, with a maximum possible base pay of $116,181.00 per year at Step 10. The hourly base pay of a Step 1 GS-14 employee is $42.82 per hour1). I was a GS-13 Step 8 at the time, which is a hair less than the above. Of course the base pay was about half what it is now but I give you the present numbers to give you an idea of what the program I wrote, which was adopted in all the approach control facilities, represented in dollar terms.

The job of the Coordinator is to call the sequence of arrival traffic to the the tower ATC guy or gal. Inside the Tower Cab there is what is called the "Bright Display". It's like a radar screen but is much brighter so you can see the aircraft data blocks while you are in bright daylight. I noticed that there was an area of memory in the ATC program that projected all the info onto that screen. In programmer/ATC parlance the thing I was looking at is called a TAB LIST. It was used in approach control radar screens and enroute ATC radar screens but the tower people did not use it.

I figured that I could progam the tab list with a bubble sort so the approach controller could just do a "slew and enter" with his track ball onto the next aircraft in the sequence. The tab list would then put the aircraft call sign at the bottom of the tab list. The call sign at the top was the first in the sequence. When the aircraft landed, the data block would "die" (no radar tracking data). My program also watched for that and deleted that aircraft's call sign in the tab list at the top. The call signs beneath would then "bubble" up. That is why it is called a bubble sort.

Within a year or so, after the programs were modified at the national level, every Coordinator position, staffed for at least 8 hours in any 24 hour hour period all over US airspace, was eliminated. YOU do the math, Eddie. If you still think I am a "parasite", you need your head examined.

I got an award of $332 for that, followed by a quality within grade step increase. That's cool. I knew I worked for the gooberment and anything I came up with was PUBLIC. Sure, it bothered me to not get some recognition on a national level, but I was never confused about what the top management felt about minorites like me (i.e. "Salt Water Niggers") who "thought too much". I don't believe in the tooth fairy either, pardner. And YEAH, I DID see people who were dumber than a wedge get all sorts of recognition and promotions for doing ZIP while they "worked" at the FAA. That's the way the cookie crumbles in our "meritocratic" CAPITALIST MYTHOLOGY.

All that said, I do not give a tinker's damn whether a person "earned" DA MONEY to not be classifed as a "parasite" by the CAPITALISTS. It's a false meme based on trying to put a dollar sign on the value of human endeavor.

As I alluded to at the beginning of this "I am worth it" braggadocio silliness, there are actions, and the lack of them, IN GOVERNMENT, as well as in daily living on this planet, that you CANNOT out a price on. That is why businessmen make such LOUSY politicians.

Jon Adair, my super smart brother-in-law, an excellent dentist and scuba diver, was too dense to heed the warnings of Agelbert at a beach in 1980, when I told him, "it looks kinda rough out there". He drowned and I almost drowned trying to save him in the rip current and massive surf. I made a decision to TRY, even though there was NO PROFIT IN IT. I don't know how the good doctor Eddie quantifies the "value" of what I tried to do that day, but I suspect there is NO WAY you can put a "he failed and is a loser because the dentist drowned" price tag on it.

What the good doctor cannot seem to place any value on, is the FACT that many efforts by people of good will DO fail in pecuniary terms. Hence they must be credited with genuine value, not be deliberately demonized as "parasitical" because those who "won" in monetary terms are allegedly "carrying" the "parasites".

That's the Victorian BULLSHIT that is the fundamentally flawed basis of Capitalism.

"Capitalist ideology claims that the world is perfectly ordered and everybody is in their place (i..e. everybody gets what they deserve). This self legitmating aspect of Capitalism is Socially Catastrophic. This is the Victorian view of the world." Rob Urie - Author " Zen Economics"
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 24, 2018, 04:31:56 pm »

Dear AG.

How about that education at West Point? What did you do with that gift from the taxpayers? Why aren't you a general or something. You were groomed to be cog in the wheel of the USMIC.

You were once a young man of some small amount of privilege, flying your own plane at an age when I was busting my ass to pay for my own college.

I grew up in a "mobile home". I know all about the trailer park. You're kidding yourself, but I'm not fooled. You live in a fuckin' trailer.

Look. I used to kiss your delusional ass because i felt sorry for you, and because my default behavior is to be respectful. But you like to be an ****. So I'm going to take the gloves off and wipe the floor with you until you crawl back under your rock, or RE bans me.

Bring it on, loser. Let's talk about how you got screwed out of your "rightful" inheritance by your own sibs. I bet they tell a different story, btw.

You have a rather fascinating defintion of the term "gift from taxpayers". You are going all the way back to 1964 to dig up some juicy "parasite of society" alleged dirt on Agelbert . My old man had to fork up $300 for the uniforms on my way in, so You can be grateful that USMA made us "parasites" pay a little for the "taxpayer gift".  ;D

I've got to go exercise my old "loser" body now, but I will return to discuss the term "gift from the taxpayers", as opposed to "PRACTICED TAX DODGERS" later. I will also discuss any and all privileges I allegedly "squandered" while you were busy shoveling horse poo in stables to "lift yourself up by the force of your grit, will (and so on)", thereby "earning" your privilege while I "squandered" mine.

If I missed any part of the "truth" there, I am sure you will be happy to provide more details.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 24, 2018, 02:44:53 pm »

You are a loser who lives in a trailer, subsisting on the benevolence of a government that takes money from people who actually produce some kind of value, and redistributes it to people who can't.

People exactly like me pay the taxes that keep your tiny remittance coming every month.

I vote for middle of the road candidates (when there are any to pick from) who keep the social safety net going that keeps people like you from starving, instead of voting for clowns like Trump, or the Paul Ryans and Mike Pences, the Good Christian candidates who would love to let you starve.

How about  a little gratitude.

You had many advantages in life, but somehow you managed to end up old and broke and mad at other people and a system that you blame for your problems instead of taking responsibility for them your own self.  Get a fuc king clue.

You better shut the fu ck up and crawl back under your rock, or I'm going to reveal some other truths you won't want to discuss.

The world would be a far better place if people like you tended to their own business and spent less time trying to pass judgment on hard working guys like me just trying to do the best they can, to get along in a seriously flawed world.

P i s s off. Your opinion doesn't matter. You are a powerless old fool with a penchant for big emoticons.

Stuff it.

Spoken like a true Trumptard. ::) Truth is rather painful for you greedballs, ain't it? You misunderstand my position. I am quite content with my fare in life.

I ENJOY the fact that I llive, eat and sleep quite well on a small pension BECAUSE I help the economy by spending a much greater percentage of my income to improve the economy than the deluded rich, who really fool themselves into thinking they are  "job creators" and "everyone is better off because of them ".

Pence is not now or ever has been a Christian. He's another reprobate con artist that wears the label. As to Ryan, I've made it rather clear how I feel about him.

As to your amusingly authoritarian claims that "Agelbert's opinon don't matter." and "Agelbert needs to show a little gratitude" and "Agelbert needs to STFU or the good doctor will tell all about Agelbert", I am accustomed to being maligned, defamed and otherwise lied about. It goes with the territory when you are a TRUE Christian.

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 13:02

Agelbert NOTE: CAPITALIST reaction to the above refreshing reality (after ten years of market rigging SOCIALISM FOR THE RICH for the express purpose of rignoring 😈 CRATERING ECONOMY REALITY):

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