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Author Topic: Money  (Read 27935 times)

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AGelbert

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SATURDAY, FEB 19, 2022 - 10:30 AM Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,


The Winter Of Our Discontent:   
 Hubris  Is Ascendent

We're constantly assured everything's on the mend but this trying-too-hard marketing has the opposite effect: it confirms everything's unraveling. We're told inflation is transitory (you mean like terminal cancer is "transitory"?), the economy is opening up and growing smartly.

None of this is remotely persuasive. OK, we get it: the pandemic shutdown crushed supply chains and demand, and then trillions of dollars, yen, yuan and euros of monetary and fiscal stimulus boosted pent-up demand which then snarled creaky supply chains. Inflation is transitory because the effects of this massive stimulus is temporary and the global supply snarls will all be unkinked shortly.

But this happy story only accounts for a thin wafer of global supply issues. Yes, a few items may be restored to low-cost production and shipping, but all this rah-rah ignores the primary dynamics: all the cheap, easy-to-get resources have been extracted and consumed, and labor costs, crushed for the past 45 years, have reversed: after being stripmined by capital for the past 45 years, labor is now demanding some modest restoration of decades of diminished purchasing power, not just in the U.S. but in China and other production nodes in global supply chains.

Capital's screams of agony are laughable, as the top tier of capital has added trillions in wealth at the expense of the bottom 99.5%. The wealth of the few has metastasized into hyper-wealth--$100 million yachts and villas barely scratch the surface of the billions gained by gaming financialization and the Federal Reserve's financial fentanyl.

Although nobody benefiting from the Fed's financial fentanyl seems to have noticed, hyper-wealth has extinguished democracy and destabilized the economy and society. With trillions gushing into the wealthiest families and corporate insiders, "democracy" has been reduced to an invitation-only auction of political favors.


If you didn't get your desired favors, then increase your bid. Big Pharma, the "defense" (heh) industry, Higher Education, Big Ag, Big Tech, et al. are all willing to pony up millions in bribes--oops, I mean "donations"-- to multi-millionaire politicos profiting from insider trading (cough, Pelosi, cough). Revolving doors ensure the right people get fat speaking fees, cushy do-nothing slots in philanthro-capitalist foundations, etc.

The decay caused by hyper-wealth is systemic: the moral decay of a thoroughly corrupted "leadership," a sham facade of "democracy" (vote for whomever you want, the ownership of power doesn't change), an economy dominated by profiteering cartels and quasi-monopolies, a class system in which privilege is hidden in plain sight, a society of haves who have broken the rungs of the social-mobility ladder, leaving the have-nots unaffordable housing, unaffordable higher education, unaffordable healthcare, unaffordable childcare, etc., all to be paid out of wages that have lost purchasing power for decades and continue to lose ground as "transitory" inflation is embedded in essentials and fripperies alike.

Meanwhile, back in the wintry real world, everyone facing a dime in higher costs is jacking up their price by a dollar. "Inflation" is a handy cover for jacking up prices just to see how much the panic-hoarding, desperate consumer will pay: hmm, a used truck costs more than a new truck cost two years ago? I'll take it! A mattress-in-a-box has doubled in price? I'll take it! A fast-food burger is now 50% more? Give me four, and charge it to my credit card.

Oh, but wait--everything is being fixed by speculative bubbles that enrich everyone who bought assets long ago. That's obviously a solution that benefits everyone, right? So the newly enriched can buy overvalued assets from other newly enriched, all funded by the Fed's financial fentanyl.

Yes, it's time to distribute victorious wreaths to the purveyors and profiteers of financial fentanyl. Hubris is ascendent just before the fall.

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/winter-our-discontent-hubris-ascendent

💣
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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SNIPPET:

It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is heading for ordinary people trying to make ends meet.

Read more:

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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FRIDAY, MAR 04, 2022 - 02:06 PM

Powell's Pivot To Nowhere

Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com

SNIPPET:

Consumer prices were already at a 40 year high before this latest bout of war madness was triggered. Now, with oil and gas prices going through the roof, consumers will soon be tapped out.

Read more:
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/powells-pivot-nowhere

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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FEBRUARY 22, 2022 BY JASON MYLES AND PASCAL ROBERT

"WE ARE LIVING IN A POST-CAPITALIST, TECHNO-FEUDALIST DYSTOPIA" -- YANIS VAROUFAKIS


World-renowned Greek economist, author, and politician Yanis Varoufakis argues that global capitalism as we know it is dying—and something much worse is taking its place.

SNIPPET:

And then with the 1929 disaster, The Grapes of Wrath in the United States, in Europe and so on, capitalism had to be saved from itself by creating more demand for stuff. That’s the New Deal. And then the Bretton Woods system after the Great War. So, especially when there was a Soviet Union to antagonize capitalism, they started granting more and more rights, redistributing money, creating free education in some countries or cheaper education in the United States for the workers and so on, until 1991 when this competition from communism disappeared.

And then they said, okay. Now, we don’t need to give them anything. We’ll take everything back. Which is exactly what 🎩👿 they did, and you just described one way of doing it.

Read more or watch video:

https://therealnews.com/yanis-varoufakis-we-are-living-in-a-post-capitalist-techno-feudalist-dystopia
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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Crude Oil WTI Futures Go Bananas, Briefly Spike to $130: And this Is What’s Happening at my Gas Station

Speculators are reacting to other speculators who are reacting to whatever.

by Wolf Richter • Mar 6, 2022 • 247 Comments

SNIPPET:

The reason the price spiked isn’t because the US is suddenly running out of crude oil or anything, but because 🐍 traders and algos smelled an opportunity and jumped on it, and drove up the price of those futures, and it’s pure speculation, but that’s what futures trading always is.

The US doesn’t import much Russian crude and could do just fine without Russian crude – and that’s why the import ban is even proposed. And if some buyers in the US actually buy Russian crude, it’s simply another trade, like a gazillion others, but Russian crude is a big part of the gigantic complex global oil trade.



For example, California is cut off from other US producing regions because there’s no pipeline across the Rockies. It produces some of its own crude oil and imports some crude oil from Alaska, and imports crude from the rest of the world. The local refineries, such as those in the Bay Area, buy this imported crude and refine it and export large quantities of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel to Latin America, which is a  huge profitable business.

Those exports of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel also go to Mexico, which in turn sells a large amount of crude oil to the US. This is all part of the vast and complex global oil trade. Everyone’s doing it, and it is now getting thrown into chaos.

So far, Russian crude oil exports have been very carefully exempted from the sanctions, but there is such chaos around blocked payment systems and shipping involving Russia that buyers are reluctant to buy physical Russian crude and ship owners are reluctant to transport it. And futures traders are jumping all over this.

Now, the “76” tourist-trap gas station here in my neighborhood in San Francisco – the brand “76” is owned by Phillips 66 – doesn’t sell crude oil, and it doesn’t sell futures either. It sells physical gasoline that has been in its tanks for some time. That gasoline came from the Phillips 66 refinery in the Bay Area, which took delivery of the crude oil well before then at prices that were set even before then – when prices were a lot lower.

Nevertheless, even as the cost of the gasoline in the tanks hasn’t changed, the price has been surging. And the difference is just extra profit.

Full article: 👀
https://wolfstreet.com/2022/03/06/crude-oil-wti-futures-go-bananas-briefly-hit-130-this-is-whats-happening-at-my-gas-station

🦖 jessy james Mar 7, 2022 at 11:35 pm
What most consumers of regular unleaded seem to be clueless about is those underground storage tanks at every tourist trap fill in station MUST be refilled, at minimum, every other day. Those tanks can hold at most 12,000 gallons. Do the math, if you doubt my statement.

Gelbert > 🦖 jessy james Mar 8, 2022 at 1:05 pm

The only math that is applicable here is, as Wolf said in so many words, price gouging.

The hydrocarbon industry has a pet “economics math” sounding phrase they are very fond of: “Fuel prices are INELASTIC when the price of oil goes down and ELASTIC when the oil prices go up.” (wink – nod). That fuel price setting modus operandi is a disingenuous excuse to price gouge on the way up and not lose a penny of profit on the way down.

Another part of math that Wolf has done, and the  petroleum industry doesn’t want you do do, is the oil futures price relation to physical supplies of crude oil and fuels at the pump. There is no excuse whatsoever for raising the price of fuels based on zooming up price futures contracts frenzy, yet they do that with glee.

Check out how much crude oil is stored at any refinery at any time. You will find that it is, at the very least, a month of pre-refined crude. Often it is much more than that because they have a large tank farm on the grounds.

You cannot take a load of crude off of a tanker and start refining it right away. This is because several steps (e.g. stripping the crude oil of excess oxygen), required to prepare the crude for refining, take a significant amount of time. The actual process of refining takes place in the cracking towers. The “crude” that goes into the cracking towers is quite a bit more pure than the crude that arrives at the refinery.

So, ANY actual increase in crude oil price should certainly not be reflected at any refinery for at least a month.

The new gasoline and diesel and heating oil coming out of the higher priced crude should not see a gas station tank or a heating oil truck tank for at least 6 weeks. Yet, they pull the old “ELASTIC” price (gouging) on the way up TRICK, with a straight face, every single time.

No wonder the oil majors are up around 5% today (i.e. March 8, 2022); they are in price gouging heaven and we-the-people are getting the “elastic” shaft.




Kresten Mar 7, 2022 at 6:09 pm
In Denmark, gas just passed $10/gallon. That’s something like +$20/100mi. Thank god for EVs: charge them at night for $0.20/Wh or ~$6/100mi.

Gelbert > Kresten Mar 8, 2022 at 12:20 pm
Well said. I hope this pushes more people towards ⚡ EVs🌞 and away from 🦖 gas guzzling ☠️ pollution mobiles.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

AGelbert

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Mar 9 2022 By Fred Thys

Senate advances a bill providing incentives for more housing

SNIPPET:
The bill also allows the housing agency to offer grants to middle-income home buyers who cannot afford to buy a home. Those buyers would have to pass along the grants when they sell the home. The agency also would be able to use some funds for grants to first-generation home buyers to cover down payments and closing costs.

If it passes, the bill would authorize $3 million to improve manufactured-home communities, $1 million to repair manufactured homes and make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and another $1 million in grants to build foundations and install utility connections for manufactured homes, all for fiscal year 2023.

Mobile homes “are an inexpensive element of our housing stock that is suffering in many cases from lack of attention,” said Sen. Michael Sirotkin, D-Chittenden, chair of the committee. “And we don’t want to lose those homes.

While Sen. Michael Sirotkin said 7,000 people live in mobile homes in Vermont, that is actually the number of lots in mobile home parks. State figures show 44,000 Vermonters lived in mobile homes in 2017, about one-third of them in mobile home parks.

Full article:   
https://vtdigger.org/2022/03/09/senate-advances-a-bill-providing-incentives-for-more-housing/

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37

 

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