May 13, 2013

Wealth gap can't keep growing

Posted in Banks · 157 comments ·
Share 

The top 1 per cent of Americans now own a staggering 40 per cent of the country’s $54 trillion of wealth. This is an extraordinary figure. When taken together with the fact that wages as a proportion of national income have been falling in the US since the 1980s, we see a vision of a society where the average person’s income is faltering, yet the wealth of the super-rich has never been more extreme. As a result of the fall in the share of output represented by wages, the share represented by profits has gone up sharply, and corporate America is now sitting on more cash than ever before.

This can’t continue. The pendulum will move back in favour of the average worker. The only questions are how . . . and when? Will it be gradual or sudden? Remember, the last time we saw such disparities between the hyper-rich and the average guy was at the beginning of the Great Depression.

The following three decades saw policies introduced by Washington to narrow this gap, ushering in a period of the American Renaissance during which levels of education and opportunity for all increased dramatically. This was truly the era of the American Dream.

The American Dream is now broken, but the aspiration is not extinguished. It is this aspiration that will be the driving force behind the move to narrow the gap between the super-rich and the average.
The re-emergence of the ordinary Joe is not just a political question; it is a question of economic survival, too. After all, where does corporate America think consumer demand comes from? It comes from the income of the average guy – and wages are his income.

20130501_porsche_0

At the moment, high-end goods are selling well in the US. Look at the chart for Porsche sales above. They are booming. Who is buying these Boxsters and Cayennes? It’s certainly not the average dude. Yet it is the average dude that Ben Bernanke is hoping to help by his policy of printing money. Bernanke is on record as saying he wants to drive up stock prices, to create a wealth effect for Americans, making them feel wealthy, coaxing them to spend and, in so doing, kick-starting the economy.

It is against the background of income disparities that I would like to look at the present policy of the world’s central banks.
The policy of printing money and pumping up the stock market has two very serious dangers for the rich all over the western world, but in America in particular.

First, the policy is making the rich very much richer because they own the assets that are rising in value and more and more money is pumped into the financial markets. This obviously exacerbates the gap between rich and poor. It also greatly increases the risk of a market crash because, if the only thing keeping stockmarkets at historically high levels is cheap money, then how do the central banks turn off the taps without precipitating a crash?

The second dilemma for the rich is that, as the gap widens between them and the rest of humanity, the natural human craving for fairness and having a slice of the pie will mean that, if the system crashes, the appetite for political forgiveness could be finite.
The first dilemma is something that is perplexing many investors.

We know that printing money by the trillions of dollars raises the prices of stocks and bonds. This forces down the rate of interest, which slashes the cost of servicing government debt. So all looks OK. But it’s hard to imagine the slowing or stopping of quantitative easing (QE) without major adverse effects on the prices of stocks and bonds and the performance of the economy.

But what if only the super-rich benefit and the average Joe is terrorised by rapacious management at home and globalisation abroad, both forcing down his wage?

In such circumstances, the economy doesn’t recover because the income of the regular dude remains suppressed. Then, as the famous investor Paul Singer said last week, “the exit from QE is somewhere on the continuum between problematic and impossible”.

The central banks of the world are then caught in a classic catch-22 situation. They can’t stop printing money because this would cause the whole deck of cards to come crashing down; they can’t keep printing money because this only creates the conditions of an even bigger stock and assets price crash.

The problem is that, at current growth rates, the world economy is far too weak to support current asset prices without more central bank credit easing. Unless that changes, an attempted exit would cause a massive correction in risk assets.

Such a crash would mean a return to depression-like economic conditions. The alternative is, of course, to keep printing irrespective of inflationary consequence, maybe leading to stagflation – a situation where inflation rises and output falls.

The problem now for the global markets is a bit like the problem in the Irish housing market when we were getting close to the top. Most analysis suggests that the credit explosion is driving the rise in prices, but what if it’s the other way around?

What if the rise in stock prices is driving the lending? At the top of the boom in Ireland, the rise in houses prices prompted further lending, because the rise in prices validated the next bout of reckless lending.

The balance sheet began playing tricks on both lender and borrower. As asset prices rose, imprudence began to look like prudence, recklessness like sanity. As house prices rose, more and more ‘equity’ was released, pushing prices yet higher.

Given these risks, you would imagine that the central bankers might sound a bit worried about everything. But every time I listen to Draghi et al, all I hear is swaggering masters of the monetary universe. Maybe they know where all this is leading, but calamity in a few years becomes a secondary consideration when compared with the desire to avoid immediate pain and, most of all, blame.

All the while, for the super-rich, the chance of a gradual, gentle pendulum swing back to the average guy diminishes – and something much more violent becomes possible.

Subscribe to receive my news and articles direct to your inbox


  1. Pat Flannery

    Does this mean I am first?

  2. U2

    Poverty is not fate .It is a condition ; it is not a misfortune , it is an injustice .It is the result of social structures and mental and cultural categories , it is linked to the way in which society has been built , in its various manifestations.

    The Christian engagement with the poor is not a choice , it is an obligation .The Christian is not called to share what is left over but rather to share equally , treating other humans with respect . Above all , it means channelling energies and talents on behalf of the needy .It is a Christian solidarity and lies at the heart of the Gospel message.

  3. Pat Flannery

    David:

    “The top 1 per cent of Americans now own a staggering 40 per cent of the country’s $54 trillion of wealth” and “As a result of the fall in the share of output represented by wages, the share represented by profits has gone up sharply, and corporate America is now sitting on more cash than ever before.”

    I am not disputing your figures but I would like to know exactly where this oft-quoted “1% of Americans own 40% of U.S. $54 trillion wealth” comes from. Are these individual Americans or are some of them corporations because under U.S. law corporations are “persons”.

    If corporations own most of this 40% that is a very different matter. Many individual Americans own stocks, directly or indirectly, through defined contribution (401ks) and defined benefit pension plans, and all of these would show up in corporate America not in individual America.

    If you have the statistical source of your 1% = 40% that would be very helpful. I think you understand what I am getting at. Thanks.

    • bonbon

      This is well known :
      The Illinois Freeport Journal Standard on Feb. 27 2011 ran a letter from Lyle Sykora cataloguing Wall Street greed. In the context of Wisconsin demonizing public employees the Boston Globe ran an op-ed.
      http://larouchepac.com/node/17622

      Now 2 years later it is even worse. After Lehmann, and the bailout’s it’S real party time for the 1%.

      • whatamess

        it’s worse than we thought maybe ?!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2HenuF-678

        • Pat Flannery

          I keep hearing this 1/40 number from academics, maybe I am missing it, but I never hear the source of their figures.

          This guy quotes “reality” but where does his reality come from? I’m a numbers man and I know how numbers can lie unless carefully studied. If somebody out there can guide me towards the authentic compilations from which these numbers emerge I will be happy to pour over them. Until then this “reality” remains just another didactic rabbit out of an academic hat.

          • whatamess

            Authors of this study :

            Dan Ariely of Duke University,North Carolina.

            mnorton at hbs.edu

            and Michael Norton of Harvard Business School,Boston,MA

            dandan at duke.edu

            hope that helps?

          • Pat Flannery

            whatamess

            They don’t substantiate their “studies” – that’s the problem.

          • whatamess

            “The distribution of wealth is a comparison of the wealth of various members or groups in a society. It differs from the distribution of income in that it looks at the distribution of ownership of the assets in a society, rather than the current income of members of that society.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_of_wealth#Statistical_distributions

            i have not studied it in any depth Pat, but you have their email addresses,so if an hour or two of net research doesn’t yield any prolific results,maybe ping them your question(s)?

            and yes you are quite correct to ask what their definition of “reality” is and from where their numbers came

            anyway this study was a few years ago right,so the figures quoted are probably waaaay off in comparison to today?..but even as a snap shot overview of the status quo,it’s SHOCKING !

          • Pat Flannery

            I emailed Prof. Edward N. Wolff at New York University who seems to be the academic Guru they all quote. Let’s see if he can substantiate his “1% owns 40%” claim. If he is a true scholar he will be delighted to provide his data sources, definitions and methodology. I am not holding my breath.

          • Pat Flannery

            I got a prompt reply from Prof. Edward N. Wolff with the following links:

            http://economics.dal.ca/Files/Wealth_Trends_1962_to_2010_Sept_2012_Version_WOLFF.pdf

            http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/scf/scf_2010.htm

            Guess what I’ll be reading tonight…..

          • whatamess

            fair play to Eddie !

            superb Pat…we look forward to your observations

          • whatamess

            he also uses ” a more restricted concept of wealth, which I call “non-home wealth.” This is
            defined as net worth minus net equity in owner-occupied housing (the primary residence only)”

            seems to me,not a numbers guy myself,it’s a “realistic” enough approach to arrive at conclusions/findings ,that are not too misleading and misrepresentative ?

          • Pat Flannery

            Still reading but it appears to me that what is being compared is how income percentiles groups reported the value of their assets in statistical surveys.

            The “% of net worth” or the “% of financial wealth” of any group is therefore the total assets reported by that INCOME-based group as a % of the total amount reported by the total INCOME-based population.

            In applying this income-based relationship to the total assets reported by the total population of the survey, the statisticians describe a DERIVED distribution of wealth.

            The problem for me is that the total amount of wealth in the U.S. is still unknown. I am not sure you can conjure it up in this way let alone determine its distribution.

            The “percentile of income” method they are using seems deeply flawed to me. It raises a 1,000 questions in my mind.

            But I will email the good Professor tonight. Unfortunately I will be travelling tomorrow and be AWOL all day.

          • Pat Flannery

            I got another nice reply back from Prof. Edward N. Wolff yesterday. He admitted I was right that “there are no national totals for wealth — just what is reported in the survey data”.

            I think this is also true for Ireland where the surveys were done not by the Government but by the major banks.

            I think therefore when reporting on national wealth distribution all journalists and economists should qualify their remarks with “as indicated by a survey of incomes done by ….”.

            How many of the super-secretive super-rich 1% actually participate in government surveys? The truth is that the only estimates of wealth distribution we have are from voluntary returns to surveys of INCOME!

          • whatamess

            so a DERIVED distribution of UNKNOWN wealth
            on surveys of INCOME … whatamess ;)

    • petrapig

      All these financial numbers on screens made up by bankers are a great distraction for us all as we fiddle while the planet burns….
      What will they mean when the real important numbers of 400 parts per million in carbon monoxide in our atmosphere really start to threaten mankind pretty soon?????
      The very numbers and charts David discusses are destroying where we are living and its not discussed on sites like these..

      David could you look at the numbers on that score the most important ones ..

      We would want to globally cop fairly soon on to the real numbers that will effect our actual survival.

  4. pauloriain

    Your starting to deliver a more complete analysis now David, fair play.

  5. pauloriain

    …. typing to quick should have been……. You’re

  6. Just a few facts to digest:

    - Debt growth in emerging markets is still at an anual growth rate of 20%. Source: Allianz Global Wealth Report 2012 !

    - More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening. Source: HDR / Human Development Report 2007

    - In 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth just 1.5%. Source: World bank developing indicators 2008

    - For every $1 in aid a developing country receives, over $25 is spent on debt repayment. Source: World bank data. Total debts of the developing world in 2006: $2.7 trillion
    Total official development assistance in 2006: $106 billion

    My own take:
    “The engine” is build on one paradigm: Growth. Global markets were supposed to serve to balance out risks and returns in the long term. That’s the theory! The reality is different. The system is broke, confidence is down the drain. Reactionary forces at the wheel serve self interests and maintaining a system that no longer works, at all cost, people are collateral.

    • molly

      The system is broken is this the coming of the new Great Depression ,its as if the government are playing a game of poker because in the future there’s going to be a vast amount of people retiring expecting a descent pension and the money won’t be there.
      The system maybe broken but not for everyone ,one of the problems with a broken system is that the system is being milked and the people who milk the system will quite simply borrow more money at our expence to keep the gravey train running .
      We will not be consulted by the government because by voting them in we have givin them the power to do what they like.
      We have handed them the keys to the kingdom.

  7. In addition to my post above:

    In 2011 total development aid was the equivalent to 0.31% of developed-country combined national income USD or 133 bn.

    The commitment was USD 300 bn, or 0,7% of combined national income.

    Source: UN integrated implementation framework

  8. As for the larouchepac indoctrination of this blog:

    I pointed that out to David and others more than a year ago.

    My suggestion from back then:

    Sticking to free speech, but enable the blog with a IGNORE function. So the use who does not wish to be bombarded with the same old same old political right wing cult pestilence has a choice. By pushing this button, all conversations coming from BonBon are hidden, including those messages who still are feeding this troll by engaging with him.

    Would give th blog slim feet. LOL

  9. joe hack

    David, thanks for speaking out me.

    Regards,

    Joe

    The fear of failure and political reality the politicians can’t tell the plebs the world is going to end as that would self fulfilling.

    So does this mean you are on the way to concluding that the money system as is is broken – a revolution may be the best we can hope for? A patch up job may be a disaster.

    • StephenKenny

      It’s difficult to see any practical alternative. The problem with most revolutions – whatever the type – is that things tend to end up worse than they had previously been.

      • bonbon

        Is DMcW now promoting violence, nudge-nudge wink-wink? Have you “difficulty” conceiving of anything else?

        Actually most “revolutions” such as the Terror in France were promoted by none other than the financial oligarchy, with exactly your argument.

        That is the real difficulty with Glass-Steagall is’nt it? It is a creative intervention. Some have “difficulty with this”, looks like DMcW is giving up, throwing the towel in, kicking the bucket, catching pessimism, that awful imported West-Brit ailment usually blamed on the rain….

      • joe hack

        Does revolution work?
        We can never know the answer to that – we may still be living in monarchic societies if not for the revolutions of the past, maybe even worse – freedom is not free – we are in this mess because the masses are not involved in there societies they live with wishful hopes and expect others to do right by the masses the masses defer to groupthink.
        The system is broke and those in charge of it have signed up to preserve it (their egos partly rule) even if they wanted to they cannot tell the truth because that would be in itself a revolution-a responsibility for turmoil that they cannot contemplate, so we trundle on.

        The people’s needs to tell the leaders how to rule

        Wishful thinking cannot be allowed to rule as that will lead war

        A revolution is necessary-a reset is necessary…

  10. Deco

    There is something deeply dysfunctional at the heart of the economic structure of the US economy. The media representation of the debate about income distribution, is itself extremely compromised, and patronizing. It is actually designed to operate a status quo of two very narrowly defined, superficially opposed, but realistically equivalent options.

    America, under the policies of Greenspan/Bernanke, and under the cultural ethos of the Show Business sector (which is the dominant cultural force in the US, and has no competitors), has seen an accentuation of movement at the extremes. The rich get richer, and the poor borrow more.

    Obama sold the people hope, and then put Wall Street in charge. It could have been worse. Clinton or McCain – who both cared not one bit about the average American worker could have been elected. Obama at least showed some interest.

    America, like much of the West, is in an intellectual cul-de-sac. Both right and left are dishonest, and highly delusional. And indeed extremely short term focussed. Both are in agreement with the “print-baby-print” doctrine. Both place a priority on the valuation of the indexes in the NYSE. Both give superficial gestures towards the humble part of the population that keeps the whole thing going.

    America needs – new political parties.

    But then so do most Western societies. And the rich in each of those scoieties need the media to stand on guard, and ensure nothing happens that will be to the detriment of the well-to-do, and the wll-connected. In other words, we are seeing government by vested interests, not government ” of the people, for the people, and by the people”.

    This will all end in a disaster. Printing vast amounts of currency to prop up a banking system, is nonsense. Having the policy framework of so many areas designed with the objective of propping up the suburban real estate market, as done by Greenspan, King, Trichet, Carney etc.. is also a ludicruous idea, based on the short term. Growing the state so that you get state sponsored capitalism – as now exists in France, Ireland, Spain, is also highly detrimental to societal cohesion, as you end up with a culture of the insider and the outsider.

    Disaster, up ahead – nothing more certain. Absolute disaster. To quote the old Power City advertisment….”this madness must end”. And indeed it will. In absolute misery for many many people.

  11. Deco

    There is a massive disconnect, even in this country, between the value if the ISEQ index, and the real situation that people experience every day. And this is in a country with a massive capital shortfall, and massive debt repayments. [ "we all partied" - now the hangover].

    The key driver of much of this is ECB interest rate policy. Once they made the mistake of setting rates too long, for too long in the first place, it was only a matter of time before they would end up setting them too low forever. We are heading for a market crash in the US, and most Eurozone indexes in the next six months. The P/E ratio is stretched to breaking point. Government bonds are in no way reflective of the ability/inability of the relevant governments to repay them.

    We are living in a world of convultated half truths in the asset markets, and grim realities in the jobs market.

    • Reality Check

      Awesome as usual Dec, I propose a “Taxpayers Union” party; Chief aim; A referendum so that everyone gets to keep 90% of their income the state would be forced to survive on 10% income tax- constitutionally guaranteed. This would help people gather the capital they need to start a business without being in overly in hock to the banks.
      David, you base your article on the the difference between the 5% and the rest of us. The real problem is the lack of upward mobility because of wage slavery. Made so much worse in this country because of the rampant and all encompassing welfarism.
      Wage slavery is a symptom of unfree markets.

    • michaelcoughlan

      I know.

      “Government bonds are in no way reflective of the ability/inability of the relevant governments to repay them”

      I know. The US gets away with this my using it’s military to intimidate any country who should be brash enough to complain of the loss of value of the bonds in real terms.

      Militarised paper economy David.

    • EMMETTOR

      Once the P/E ratios head west, an asset bubble is forming as a result of QE and low interest rates and a crash WILL happen. Does anyone else find it weird that the Iseq, Dow Jones, etc are quoted on the RTE/BBC/etc evening news? This would only make sense if a rise or fall in share values had any appreciable meaning to the financial well-being of the majority.

  12. Grey Fox

    I believe we are past the point where, even if we are to accept that “we all partied”, we have now paid the piper, seems to me the bankers and politicians are still partying while joe soap is penalised more and more in order to prop up the party, enough is enough…my biggest fear is my worst fear, that this will all end in war, for with the weapons now available to all sides, the outcome is truly terrifying regardless of who wins.

  13. george

    David, word by word, your explanation is excellent, and could be understood perfectly all right, by the citizens of any country, with a general interest in current economic and political affairs.
    .
    And also I find Deco’s commentary superb!
    .
    Do you think that people associated to power, and behind big corporations, who allowed the system to be so evil, is going to change overnight, for the sake of humanity or society? Think again David!
    .
    When the political establishment in Switzerland, backed by big pharma companies, wanted to exclude alternative methods of medicine from the national health system, the people had a very useful tool called direct democracy. And with the collection of 100.000 firms, over a population of 7 million, they were able to have a referendum, and eventually the government had to backtrack and obey the wishes of the majority of the people, and had to include the alternative methods of medicine, in the public health system. So now if a person gets a cancer, can decide by itself, if it goes for orthodox methods of medicine and chemotherapy, or a qualified nutritionist and a herbalist, to treat his illness.
    .
    Wikipedia: “By calling a federal referendum a group of citizens may challenge a law that has been passed by Parliament, if they can gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days. If so, a national vote is scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority whether to accept or reject the law.”
    .
    OK a tool is no good if you are unable to use it properly. The brain is an amazing organ if you challenge it. But if we are subservient to religious and political leaders, and the corporate apparatus; we have very little chance of bridging the gap between our technological and social development, an we become lead soldiers in a game played by others for their own selfish interests.

    • bonbon

      You neglect to mention the “end-of-life” tourism, sorry freedom, (one way ticket of course) advertised by a Swiss canton or two. The scandal broke not long ago, if you want the gory details.

      The subservience to the thin gruel of monetarism goes unchallenged here, except when I stir the soup. There lies the problem with “simple” this or that. Most will not admit the terrible pandemic mental sickness of monetarism, and it’s horrible symptom of statistics breaking out in a rash all over, so seek no cure.

      And the irony is Glass-Steagall by vote would cure the pandemic!

  14. Reality Check

    So quackery is the order of the day in Switzerland is it?
    Said Quackery didn’t serve Steve Jobs very well.
    I’m all for new therapies but they have to be solidly evidence based.

    • Adam Byrne

      My best friend in London is studying to be an Ayurvedic practitioner.

      The nutrition, treatments, lifestyle advice etc. is sound, but it’s the astrological and reincarnation aspects of the Ayurvedic belief system that I can’t stomach, so we frequently clash.

      • Reality Check

        He, he.
        In my spare time I’m developing a Homeopathic contraceptive based on numerous dilutions of sperm and a “succussion”.
        And a hangover cure based on dilutions of Whiskey(Aldi brand) and a “succussion”.
        Adam, it’s pointless trying to talk to a quack with logic. I once argued with a Homeopathic Doctor that I found it difficult to believe that the more diluted something is – the more potent it becomes. He barked; “You only understand science from a 17th century Newtonian perspective. I just KNOW IT WORKS OK!”.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0

        • 5Fingers

          We need another placebo. We need something that cons us into getting better. Cos right now the nocebo working on us now is not doing us too good.

        • 5Fingers

          Fantastic and very quotable article. I see no criticism of America per se other than perhaps its scale. The same problem is everywhere.

          THE PROBLEM
          1)“the exit from QE is somewhere on the continuum between problematic and impossible”.

          THE RELUCTANCE TO SOLVE IT
          2) “calamity in a few years becomes a secondary consideration when compared with the desire to avoid immediate pain and, most of all, blame”

          THE CONSEQUENCES
          3)if the system crashes, the appetite for political forgiveness could be finite

          My only question?:
          WHEN?
          WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

          • bonbon

            You already know, so why dance around the bush? Is it some ritual of May, a parody of a Shaman or what that prevents clear headed thinking?

  15. Beaver

    I´d say printing money is actually damaging the rich in order to save the debtors. But as the debtors mostly owe their debt to the rich anyway its a convenient temporary arrangement. As soon as the rich decide their debt slaves are back on an even payment keel theyll end the money printing and raise interest rates. In Ireland the tracker mortgages symbolise the rich persons dilemma…

  16. joe sod

    Even with all the inequalities in the american system, it is still 100 times fairer than the european systems of 18th and 19th century. You only have to look at how the british empire was run to see that, only the elites and the toffs in that system could hold property and wealth and if you were the wrong religion forget it. At least in the american system anyone can attain wealth, and anyone can buy shares in the corporations that are making the profits. I know the stock market has alot of faults that work against the ordinary joe, but the ordinary joe isnt asked what school he went to or what his religion is. Even in Europe today and especially germany some of the biggest most profitable companies are privately owned. Tesco gets alot of criticism in the popular media for the way it operates but Tesco is a public company and anyone can buy Tesco shares if they want to share in the profits. On the other hand Lidl and Aldi just behind Tesco in size but are private companies and all that profit goes to private companies rather than to lots of shareholders. So the american system for all its faults is still 100 times fairer than what went before

  17. george

    The Incas and other cultures from South America knew how to use certain plants for contraception, and some people still use it today. They know what herbs to use to dissolve stones in your kidneys, and in Paraguay some people know what type of plants can be use to treat people with tumours. I have an Irish friend that had a tumour in her thyroid gland, and modern medicine here wanted to remove it from her body. She refused it and took control of her own cure, through detox, diet, and herbal infusions. I saw the lump of the size of a hazelnut disappear from her throat in the lapse of a year and a half. She lost the fear to died but her courage, intuition, and inquisitive mind allowed her to keep her thyroid and be off medication for the rest of her life that is what standard medicine could offer. It isn’t witchery as some people suggest up there. It’s what big pharma and big corporations in the food industry doesn’t want you to know, because they want you to eat their rubbish and buy their tablets many of which will keep people chronically ill for the rest of their lives. A perfect business opportunity for serf serving and selfish economic groups with no social conscience, with the back up of very powerful international organizations and governments.
    .
    The gentleman who put up the funny video, and suggest the Swiss people are fools prone to witchery probably ignores as well, that 40% of German people is using alternative medicine and treatments, as an option to treat many ailments, and that they have the biggest herbal-medicine industry in Europe. Also that Stevia is a wonder plant for the treatment of diabetis, and that infusions of Artemisia can cure malaria effectively and cheaply, and different species of marihuana also in infusions have many properties to treat people with multiple sclerosis or similar ailments. And that all of the above goes against the interest of certain economic groups who are more interested in their profits, than in the wellbeing of societies. And Mr. Realitty Chek want the rest of us to believe in “the evidence” of groups that control the policies of the world, and also who want to dictate us what we grow, what we eat, and what we cure ourselves with, and even what we think.
    .
    I wonder if people like him will bother to challenge their minds with the writings of Fritjof Capra, E.F.Shumacker, Colin Tudge, Barbara Griggs, Penelope Ody, or Josep Pàmies among others? Do they think that “The Constant Gardener” is a work of fiction, and that a doctor can not cure through herbs if it is competent at it? Or a farmer cannot grow vegetables in an organic way without using transgenic seeds, and synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides? Can conventional medicine guarantee your life for ever? So why we demand it from others?
    .
    I’m for choice, there are many aspects of medicine and agriculture that are fine with me, but others no. I don’t want to change others or force others to follow my way, but I think is pure ignorance to try to impose others like me, a monolithic model through the fascist manipulation of politics and the media.

    • Adam Byrne

      I fully agree with you in terms of the points you have made in relation to traditional vs. ‘complementary’ medicine, although not all traditional medicine is bad, etc.

      However, reincarnation, astrology, numerology and the like are a load of old nonsense – that was the specific point I was making.

      • george

        Adam everyone is entitle to their own opinion. You didn’t mock anyone, you were making your point, and I might not disagree with you completely. Have you heard Dr. Deepak Chopra (a heart surgeon at one point, who says that some of the invasive procedures they do in hospitals, do create health problems for you) talking about those things? It could have fascinating effect on your mind. Is as if the boundaries we have about what we call reality do expand considerably. Anyway the point I made about Switzerland, and the way people was able to reverse the decision of the parliament, that allow them to have alternative methods of therapy included in the Public Health System, was only in relation to how the system works, and what could make things better and more democratic. Direct Democracy Ireland could be our best chance to get it, because traditional parties are failing completely, and don’t want to give the citizens any opportunity to challenge them.
        .
        Have you heard of the new multimedia charge the government is thinking in introducing to replace the TV licence. I want choice, I don’t watch to watch TV, I don’t, and I don’t want to go to the net to the RTE page, so why I and others are going to be criminalised for not wanting to pay this absurd charge, when the Irish Government have no businesses in the Internet. Why are they forcing it in an authoritarian way?

        • Adam Byrne

          Yes, I have seen Chopra on CNN for many years, as we get American TV in the Caribbean – he seems like a decent sort.

          I can’t see anything progressive like Direct Democracy ever being adopted in this backward country.

      • cdivision

        Leaving the other two aside, how can you be so sure that reincarnation is nonsense? In order to know definitively you’ll have to die first. Remember, the universe is full of mind bending strangeness – scientists especially those exploring the quantum realm would be the first to tell you – consciousness perhaps strangest of all. If you contemplate the astonishing fact that you exist at all, then you’re engaging with the key question. No other question comes close in importance. The conviction that we die and that’s it is a belief just like any other belief, a dogma like any other dogma. Recommend keeping an open mind. We know too little to be so sure.

        • Adam Byrne

          Fair enough, I will.

          Personally I think it’s very unlikely though.

          If I’m proved wrong one day, I’ll gladly stand corrected.

          • whatamess

            you will never be proved wrong Adam…
            firstly one must ‘believe’ this god(s) even exists in the first place to then take the magical stepping stones to this concept of reincarnation….what a sham !

            “In order to know ‘definitively’ you’ll have to die first” ? ..that’s like the classic “What if you are wrong and a god does exist?” Pascal’s Wager … Ughh!

            George Carlin on this very subject :
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo

            If one is in pursuit of the TRUTH in one’s life, there must be ACTUAL demonstrable evidence/proof to believe in anything…

            For anyone who is questioning all this god stuff in their lives( and you ought to be v.sceptical ! )i would respectfully suggest checking out Tracie Harris at Godless Bitches podcast and The Atheist Experience with Matt Dillahunty

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Z4x2vy8x0
            9mins short

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaUtzhdlFto

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5L1X3g4wRQ

            THINK FOR YOURSELF….i’ve only been doing that for the last 4 years of my own life !

          • Adam Byrne

            Been doing it 40 myself ‘whatamess’, I don’t believe in any of it but if other people want to then that’s their own business as long as they don’t bother me.

  18. george

    Going back to the main topic of discussion there is an excellent book titled Third World America written by Arianna Huffington subtitled How our politicians are abandoning the ordinary citizen of which Joseph Stiglitz said “It is an alarming account”.

  19. 5Fingers

    It all looks rather overwhelming. Armageddon like even.

    Early 20th Century 1st 20 years …arrival of Flight, 1st World War and demolition of a major Monarchy and then a market crash. We then moved on.

    Whether we like it or not, we work according to a plan. Seeing lives of few people destroyed in Boston during a marathon – that’s NOT our plan. Seeing a building collapse and kill off 1000 workers, we still keep buying cheap garments – that’s IS our plan. The plan is about day to day security of mind, the same one that allows you travel at 40MPH around a bend and be sure that the oncoming car will be traveling on the opposite side of the road. It is about unquestioned faith in the myths or fictions we all agree with as a community. Money being one of them.

    Right now, the current “plan” is showing signs of crumbling. FDR’s fear of fear itself is starting to re-assert. How it may be resolved? I do not know. It may mean new company laws, new security of tenure laws for workers, it may mean more tracking of individuals that all will accept for the new social accord and I can guarantee it will be the same shenanigans at the political level and a new way of being richer than ever before.

    By the way, it’s not the first time we have had this massive imbalance of individual wealth. It won’t be the last.

    The internet, automation and new means of doing things has created major disruption in current and accepted practices of business conduct. The social contract is creaking and I suspect we will be seeing new laws on international tax and labour laws together with international policing that’ll see an end to “free” and “neutral” internet, skies or seas. I would just love to see a truly objective view of what G8 and similar are up to and I’d say a lot of it is looks like real NWO stuff. It’ll be tricky judging by reaction to SOPA and PIPA , but I guarantee you, it will not be going away.

    • bonbon

      Correct on FDR there. Then why are economists and commentators and bloggers spreading fear of fear itself? Do they believe the cure springs from the disease in some magical way?

      How did FDR deal with it, well you DO know by now.

      So we must deal with it now, not spread the pest.

  20. molly

    Greed greed and more greed.
    The great Depression there will always be winners and losers as far as the rich are concerned.
    How to stop the poor getting poorer.
    For a lot of people everyday is a struggle,people need to realise its us verses them .
    It use to be us and them,living here as far as I can see there is the majority of people being talk down to and being told to live on less,from a government that lives on more.
    This government want judges to take less hoildays on one hand but don’t say anything about there own greedy hoildays .
    This government want you and me to take less ,while they don’t mention there big fat greedy wages.
    The same government through the banks want the credit unions to take a hammering who dreams up these things,who ever is advising this government should be fired.
    Asked yourself this question is the government in there actions taking the same pain as the people they represent .

    • bonbon

      Ask your self why Europeans are asking themselves questions all the time.

      Promote the American, FDR route to a recovery instead of the Irish version of contemplation.

  21. bonbon

    DMcW is spreading fear and loathing. It sells obviously. Now he is promoting violence, sorry “describers” a pendulum swinging. Or was the ballistic flight of the guillotine?

    Say it ain’t so DMcW!

    Maybe DMcW wants a place on the Committee of 10?

    Instead reject that “description” your finance mates are frothing. Stand out, possibly on your own”, take the flak, and promote the only thing that can work.

    We are greater than our statistical destiny.
    Otherwise chimps would be blogging here.

  22. bonbon

    An alternative to the guillotine, that particularly European “solution”, is an American idea, and DMcW chose the US as his theme, from a West Brit point of view.
    Contrast the induced European haplessness to this :

    Summary of State-Level Activity in the National Glass-Steagall Week of Action

    Now Ireland does look more to the US more than London, whatever West Brits think. DMcW has no choice but to deal with this one way or the other.

  23. bonbon

    Interesting some brought up “homeopathy”. Actually it was bound to happen. The long “descriptions” of statistical “facts” being trotted out here mean the medicine is diluted to almost non-existence. And then presto, magic- it is supposed to work more effectively!

    We have here in fact a homeopathic blog!

    The founder of Homeopathy, Hahnemann, wrote it was based on the idolized Kant : the unknowability “in itself” of the disease meant to combat it with medicinal action that is unknowable “in itself” also – hence dilution. Kant is required study for all homeopathic’ers.

    That kind of “medicine” the rats, bugs, and 1% just love.

    This is exactly the economist Hayek’s prescription : “The Economy springs spontaneously with unknowable complexity from capital”. And it is actually all from Bernard Mandeville’s “Public Virtue, Private Vice”, “The Fable of the Bees” or “Grumbling Hive” : no economy without greed, vice, usury… And that was plagiarized from Ortes.

    There is a reason, then, solutions are in dilution here, a very thin gruel indeed.

    This is the gruel of monetarism, very bad for public health.

  24. Adelaide

    The Irish have ghost estates, the Spanish have ghost resorts, the Americans have ghost commercial parks, the Chinese have ghost cities, as ultimately the world has a ghost economy.

    Milton Friedman on a junket to China noticed canal diggers using shovels, questioning the bureaucrat why they were not using machinery the bureaucrat replied “to create jobs”. “Well if that’s the true purpose of the project then simply give them spoons and you will create far more jobs.”

    The world economy is increasingly spoon-driven as the wealth-generating jobs are automated/mechanised/digitised and the surplus labour becomes the majority, the opposite of a return to full employment is now manifesting itself at the tipping point of what’s being presently the called the Great Recession. This is a transition period to a new monetary and political system adapted to a new reality, the post-labour society. If we don’t adapt we’ll likely kill each other fighting over spoons.

    • bonbon

      Milton Friedman admired Nazi Schachtian economics, easily quoted if you needed, admired Pinochet, was part of Austrian School Hayek’s Mont Pelerin Society.

      Any prognosis from that band of “free thinkers” can be dealt with rather quickly, I think.

      • Adelaide

        You are guilty there of an ‘ad hominem’ logical fallacy. And perhaps a ‘burden of proof’ fallacy.

        • bonbon

          Just quote the guy, no burden at all, in fact very easy.

          There is a burden of homework, (ex-)Tiger, though. The Ugly Truth about Milton Friedman is on Amazon. Failure to consult this guide means a very embarrassing denouement.

          • Adelaide

            You are still repeating the same logical fallacy. How does Milton’s Friedman’s character undermine my assertion? Perhaps you should consult the definition of “ad hominem” fallacy.

          • bonbon

            You undermine yourself quoting Milton Friedman. You mentioned names. So then prepare yourself for the ugly truth about Milton Friedman.

            It is a bit silly to think one can toss that name around, sterilized and cleaned, rehabilitated. It won’t work.

    • Deco

      Adelaide good commentary and insights.

      We have pen pushers and inspectors, because nobody wants to be seen with a shovel. Or a spoon. The appearance of dirt is unfashionable.

      But the power trip that goes with being an inspector can unleash many little fascists. There is far too much control nowadays. And the rich are free from it, because they can buy, lobby, divert the rules. Regulation Irish style. If you don’t pay that levy for the waste in Montrose, it is a fine or jail. But if you bankrupt a country, you get to keep your free flights on the national airline.

      People have not yet applied their disgust adequately in the ballot box. Because there are not enough options. Therefore we need new political parties. Somebody talked about Direct Democracy. Good idea. Maybe even have less of the party machine in the political body. Because it ends up being an end unto itself. Various political parties, as I have seen them seem to exist almost as a collection of competing parasites in the tax system.

      • bonbon

        The TBTF’s are the parasites, the G-SIFI’s. Those elected politicians at feeding time of the Parasite Zoo, are merely staff.

        The appetite is enormous though, your deposit account is desert.

        • Adelaide

          Can the webmaster PLEASE remove this bonbon idiot? He is polluting the forum with his constant idiotic incessant ranting. It’s becoming a turn-off and I’m a long-time admirer of the site.

          • whatamess

            Burn Bonbon at the stake ,eh?

            If you don’t want to read his contributions,scroll down when you see his name …. simple solution ;)

          • Colin

            whatamess,

            I agree, if you don’t like reading bonbon’s comments, scroll down. But this is Ireland, where you try to form a mob, then ring-fence your dogmatic positions and show no flexibility or openness to rigour. Then you attack, and claim you speak for everybody and then finally you look for censorship. Its very strange really, I haven’t encountered it anywhere else.

          • bonbon

            Bet you did not like the comment on Milton Friedman?

            Many made that mistake.

            Why continue making mistakes?

            This is an economics forum after all, in an economic dark age. What do you expect, polite party talk?

            Economics is vitally important, no matter what Noonan et. al “think”.

  25. Deco

    Is Merkel a fraud ?

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE94C0LZ20130513?irpc=932

    It is like as if she is just a careerist chasing power, irespective of ideology. A bit like the rest of the EU leadership. Something has gone very wrong with the whole project. The obsession with control and power is now the over-riding objective. If the people are not obedient, then they get a technocrat government.

    Maybe there is a file on her in Moscow, praising her enthusiasm for Marxism. Because, currently she is a fan of the market.

    After the Cyprus debacle, a picture mysteriously emerged, on the internet, of a younger Merkel in a nudist beach. About the same time as she annoyed some very wealthy Russians.

    This could be a very touchy subject, because Germans take a very sceptical view of power chasers, given their historical experience.

    • Adam Byrne

      She needs to go, I said it months ago. She’s killing the lives of millions of Europeans.

    • bonbon

      It’s an election year, in case you did not do any homework…
      Expect much more.
      The problem is the euro – no more to hide even in Germany.
      The Euro is the touchy subject .- it was wrong from the get-go. If you are now trying to turn 180 degrees, watch the dislocations!

      Wendehals!

  26. Pop quiz below after an excellent article David.

    We spoke about the ‘printing of money’ before. I was arguing that it’s very misleading because it gives the impression that the central bank creates all the money in the economy for the Government. Most people think we have ‘everlasting money’ from this also.

    As you know only 3% of euros/dollars exists as cash. The other 97% is electronic money and exists as our bank balances. This money is created by the commercial banks through loans and I think this is a huge factor in analysing the debt crisis. You were saying it’s too much for your readership to visualise.

    For the media to constantly remind us of central banks printing money is so misleading when 97% of money is created by the commercial banks.

    Pop quiz everyone;

    1. Who would prefer David to stop taking about the FED ‘printing trillions of dollars’?

    2. If he instead said ‘The Fed typing money into the banks’ accounts’ would people be able to visualise that fine? After a while if David wrote ‘The Fed typing money into the banks’ accounts and recording a matching debt’ would that be too much to comprehend?

    3. Would you be happy with phrases like ‘the banks lending money into existence’ to explain where money comes from?

    4. Could you handle ‘the banks canceling money out of existence through loan repayments’ as an explanation of how money disappears during a recession?

    • bonbon

      5. Could we handle Paul Ferguson conjuring losses out of nothing? Theft and Bail-in as deletion? Zero credit for the physical economy?

      Well, yes we could!

    • joe hack

      I can handle that- in fact I get get confudled when some say the government is printing money i image Enda with ink stained hands and why are we talking about Fred more than the Euro I am so confabulated.

      I think DmW thinks only dumb people read his articles imm

      Confabulated:
      1. To talk casually; chat.
      2. Psychology To fill in gaps in one’s memory with fabrications that one believes to be facts.

    • Reality Check

      1. Yes but maybe it’s an analogy
      2. No it wouldn’t
      3. Yes
      4. Yes

      Thank you for this (and all your posts) and I suppose the bigger question is; Why doesn’t the media & Economists talk about “money creation” in a truthful manner as you have explained?

    • 5Fingers

      The current accelerating process of lending into existance only comes about when interest rates (level of risk) is low enough to attract a demand. Right now, the risk is sooooo low that it is practically insane NOT to speculate (on Stocks) to get any return.

      Inflationary dangers is when commodities such as food and energy are jacked up by this low risk while at the same time putting Price/Earnings ratios are incredible levels. Incredible levels means we are at bursting point.

      It looks like printing money, but in fact what really is happening is risk of borrowing by those who promise the incredible is soo low that it keeps everyone else out. Small man cannot borrow. Speculators will borrow until it bursts.

      • bonbon

        What’s happening is the Triple Curve, for all to see.

        Stratospheric printing and a credit squeeze destroying the physical economy.

        Now most understand this, so, as some here say, let’s ask why?

        Guess.

        • Colin

          Herself was only talking to me earlier on about her curves, while she was posing in front of the mirror. I have to say I love the triple curve, especially the middle one, she’s a size 10 you see…..

    • Dionysius

      David,

      Your essay is A1 5 star.

    • joe hack

      “wishful thinking”

      “The illusion of central bank omnipotence, be it in setting interest rates or in buying up any and all kinds of paper, will continue until it doesn’t; we have our media, our politicians and our own gullibility and wishful thinking to thank for that. In the meantime, though, hardly any of the problems in Europe are truly being solved. Moreover, those that are even attempted will increasingly involve bail-ins as a way of funding bail-outs.

      It’s just a matter of time until the walls come down, and of course it’s ironic that the longer reality can be kept hidden underneath the carpet, the less real it seems. But that’s simply a predictable consequence of having short attention spans. And we should be able to look beyond that.”

  27. redriversix

    Ahhhh America..home of the free,Land of the WATCH OUT ITS BEHIND YOU! brave

    The shining city on the hill….BOO !

    The peace loving Country that brought us such hits as Vietnam, Panama, Grenada,The “Mog” [Somalia] Gulf War 1, Gulf War 11 Afghanistan,Yemen,Pakistan The Drone Brothers,Guantanamo,illegal rendition..C.I.A N.S.A HOMELAND SECURITY..THE PATRIOT ACT..N.A.D.A F.B.I. A.T.F….for your protection……..

    Lets not forget the old classics….Lebanon , Chile , Ecuador , Niagara , Laos , Cambodia, Bosnia ……and all the wonderful democratically ELECTED GOVERNMENTS [52] they overthrew……….

    32 Countries attacked since 1947 and still growing….

    America…the Country that brought us the first Genocide…. 100 million Indians [ original Americans] wiped of the face of the Earth.

    The Country that is Free..that protects its citizens rights at every turn..! oh wait..sorry.. that’s gone too..

    A unique Country..only in America,were concrete & steel skyscrapers collapse due to Fire.

    This brave new Empire which has discovered how to use money & debt as slavery , a 21st Century wasteland ,with outposts [ cities] dotted around to show the World how civilized they are while the interior rots from within…

    The U.S Government which drops interest rates after 9/11 so people can buy shit they don’t need so the same people can forget..

    Good morning its Tuesday the 14 May and the terror alert is orange…

    Have a nice day

    • joe hack

      “Good morning its Tuesday the 14 May and the terror alert is orange…
      Have a nice day”

      I nearly was going to text-lol-how sad

      Have we become immune

    • Colin

      Ah well, don’t go to USA on holidays then if that’s how you feel. You could also boycott all American products from Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in the morning to Late night TV Drama Box Sets. Good Luck!

  28. joe hack

    Does revolution work?

    We can never know the answer to that – we may still be living in monarchic societies if not for the revolutions of the past, maybe even worse – freedom is not free – we are in this mess because the masses are not involved in there societies they live with wishful hopes and expect others to do right by the masses the masses defer to groupthink.

    The system is broke and those in charge of it have signed up to preserve it (their egos partly rule) even if they wanted to they cannot tell the truth because that would be in itself a revolution-a responsibility for turmoil that they cannot contemplate, so we trundle on.

    The people’s need to lead

    The Wishful thinking that is going in governments circles cannot be allowed to rule as that will lead war.

    A revolution is necessary-a reset is necessary…

    • bonbon

      The only peaceful revolution I know of is the fall of the DDR, the peaceful march from Leipzig to Berlin, not a shot was fired.

      This is a world record!

      What happened next?
      Well you got the Euro, the DM junked, and the U.S.E., Maggie’s and Mitterand’s panic reaction to peace.

      So what now? Let’s make another world record, go for Glass-Steagall, split the banks properly, and show Europe can do it! Take out the investment sector, let them out to play in the sun with no guarantee.

      Then they have noting whatsoever left, except Obama and his thermonuclear arsenal.

      So what next? Well impeachment – Benghazi-gate!

      Any you thought it would be easy?

      • Colin

        Obama misrepresented Benghazi because it doesn’t fit in with his liberal lefty notion that Islam is a religion of peace, with just a few misunderstanders of islam scattered here and there justifying their violence from the koran. Why oh why can’t all these growing misunderstanders see the light, that it is a religion of peace, like we are told it is by all those who practice it?

  29. redriversix

    A revolution is necessary Joe.

    But in today’s World.. everyone who thinks outside the box..is a subversive or a Terrorist or anti-establishment or some other label.

    Everyone has to be labelled or bar-coded or have to fit in some demographic.

    For a Society to survive , one needs to create a evil , a monster for the masses to be afraid…control the masses ,control everything else..anybody who does their own thinking.their own research..is challenged, ridiculed,laughed at.. demonized as a quake,a conspiracy theorist.

    The American War on Terror is a brilliant plan..never ends..no borders..no Country and if you don’t toe the line..some kids or guy that lives in a cave penetrates the most heavily defended Country or airspace in the World and ATTACKS…BOO !

    AL Qaeda..translation “the base”..funded and financed by the C.I.A since 1979

    WATCH OUT……….their behind you..!! surrender your rights to me and I will protect you..terms & conditions apply. see provider for details.

  30. 5Fingers

    Guys

    Those of you contemplating revolution better move fast…you WILL comply.

    Pain ray: The US military’s new agony beam weapon

    16 May 2013 by David Hambling
    Magazine issue 2916. Subscribe and save
    For similar stories, visit the Weapons Technology Topic Guide

    THE pain, when it comes, is unbearable. At first it’s comparable to a hairdryer blast on the skin. But within a couple of seconds, most of the body surface feels roasted to an excruciating degree. Nobody has ever resisted it: the deep-rooted instinct to writhe and escape is too strong.

    The source of this pain is an entirely new type of weapon, originally developed in secret by the US military – and now ready for use. It is a genuine pain ray, designed to subdue people in war zones, prisons and riots. Its name is Active Denial. In the last decade, no other non-lethal weapon has had as much research and testing, and some $120 million has already been spent on development in the US.

  31. redriversix

    something shitty goin on with AIB …more than usual…?

    • bonbon

      Banco Santander, AIB’s Inter-alpha walsing partner, is going to test the so-called “ring-fence” as Spain is declared officially insolvent. (JW on DT, posted last theme). Remember Santander is EU bank number 1, with one foot right in the City. So much for not being in the Euro :-)

      Everyone knows the “electric ring-fence” will fail, and that Tyrie has said then the door is then open to full Glass-Steagall.

      Inter-alpha is finished.

  32. bonbon

    While many here are grasping for violence, murder is being committed right now by the Troika. It is much better to stand for a principle, a true universal principle, taking the risk of a barrage of attacks, than to add to the bestiality.

    “The Body Economic:Why Austerity Kills”

    The New York Times today published an op-ed by two researchers from Oxford University and Stanford University who have published a book, due out May 21, documenting that the austerity policies of the IMF and the Troika kill.

    The authors of The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills, summarized their findings today in the Times, documenting that the countries that resisted harsh IMF conditionalities and instead implemented gradual debt payments to avert cuts in social safety net programs survived and even eventually prospered, while every country that adopted the harsh IMF and Troika policies suffered skyrocketing suicide rates, collapsed life expectancy and other forms of increase in death rates.

  33. joe hack

    The world is falling apart and the only priority news that I am getting is Angelina Jolie Boobs being shoved in My Face…

  34. 5Fingers

    All this talk of revolution etc needs a little bit of grey matter and some matter of fact actions.

    I asked earlier that given what can we do about it? By that I mean what is now 100% within our remit to do NOW. Now some will yammer again about GS etc. But that’ll never happen because it will not be entertained. BUT!!! It or similar could indeed happen because of what people decide to do now.

    I met a few of the guys on this blog and without a scintilla of exaggeration, all are extraordinary individuals with deep talent and capability. What comes across is a pragmatism and positive outlook with no sense of giving up.

    I mention some of the work
    1) The work in promoting direct democracy – this will take time and it may morph. But I believe it will leave an indelible mark that will affect attitudes.
    2) The work in helping people recognize their rights in the courts and help people to stand up against the arrogant bluster designed to deflate resistance and intimidate.
    3) The work around new business models and seeking new opportunities in an business eco-system that is rapidly changing around us and changing the rules of engagement between buyers and sellers.
    4) The constant questioning of conventional thinking whether it be in finance, currency, health care and the constant call of reasserting accountability in all public affecting professions and institutions.
    5) The journalistic perseverance of our host to constantly present a new lens on the situation as it is today and keep this group interacting.

    Personally, I stand here as a witness and where I go is all about making small steps without taking too many backwards. If I can see small and attainable opportunities when working for people, I’ll encourage them to work on those to build their confidence – because that is all this crap is about. If people get a a hand or foot hold and start to move themselves, the rest becomes a gathering revolution and thereafter, the politics etc will morph accordingly – including banking and including corporate behavior.

    This is a late Spring. Plant lots of good ideas. Encourage folks to try a few simple ones out and stay a bit paranoid so you have a good chance of getting some growth. But do not try change the world – at least not until you properly become acquainted with it – I for one still find it very mysterious.

    • michaelcoughlan

      “The work around new business models”

      I’m getting involved with a new workers coop in Limerick where workers are also shareholders with agreed limits to higher salaries, 1 vote per worker irrespective of size of capital invested, workers supply capital so take risks but get rewards in share of profits, flat management structure, crowd funding, for profit organisation.

      Will be delighted to keep ye updated.

      Michael.

    • bonbon

      Planting was done too in 1846. Even had a harvest. Guess what, it was stolen, exported and the Irish were left to eat, well you know the rest.

      The difference today is we have had a nation, we know exactly what the empire is capable of on a vast scale. And we know exactly how to deal with it. And we know what inaction guarantees – look at Cyprus.

      Small steps in the face of the Troika! Ha! they love that mumbo-jumbo taking giant swoops into any bank account the will find.

      Journalists must change tack – pining for “attention” from the masters will get it alright. Ireland got it for being the poster boy. Poster-boys semm to be a preoccupation of West Brits and not-so-ex Tigers.

      Admit it, you are trying to adapt in and to the camp called the U.S.E.

      • Colin

        Why didn’t people go fishing to survive? Did the Crown Forces prevent that too? Tons of mackeral in the sea, all you need is a line, a few hooks and feathers. Sure didn’t I myself catch 40 fish in 1 hour one day down by Loop Head, I gave them all away to neighbours.

        • bonbon

          The Irish population was 8 million! Still not recovered from the deliberate genocide. And with emigration again, no recovery in sight. Over 1 million died while plenty of food was exported to keep the price stable as Travelyan wrote on return from holiday n France “when it was all over”. How many were thrown overboard on the way to the US?

          The quaint “gone fishing tales” so beloved of Royals, 1%, especially “I prefer only wild salmon” stories, mean only one thing – population reduction.

  35. crazy cat

    Mysterious indeed. It’s snowing here at 800m in the pyrénées!

    So for the francophiles among you, here is a very moving radio interview with Charles Palant, a French Sage indeed.

    Born in Belleville, Paris in 1922, Jewish by religion, parents who had come from Poland.

    This is the second part of the interview, which starts at 4 min.30sec.

    http://www.la-bas.org/article.php3?id_article=2768

  36. bonbon

    I cannot fathom why some insist that Noonan and the boys will not simply harvest the “low-hanging fruit” – your savings. The voracious appetite of the banking morass can only be cauterized, not appeased :

    Bail-In Bank Heist Coup D’etat

    May 14, 2013 (EIRNS)–”Bank resolution” for the imminent failure of the entire Eurozone’s banks was “debated” today, May 14, at the EU Finance Ministers’ meeting in Brussels. The debate focussed on what degree of bail-in could be agreed upon in the — to use bankers’ jargon — “recovery and resolution” of failing banks. This is the main pillar of a “European Banking Union,” the next step in the dictatorial rule the EU is now desperately pushing.
    Although, as EIR has documented, the EU, Bank of England, and FDIC, as well as Dodd Frank, all directed, albeit in mumbojumbo-veiled language, a bail in policy since at least 2010, now, the Cyprus template bail-in is being applied to all of the Eurozone.
    Various EU Finance Ministers at today’s meeting made debaters’ points about which funds should or shouldn’t be bailed-in. Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan, in his presiding role in the rotating EU presidency, played soft-cop, saying, “I would like the political agreement that the 100,000-euro deposit was sacrosanct in the future, and that this would be eventually written in stone as part of any bail-in procedure.”
    But of course, the 100,000-euro cut off is (1) a necessary political expediency to be able to get the bail-in through, as was necessary in the second parliamentary vote in Cyprus, and (2) a way to efficiently grab the “low-hanging fruit” of the middle class, through the life savings of pensioners, operating capital of small to medium-sized businesses, rotating farm loans, etc. These depositers are not “Daddy Warbucks,” but the economic lifeblood of a nation.
    Many arguments also broke out about whether it would be necessary to have member nations vote on treaty changes in order to get the “banking union” through. Some said referenda would be necessary. “Mudflap” Noonan said no changes in treaty relationships would be necessary. The infamous “Cyprus Template’s” Dijsselbloem said that he would prefer that everything be left “flexible.” Schaeble said he didn’t see how the Banking Union could be implemented with member states voting. Many others said many other things, and the meeting ended early, in disarray.
    We should unite to endure that they end their crazy meetings once and for all.

  37. bonbon

    Glass-Steagall is a challenge to the littleness of some here, and there in the Dail, and really just about banking. It is about evolution of the us, the human species.

    That imposed littleness leads to a statistical destiny, a favorite of West-Brit economists.

    Is DMcW showing what will happen unless…?

    Why not instead state the “unless”, not pass over something not to be talked about. What prevents free expression? That is tying the tongue or pen?

  38. molly

    A friend of mine said he seen Ming in Dublin the other day driving and talking on his phone so no lesson there.

    • Colin

      Not a resigning matter in Ming’s stoned hippy dippy mind. Now get your hands off me turf! Watch the Lowry effect happening in the next election – ‘He may be a son of a bitch, but a least he’s OUR son of a bitch’

  39. bonbon

    Wall Street Gurus Warn of Massive Collapse Underway

    Is this report, from Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, the world’s largest bond fund whom DMcW mentioned a while back, the reason for the alarm?

    • Adelaide

      Just to bring to your attention, I counted all previous comments and you account for 22%.

      Would you please show some restraint, please, you are single-handedly ruining one of the few Irish outposts of intelligent free speech, show respect to free speech by not abusing it, and undermining free speech by driving away its participants. If your overly pronounced presence continues I am simply unsubscribing and that would be a shame. Please show restraint going forward.

      • joe hack

        That would be a shame – your post are always worth reading but don’t give up posting that would be defeatism.

        “intelligent free speech”

      • Bamboo

        I agree. Some posts remind me of the days that I used to watch RTE television. I can’t watch anything on these stations anymore. Everything is disrupted by ads or ads are disrupted by some sort of programs.

        Every time I start reading the posts in this forum I soon give up after about 16 seconds because of what you describe above.

  40. joe hack

    Colin

    “Why didn’t people go fishing to survive?” Colin

    Are you a revisionist / apologist for genocide? Or are you Jesus?

    If so there are starving people though out the world that could use your services.

    Can you catch mackerel all year round from loop head or is just late august early September – difficult to feed 8.5 million people with some feathers and with only a few weeks of a fishing season unless of course you can turn water in to wine and such like.

    The British were exporting food from Ireland while Irish people were starving this was genocide.

    IN 1997 Tony Blair, the British prime minister, made the first formal apology for Britain’s role in the Irish famine. Between 1845 and 1855 Ireland lost a third of its population—1 million people died from starvation and disease and 2 million emigrated.

    • Colin

      No Joe, I’m not Jesus, could never perform miracles with loaves and fishes.

      No, I’m not a revisionist / apologist. I just ask the bleeding obvious questions.

      My services are in demand where I am, thankfully, but should I become a do gooder like yourself, and maybe decide to go to Africa to ‘help the poor’, I would quickly grow weary of each self rule government corruption there which is the root cause of the problems regarding hunger.

      With a large catch of fish, you could barter for other less perishable goods, familiar with bartering where you come from? Or you could smoke them and find other ways of preserving fish.

      You’ll find Catholic Native Irish were equally involved in exporting food during the famine, maybe even relatives of yours.

      Also, 8.5 million were not starving, so please get your facts right!

      As an emigrant myself, its good to spend some time away from the old sod which resembles a cesspit of corruption and apartheid.

  41. Bamboo

    Joe, every newly elected prime minister, president, pope etc, usually starts off with a formal apology of some sorts for past actions by previous governments. This looks good and most likely there is a budget set aside for such an apology.

    Any admissions occurring during the lifetime of a government is only done if and when the people involved have deceased or a handful is left. The timing is also carefully chosen.

  42. joe hack

    Are you saying the famine did not happen too and that all people had to do was fish.

    No,not all new PM make apologies-what ridiculous statement.that why Blair traveled the news media of the world.

    One could argue he should not have since he was not a round.
    the point is the famine happened and the british exporting food from people that were dying.

    Making excuses for it does change those fact it does show the subservient mentality of some Irish people

  43. {Fashionably late as usual}

    David,

    If my spending is your income, and your income is mine and I’m an average Joe and I have no spending, but owe the 1% a fortune I’ll never pay, not because I won’t but because I can’t, and the 1% get wealthier on central bank printing of money and not ‘stuff’ they provide or sell to me, cos I can’t afford it, then surely there will be no need for violence as nature takes it course.

  44. tomtom

    “Wealth gap can’t keep growing”
    Oh yes it can and is and it will, particularly in Ireland because we are so subservient now and politics is redundant.
    Your only hope now, if your not already winning, is the Lotto. It’s sad but true.

You must log in to post a comment.
× Hide comments