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Jive Talkin’

     And so in his valedictory, Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke pulls one last dead rabbit out of his hat — it suffocated while the head-fake taper percolated in Ben’s brain lo these many months of jive talkin’. As the year turns, the central bank will supposedly monetize $10 billion less debt per month — $75 billion down from $85 billion — with $5 billion each deducted from the US Treasury stream and the rotten mortgage barrel. Was there a catch?

     You could say that. For instance, what to make of the curious report out of the American Enterprise Institute by John H. Makin saying that the Fed’s actual purchase of debt paper amounted to an average $94 billion a month through the year 2013, not $85 billion? I have averred often in this space to the Fed’s ability to conduct back-door buying operations of all kinds of janky financial crapola — and in a world where claims on promises to pay hugely exceed anyone’s ability to pay or re-pay, there’s as much of it out there as there are plastic grocery bags floating in the horse latitudes of the Pacific Ocean. The Fed can hose up bad paper all the live-long day and apparently get away with mis-reporting what it is doing, and is the country any the worse for it?

     At the end of that live-long day the American people are left in a matrix of lies so thick and sticky that all the de-greasing agents supposedly vested in freedom of the press will not avail to liberate them, and they are suspended like little morsels of winged prey to be sucked dry by the descending spiders of crony capital.

     Bottom line: the taper so far is just  $1 billion shy of being completely fake (so far as anyone knows), a magician’s mis-direction from the real action of the gag, which was removing the previous “threshold” of a 6.5 percent unemployment figure for raising interest rates — in other words, promising ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) forever! That would green light a never-ending continued carry trade (i.e. looting operation) of Too-Big-To-Fail-or-Jail primary dealer banks extracting “free” money from the Fed window for conversion, abracadabra, into, say, student loans at 5 percent, guaranteed to enslave the generation now coming into adult flower. (The catch there being that they might flower into revolutionaries eager to string up such bankers from every lamp post in the Hamptons.)

     I know there is a lot of confusion “out there” about what constitutes inflation — is it a so-called “monetary phenomenon” or just shit costing more? — but that’s probably too fine a distinction for “folks” (to use the president’s favorite term) who can’t pay five bucks for a jar of peanut butter. The price of everything except the yellow junk called gold, seems to be shooting up. Pretty soon, they’ll be using that worthless gold to solder the drain pipes on bathroom fixtures out where the housing starts roam.

     Which brings us to the interesting question: exactly what mysterious entities have been systematically pounding the price of the yellow stuff down in the PM markets like Tony Soprano’s crew “tuning up” some pathetic vic with thirty-inch lengths of re-bar and a fungo bat? And, per corollary, who are the anonymous agents yanking the equity indexes such as we saw on Wednesday, December 18, when a holy host of stock shorts was magically deployed in anticipation of Ben Bernanke’s taper announcement so as to inspire a short-covering mega-rally when he opened the hole in his beard? What I wonder: if we have so much fabulous surveillance technology, why doesn’t some enterprising nerd team find out who’s behind all these pushing-pullings, yanking-and-crankings? Where is the Snowden of the financial markets who will unmask these actors?

     Let’s cut to the chase. You heard it here: not only will the Fed eventually (i.e. soon) fail to taper in any meaningful sense; before this is over they will ramp up the purchases of worthless securities beyond $100 billion a month through every back door and trap door in the infamous Eccles Building, including perhaps Janet Yellen’s dainty fundament. The inflation — whatever that is — will sitting out there waiting behind the Hoover Dam of the Fed’s balance sheet. I wouldn’t want to be in Las Vegas when the first cracks appear on it. Merry Christmas everyone.


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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

232 Responses to “Jive Talkin’” Subscribe

  1. K-Dog December 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    “At the end of that live-long day the American people are left in a matrix of lies so thick and sticky that all the de-greasing agents supposedly vested in freedom of the press will not avail to liberate them, and they are suspended like little morsels of winged prey to be sucked dry by the descending spiders of crony capital.”

    Adam Curtis has two very relevant documentaries about the inner workings of “the machine”;

    The Century of the Self” and “The Trap“;

    They are available at the The Internet Archive and can be watched or downloaded there.

    There is also a third more recent one also there called “The Power of Nightmares

    This one has particular relevance to readers at CFN. Could those who wield power be spinning false myths to control the masses. Might the public be duped with a matrix of lies and distortions so thick and sticky our doom be sealed?

    Perhaps calling it ‘the web’ is an inside joke and we are considered no more substantial than and empty bug skin and when the time is right we shall all be swept up and thrown away.

    Oh say it ain’t so!

  2. progress4what December 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    “Thank you for bringing up the subject about over-representation by Jews. In the past, I’ve gotten pretty defensive about this, but no longer. The reason I’m not is because Jews are a very success-oriented culture. Education and getting ahead are important to them,….”
    ….bean town bill….

    No need for defensiveness, it is what is is.

    Now, I’d argue that it’s a good thing that you said that thing about, “getting ahead,” being important to Jews – because, had I said it, someone would almost certainly accuse me of anti-Semitism.

    And I’ll guess, from your perspective, that 3 Jews on SCOTUS is understandable – therefore 4, 5, or all 9 is just as good, and just as based on merit.

    Which may be true IF all nine of them ALWAYS had the best interest of the citizens of the United States as their only criterion in all of their rulings.

    Would they? Will they? I don’t know. But I do know that anyone, Jew or Gentile, should be able to raise the question without being accused of anti Semitism.

    And I also know that a large percentage of Fed governors are Jewish, and that the US has not had a non-Jewish Fed Chairman since 1987. Is this good? Again, I don’t know.

    Mika always argued that Jews in the US are allowed? into high positions so that they can be there to be blamed when things go poorly. I’m not seeing that.

    JHK does a persuasive job of arguing that the Fed is pretty fouled-up. Maybe it would be good to get some more Gentiles in there – so we can spread the blame around.

    Just a suggestion – tendered in honesty and good humor.

    I’m out ’till Monday, assuming JHK posts on time. Although I will check this thread for answers and comments from anyone interested in these topics.

    • K-Dog December 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      But is over-representation always bad?

      Top 30 Hottest Jewish Women Under 40

    • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      And no doubt you’re not sure that a few Jewish Billionaires owning Hollywood and the Media is bad either. I mean it doesn’t get in the way of having a diversity of viewpoints expressed does it? It’s normal right? When has it been any different? Not during your lifetime.

      Thus normalcy bias is inculcated in the hapless Kwas of Amerikwa. Hint: What’s classical is what’s worthy of being passed down from one generation to the next. It’s not just what you remember from your childhood when you were a little prog.

  3. rube-i-con December 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    And it’s con-i-rube and that’s not a river in Italy.

    speaking of rivers and italy:

    ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION FROM HYDROELECTRIC SOURCES (% OF TOTAL) IN ITALY
    The Electricity production from hydroelectric sources (% of total) in Italy was last reported at 17.15 in 2010, according to a World Bank report published in 2012.

    so, the list is now

    brazil – 84% hydro
    china – 17% hydro
    italy – 17% hydro
    canada – 60% hydro
    iceland – 98% hydro
    norway – 99% hydro
    venezuela – ca. 80%
    paraguay – 100% hydro
    uruguay – 45%
    US – 6% hydro

    numbers don’t lie or engage in empty jokes to make their point.

    so, another nail in jhk’s energy descent scenario. nations will only continue to further develop their hydro resources to take up the slack of declining petrol supplies.

    the above list is only hydropower, and does not include wind, biomass, solar and other renewables. wait til your own body starts powering your cellphone, laptop and other smaller devices. it’s right around the corner, folks, and will alleviate even more our declining dependence on petroleum.

    peace peaceniks

    • stelmosfire December 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      So Ruby Tuesday, Paraguay is 100% hydro powered, Do they have nothing but electric autos and motorcooters?. I seriously doubt it. Norway 99%,what a joke. Canada 60% hahahahaha. Iceland has geothermal , they are lucky. Not to mention the blonds :o)

      Eat your hat and pardon the typos. My keyboard is having a major malfunction.

  4. K-Dog December 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    “At the end of that live-long day the American people are left in a matrix of lies so thick and sticky that all the de-greasing agents supposedly vested in freedom of the press will not avail to liberate them, and they are suspended like little morsels of winged prey to be sucked dry by the descending spiders of crony capital.”

    The ‘freedom of the press’ may be greasing the skids of power and be doing no de-greasing at all.

    Glen Greenwald recently said:

    “The reason why we have a free press is because national security officials routinely lie to the population in order to shield their power and get their agenda advanced.”

    He said that in his Keynote Address before the thirtieth annual Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg last Friday. He said much more and you can here what he said here:

    Glen Greenwald on ‘Free Press’

    If you want to get the meat of the bone quickly start watching 24 minutes in and if you are really impatient 32 minutes in. I watched the whole thing and am left reminded of Lord Acton’s words. The the British historian, who said: “All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    The goal of the surveillance state is control all communication. Not just the communication here with endless pointless diversion but all communications everywhere. It starts with surveillance but it does not end there. Surveillance is only the beginning of corruption from which the propagation of lies, false myths and absolute corruption flows as naturally as water flows through hydroelectric turbines.

    The state demands to see all and demands it without any transparency at all.

    • K-Dog December 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

      It is always something:

      you can hear what he said here

  5. BackRowHeckler December 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Sometimes this Comments section reads like Der Sturmer, which is a little surprising since you would think people interested in the topics JHK brings up would be more on the progressive side of the fence.

    P2C, before 1987 most of the Fed Chiefs were Episcopalian, which is what I am and what you might be. Question: in the market collapse of 1908, the deep recession of 1921, the great depression beginning in 1929, and other downturns in the late 40s and 50s, was anybody blaming it on Episcopalians, High Protestantism, the Church of England, Anglicans, or suggesting the protestant fed chiefs, altho American, had loyalties lying elsewhere, perhaps to the Masons or to Great Britain. Maybe some did, I’ll have to research it.

    See what I’m getting at?

    There was a gangland shootout in New Haven the other night, and the body of a young Puerto Rican was left dead on Hemingway Street. That reminded me. The Hemingways were part of Rev. Davenport’s Puritan Congregation in London, who packed up in 1639 and came as a group to found New Haven. These people were well off, and built fine homes straight away. Hemingways were prominent in New Haven for 2 centuries, until in the 1850s one of them, Ernest’s grandfather, moved to Chicago to represent a Connecticut clock company. New Haven is a ‘sanctuary city’. But what explains the level of murder and mayhem amongst its Hispanic and Black citizenry?

    ==BRH

    • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      What explains it? Their own savage nature. Most PR’s have a lot of Black blood. The PR’s in West Side Story were too White and/or Mestizo looking for the most part. Very few look like Bernardo. Almost none look like Maria. Anita was more realistic looking with heavy features and voluptuous body. You’d like a piece of that no doubt. Refrain. As Mohammad said, You have a right to the first look but not the second. Retain custody of your I’s.

  6. BackRowHeckler December 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    “You’d like a piece of that no doubt”? -Vlad

    Pretty funny line Vlad. And clever.

    –BRH

    • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      What’s witty about that? It’s a common phrase. The witty double entendre was the retain custody of your I’s. But to fully “get” that, you’d have to be an initiate or on the path thereto.

  7. rube-i-con December 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    So Ruby Tuesday, Paraguay is 100% hydro powered, Do they have nothing but electric autos and motorcooters?. I seriously doubt it. Norway 99%,what a joke. Canada 60% hahahahaha. Iceland has geothermal , they are lucky.

    you conveniently left out china at 17% and counting. biggest country with huge hydro.

    typical shortsighted response. you only see limitations, while everyone surges ahead.

    only 20% of world hydro has been developed.

    everyone has geothermal under the ground. technology is already there to harness it. check out ground source heat pumps:

    http://www.earthtechling.com/2013/05/new-york-city-could-turn-to-geothermal-heating/

    we really do salute you as we soar high above you into a future of untold physical and mental riches.

    there will always those who wish to remain in a cave.

    peace peaceniks

  8. progress4what December 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    OK, so one more post

    What’s with the “Der Sturmer” referece, brh? You are familiar with Godwin’s Law, right?

    But, yeah – somebody SHOULD have stopped the overrepresentation of all those Anglicans – because it led to the Fed in 1913, and to those economic events you named.

    It also led to US involvement in WWI, and the ruination of the League of Nations and Woodrow Wilson. It also led to the draconian reparations on the Germans after the war, which led to Hitler.

    US elites (of most all ethnic stripes) are very desirous of a US/Iran war in support of Israel. They are probably going to get it.

    And you say any discussion of these parties motivations takes us to the level of “Der Sturmer?”

    Jeeze.

    I guess we should just talk baseball.

    How ’bout that infield fly rule?

    • BackRowHeckler December 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      P2C, not referring especially to your comment. Look back at this comments section for the whole week. That’s what I mean.

      –BRH

  9. Pucker December 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Is Circumcision a conspiracy of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Trilateral Commission?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision

  10. Pucker December 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    I heard that Alex Jones is now selling his own label of coffee called “Wake Up America!” coffee. (I’m not kidding.)

    Apparently, the coffee comes from the Chiapas region of Mexico bordering on Guatamala.

    Coffee—-now there’s a crop that’s caused untold suffering to the people of Central and South America as the rich coffee plantation owners dispossessed the small farmers of their land and made them slaves.

  11. Pucker December 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    At what point in America’s history, did American males start to be forcibly Circumcised en masse? Thank you.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      When the Jews began to dominate Medicine, whenever that was. Making us into 2nd class Jews and charging for it? Priceless. Apparently they get very vicious when parents try to decline. Enter our Super Hero. Everything you’re looking for is here Puck. Good luck on your quest for Knowledge, the Golden Fleece.

      http://foreskinman.com/

  12. Pucker December 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    How did the ancient Aztecs perform Circumcisions?

  13. Pucker December 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    I’m now reading Castillo’s diary about the Conquistadors’ conquest of Aztec Mexico.

    It was common for the Spaniards to come up a random stone temple and discover fresh human corpses with their guts ripped out and their heads, arms and legs cut off lying in pools of fresh, sticky blood on the temple alters with Aztec priests in black robes and long hair standing around.

    That was the Aztec people’s leadership, a bit like the U.S. Federal Reserve today, I suppose….

    • Janos Skorenzy December 30, 2013 at 12:24 am #

      The Priests sometime skinned their victims (alive?) and then wore the skins. Nice! The Aztec Gods want to come back. One drug lord skinned a competitors face and then stiched it to a soccer ball. Also the Church suppress a Cult of “Saint Death”.

  14. Pucker December 29, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Is Circumcision a type of human sacrifice?

  15. Neon Vincent December 30, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    “there’s as much of it out there as there are plastic grocery bags floating in the horse latitudes of the Pacific Ocean.”

    Funny you should bring that up. San Diego is thinking of joining the jurisdictions that have either banned or decided to tax the plastic shopping bag. There is already a pushback from merchants and others who say it will harm their business and their poorer customers. As far as they’re concerned, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch can keep growing.

    http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/12/sustainability-of-banning-plastic-bags.html

    BTW, nice touch pointing out that the garbage patch is at the Horse Latitudes. That adds a literary flavor to the topic.

  16. Arn Varnold December 30, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    Sawadee Pee Mai ya’all…

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