Message from Sponsor: McAlvany ICA

Visit this blog’s sponsor: https://icagoldcompany.com/

 

Support JHK on Patreon

 

If you’re interested in supporting this blog, check out the Patreon page.


Now Live on Amazon

“Simply the best novel of the 1960s”


Now in Paperback !
Only Seven Bucks!
JHK’s Three-Act Play
A log mansion in the Adirondack Mountains…
A big family on the run…
A nation in peril…


Long Emergency Cafe Press ad 2

Get your Official JHK swag on Cafe Press


The fourth and final book of the World Made By Hand series.

Harrow_cover_final

Battenkill Books (autographed by the Author) |  Northshire Books Amazon


CFNKindle


emb of Riches Thumbnail

JHK’s lost classic now reprinted as an e-book
Kindle edition only


 

Clusterfuck Nation
For your reading pleasure Mondays and Fridays

Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page


Note: This morning, some of you may be getting an error message on your browser. This is a “notification of mixed content” alert. Not a big deal. My web tech has corrected the situation. Rest assured that the site is secure. It may take a day to fully propagate the fix. Try clearing the cache on your browser.


Who said the global economy was a permanent installation in the human condition? The head cheerleader was The New York Times’s Tom Friedman, with his 1999 book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, the trumpet blast for the new order of things. Since then, we partied like it was 1999, with a few grand mal seizures of the banking system along the way, some experiments in creating failed states abroad, and the descent of America’s middle-class into a Disney version of Hieronymus Bosch’s Last Judgment — which is kind of what you see on the streets of Los Angeles these days.

Guess what: the global economy is winding down, and pretty rapidly. Trade wars are the most obvious symptom. The tensions underlying that spring from human population overshoot with its punishing externalities, resource depletion, and the perversities of money in accelerated motion, generating friction and heat. They also come from the fact that techno-industrialism was a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end — and we’re closer to the end than we are to the middle. There will be no going back to the prior party, whatever way we pretend to negotiate our way around or through these quandaries.

The USA-China romance was bound to end in divorce, which Mr. Trump is surreptitiously suing for now under the guise of a negotiated trade rebalancing. The US has got a chronic financial disease known as Triffin’s Dilemma, a set of disorders endemic to any world reserve currency. The disease initially expressed itself in President Nixon’s ditching the US dollar’s gold backing in 1971. By then, the world had noticed the dollar’s declining value trend-line, and threatened to drain Fort Knox to counter the effects of holding those dollars. Since then, all world currencies have been based on nothing but the idea that national economies would forever and always pump out more wealth.

It turns out that they pump out more debt in the pursuit of that chimerical wealth until the economic viziers and banking poohbahs begin to declare that debt itself is wealth — and now all the major players around the world are choking to death on that debt, especially the USA and China, but also Japan and the dolorous commune known as the EU. Everybody’s broke, one way or another, even though they are up to their eyeballs in products designed to fall apart in a few years. Better learn how to fix stuff, especially machines, because a lot of it won’t be replaced going forward.

Notice that Mr. Nixon’s escape from the dollar gold standard coincided with America’s first oil production peak. It was actually more than a coincidence, though it is unclear that anyone but James Schlesinger (then head of the Atomic Energy Commission, and later Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy, and CIA Director) understood what that signified. Now America is back at a second and even higher production peak thanks to the illusory boom of shale oil. The difference now is that only 10 percent of the companies producing it make a red cent. For the rest, the main result is just more and more debt, contributing to the larger global debt fiasco. It’s now down to a race between the sensational depletion rate of the shale oil wells and the country’s flagging capacity to generate more debt with a dim prospect of it ever being paid back.

Who knows whether the Golden Golem of Greatness and the people advising him in the White House get where all this is taking us in the history of the future. One might suppose it’s behind Mr. Trump’s wish to Make America Great Again, the vision of a return to the economy of 1955, of men toting lunchboxes through the factory gates, and seventy million boomer schoolchildren dreaming of trips to the moon, and the hard-fought, transient blessings of Pax Americana. All that is a comfort to simpletons, no doubt, but not wholly consistent with what can be observed actually going on — which is a culture and a political system seemingly bent on suicide.

The zeitgeist knows something that we don’t. The arc of this story follows the breakup of old arrangements, including trade relations, alliances, nation-states, and widespread expectations about what ought to be. Some observers claim the US will be the “last man standing” in this journey to the post global economy. (We surely would want to avoid a situation where nobody is left standing.) But all the participants in the orgy now ending will be left at least cross-eyed and flummoxed in the new cold dawn of a world without the old mojo. If the center is not holding, better look for a place on the margins as far from the emerging economic black hole as possible.


This blog is sponsored this week by McAlvany ICA. To learn more visit: //icagoldcompany.com/


Just Out! Previously Unpublished!
From the Jeff Greenaway Series

At Ponsonby Hall, a new Hampshire prep school for screw-ups, things are far from all right.
“Audaciously hilarious”
$7.00 — Cheap! Buy!
(Read Excerpt)

 

Something Strange is going on at Camp Timahoe in Lost Indian, Vermont, summer of 1962.
Rollicking fun
$7.50 — Cheap! Buy!
(Read Excerpt)

New Paintings by JHK 2016 — 2017


Great Winter Reading… JHK’s Hippie Novel!

“Simply the best novel about the 1960s.”

Read the first chapter here (click) on Patreon
Buy the book at Amazon or click on the cover below
or get autographed copies from Battenkill Books


Now in Paperback !
Only Seven Bucks!

JHK’s Three-Act Play
A log mansion in the Adirondack Mountains…
A big family on the run…
A nation in peril…


Other Books by JHK
The World Made By Hand Series:

Book 1:
World Made by Hand
Book 2:
The Witch of Hebron
Buy World Made By Hand Signed and local from Battenkill BooksBuy World Made By Hand on AmazonBuy World Made By Hand at Northshire Books Buy The Witch of Hebron signed and local from Battenkill BooksBuy The Witch of Hebron on AmazonBuy The Witch of Hebron at Northshire Books
Book 3:
A History of the Future
Book 4:
Harrows of Spring
Signed and local from Battenkill BooksAvailable on AmazonAvailable at Northshire Books Signed and local from Battenkill BooksAvailable on AmazonAvailable at Northshire Books
Geography of Nowhere The Long Emergency
Available on Kindle Buy The Long Emergency signed and local from Battenkill BooksBuy The Long Emergency on AmazonBuy The Long Emergency at Northshire Books

Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page

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.

977 Responses to “The Zeitgeist Knows” Subscribe

  1. venuspluto67 June 3, 2019 at 10:11 am #

    It occurred to me recently that there’s a weird parallelism between the Republicans and the Democrats: The Republicans seem to care a lot more about ever-increasing sovereign debt when they’re out of power than when they’re in power. Correspondingly, Democrats seem to care a lot more about worsening global warming when they’re out of power than when they’re in power. But both increasing amounts of unpayable debt and increasing amounts of fossil-fuel burning are indispensably necessary to keep industrial society in its current form chugging along.

    • Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 10:23 am #

      Twixt a rock and a hard place, they are. There simply are no answers if they are to continue to serve their globalist masters (and serve them they must!), therefore they make up nonsense answers and hope the rubes won’t notice their fibbing. Mostly, we don’t, but we’re gradually catching on now.

    • fugeguy June 3, 2019 at 10:59 am #

      The gap between the 2 parties is so narrow that light can barely wiggle through.

      I’m basing that on actions, yea sure the rhetoric sounds vastly different but the actions, meh not so much…

      • Janos Skorenzy June 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm #

        Yes, different historical origins and different marketing to their differing bases. But the Deep State is the Deep State. And many of them are friends back in the locker room regardless of their performances on stage, as in professional wrestling.

        • cbeard June 3, 2019 at 2:56 pm #

          The professional wrestling comparison is apt.

      • libertysghost June 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm #

        The similarities between the D and R governments in the modern era are much more important (and effectual) that any supposed differences “partisans’ want to highlight.

        More government…more debt…more war…less individual freedom (not always in that order).

        Their ends culminate much the same, but they use the “ways of getting” there to fuel rhetorical differences they conflate into a “important choices” you and I are simply “blessed as Americans with the right to make”.

    • Walter B June 3, 2019 at 11:00 am #

      That is correct venus, the jackasses and the Dumbo’s simply spew lines of crap to distract the masses and get re-elected. Once they are in all they do is line their pockets with payoffs and bribes. Neither the spiraling debt nor the planetary degradation can be repaired by any means that we here possess. Those in power serve only their masters and themselves, we are what’s for dinner.

      • sauerkraut June 3, 2019 at 11:23 am #

        I see that we share a taste in literature.

      • messianicdruid June 3, 2019 at 11:23 am #

        wallstreetonparade.com/2019/04/after-a-354-billion-u-s-bailout-germanys-deutsche-bank-still-has-49-t…

        Headline:

        After a $350 billion U.S. bailout, Germany’s Deutsche Bank still has $49 Trillion in derivatives

        “On July 21, 2011, when the GAO released its audit of the Federal Reserve’s secret $16.1 trillion in bank loans during the financial crisis, a foreign bank ranked number 9 on the list of the largest borrowers. The loans went not just to the largest banks on Wall Street but to foreign derivative counterparties to the Wall Street banks. The foreign bank that ranked 9 on the list of the largest borrowers was Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, which took $354 billion in revolving loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve….

        In 2011 when the GAO released the list of the banks that had received the $16.1 trillion in secret loans from the Fed during the financial crisis, two other foreign banks ranked in the top ten of those receiving this strange largesse from the U.S. central bank: the U.K. mega bank, Barclays, ranked number 5 with $868 billion in cumulative borrowings and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, also of the U.K., ranked number 8 with $541 billion in revolving loans from the Fed.”

        Notice that this $16.1 trillion loan was “secret.” Of course, some of us read about it back then, so it was not a secret. At the time, this figure was more than the US federal debt. What did all that money do? Supposedly it was to keep the European banks solvent, especially Deutsche Bank. How successful was that? Was $350 billion just a stop-gap measure?

    • CancelMyCard June 3, 2019 at 11:08 am #

      “. . . better look for a place on the margins as far from the emerging economic black hole as possible.”

      And where do you suggest that place would be, Jim?

      Upstate New York, maybe?

      • James Howard Kunstler June 3, 2019 at 11:17 am #

        That’d be a good start… — JHK

        • Mountain gal June 6, 2019 at 3:15 am #

          What do you think about the mountains of Western North Carolina? I hate snow and cold!

      • Jeremy June 3, 2019 at 11:55 am #

        A quiet corner of Devon is even better ;-))

      • Majella June 3, 2019 at 6:59 pm #

        Deepest, darkest New Zealand…and you don’t HAVE to be a billionaire…the whole country is a ‘bunker’ against the future shitstorm.

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand

    • TraffickingInDivinity June 3, 2019 at 11:46 am #

      Venuspluto76,

      Excellent point! Both sides complain when they are out of power.

    • Epicur June 4, 2019 at 7:52 am #

      “It occurred to me recently that there’s a weird parallelism between the Republicans and the Democrats:…”

      Most of the difference is in who’s nest gets feathered.

      The Dems want to lavish money on urban doo-dads like public transport and white elephantine school systems while the Repubs want vast exurban “growth” that flows to a wide range of contractors and developers.

      “Everybody” knows we “need” infrastructure spending, the fight is about who gets to dip into the sluice while the money flows by.

      Le Chatelier’s law is for me Holy Writ: “A system under stress reacts in a direction to relieve the stress.” Eventually the only way for the system to react will be by lowering the population – and it’s obvious that we don’t have the ability to do that voluntarily.

  2. Elrond Hubbard June 3, 2019 at 10:12 am #

    Hillary Clinton Testing Hollywood Waters With Planned Production Company & Studio Deal

    deadline.com/2019/05/hillary-clinton-hollywood-production-deal-chelsea-1202624556/

    “Former senator, U.S. Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 Presidential election to Donald Trump, has now turned her ambitions toward Hollywood.

    “Clinton is taking a page out of both ex-Celebrity Apprentice host Trump and her old boss Barack Obama’s respective books and attempting to partner up with Tinseltown, Deadline has confirmed. She and her daughter Chelsea Clinton are looking to put together a production company and a deal similar to what Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions inked with Netflix last year.

    “‘Hillary is still very popular out here and there’s been conversations with several studios and streamers about working on projects together,’ a top-tier executive said Thursday of the situation, emphasizing that nothing had been cast in stone at this point.

    “As interest on the other side of the table has already shown, it shouldn’t be that hard for Murphy Brown and Madam Secretary cameo-ing Hillary Clinton to pull this off. With strong connections to CEOs and executives through decades on the Hollywood fundraising circuit, the two-time Oval Office seeker is said to be thinking big picture in a financed slate that would spotlight female-centric stories and projects.”

    Anyone for advance tickets?

    • venuspluto67 June 3, 2019 at 10:15 am #

      I am so fucking glad I don’t live in sunny California!

    • malthuss June 3, 2019 at 10:21 am #

      She is very ill.
      The coughing, the spasms, falling down indicate this fact.

      • Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 10:45 am #

        Yes, she looks like death warmed over of late.

        No worries. Her reservation in Hell’s Half Acres is paid in full. She’ll make a fine addition to the neighborhood. Probably even a stellar ward chief.

        • Janos Skorenzy June 3, 2019 at 12:47 pm #

          Yes, she’ll be inducted into the Hell’s Angels – the real ones.

    • Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 10:24 am #

      Tickets hell!!! I wanna write the freakin’ scripts!!!

    • Q. Shtik June 3, 2019 at 11:46 am #

      nothing had been cast in stone – Elrond

      ========

      This reminds me of a mixed metaphor I love, namely, rocket surgery. Metals, like iron, are cast. Stone is carved.

      • Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 1:01 pm #

        LOL! I catch myself almost using that one A LOT!

      • nkonyaman June 3, 2019 at 4:07 pm #

        Hmm, rocket science — OK; brain surgery — OK; brain science — OK; rocket surgery — mixed metaphor

      • Majella June 3, 2019 at 7:01 pm #

        ..or ‘set in stone’ is more common…

      • ZrCrypDiK June 5, 2019 at 10:57 am #

        I believe even the dumb @$$ retards can figure that 1 out – iron – forged, stone – carved. COME ON MAN!!!

    • lbs June 3, 2019 at 12:50 pm #

      I’d advise Hillary not to quit her day job, but I don’t believe she has one.

    • Exscotticus June 3, 2019 at 3:37 pm #

      Hey Hillary: cankles.com is yours for the taking…

  3. Neon Vincent June 3, 2019 at 10:13 am #

    The trade wars are having economic effects on all levels. On the macro level, experts on CNBC say tariffs on Chinese goods will reduce GDP and cause inflation. That didn’t animate my readers much. Instead, they were more concerned that
    tariffs on Chinese imports will prompt Dollar Tree to raise prices. That hit them directly in their wallets and they were upset!

  4. KarlDehrmann June 3, 2019 at 10:15 am #

    The signs are all starting to point to recession. With the current debt levels and ongoing trade wars, I’m not sure the Fed’s hot money is going to keep the party going this time. I doubt it all comes down at once, but I expect the next economic downturn to be the first significant “step down” in living standards on our way to collapse. Long Emergency, indeed.

  5. Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 10:17 am #

    Yet another great summation of the current state of affairs, Jim. Not sure “last man standing” is a title anyone will want to hold this time around, since it will also equate to the moniker “last greatest fool.”

  6. thenuttyneutron June 3, 2019 at 10:22 am #

    The debt is only part of the problem. I am looking at Deutsche Bank’s price right now at $6.66 USD per share. Their derivative exposure is larger than the German economy! Will this be the spark that triggers a series of events that lead to bail-ins?

    I am debt free with a lot of cash after selling my house last March. I am scared that my money may become worthless as the next rounds of QE begin. I sure as hell can’t afford a house outright so I only have the choice of loosing it all if I can’t make the payment on a new house or losing it all to inflation. I might be better off betting it all at a roulette table!

    • Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 10:30 am #

      As you correctly noted, better to be long in hard assets right now. Realizing that even those can certainly be stolen easily enough as well. But carrying a mortgage might not be all that risky either, as if the dollar collapses altogether repossession will be pointless, especially if the bank holding the note is out of business as well. Certainly won’t have to worry about your phony “credit rating” either way.

    • lateStarter June 3, 2019 at 10:46 am #

      Have you considered moving and buying a cheaper house with property that would still leave you with some cash on hand for day to day needs? Consider yourself lucky that you sold your current house before the next crash. Rather than sit and wait for upcoming bargains in your current area, try to move to someplace simpler with a possible future.

      Granted, I don’t know where you are now. Don’t wait too long though. I suspect people with money in the bank are going to be in for a surprise soon. As Scratch suggested, hard -assets. But good to have 6 months of expenses covered if possible. I try to keep 1 or 2 months worth of cash at home just to avoid any short-term panic.

    • malthuss June 3, 2019 at 10:59 am #

      666

      coincidence?

      cohen cidence?

      Like the price of the first ‘apple’

    • elysianfield June 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm #

      “I am debt free with a lot of cash after selling my house last March. I am scared that my money may become worthless as the next rounds of QE begin. ”

      TNN,
      You are correct in your concern.

      I would suggest rural property…New York State perhaps.

      The Pacific Northwest is a virtual hell hole…avoid it…

      Just kidding…but don’t tell your friends.

      • thenuttyneutron June 3, 2019 at 2:19 pm #

        I interviewed for Nuscale in 2011. I liked western Oregon.

        The sad part about selling my house is how much I liked it and the area it was in. It was 200 yards from Lake Erie in NW Ohio. I had to jump from my old job at a nuke power plant that was losing money. Ironically the State of Ohio pushed a bill through the house giving the two nukes in Ogio a lifeline to the tune of about $200 million a year. The $200 million will be split between the only two nuke plants in Ohio. I may have been spooked to easily!

        I am glad that I left when I did because my current employer has had a hiring freeze in place since 2015. I made it in with only weeks to spare.

        The nuke industry is in a contraction in part because of the “cheap gas” being sold by the frackers. In a way it is not such a bad thing. I never liked LWR technology. The Gen 4 designs are almost complete. I just hope we have enough capital to actually build them because we are going to need them.

        I am not in a position to relocate to a better place now because I currently have a job that I like and pays a decent wage. The money is not as good as it used to be in Ohio but I no longer work a god awful rotating shift work schedule.

    • Sam Stone June 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm #

      Get yourself a good RV, a 12 gauge, and safe stuffed with gold.

      • Janos Skorenzy June 3, 2019 at 12:50 pm #

        And bury the Safe, getting the Treasure Map tatooed on your chest. Buy a parrot and give it clues as well.

      • Urinthe Village June 4, 2019 at 1:49 pm #

        The RV, the shotgun and the safe are all toast when the local warlords (likely the remnant of the local constabulary) decide they need them more than you do. They will still have stores of full auto carbines, shotguns, pistols, flash-bangs, tear gas, tire strips and unlimited ammo as well as APC’s. Preparing as an individual is a pipe dream.

    • SpeedyBB June 3, 2019 at 10:55 pm #

      Nuttsy:

      If any of my Indonesian students ask me I suggest holding cash assets in Norwegian krona. Extremely stable nation / society of under 10 million, nearly a trillion dollars in the bank. I don’t see any downside.

      Except one would have to deal with the morose Norwegians and maybe spend time in that dank, gloomy environment.

      (I kid, Sid.)

      • elysianfield June 5, 2019 at 10:51 am #

        “If any of my Indonesian students ask me I suggest holding cash assets in Norwegian krona”

        Speedy,
        I got ya covered…I am currently waiting for a BIG check from a Nigerian I have been corresponding with….

  7. Robert White June 3, 2019 at 10:33 am #

    I watched Nixon close the gold window with my Chartered Accountant father in 1971. After questioning the logic of moving from a gold backed dollar to an oil-backed dollar my CA father assured me that when the oil ran out the USA imprimatur and sovereign assets would guarantee the soundness of money in the future. I remember looking at my CA father and wondering how he and Nixon could be so sure of themselves on the calculus over my lifetime of existence?

    I knew that Nixon was not thinking of my future and I knew that my father was just going along with the industry recommendation at the time. In brief, at the age of 11 in 1971 August I realized that finance experts like my father had no real understanding of engineering proper or assets if they backstopped fiat with a commodity that would most assuredly run out of peak supply somewhere along the timeline of my life but certainly not their lives.

    Suffice to say that at the ripe old age of 11 I, for one, realized that Tricky Dick was sure selling a global boondoggle that would have to be addressed somewhere along the timeline of my life.

    And at the ripe young age of just under 60 I can now assert with certainty that the problems with the world reserve currency is that it is not backed by the age old standard of precious metal backing that made money universally trusted. Today money is merely a short-term vehicle for asset accumulation other than fiat USD as it is worthless as a savings tool given bank rates of interest on savings accounts.

    Today, short-termism reigns supreme and long term planning has been replaced by new deals that are really just the same as the old deals but with a different label & date affixed.

    It’s like the end game on Monopoly where the utilities are collecting all the rentier income for the private investor class that the utilities were not built for as they were all built for public use at not-for-profit prices. Only after Nixon commoditized fiat by backing USD with oil did we evidence a full commoditization of the public utilities industries.

    ENRON & Jeffrey Skilling were essentially the canaries in the coal mine. And Skilling was just released from prison a number of months back.

    RW

    • robert magill June 3, 2019 at 11:09 am #

      AS I recall Nixon promised that the dollar would be backed by “the full faith and confidence of the United States Government”. So much for that.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. venuspluto67 June 3, 2019 at 10:11 am #

    It occurred to me recently that there’s a weird parallelism between the Republicans and the Democrats: The Republicans seem to care a lot more about ever-increasing sovereign debt when they’re out of power than when they’re in power. Correspondingly, Democrats seem to care a lot more about worsening global warming when they’re out of power than when they’re in power. But both increasing amounts of unpayable debt and increasing amounts of fossil-fuel burning are indispensably necessary to keep industrial society in its current form chugging along.

    • Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 10:23 am #

      Twixt a rock and a hard place, they are. There simply are no answers if they are to continue to serve their globalist masters (and serve them they must!), therefore they make up nonsense answers and hope the rubes won’t notice their fibbing. Mostly, we don’t, but we’re gradually catching on now.

    • fugeguy June 3, 2019 at 10:59 am #

      The gap between the 2 parties is so narrow that light can barely wiggle through.

      I’m basing that on actions, yea sure the rhetoric sounds vastly different but the actions, meh not so much…

      • Janos Skorenzy June 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm #

        Yes, different historical origins and different marketing to their differing bases. But the Deep State is the Deep State. And many of them are friends back in the locker room regardless of their performances on stage, as in professional wrestling.

        • cbeard June 3, 2019 at 2:56 pm #

          The professional wrestling comparison is apt.

      • libertysghost June 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm #

        The similarities between the D and R governments in the modern era are much more important (and effectual) that any supposed differences “partisans’ want to highlight.

        More government…more debt…more war…less individual freedom (not always in that order).

        Their ends culminate much the same, but they use the “ways of getting” there to fuel rhetorical differences they conflate into a “important choices” you and I are simply “blessed as Americans with the right to make”.

    • Walter B June 3, 2019 at 11:00 am #

      That is correct venus, the jackasses and the Dumbo’s simply spew lines of crap to distract the masses and get re-elected. Once they are in all they do is line their pockets with payoffs and bribes. Neither the spiraling debt nor the planetary degradation can be repaired by any means that we here possess. Those in power serve only their masters and themselves, we are what’s for dinner.

      • sauerkraut June 3, 2019 at 11:23 am #

        I see that we share a taste in literature.

      • messianicdruid June 3, 2019 at 11:23 am #

        wallstreetonparade.com/2019/04/after-a-354-billion-u-s-bailout-germanys-deutsche-bank-still-has-49-t…

        Headline:

        After a $350 billion U.S. bailout, Germany’s Deutsche Bank still has $49 Trillion in derivatives

        “On July 21, 2011, when the GAO released its audit of the Federal Reserve’s secret $16.1 trillion in bank loans during the financial crisis, a foreign bank ranked number 9 on the list of the largest borrowers. The loans went not just to the largest banks on Wall Street but to foreign derivative counterparties to the Wall Street banks. The foreign bank that ranked 9 on the list of the largest borrowers was Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, which took $354 billion in revolving loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve….

        In 2011 when the GAO released the list of the banks that had received the $16.1 trillion in secret loans from the Fed during the financial crisis, two other foreign banks ranked in the top ten of those receiving this strange largesse from the U.S. central bank: the U.K. mega bank, Barclays, ranked number 5 with $868 billion in cumulative borrowings and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, also of the U.K., ranked number 8 with $541 billion in revolving loans from the Fed.”

        Notice that this $16.1 trillion loan was “secret.” Of course, some of us read about it back then, so it was not a secret. At the time, this figure was more than the US federal debt. What did all that money do? Supposedly it was to keep the European banks solvent, especially Deutsche Bank. How successful was that? Was $350 billion just a stop-gap measure?

    • CancelMyCard June 3, 2019 at 11:08 am #

      “. . . better look for a place on the margins as far from the emerging economic black hole as possible.”

      And where do you suggest that place would be, Jim?

      Upstate New York, maybe?

      • James Howard Kunstler June 3, 2019 at 11:17 am #

        That’d be a good start… — JHK

        • Mountain gal June 6, 2019 at 3:15 am #

          What do you think about the mountains of Western North Carolina? I hate snow and cold!

      • Jeremy June 3, 2019 at 11:55 am #

        A quiet corner of Devon is even better ;-))

      • Majella June 3, 2019 at 6:59 pm #

        Deepest, darkest New Zealand…and you don’t HAVE to be a billionaire…the whole country is a ‘bunker’ against the future shitstorm.

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand

    • TraffickingInDivinity June 3, 2019 at 11:46 am #

      Venuspluto76,

      Excellent point! Both sides complain when they are out of power.

    • Epicur June 4, 2019 at 7:52 am #

      “It occurred to me recently that there’s a weird parallelism between the Republicans and the Democrats:…”

      Most of the difference is in who’s nest gets feathered.

      The Dems want to lavish money on urban doo-dads like public transport and white elephantine school systems while the Repubs want vast exurban “growth” that flows to a wide range of contractors and developers.

      “Everybody” knows we “need” infrastructure spending, the fight is about who gets to dip into the sluice while the money flows by.

      Le Chatelier’s law is for me Holy Writ: “A system under stress reacts in a direction to relieve the stress.” Eventually the only way for the system to react will be by lowering the population – and it’s obvious that we don’t have the ability to do that voluntarily.

  2. Elrond Hubbard June 3, 2019 at 10:12 am #

    Hillary Clinton Testing Hollywood Waters With Planned Production Company & Studio Deal

    deadline.com/2019/05/hillary-clinton-hollywood-production-deal-chelsea-1202624556/

    “Former senator, U.S. Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 Presidential election to Donald Trump, has now turned her ambitions toward Hollywood.

    “Clinton is taking a page out of both ex-Celebrity Apprentice host Trump and her old boss Barack Obama’s respective books and attempting to partner up with Tinseltown, Deadline has confirmed. She and her daughter Chelsea Clinton are looking to put together a production company and a deal similar to what Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions inked with Netflix last year.

    “‘Hillary is still very popular out here and there’s been conversations with several studios and streamers about working on projects together,’ a top-tier executive said Thursday of the situation, emphasizing that nothing had been cast in stone at this point.

    “As interest on the other side of the table has already shown, it shouldn’t be that hard for Murphy Brown and Madam Secretary cameo-ing Hillary Clinton to pull this off. With strong connections to CEOs and executives through decades on the Hollywood fundraising circuit, the two-time Oval Office seeker is said to be thinking big picture in a financed slate that would spotlight female-centric stories and projects.”

    Anyone for advance tickets?

    • venuspluto67 June 3, 2019 at 10:15 am #

      I am so fucking glad I don’t live in sunny California!

    • malthuss June 3, 2019 at 10:21 am #

      She is very ill.
      The coughing, the spasms, falling down indicate this fact.

      • Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 10:45 am #

        Yes, she looks like death warmed over of late.

        No worries. Her reservation in Hell’s Half Acres is paid in full. She’ll make a fine addition to the neighborhood. Probably even a stellar ward chief.

        • Janos Skorenzy June 3, 2019 at 12:47 pm #

          Yes, she’ll be inducted into the Hell’s Angels – the real ones.

    • Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 10:24 am #

      Tickets hell!!! I wanna write the freakin’ scripts!!!

    • Q. Shtik June 3, 2019 at 11:46 am #

      nothing had been cast in stone – Elrond

      ========

      This reminds me of a mixed metaphor I love, namely, rocket surgery. Metals, like iron, are cast. Stone is carved.

      • Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 1:01 pm #

        LOL! I catch myself almost using that one A LOT!

      • nkonyaman June 3, 2019 at 4:07 pm #

        Hmm, rocket science — OK; brain surgery — OK; brain science — OK; rocket surgery — mixed metaphor

      • Majella June 3, 2019 at 7:01 pm #

        ..or ‘set in stone’ is more common…

      • ZrCrypDiK June 5, 2019 at 10:57 am #

        I believe even the dumb @$$ retards can figure that 1 out – iron – forged, stone – carved. COME ON MAN!!!

    • lbs June 3, 2019 at 12:50 pm #

      I’d advise Hillary not to quit her day job, but I don’t believe she has one.

    • Exscotticus June 3, 2019 at 3:37 pm #

      Hey Hillary: cankles.com is yours for the taking…

  3. Neon Vincent June 3, 2019 at 10:13 am #

    The trade wars are having economic effects on all levels. On the macro level, experts on CNBC say tariffs on Chinese goods will reduce GDP and cause inflation. That didn’t animate my readers much. Instead, they were more concerned that
    tariffs on Chinese imports will prompt Dollar Tree to raise prices. That hit them directly in their wallets and they were upset!

  4. KarlDehrmann June 3, 2019 at 10:15 am #

    The signs are all starting to point to recession. With the current debt levels and ongoing trade wars, I’m not sure the Fed’s hot money is going to keep the party going this time. I doubt it all comes down at once, but I expect the next economic downturn to be the first significant “step down” in living standards on our way to collapse. Long Emergency, indeed.

  5. Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 10:17 am #

    Yet another great summation of the current state of affairs, Jim. Not sure “last man standing” is a title anyone will want to hold this time around, since it will also equate to the moniker “last greatest fool.”

  6. thenuttyneutron June 3, 2019 at 10:22 am #

    The debt is only part of the problem. I am looking at Deutsche Bank’s price right now at $6.66 USD per share. Their derivative exposure is larger than the German economy! Will this be the spark that triggers a series of events that lead to bail-ins?

    I am debt free with a lot of cash after selling my house last March. I am scared that my money may become worthless as the next rounds of QE begin. I sure as hell can’t afford a house outright so I only have the choice of loosing it all if I can’t make the payment on a new house or losing it all to inflation. I might be better off betting it all at a roulette table!

    • Ol' Scratch June 3, 2019 at 10:30 am #

      As you correctly noted, better to be long in hard assets right now. Realizing that even those can certainly be stolen easily enough as well. But carrying a mortgage might not be all that risky either, as if the dollar collapses altogether repossession will be pointless, especially if the bank holding the note is out of business as well. Certainly won’t have to worry about your phony “credit rating” either way.

    • lateStarter June 3, 2019 at 10:46 am #

      Have you considered moving and buying a cheaper house with property that would still leave you with some cash on hand for day to day needs? Consider yourself lucky that you sold your current house before the next crash. Rather than sit and wait for upcoming bargains in your current area, try to move to someplace simpler with a possible future.

      Granted, I don’t know where you are now. Don’t wait too long though. I suspect people with money in the bank are going to be in for a surprise soon. As Scratch suggested, hard -assets. But good to have 6 months of expenses covered if possible. I try to keep 1 or 2 months worth of cash at home just to avoid any short-term panic.

    • malthuss June 3, 2019 at 10:59 am #

      666

      coincidence?

      cohen cidence?

      Like the price of the first ‘apple’

    • elysianfield June 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm #

      “I am debt free with a lot of cash after selling my house last March. I am scared that my money may become worthless as the next rounds of QE begin. ”

      TNN,
      You are correct in your concern.

      I would suggest rural property…New York State perhaps.

      The Pacific Northwest is a virtual hell hole…avoid it…

      Just kidding…but don’t tell your friends.

      • thenuttyneutron June 3, 2019 at 2:19 pm #

        I interviewed for Nuscale in 2011. I liked western Oregon.

        The sad part about selling my house is how much I liked it and the area it was in. It was 200 yards from Lake Erie in NW Ohio. I had to jump from my old job at a nuke power plant that was losing money. Ironically the State of Ohio pushed a bill through the house giving the two nukes in Ogio a lifeline to the tune of about $200 million a year. The $200 million will be split between the only two nuke plants in Ohio. I may have been spooked to easily!

        I am glad that I left when I did because my current employer has had a hiring freeze in place since 2015. I made it in with only weeks to spare.

        The nuke industry is in a contraction in part because of the “cheap gas” being sold by the frackers. In a way it is not such a bad thing. I never liked LWR technology. The Gen 4 designs are almost complete. I just hope we have enough capital to actually build them because we are going to need them.

        I am not in a position to relocate to a better place now because I currently have a job that I like and pays a decent wage. The money is not as good as it used to be in Ohio but I no longer work a god awful rotating shift work schedule.

    • Sam Stone June 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm #

      Get yourself a good RV, a 12 gauge, and safe stuffed with gold.

      • Janos Skorenzy June 3, 2019 at 12:50 pm #

        And bury the Safe, getting the Treasure Map tatooed on your chest. Buy a parrot and give it clues as well.

      • Urinthe Village June 4, 2019 at 1:49 pm #

        The RV, the shotgun and the safe are all toast when the local warlords (likely the remnant of the local constabulary) decide they need them more than you do. They will still have stores of full auto carbines, shotguns, pistols, flash-bangs, tear gas, tire strips and unlimited ammo as well as APC’s. Preparing as an individual is a pipe dream.

    • SpeedyBB June 3, 2019 at 10:55 pm #

      Nuttsy:

      If any of my Indonesian students ask me I suggest holding cash assets in Norwegian krona. Extremely stable nation / society of under 10 million, nearly a trillion dollars in the bank. I don’t see any downside.

      Except one would have to deal with the morose Norwegians and maybe spend time in that dank, gloomy environment.

      (I kid, Sid.)

      • elysianfield June 5, 2019 at 10:51 am #

        “If any of my Indonesian students ask me I suggest holding cash assets in Norwegian krona”

        Speedy,
        I got ya covered…I am currently waiting for a BIG check from a Nigerian I have been corresponding with….

  7. Robert White June 3, 2019 at 10:33 am #

    I watched Nixon close the gold window with my Chartered Accountant father in 1971. After questioning the logic of moving from a gold backed dollar to an oil-backed dollar my CA father assured me that when the oil ran out the USA imprimatur and sovereign assets would guarantee the soundness of money in the future. I remember looking at my CA father and wondering how he and Nixon could be so sure of themselves on the calculus over my lifetime of existence?

    I knew that Nixon was not thinking of my future and I knew that my father was just going along with the industry recommendation at the time. In brief, at the age of 11 in 1971 August I realized that finance experts like my father had no real understanding of engineering proper or assets if they backstopped fiat with a commodity that would most assuredly run out of peak supply somewhere along the timeline of my life but certainly not their lives.

    Suffice to say that at the ripe old age of 11 I, for one, realized that Tricky Dick was sure selling a global boondoggle that would have to be addressed somewhere along the timeline of my life.

    And at the ripe young age of just under 60 I can now assert with certainty that the problems with the world reserve currency is that it is not backed by the age old standard of precious metal backing that made money universally trusted. Today money is merely a short-term vehicle for asset accumulation other than fiat USD as it is worthless as a savings tool given bank rates of interest on savings accounts.

    Today, short-termism reigns supreme and long term planning has been replaced by new deals that are really just the same as the old deals but with a different label & date affixed.

    It’s like the end game on Monopoly where the utilities are collecting all the rentier income for the private investor class that the utilities were not built for as they were all built for public use at not-for-profit prices. Only after Nixon commoditized fiat by backing USD with oil did we evidence a full commoditization of the public utilities industries.

    ENRON & Jeffrey Skilling were essentially the canaries in the coal mine. And Skilling was just released from prison a number of months back.

    RW

    • robert magill June 3, 2019 at 11:09 am #

      AS I recall Nixon promised that the dollar would be backed by “the full faith and confidence of the United States Government”. So much for that.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.