"Pardon one offence, and you encourage the commission of many."
“And the banks - hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created - are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”
Dick Durbin, US Senator From Illinois
"And there is a kind of an 'ok guys, you're mad, how are you going to stop me' mentality at the top."
Robert Johnson, economist
03 December 2016
"The American white-collar class just spent the year rallying around a super-competent professional (who really wasn’t all that competent) and either insulting or silencing everyone who didn’t accept their assessment. And then they lost. Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.
The even larger problem is that there is a kind of chronic complacency that has been rotting American liberalism for years, a hubris that tells Democrats they need do nothing different, they need deliver nothing really to anyone – except their friends on the Google jet and those nice people at Goldman.
The rest of us are treated as though we have nowhere else to go and no role to play except to vote enthusiastically on the grounds that these Democrats are the 'last thing standing' between us and the end of the world.
It is a liberalism of the rich, it has failed the middle class, and now it has failed on its own terms of electability. Enough with these comfortable Democrats and their cozy Washington system. Enough with Clintonism and its prideful air of professional-class virtue."
Posted by Jesse at 5:32 PM
“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”
"And I'll leave you with one set of numbers that I found today, which is just an absolute for this whole thing. In 2015, Wall Street Bonuses, not regular compensation, bonuses, seven years after they were bailed out with the public purse, totaled $29.4 billion dollars.
Total compensation paid to every single person in this country who makes minimum wage totaled $14 billion...
The era of neo-liberalism is over. The era of neo-nationalism has just begun."
“There may be thunder in Europe but it is in America the lightning will fall.”
02 December 2016
Gold and silver caught a little bounce today off dollar weakness and technically oversold conditions.
And there is the matter of very large physical offtake of bullion in the Shanghai markets, together with a pricing differential that shows the strain on the Western gold pool to sustain these prices.
But we are now in December, and the large open interest on the Comex has been changing hands from speculators and customers to the bullion banks. Mission accomplished.
Unfortunately, the Comex is now becoming more of an anachronism, a price setting tool without a firm foundation in the mechanics of global supply and demand.
This will not end well for many, as these sorts of protracted deceptions almost always do.
Have a pleasant weekend.
Posted by Jesse at 4:23 PM
The Non-Farm Payrolls report was a mixed bag this morning.
I doubt it will deter the Fed from raising rates 25 to 50 bp. This has been their the imperative of their internal needs for using rates as a tool for some time. They wanted badly to get off the zero bound, ahead of the next recession.
Only fear of the weak recovery and macro events have held them back, largely from a reputational perspective. Never underestimate the craven motives of a seasoned bureaucrat.
Stocks caught a bit of a bounce, primarily as a technical matter into a weekend overshadowed by the vote in Italy and continuing 'populism' in Europe.
Have a pleasant weekend.
Posted by Jesse at 4:18 PM
"This whole 'red scare' thing has become so thoroughly ridiculous, so blatantly propagandist and overblown, so pervasively passed around by mainstream media outlets without serious investigation, so obviously picked up off a shelf in ad hoc convenience, and so completely hypocritical by the professional elite, that I am tempted to write it off and forget about it. But I should probably be deeply troubled for other reasons.
It is a sign of the establishment going further off the deep end, and further dropping its pretenses. It is a sign of a desperate elite that will say anything, do anything, and risk everything to control the narrative and protect itself.
We are descending into farce. Deeply dangerous farce."
Reader M. M.
This is a short video from Thomas Frank below. I have included two more short videos that are optional.
Every pundit who is grinding their axes about the various forces that unjustly took the election from Hillary needs to listen to this.
Thomas Frank is absolutely right. Everyone who had their eyes open could see this loss by the Democrats coming, or at the least a much closer race than expected. Donald Trump certainly saw it, and used it for his advantage.
And even now, the core political and entertainment establishment clearly is not accepting this, does not care in their cozy complacency.
A good part of this is because of the credibility trap, and their sense of entitled superiority.
If you don't believe this, watch the Democratic establishment mouthpiece channels like MSNBC almost any evening.
I hate to bother you with yet another posting on this subject, but the context of the situation shows that the message needs to be repeated, and driven home in order to penetrate the echo chamber of the Beltway Bubble.
The widely accepted attitude of the Wall Street Democrats was that the working middle class had 'no where else to go,' and so their interests could be sacrificed, time and again. They chose consciously to spend their energy in the pursuit of specialized big money interests.
And they were richly rewarded with huge sums of campaign donations, personal speaking 'repayments,' and sinecures during the out-of-office periods that the big money donors could provide.
The courtiers in the media and big money donors around the world are very put out that their claim checks for the spoils of a Hillary victory were invalidated. Their outrage and disappointment is remarkable, as if they have somehow been cheated of their due, their turn at the pig sty of public looting.
They blame racism, the Russians, sexism, Bernie bros, hackers, the 'deplorables' in a bit of an ironic twist on the Romney moment, the electoral college, and even the roots of democratic process itself.
They and their strategy failed. Spectacularly.
But they cannot fail, because they are so exceptional. And there is the work to return to the real world for them, in overcoming themselves and their selfish disappointment and cognitive dissonance.
I have been very clear that I was no supporter of Trump, and could not vote for him in good conscience under almost any circumstances I could imagine.
But like so many others I could not in good conscience comfortably pick the 'lesser of two evils' in this case, especially after the serial betrayals of the reforms, the reforms he promised and for which he was elected, that we had at the hands of Obama and his party. The nomination of Hillary was an 'in your face' gesture to the people by the worst of the embedded and outdated elements of a inwardly focused party in its decline.
The same and worse could be said of the Republicans, but that is another story. They just were not able to ruthlessly suppress their insurgents as had the DNC. And if you do not realize that they did so, then you are blinded by your ambitions and should step aside.
If anything, the antics of the DNC during these primaries showed that their callous disregard for the broader economic interests the people, and the hypocrisy which their self interests enabled, knew no bounds.
Think of the arrogance of their mindset— vote for our candidate because she is not good, but less bad than the other fellow, and once again you really have no other choice.
And they wonder why they were so soundly rejected.
The final refuge of the exceptionally arrogant is to dismiss those who have rejected them, and expect them to come crawling back, asking for another chance.
This is certainly preferable to admitting that they had the choice of the people and the winning candidate in their own ranks, and defeated him because they could, because it felt good to exercise power and influence once again, especially when it served their own selfish ambitions.
And in doing so, they defeated themselves.
But perhaps the people will not submit again, and choose whatever is offered, the less worse of a bad deal.
Perhaps the political class will have to eventually let go of their delusory arrogance, and face the work, and the pain, of remaking themselves into what they and their party had once represented: a real constructive and progressive choice, and not just another flavor of less abusive but equally audacious oligarchy.
For in truth, it is still just another form of arrogant oligarchy that serves itself, albeit under the fig leaf of a rationale of 'public service' in constructing a false moral high ground, that is an inch above the swamp.
And if they have the time for it, here are two more short videos that need to penetrate the collective consciousness of the party in order for meaningful progress to occur.