Sunday, July 20, 2014

Economic Facts Instead of Political Propaganda

James Rickards, the author of The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System (a must read) has written a great article about the real economic conditions of America today. Below is a summary of important facts.

Listening to mainstream market commentary on television and reading the financial press leaves one with the impression that the economic recovery is gaining strength and that stock market indices, at or near all-time highs, will go higher still. But, the facts show that the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are awful and getting worse.

(1) It was reported that 288,000 jobs were created in June, but full-time jobs declined by 523,000 while part time jobs increased by about 800,000. Part-time jobs offer fewer hours, lower pay and few benefits.

(2) There are 7.5 million people working part-time on an involuntary basis compared to about 4.4 million doing so in 2007. Employers are aware of this and simply cut full-time jobs and replace them with part-timers to reduce costs.

(3) Much of the decline in the declining unemployment rate is attributable not to job creation but to the declining number of people looking for work. According to the “rigged standard” they use, once people stop looking for a job, they are no longer technically “unemployed” and no longer counted as “unemployed.” The unemployment rate would be zero if everyone stopped looking for work. Only 62.8% of Americans participate in the work force today.

(4) Productivity of those working is now in decline.

(5) Real wages are stagnant.

(6) Over 50 million on food stamps, 11 million on disability, and millions more on extended unemployment benefits.

(7) These are the real reasons for the shocking 2.9 percent decline in first quarter GDP. It was not the result of “cold weather.”

You should also be aware of the following:

(1) China is slowing precipitously and may be on the brink of a credit collapse.

(2) European growth is near zero.

(3) The mighty German economy is slowing partly because of weaker demand from Ukraine, Russia and China.

(4) U.S. financial markets appear to be growing bubbles. 

(5) US stock indices are at all-time highs while economic fundamentals fall apart.

(6) The structural reform that is required for a turnaround can only come from structural reform, which is the job of the White House and Congress, not the Federal Reserve. This looks unlikely because they are barely speaking.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Has Wall Street’s Day of Judgment Come? Powerful Corporations Sue Big Banks for $250 Billion.

For years, homeowners have been battling Wall Street in an attempt to recover some portion of their massive losses from the housing Ponzi scheme. But progress has been slow, as they have been outgunned and out-spent by the banking titans. In June, however, the banks may have met their match, as some equally powerful titans strode onto the stage. Investors led by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, and PIMCO, the world’s largest bond-fund manager, have sued some of the world’s largest banks for breach of fiduciary duty as trustees of their investment funds.

The defendants are the so-called trust banks that oversee payments and enforce terms on more than $2 trillion in residential mortgage securities. They include units of Deutsche Bank AG, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, HSBC Holdings PLC, and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. Six nearly identical complaints charge the trust banks with breach of their duty to force lenders and sponsors of the mortgage-backed securities to repurchase defective loans.

Beyond the legal issues are the implications for the solvency of the banking system itself. The world’s largest banks are considered “too big to fail” for a reason. The fractional reserve banking scheme is a form of shell game (click here for info about fractional reserve banking).

Theoretically, deposits under $250,000 are protected by FDIC deposit insurance. But the FDIC fund contains only about $47 billion – a mere 20% of the Black Rock/PIMCO damage claims. Before 2010, the FDIC could borrow from the Treasury if it ran short of money. But since the Dodd Frank Act eliminates government bailouts, the availability of Treasury funds for that purpose is now in doubt.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Do you really believe this media blitz is about the kids at the border?

More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the U.S. border since October 2013, a 92 percent increase from the same time period last year. [i]

I am sure you have noticed the media blast about the “kids crossing the border.” Do you believe that all of this attention is really about those kids? Pay close attention to what the spin doctors are cranking out about them:

(1) physical dangers to their lives
(2) hunger
(3) homelessness
(4) need of healthcare
(5) lack of opportunities

I do not want to imply that these kids should not be helped, but I have no doubt that the needs of children are why the media is being flooded with hours and hours of coverage every day – and most of it is coming from interviews with politicians.

What happened? All of the sudden did every politician become zealously consumed with meeting the needs of children? You might want to consider a few questions:

(1) Why now?
(2) Why just children coming across the southern border?
(3) Why are they silent about tens-of-millions American children with the same needs?

A history lesson that isn’t being taught in most schools and universities is that of the Committee on Public Information (CPI) and how it was used to intentionally manipulate the views of American citizens to enter World War I. It was so successful that it literally changed power dynamics in the world. Today, it is used not only by governments, but powerful individuals, corporations, organizations, etc.   

The story begins on April 13, 1917 when the Wilson White House created the most impressive propaganda bureau the world had ever seen -- the Committee on Public Information (CPI). Wilson named George Creel to head it and he was joined by one of the shrewdest propagandists in American history, Edward Bernays.  Benays brought with him intimate knowledge of a new branch of human psychology, which had not yet been translated into English. He was the exclusive literary agent in America for his uncle, the Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.[ii] Bernays would describe his work as “the engineering of consent.” He acquired the title, “the father of spin,” -- the technique of manipulating the reality of the masses to produce his desired ends.

New breakthroughs in psychology and communications technology merged to create a power tool that could be used to persuade the masses. Bernays wrote two books – Crystallizing Public Opinion [iii] and Propaganda [iv] -- that reveal a great deal about his method. In the opening paragraph of Propaganda Bernays wrote:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. [v]

Bernays draws a stark contrast between the “intelligent few” and the “public mind:

It was of course the astonishing success of propaganda during the war that opened the eyes of the intelligent few . . . to the possibilities of regimenting the public mind. [vi]

Regimenting is defined as “to organize rigidly especially for the sake of regulation or control.” [vii]  Bernays continues:

The American government developed a technique which . . . was new . . . the manipulation of patriotic opinion made use of the mental clichés and the emotional habits of the public to produce mass reactions against the alleged atrocities, the terror, and the tyranny of the enemy. It was only natural, after the war ended, that intelligent persons should ask themselves whether it was possible to apply a similar technique to the problems of peace. [viii]

Take a close look at the things Bernays used to manipulate the masses. I think you will find that are still being used frequently & successfully today.

(1) patriotism
(2) mental clichés
(3) emotional habits
(4) alleged atrocities
(5) terror
(6) identifying an enemy

Who are the “intelligent few” that are working to control the minds of the American citizens? Bernays writes:

Who are the men who, without our realizing it, give us our ideas, tell us whom to admire and whom to despise, what to believe . . . There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.  Nor, what is still more important, the extent to which our thoughts and habits are modified by authorities. . . we are ruled by dictators exercising great power. . . The invisible government tends to be concentrated in the hands of the few because of the expense of manipulating the social machinery which controls the opinions and habits of the masses. . . . The leaders who lend their authority to any propaganda campaign will do so only if it can be made to touch their own interests. [ix] 

The “invisible few” are not the elected officials. They are the powerful wealthy elite who can afford to buy expertise, media access, and influence elected officials. This is not an organized conspiracy in which they all have the same agenda – even though they probably want the same outcomeswealth, power & control.

(1) Why do the “invisible few” want your attention focused on the southern border?
(2) What do they not want you to focus on?
(3) How do your values compare with their agendas?

Well, time-tested wisdom says – “follow the money if you want to know the truth!”

Add to it the new wisdom that says – “It’s all about positioning & polarizing.”

I forgot to tell you that the “invisible few” have persuaded our elected officials to pass laws that make it almost impossible to discover whose receiving their funds. They make it seem like they know they are guilty of doing something bad.

That’s my cogitations for the day.
JM - The Country Cogitator

[ii] The Gods of Money; p. 71.
[v] Ibid; p. 11.
[vi] The Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century By F. William Engdahl © 2009; published by edition.engdahl; Wiesbaden, Germany; p. 75.
[viii] The Gods of Money; p. 75
[ix] Ibid 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Some Cogitations for the Day

Citizens should have the right to determine the profits corporations make from goods & services citizens are required by law to purchase. (The Country Cogitator – follow on Twitter)

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. (George Bernard Shaw)

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. (George Washington)