The Face Of It or Because Music Is A Priesthood.. or ‘Afore Ye Go’ or Its Always later Than You Think

Diane-Taylor_2043194cSinead O'Connor

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jul/27/sinead-o-connor-interview-i-deserve-to-be-a-priest

http://tradewithdave.com/?p=21494

 

I DESERVE TO BE A PRIEST-Because Music Is A Priesthood.. says Sinead O Connor

The personal odyssey of Sinead O’Connor has proved to be a object of fascination for journalists, fans and not least of all for Sinead herself. The Sinead shtick is that she is an original and possibly unique cultural and religious voice. Interviewers and fans alike are invited to gaze and wonder: Why does this tortured Catholic chanteuse crop her hair? And why does she have that manic stare? And why is she covered in tattoos? And why does she hate the Pope so much?

The answer of course, is because she is a Protestant.

No joke. Sinead claims that she deserves to be a priest, indeed has already been ordained as a priest:

“Oh, because I’m a priest?” – O’Connor was ordained in 1999 by the breakaway Latin Tridentine church  – “Yeah, well being a priest was just civil disobedience. Although I deserve to be a priest, frankly, better than any of them, in terms of the actual faith and respect [I have] for the holy spirit. That doesn’t mean I’m a good person, I’m not. But you really don’t have to be a good person, in fact you can be a complete fucking cunt – it’s about the level of your faith and whether you actually respect the presence of that holy spirit.”

Aside from the Pope hatred guff, this claim of right to be ordained outside of the authority of the Vatican is Protestantism by definition. On the face of it it’s obvious. Yet neither Sinead or the journalist wants to say it. Why would that be?

Because of moral value

If Sinead is a Protestant then this interview is essentially just another cracker telling you the Pope is the anti-Christ. And crackers telling you the Pope is the anti-Christ are ten a penny on You Tube, as you know. But a Catholic, especially a tortured Catholic telling you the Pope is the anti-Christ-that’s the genuine article, straight from the horses mouth. That carries authority.

The defection critique is the more powerful the more committed the accuser is supposed to have been before his or her change of heart. The Colonel defecting from Assad’s government in Syria will tell you the regime has betrayed the Arab people. (‘Aha! Even his own officers admit he is evil!’ etc etc.) The defector from North Korea will tell you that the leadership has betrayed the ideals of Communism and so on. And of course handlers will make sure that their defectors cause as much trouble as possible from inside the tent, before they flee.

As I have said before, Dave Harrison at Trade With Dave has a nose for the action. A recent post deals with the emerging Bitcoin defection critique, albeit from an angle.

In ‘You lie… Ahead’ Dave argues that as far as new democratised money functions go, you won’t have to decide which you want; it’s possible for society to have it’s cake and eat it. I argue you that as far as new money functions go, you won’t have to decide because the decision has already been made-about forty years ago.

You Lie…’ features clip of a young woman by the name of Jinyoung Lee Englund who got a message from God telling her to go to Africa. Miss Lee neglects to mention whether God indicated she should go on to become director of marketing and communications for the Bitcoin Foundation. But she nevertheless ends up encouraging everybody in Africa to get into Bitcoin on the basis that they have a right to:

‘Global inclusion’

Global Inclusion? sounds like an anti-Christ propaganda gimmick in a low budget Apocalypse movie :

‘…. that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.’…

In contradistinction to Protestantism, Catholicism generally discourages personal religious revelation of the above kind, precisely because you the voice you hear in your head may not necessarily be who it says it is. The obvious danger is that the internal voice tells you that ‘All young women who wear lipstick must die!’ may very well not be The Voice Of God.

More subtly, you may hear a voice telling you that it is Gods Will that you go ahead and do just exactly what you have already decided to do. In truth the decision was already made; pretending you had not already made your mind up is simply a way of adding moral value to your decision. Just like Sinead.

Let us charitably say that Ms Englund may be a little self deluded. Vinay Gupta (also featured in the Trade With Dave post) is altogether more rooted in reality. He is pointing out that the Bitcoin project is failing politically because it cannot address developmental contradictions between Anarcho Capitalism and Libertarian Capitalism, in particular in relation to property rights in Bitcoin.

Gupta suggests one reason for this is the Bitcoin community is somewhat politically undeveloped and not equipped to approach a solution. He also rather slyly implies that the only possible solution available may very well be something ‘no one is willing to name’ yet. By which he means that when push comes to shove all the tortured anarcho capitalistic ideals will go out the window and in Bitcoin we will be face to face with the same forces that gave us Derivatives and the Credit Crunch.

By then of course, the ex ‘Anarcho Capitalists’ will have gained a fortune but lost their moral value. It is not going to be possible to offer a credible critique of financialised capitalism when you are openly in business with the very bankers you were supposed to be getting rid of. So they are in no hurry to leave the tent. At least for the moment.

It’s Always Later Than You Think

In ‘The Matrix’, our hero is told by the Oracle that he is not here to make a decision- he has already made the decision. He is here to know why he made the decision. I cannot think of a more succinct way of describing what Crackernomics is all about. Democratised Money including Bitcoin, is already here. It began with Monetarism in the 70’s. Crackernomics is here to tell you why it happened.

 

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Madness In His Method Or Known Unknowns and Unknown Knowns and Unknown Unknowns and… etc… etc..or “The old normal not the new normal not likely to be the new normal,” he said. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, …

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/interest-rates/10929882/Mark-Carney-new-normal-will-see-rates-go-to-2.5pc-and-stay-there.html

 

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jun/29/uk-interest-rates-bank-of-england-charlie-bean

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/10952024/FCA-Dozens-of-banks-spring-to-life-after-red-tape-cut.html

 

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/07/pers-j07.html

 

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jul/08/uk-manufacturing-surprise-drop-jolts-economic-recovery

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10960563/Portugal-banking-crisis-sends-tremors-through-Europe.html

 

‘Reports that say there’s — that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know’.

 

Donald Rumsfeld famously fashioned his wonderfully surrealist philosophy of American intelligence in 2002. In specifics he was referring to weapons of mass destruction. Fundamental to his (cough) reasoning was that the fact of Iraqi WMD, which was a given that could not be contradicted.

 

Planning was simply a matter of organising events so that they never could contradict this given, even when it was obvious that there was no prospect of weapons ever being found. After a decade of resulting chaos, slaughter and suffering in Iraq it can be said that in contradistinction to the well known aphorism: There is madness in his method.

 

Methodical madness is an appropriate way to sum up what is going on in Crackernomics.

 

The Known Knowns-That Is What We Know We Know.

 

We know that Bank of England base rate is going to be two and a half percent. How do we know this ?- because George Carney says it is 1

 

Carney tells us we should know that

 

“The old normal is not the new normal. It is not likely to be the new normal,”

 

The “vulnerable position” of family finances means any increases will be “more limited and more gradual than in the past”.

 

‘Things have changed. Households have a lot of debt. The Government is consolidating its financial position. Europe is weak. The pound is strong.

 

Apart from a disconcerting similarity to the ‘war is peace ‘ catechism in 1984 this is unremarkable. But then Carney says this:

 

‘The financial system has been fundamentally changed – it has to carry a lot more capital,‘ it has to carry a lot more liquidity insurance and it will pass on those costs to borrowers’

Keep that last bit in mind. It simply doesn’t make sense-does it? Surely permanently increased costs for the banks should mean rates higher than the previous long term average-not lower? What could be the explanation for this apparent contradiction?

We’ll come back to this.

 

Another thing we know that we know is that less is never more when it comes to banks and banking:

 

In the Telegraph:

In an attempt to make the banking market more competitive, the Government has given the FCA and PRA new powers after a perceived failure of their predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), to encourage new entrants’.

‘Whereas just five new banks were given the green light in the year to April – roughly the average over the previous seven years – 25 applicants met the regulators to discuss entering the banking market, the FCA and PRA said in a review of barriers to entry for banks’.3

 So we need more institutions that can potentially fail to choose from. Which is a bit like keeping a house fire going until the firefighters can arrive to put it out…

After the ‘known knowns’ there are the:

 

Known Unknowns Or Things We Know We Don’t Know

 

We don’t know why the USA economy shrunk in the first quarter- could be something to do with the weather( Isn’t this usually an English excuse?)

 

We don’t know why British manufacturing showed a surprise drop in output5

 

The Bank of International Settlements is telling everybody that it knows that the Wall Street party must end but it doesn’t know what is going to happen4

 

We also know that banking in Europe is in a perilous condition6 There is a constant low level rumble of banking failure stories, particularly on the periphery of Europe. It seems inevitable that one of them is going to get out of hand.

Which brings us to:

The Unknown Known

 

‘Psychoanalytic philosopher Slavoj Žižek extrapolates from (these) three categories a fourth, the unknown known, that which we intentionally refuse to acknowledge that we know’….

‘Abu Ghraib scandal shows that the main dangers lie in the “unknown knowns” – the disavowed beliefs, suppositions and obscene practices we pretend not to know about, even though they form the background of our public values.”

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

What links all the economic stories I have referred to is the element of ‘surprise’- a ‘surprise’ fall in output, a ‘surprise’ run on the bank. Everything seems to be a surprise. Like the ‘surprise’ lack of WMD and the ‘surprise’ decent of Iraq into chaos. The ‘surprise’ heart attack on the way to your daily visit to Dunkin Donuts. Why is there no general attempt to link cause and effect in the mainstream media?

 

There seems to be an unwritten agreement in the mainstream media to express general bafflement when disconcerting stories come up. They simply don’t make sense do they? Not if interest rates are going to be 2 ½ %. And interest rates ARE going to be 2 ½ %. So these stories probably don’t mean anything…

 

Which brings us finally to

 Unknown Unknowns or more accurately The Great Unknown

 

The size and nature of the shadow economy is the greatest unknown of all. And this is deliberate. The Democratisation of Money is the privatisation of information, (Secret Economy). This seems hardly believable, but it is happening. The democratisation of money is linked directly to the figure of two and a half percent itself.

 

I can usefully return to the metaphor of a bookie. When you bet on a horse race you are not actually betting on which horse will come first. You are actually betting on whether the bookie will pay out or not. That is what a bet is- a number of people put money in a specific pot and generally a smaller number of people take money back out, triggered by a specific event. The ‘odds’ that you are given reflect this risk of being paid out. The smaller the book for any given race, the smaller the odds (potential payout) that can offered by the bookie. If only two people bet on a race and the total amount of their bets is $14, the bookie can’t offer odds of 100/1 on one or another horse. He would simply go bankrupt in short order.

 

The same is true of money. The central bank interest rate is the odds on money being exchangeable for value at any given time. The odds are directly related to the total size of the book- the economy.

The two and half percent interest rate and increased capital (state money) requirements go hand in hand. They are a reflection of the fact that the state money book has shrunk. That a significant proportion of the economy is now in the hands of derivatives.

 

Just like nation states, financial institutions that create and trade in privately issued money- democratised money, are required to hold foreign currency as a hedge. In other words forced to hold an increased amount of dollars or pounds to offset the risk of holding derivatives. This increased requirement to hold state money currency is called macro prudential policy.

 

It is not banks and financial institutions that are being squeezed by the new rules. It is the state money component of their assets that is being squeezed. State money is being squeezed by MONETARIST politicians. The state money book is smaller so the odds (interest rate) it can offer is smaller. What state money there is, will now permanently be used in part as a guarantee for privately issued money derivatives. That is how interest rates can be lower despite bank costs being higher.

So what proportion of the economy is in the hands of derivatives?

The long term average for interest rates in the post war period was around 5%. Previously I have suggested in line with a number of other commentators that the new normal for interest rates would be somewhere around 3-3 ½ %. Now Carney says 2 ½ %.

Which means the proportion of the economy which will be allocated to privately issued money- derivatives, is going to be bigger than I thought. Given the difference between 5% and 2 ½% it indicates that HALF the economy will be allocated to democratised money.

Which is a lot of democratised money.

Know what I mean?

PS

Waitrose sales in shock fall as 2013 summer hard to beat

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jul/11/waitrose-sales-fall-2013-hot-weather