Commentary 9 November 2014

 

update12 November 2014

They Will Have Blood

ed-miliband_2426052b

 

Ed Miliband is being slowly skinned alive by the press in England. Every day there is a fresh story detailing Millibands latest fall in the polls and  warning of the terminal damage he is doing to Labours chances of getting elected next time. It’s not only the press pack who are on Milibands tail. It seems that an ever larger group of his own MP’s are openly briefing against him as well. So what is the cause of all this dissension and hostility? What is so wrong with Ed Miliband that wave after wave of insults are to be  heaped upon his head?

In a word- decency.

Ed Miliband refused to go along with the stitch up on Syria last year. He refused, for whatever reason to sign off on the slaughter of Syrian men, women, and children and the installation of a Takfiri Pol Pot style regime in Damascus. And that makes him unreliable. That makes him downright dangerous. And so he either has to get in line or get lost. And that is what this is all about. Don’t be surprised if a new line of attack on Assad is unveiled over the next couple of weeks. The BBC is running a week of ‘Syrian themed’ coverage- I don’t need to tell you what the general tone of that coverage is. And you don’t have to have a degree in media studies to see where this is all leading. And Ed has got to decide just how badly he wants to be Prime Minister. The going cost is roughly about, one soul.

But they will have blood either way- Milibands or Assads.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/11225761/New-poll-puts-Tories-three-points-ahead-of-Labour.html

update10 November 2014- The Sin of Wages

CBI calls for childcare subsidies and tax cuts for working families

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/10/cbi-tax-cuts-childcare-subsidies-low-income-families

Business lobby claims radical ideas are needed to raise the living standards for families and low-income workers

The Confederation British Business  -CBI,  is trying to call the Monetarist attack dogs off the people! Well, they are actually advising the dogs to bark more and bite a little less. Presumably they think that the mangled and torn victims of the past six years might just give up the ghost unless they get a little relief. You could argue that this is more about image control than real economics and no doubt there is an element of that  in these policy recommendations. But nevertheless, it’s hard to avoid the feeling that a substantial section of the real economy (which includes management and bosses) is getting seriously nervous about the deflationary effects of ongoing austerity and wage stagnation. (see the Yellen submarine below). So they are looking to the state to subsidise some kind of consumer revival through deficit spending.  Of course, the other option would be to remove some of the restrictions on trades union activity that would be GUARANTEED to get wages moving upwards again. But that is not something the CBI or the Monetarists are prepared to consider- is it.

 

starthere1.New World Disorder- The Secret Economy and Everybody Gets To Go To The Moon

Can you have a system of disorder – Or is that a contradiction in terms?

I was chatting to Dave Harrison @ tradewithdave.com  about transitioning to a new digi/crypto economic system and the implications for the global world order. Will national systems be superseded by a single global system that is even more controlling and oppressive? I argued that the new system would be based on disorder rather than order:

I remember a recent  item on BBC news covering Chinese exploration of the Moon and the way that this impacted ‘traditional’ national rivalries and the ‘Cold War’ etc.

The long and short of it was that the tide was inevitably running against ‘small state’ economies and in favour of ‘big state’ economies when it came to resource intensive projects like space exploration, mass transit systems etc. In other words all the things that will define progress in the future require complex, system wide integration to achieve them- the very antithesis of privatisation.

The interviewee observed that it would be in the interests of ‘small state’ societies (primarily the Anglo Saxon bloc) to promote the all out privatisation of moon exploration etc as this would level the playing field; Chinese private companies competing with American private companies. This is basically what is happening in the global economy, we are not transitioning to a NWO, we are transitioning to a New World Disorder.

To the extent that all national economies have been infected with Democratised Money (derivatives,financialisation etc), their respective national economies and political structures  have been weakened. The USA led the way into QE and is the first to end it. Other economies are being forced down the same route as a consequence of Americas actions. But the USA economy has not been repaired as a consequence of QE, it has been permanently restructured. This is supposed to happen to all world economies.

The upcoming Pacific and European trade agreements are meant to irrevocably destroy the power of national states and societies to regulate their internal affairs…. Imagine you could permanently tilt the chess board so the pieces kept sliding off. It would make it hard to know who was winning and losing wouldn’t it?

You can think of this as the difference between a naval battle fought between ships that float on the surface of the water and a naval battle fought between submarines

2. We All LIve in A Yellen Submarine- The Secret Economy 2

 

submarine

Q.E. purchases have been concluded in North America which of course immediately led to the argument over what this means in particular and what Q.E. means in general.

Almost immediately as USA called time on purchasing, Japan has started another round of  Q.E. and Europe has started QE-sort of. This leads some to conclude that a kind of international round robin is taking place with economic blocs taking up the slack and injecting liquidity into the global system as the USA wound down its buying operation. The argument is that all major nations cooperated in the aftermath of the credit crunch and this is just a continuation that co-operation by other means.

Others  see Japans QE as tantamount to economic warfare, lowering the value of the Yen and exporting deflation to its competitors. They see this as evidence of a breakdown in international co-operation.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/11/08/pers-n08.html

Central banks taking on corporate and government paper is the same as a submarine taking on water to create negative buoyancy-which is really controlled sinking- (for understandable reasons not a phrase widely used by submariners!). The captain takes on enough water for the boat to safely sink to the level beneath the surface he or she wants. Of course this is done on the understanding that at some point the boat will expel the water and return to the surface. But there is always the unfortunate possibility that too much water is taken on board, in which case the only way the boat is going is down.

There are some real indications that the English and American boats have taken just about all the water on board they are able to. Commodity deflation is taking place and despite supposed rises in employment, wages are failing to grow. Worldwide deflationary tendencies. Genuine danger.

When the major economies agreed to drop interest rates as an immediate response to the Credit Crunch, it did not really mean that they were collaborating on an international plan. In essence they agreed to move from old fashioned naval warfare where each party could see the other vessels to clandestine submerged conflict now you have to guess there the other side is. A global game of ‘Battleships’ as it were.

3.Credit and Credit Crunch

Steve Keen appeared on a recent episode of Max Keiser . He is probably best known for arguing that at some point the revenue generated from credit fuelled growth will no longer be sufficient to pay the interest on that credit, resulting in a financial collapse. He has dubbed this inflection point a ‘Minsky moment’. Here is some of what I contributed to the discussion thread:

The broad thrust of Steve Keens argument is that Capitalist systems have been shown to be unable to achieve a self sustaining equilibrium, especially in regard to the production and valuation of credit. An emphasis on credit in this context is an important insight, especially in respect of the financialisation of Anglo Saxon economies since Milton Freakman.

But Steve Keen is wrong when he argues that the latest round of credit is the cause of renewed growth in certain economies, in particular the Saxon Axis economies. This credit growth is a symptom and not a cause. The cause of recent ‘growth’, (for what its worth), is the successful restructuring of the economy in line with Monetarist doctrine. Interestingly, this explains some of the anomalies we have seen in recent growth figures. We know that the Anglo Saxon economies have been growing; this would be expected as they are the most ‘flexible’ and open to labour market ‘reform’ (zero hour contracts). But we have also seen growth in both Spain and Ireland, both nominally outside the Anglo Saxon bloc. What these economies both do have in common with England and America is that their populations have taken a fearful hiding over the past couple of years and it is reasonable to suppose that they are now willing to go along with terms, any terms, that are offered.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/jeremy-warner/11211539/Apparently-Europes-economic-malaise-has-got-nothing-to-do-with-the-euro.html

Growth is essentially a measure of the level of economic interaction between the component parts of an economy. When the components, (you and I),of an economy refuse or fail to interact it is because either we don’t want to, (we don’t like the terms), or don’t need to,(we are self sufficient).

Keynesianism differs from Monetarism in that it sought to induce economic interaction as opposed to coercing it. The essence of Monetarism is the systematic destruction of any possibility of self sufficiency for the vast majority of the population, forcing interaction within the economy. They call this ‘supply side economics’. I call it the Participation Economy. You are forced to participate in the economy under the terms dictated by the Monetarists.

When Monetarists proclaim they will do ‘whatever it takes’ to maintain the system, what this means is that they are prepared to supply the means (QE),  to allow the finance sector to wait the real economy out, until the real economy is forced to participate (come crawling back) under Monetarist terms…In other words we will take the credit offered, as opposed to wages, because credit is all we can get.

I WILL UPDATE MY COMMENTARY ON THIS PAGE WITH OTHER STORIES FROM THE NEWS ON A REGULAR BASIS

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