21st Century Wire
Oh, that feeling of being lied to that most of us had all those years – well it’s safe to say it’s not just a feeling any more.
Think of all the wonderfully dressed financial ‘experts’ we’ve seen on our televisions over the last seven years, all so confident, with the pretense and arrogance required to be a mainstream media pundit. At first it seemed funny and amusing – every prediction and statement muttered on air – all wrong, and completely off the mark. We knew they didn’t know what they were talking about, and enjoyed a laugh at their expense. Only, now it’s not funny anymore. Financial and political sock puppets have since left the port of ignorance, and are now permanently moored at the dock of deception.
Blowtorch the Economy
Known to many but understood by few, the Finance-Insurance-Real Estate economy has taken control in what are schizophrenically called the “advanced industrial/post-industrial” nations, AKA the “mature democracies” – where mega-debt, unemployment, slow-to-zero growth, extortionate energy tariffs and income inequality are the main features. Above all, a deregulation-happy, laisser-faire political mindset rules, and we’re told that nothing can be done about the firestorm.
In this liberalized clepto-cratic economic zone, the stock exchange and financial futures rule. Taking bets on hot stock picks has become the national sport alongside football, but as a quick look at any finance and business website or news outlet will show, the new ‘FIRE’ economy is always teetering on the brink of collapse – when it isn’t poised for taking off into the stratosphere. This is new normal, FIRE style.
Ukraine, Plane, Down the Drain
World media, dominated by the advanced industrial/post-industrial nations stays riveted to how much world stock exchanges will rise, every day, alongside the star football team results. So it rapidly lost interest in what happened to Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, for reasons ranging from normal to worst-possible. Media consensus, based on “expert analysis of satellite data” from British firm Inmarsat, portends to claim that the plane went down in the Roaring Forties far off the coast of western Australia.
WHALE WATCHING? MH370 International Marine Sight-Seeing Tours including lunch – departing daily, on the hour.
After the biggest fishing expedition ever of its kind, authorities have nothing, and now ‘admit’ that Flight MH370 may never be found – ever.
Estimated search costs, compensation of families, replacement of the Boeing 777 airliner, lost cargo whatever it may have been, and other varied costs are said by air crash insurance experts as likely to attain $1.5 billion, making it one of the most expensive air disasters of all time. Result: airline shares are up, like insurance company shares.
Further fueling the skeptics, Lloyds of London are already organizing early pay-outs for families victims, which of course, is not very usual.
Whether the airliner was hijacked by a coordinated and planned in-plane attack followed by onward flight in “fly by wire” mode, commanded by an AWACS-type spy plane, and then guided to key destinations such as Diego Garcia or the Andaman Islands, is unlikely to ever be known. But this is great for the Conspiracy Media. It will almost certainly spawn potentially big selling ‘who dunnit’ paperbacks and high box office receipt Hollywood offerings with the right amount of gore and suspense.
MH370 disappeared. The once-was “united and indivisible” nation state of Ukraine has also disappeared. The satellite data reports “massive Russian troop movements” on the former indivisible state’s eastern borders – denied by Russia, of course. Crimea is now a separate mini-country, with half to the EU and half to the Russian Federation, take your pick. Media interest in Ukraine has lost a lot of steam however – because reporting on this subject is bad for keeping stock exchanges growing, every day. Unwanted news.
At least as important, the state of France has also disappeared, in a manner of speaking. It was replaced by the 20-percent-rule, the new buzzword in French politics. President “Flamby” Hollande dumped his previous government and prime minister, to bring in photogenic, youthful looking and Tony Blair-admiring New Socialist Manuel Valls with an all-new government. Valls wants all taxes to be 20%, he says, whatever they previously were. Mostly this means a sharp raise of taxes, for example VAT on tacky Old Age stuff like food and electricity or clothes, but in other cases like payroll and income taxes, it would mean a deep-deep cut. But whatever happens, French state debt rises.
This is very good for the finance sector even if its bad for 99% of the population. Trading on French state bond issues, of its national debt, promises to be hectic. You should all know the drill by now: “There is No Alternative!”
Party On with the FIRE Economy
The common link is ultra simple. How do we pay for all this? Pay for MH370, pay to bail out Rump Ukraine and its all-new Flash Mob government, and pay for the party of all those French tax cuts, only on business expenses of course?
The answer is borrowing. This needs financial engineering creating “asset value” from nothing, levering and dealing it to crazy heights, and then imploding it from time to time, MH370-style. This party-on mode is so good for global stock exchanges and the finance “industry”, that its the only tune the “industry” knows. Markets love debt!
Drilling down a little but not all that much, we hit the real bedrock of the FIRE economy. Call it anarchy, the 24/7 urge to create and play with “asset value”, pumping and dumping with the other folks playing the game. New Age Economics is also good to describe the FIRE economy, freed from Old Age stuff like actually producing anything at all with tacky old industries.
Politicians have more than just simply adapted to New Age Economics. They are happy with what you get when you mix and mingle high-tech with Assassins Creed, Wall Street with the Flash Mob, and the green ecology theme with war-war/jaw-jaw. They are spellbound by the result! That really outstrips the imagination – but how do we put it all back in the bottle?
No point asking that question because it is not possible. The djinn monster got out and took control. Whether its the world airline industry, not just Malaysian Airlines, and not only the fade-out economies and states of Ukraine and France, but also the US and Japan, all of them are mired in heavy and basically un-payable debt. Their solution: They need FIRE!
The debt numbers are New Age-lurid, so it is pointless giving them out here – and of course all the debts are growing (really growing). Once again, the only solution elites are offering – is the FIRE economy. Collateral damage to society – yes, we all know that’s a given. The Zombie Drones playing the Homer Simpson-style mutant middle class have to stay happy, over weight, and beguiling conspiracy theories, star football matches, and making studio executives fat by paying through the nose for creaky Hollywood movies.
Topping off the FIRE-sale society, you should not forget the ecology stuff – as well as some low-intensity war games on the Ukrainian frontier.
It’s all fuel for the FIRE.
Awesome Collateral Damage
Mix and mingle. Pump up the jam. The party has to go on because if it ever stopped, we are all lost where the “we” in question is the Royal We of that 1% of the population who siphon out any remaining wealth in the economy, using FIRE.
Collateral damage also includes nations, by the way. They fall by the wayside as non-performing assets. Ukraine is in fact a classic case. The country (or two countries, possibly three) is so mired in debt that it has No Future. Like Greece or Cyprus or Spain, its national debt (even three national debts), it will be a financial market plaything for years ahead. The country or countries will only get poorer.
Disappearing France, lost in a 20-percent-world of taxes funded by a rise in state borrowing, is nicely modeled on the bigger-better Japanese blueprint. The monetary insanity of Shinzo Abenomics has in much less than 18 months made an economic freak-show out of Japan Inc.
After 20 years of relentless borrowing and money printing, Japan literally teeters on the edge of an economic abyss, a Frankenstein monster shackled with vast lead weights of public debt on each leg. Thanks to the FIRE economy, once-was industrious manufacturing Japan runs a ballooning trade deficit. But Japan’s financial casinos and roulette wheels are burning bright.
In simple terms, the Japanese government will have to borrow 1 Yen for every 2 Yen it spends for years ahead, and all it can propose is… yes, you guessed it – lower wages and more taxes on consumption, in order to drain more cash for players in the financial casino, among which we can surely and certainly include that over-sized pig in the pen commonly known as Big Government!
The FIRE economy has a perfect clone lookalike in the drugs industry. Its “business model”,financing and its spinoff in the economy make it a perfect partner for the FIRE economy. Profit margins from the initial costs of producing drugs, to their final street value can run at 20 000 percent.
Exactly like a Facebook-Twitter-Whats App share from the time the paper/electronic share certificate was printed, to when its “nominal value” peaked on finance markets. Creaming off asset value at the top of the market, funds are then shifted into the “permanent” real estate bubble, to gouge housing prices and thrust the Losers into the gutter as No Fixed Aboders. To lock in financial gains, the insurance industry will use and play with the spare change from the FIRE-raising operations “upstream” in share issues and trading, government bond plays, and all the rest. The dream machine.
When things go wrong as they always do – call it “overreach” – crony government can be counted on to save crony finance from the FIREstorm it can only cause. Perhaps with “cliffhanger negotiations” relayed by the tame and faithful business-finance media, but the bailout using public money will surely come. Privatized profit. Public loss. Everything is fine, right?
The War of the Elites
Mainstream media will get around to the strange case of disappearing France but it will take some time to home-in on the War of the Elites. Due to rampant overreach, Wall Street and its clones are stoking blowback from forces – which they thought they had under control. The casino dream-spinners and roulette wheel turners thought they had bought out and fazed the political elite. But they pushed the “politicos” into a corner where anything can happen, now.
Disappearing France with its all-new prime minister Manuel Valls is a good example. He has no economic program because any economic program is nonsense. So he says “Call me Mister 20-percent” while his boss “Flamby” Hollande says “Twenty percent less across the board!”. Japan or the Empire of Abenomics is the same. There is No Future for these governments.
Result in these cases: They will have to borrow even more from the casino operators but every billion of new government borrowed funds, and every trillion of the financial derivatives it spawns ups the ante for a classic market crash – and they know it.
The politicos can see where that leads, even if they are very dumb. They saw what happened over there in Kiev or Cairo, Bangkok or Caracas. The Flash Mob can instantly assemble, get to a critical mass, and run riot. They might even kill the Political Elite! So, something has to give, and we can be sure the politicos will fight dirty, like they always do when cornered, and will at some stage attack their casino operator friends. Their fairweather former friends, that is.
For Ukraine, in the space of at most one month its “future borrowing need”, that is its bailout need, has climbed to around $35 billion from $15 billion. The IMF, ECB and other players will be printing and lending the cash to Rump Ukraine. France is of course a former Great Nation, so we can’t be surprised to hear analysts say this “politically stressed” country will have to find an extra 50 billion euros somewhere this year – by borrowing. The $1.5 billion MH370 story is placed in context – small beer.
But this all adds up. Predicting when the tilt happens on those up-trending finance markets, called the study of moving average asset value by the financial analysts, is to be sure a mystic cottage industry but when the politicos panic and react is yet more mystical. We can call it New Age politics.
New Age politics isn’t read-on from New Age economics and doesn’t have to be predictable, likely the opposite, and when the worm turns and the politicos throw off their worm casts and fight back, we can expect lurid events. Two trends will play: The street Flash Mob, and Big Government both turning against their fair weather FIRE friends.
The net result will be a mega-singularity, later called ‘Historical’, for example massive re-nationalization of key industries in those “postindustrial” countries – but before that we will first we get the New Age politics shift – which should be very colourful, if not mildly entertaining.
At that stage we will also get the return of the Future, a forgotten thing at present – so be prepared for what you didn’t expect!
READ MORE BY THIS AUTHOR AT: 21st Century Wire McKillop Files