Category Archives: Business

The Woke Media: Apologists for the State, by William L. Anderson

The mainstream media is one of the government’s most fervent propagandists. From William L. Anderson at mises.org:

In an earlier article, I looked at the rise of “Woke Capitalism” and the challenges that this development presents for a free society (or, to be accurate, a somewhat free society). For the time being we probably do not need to worry about the establishment of the People’s Republic of Google, but a much greater problem than left-wing business corporations has invaded our body politic: The Woke Mainstream Media.

It is one thing for Nike to discontinue a line of sneakers because the Betsy Ross flag offended someone or for PayPal to refuse to serve as a pay conduit for a conservative organization. One may decry the narrow-minded thinking from company executives, but they are private outfits that have — and should have — the privilege of refusing to do business with certain people — and if they make a bad economic choice, the company will pay financially. And, as I pointed out in the article, corporations are not governments, which really can kill and cage people who are helpless against state-sponsored predations.

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Three Major Imbalances – Financial, Trust and Geopolitical, by Michael Krieger

Many things are out of whack and it’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

But greed is a bottomless pit
And our freedom’s a joke
We’re just taking a piss
And the whole world must watch the sad comic display
If you’re still free start running away
Cause we’re coming for you!

– Conor Oberst, “Land Locked Blues”

It’s hard to believe 2020 is just around the corner. If the last ten years have taught us anything, it’s the extent to which a vicious and corrupt oligarchy will go to further extend and entrench their economic and societal interests. Although the myriad desperate actions undertaken by the ruling class this past decade have managed to sustain the current paradigm a bit longer, it has not come without cost and major long-term consequence. Gigantic imbalances across multiple areas have been created and worsened, and the resolution of these in the years ahead (2020-2025) will shape the future for decades to come. I want to discuss three of them today, the financial system imbalance, the trust imbalance and the geopolitical imbalance.

Recent posts have focused on how what really matters in a crisis is not the event itself, but the response to it. The financial crisis of ten years ago is particularly instructive, as the entire institutional response to a widespread financial industry crime spree was to focus on saving a failed system and then pretending nothing happened. The public was given no time or space to debate whether the system needed saving; or more specifically, which parts needed saving, which parts needed wholesale restructuring and which parts should’ve been thrown into the dustbin. Rather, unelected central bankers stepped in with trillions in order to prop up, empower and reward the very industry and individuals that created the crisis to begin with. There was no real public debate, central bankers just did whatever they wanted. It was a moment so brazen and disturbing it shook many of us, including myself, out of a lifetime of propaganda induced deception.

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“The Fed Was Suddenly Facing Multiple LTCMs”: BIS Offers A Stunning Explanation Of What Really Happened On Repocalypse Day, by Tyler Durden

This is far and away the best article SLL has seen on the explanation behind the explosive move in the repo market that saw repo rates go from 2% to 10% in a matter of minutes on September 16, and has forced the Federal Reserve to essentially liquify the repo market. The repo market is where banks, hedge funds, and other institutions finance various instruments, putting up those instruments as collateral for loans for a set term by selling them and agreeing to repurchase the instruments at a higher price that embeds an interest rate. It’s a little known but incredibly important part of the financial markets. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

About a month ago, we first laid out how the sequence of liquidity-shrinking events that started about a year ago, and which starred the largest US commercial bank, JPMorgan, ultimately culminated with the mid-September repo explosion. Specifically we showed how JPM’s drain of liquidity via Money Markets and reserves parked at the Fed may have prompted the September repo crisis and subsequent launch of “Not QE” by the Fed in order to reduce its at risk capital and potentially lower its G-SIB charge – currently the highest of all major US banks.

Shortly thereafter, the FT was kind enough to provide confirmation that the biggest US bank had been quietly rotating out of cash, while repositioning its balance sheet in a major way, pushing more than $130bn of excess cash away from reserves in the process significantly tightening overall liquidity in the interbank market. We learned that the bulk of this money was allocated to long-dated bonds while cutting the amount of loans it holds, in what the FT dubbed was a “major shift in how the largest US bank by assets manages its enormous balance sheet.”

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As Winter Comes Pipeline Wars Heat Up, by Thomas Luongo

Apparently the US government has failed to stop the Nordstream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Europe. From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:

For all of 2019 December has been a magnet. A number of major geopolitical issues come to head this month and many of them have everything to do with energy. This is the month that Russian gas giant Gazprom was due to finish production on three major pipeline projects – Nordstream 2, Turkstream and Power of Siberia.

Power of Siberia is here. It’s finished. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping christened the pipeline to begin the month. Next month Putin will travel to Turkey to join President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to open the first of four potential trains of the Turkstream pipeline.

It is only Nordstream 2 that continues to lag behind because of insane levels of pressure from the United States that is dead set against this pipeline coming online.

And the reason for that is the last of the major energy issues surrounding Gazprom needing resolution this month, the gas transit contract between it and Ukraine’s Naftogaz.

The two gas companies have been locked in legal disputes for years, some of which center on Crimea’s decision to break away from Ukraine and rejoin Russia in 2014. Most of them, however, involve disputes over costs incurred during the previous and expiring gas transit contract.

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Six Months at an Amazon Fulfillment Center, by Christopher Knight

Amazon Fulfillment Centers have been portrayed as just this side of sweatshop, but someone who worked there says it was a valuable experience and nowhere near as bad as portrayed. From Christopher Knight at americanthinker.com:

Having spent half of a year experiencing firsthand the labyrinthine bowels of an Amazon Fulfillment Center, I must ask:

“What are all the complaints about?”

Employment at Amazon was not perfect.  Then again, no job will be.  But for those wanting to establish themselves with a job history or get back into the routine of full-time employment, being at Amazon isn’t the torturous ordeal some have described.  Coming off a year’s sabbatical and being a technical writer before that, work at an Amazon facility was a shining opportunity to regain some lost footing.

In retrospect, I can’t but be thankful for that.  It wasn’t just the financial boon, but also the chance to persevere that elicited and encouraged growth and strength in both physical and mental senses.

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Thorium, by Alvin Lowi, Jr. and Chas Holloway

Thorium powered nuclear reactors may be the most sensible, economical, and greenest source of energy available. From Alvin Lowi, Jr. and Chas Holloway at lewrockwell.com:

THE AGE OF ELECTRICITY

The late 1800s.  A time in America of unlimited freedom.  A time of the rugged individualist.  Tom Edison, deep in his Menlo Park laboratory, creating the Electric Age.  Nicola Tesla, the immigrant competitor, with his electric motor and alternating current.  It was the Golden Age of America.  A time of invention, entrepreneurialism, and genius set free.

At least, that’s the popular myth.

But did you ever wonder what happened to those early American electric companies?  Where is Edison’s company today?  Where is Westinghouse’s company?  In fact, where is any private enterprise electric company?

In 1878, Thomas Edison (and English electrician, Joseph Swan) invented the electrical-resistance-heated, carbon filament, incandescent light bulb.  Self-contained, clean and long-burning, the light bulb was the first popular application for electricity.

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Get Ready For An Economic Wake-Up Call This Holiday Season, by Brandon Smith

Is the economic slowly circling the drain? From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

If we are to measure the concept of “economic recovery” in real terms, then we would have to look at the fundamentals (not stock markets) and whether or not they’re improving. Unfortunately, not all economic data is presented to the public honestly. Very often it is mired and obscured in a fog of disinformation and false standards.

I would point out, though, that there is relatively accurate information out there in certain areas of the global economy, and it tells us our economic structure is destabilizing. Beyond that, even the rigged numbers are moving into negative territory. But what does all this mean for the holiday retail season, one of the mainstream’s favorite gauges of US financial health? And, if 2019’s holiday profits sink, what does this tell us is going to happen in 2020?

First, let’s start with what we know…

Since we live in a “globalized” economy where everything is supposedly “interdependent”, it helps to examine international export numbers. The US doesn’t manufacture and export much of anything anymore beyond agricultural products, but global markets do expect us to consume the goods of other nations. A decline in exports indicates a failing global economy, but in particular a failing US consumer economy.

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