Credit needs an anchor or you get what you have today: an enormously over-indebted global economy and financial system. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:
This article examines the relationship between credit and its anchor in value. Today, that anchor is fiat currency, which is both parochial and unstable. Historically, and in law it has always been gold.
It is a common error to think of credit in a narrow sense, without realising that officially recorded credit in the form of banknotes and deposit accounts with the commercial banks are only a minor part of the total credit in an economy. This article takes a holistic view of credit.
The relationship between credit and whatever provides an anchor to its value is a far larger topic from that commonly discussed in economic journals. It involves an understanding of the relationships between currency credit and commercial bank credit, the consequences of which rarely occur to economic commentators.
There is evidence that changes in central bank credit have a greater impact on prices than an equivalent change in commercial bank credit — a new and important topic for our consideration.
This article draws on the history of law as it applies to banking, money, and credit. For both contemporary economists and the layman, it involves some concepts that may be novel to them. But given that they concern the very survival of contemporary currencies, they are worth making the effort to understand.
Ideas are the foundation of the brain standard, one of which is that only individuals have rights. This cuts through the collectivist dreck that passes for thought among most of the world’s so-called intellectuals. The variations of collectivism all disguise nothing more than brute force hiding behind propaganda. Their inevitable failures stem from their essential flaw: those that control the collective claim rights that negate those of the individual.
There are grounds for hope. From the ruins of impending collapse there will be some who reject collectivism and are committed to rebuilding on a foundation of individual rights. How they will protect those rights and whatever territories they stake out are what theoretical physicists sometimes call “engineering problems.” One advantage they’ll have, though, as the brain standard constituency—they’ll be smarter than their adversaries. Attention, imagination, and intelligence will be keenly focused on building from the ruins and protecting what they’ve built.
Here’s a thought experiment. Imagine someone invents a cheap, portable device that defends its bearer and his or her property from all violence from all sources, but has no offensive capability. The device is so cheap that virtually everyone can buy it, and charities are set up to donate it to those who can’t. The device is universally available and creates a world without violence.
How would such a world function? People would have to produce to survive, but absent mutual agreement no one would have an enforceable claim on anyone else’s production. There would be no coercive transfers of money or property. Disputes would be settled by negotiation and mediation. A body of civil law similar to English common law would develop. Surely such a society would figure out a way to deal with nonviolent crime.
The negation of violence would eliminate government’s nominal rationale: protecting citizens from violence. In the absence of government (and its violence), individuals and society as a whole would be free to advance as far as their capabilities will take them.
This extreme hypothetical offers a stark contrast with the absence of anything resembling freedom anywhere in the world today. Government and collectivism are top-down codependents based on violence and coercion. Their current manifestations are replaying the dreary and what should be the common knowledge lesson of history: they inevitably fail, often after a great deal of bloodshed.
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In the current jockeying among collectivist governments for the things over which they jockey, Russia’s and China’s are doing a better job than the U.S.’s. The former are the co-leaders of the Eurasian alliance and represent substantial politic and economic power. The latter is bankrupt, embroiled in yet another war it won’t win, and stands accused of sabotaging its most important European ally’s oil pipelines. At home, the U.S. government and its fellow travelers are in thrall to brain-dead ideologies that hasten the country’s disintegration.
There are those that do and those that think. It’s not generally the former who screw up a society. From Jeffrey A. Tucker at brownstone.org:
Just this weekend, I spoke at one of my favorite venues, the Liberty Forum in New Hampshire, which is an annual conference center on the Free State Project. It’s designed to encourage people to pick up and move to the freest state in the country for community and to help protect the state from the fate that befell Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
My first time speaking there was 2012, I believe, and I came away with an interesting revelation, which I can summarize as “Liberty is a hands-on task.” In my career until that time, the problem of economic and political matters were mostly matters of theory and I had spent most of my time reading and distributing high theory, a task I loved and still do.
But coming to this event in New Hampshire I found something else entirely; a group of people who were busy doing things in practice to live freer lives. They were small business people, real-estate agents, people with alternative currency systems, people raising and selling food on and from their own farms, organizers of houses of worship and community centers, homeschoolers and school entrepreneurs, and much more besides, including office holders focusing on laws and legislation.
It was here, for example, that I acquired my first Bitcoin, which in the early days showed great promise finally to recreate money in a way that government could not ruin. It struck me at the time as among the greatest inventions of the human mind. Tellingly, it did not come from academia (so far as we know) but from tinkerers who wanted to solve the problem of double spending on digital monetary units. It was genius. The economics journals ignored it for many years, of course.
Best case for Ukraine it ends up another U.S. dependency, a relationship from which the U.S. will gain nothing. From James W. Carden at theamericanconservative.com:
The Biden administration is setting the Ukrainians up for a state of permanent dependency.
The one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion today, and President Joe Biden’s surprise five hour trip to Kiev on Monday, should be occasion to raise some uncomfortable, indeed, unpopular questions, as to what exactly Ukraine—a beneficiary of, among many other things, over $100 billion in U.S. aid—has been seeking to achieve in the nine years since the Maidan revolution.
From the time Ukraine declared independence on August 24, 1991, until the Maidan coup of February 2014, Ukraine was essentially a binational kleptocracy that used its position as a buffer state, particularly in its role as a transit hub for Russian natural gas to Europe, to the advantage of its kleptocratic elite—a coterie of deeply compromised politicians and former Soviet-era functionaries-turned-oligarchs.
The tension between the Russian East and Galician West came to a head during the Maidan protests when then-president Viktor Yanukovych, a politician from eastern Ukraine, sought to leverage Ukraine’s unique geographic position during the country’s E.U. accession bid—a bid against which Russia, with long and deep economic ties to Ukraine, furiously objected.
Yanukovych squeezed both sides, and in the end, the economic deal offered by the E.U. paled in comparison to the one offered by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. And so, Yanukovych, avaricious, yes, but also wary of upsetting his restive neighbor to the East, went with the deal, worth some $15 billion, offered by the Russians.
Trying to pick a fight with China is insanity. From Paul Craig Roberts and Mike Whitney at unz.com:
Mike Whitney— The Biden administration is determined to provoke China on the issue of Taiwan. The White House now believes that they must take a more aggressive approach to China in order to contain their development and preserve America’s role as regional hegemon. The irony of Washington’s approach, however, is the fact that tens of thousands of US corporations have fled the US over the last 3 decades to take advantage of China’s low-paid work force. In fact—according to Registration China—there are now more than 1 million foreign-owned companies registered on Mainland China, many of which are owned by Americans. These corporations are largely responsible for China’s meteoric economic rise over the same period of time. So my question to you is this: Why is China being blamed and targeted for the explosive growth for which US corporations are mainly responsible? Or do you disagree with my analysis?
Paul Craig Roberts— Your question is really several. Your question itself identifies the main or over-riding reason for Washington’s back-tracking on the one-China policy that has been in effect since 1972—China’s threat to US hegemony. The neoconservatives who dominate US foreign policy, the principal purpose of which, in their words, is to prevent the rise of other countries with sufficient power to constrain US unilateralism, now face both China and Russia as threats to US hegemony. Russia’s punishment is conflict in Ukraine, sanctions, missiles on their border, and blown up Nord Stream pipelines. The goal is to isolate Russia from Europe and to present the Kremlin with sufficient problems to keep Moscow out of Washington’s way.
Just as the US broke its agreement with Russia not to expand NATO and has withdrawn from the agreements made during the Cold War that served to reduce tensions, Washington is now moving toward repudiating the one-China policy as it no longer serves Washington’s interest.
The Russians have more of everything and Bakhmut will soon fall. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:
Just two days ago I reported that Bakhmut is falling. The Ukrainian soldiers there are outgunned 1 to 10 and die under artillery fire with little chance to shot back. More reports from the front have since come in. They support my dire view.
The German pro-Ukrainian news outlet Bild reported this morning that there were misgivings in the Ukrainian war leadership:
President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi have conflicting views on how the military should handle the situation in Bakhmut, according to unnamed sources within the Ukrainian political leadership cited in a report by Bild.
Bild writes that Zaluzhnyi was deliberating a tactical withdrawal from Bakhmut weeks ago over concern for the wellbeing of his troops.
The Ukrainian government told Bild that remaining in Bakhmut was the right decision due to the serious damage it inflicted on Russian military personnel and equipment. However, according to other sources cited by the publication, the situation is at risk of becoming untenable.
“The vast majority of soldiers in Bakhmut do not understand why the city is being held,” a Ukrainian military analyst told Bild on condition of anonymity.
it covers spread, risk, mitigation, far fetched pharma fables, and all the other fabulism with which we have all become so unavoidably familiar.
and indeed, these were all lies told by people who either knew better or should have known better. every actual expert was sidelined and the social contagion of panic took center stage as the drama kids playing at being the science kids took the world on the greatest pseudoscientific joyride in human history. “story” overtook “science” and “epigram” shouted down “epidemiology.” 100 years of evidence based pandemic response programs were defenestrated and replaced with superstition driven diktat that “looked like doing something.”
and it has, predictably, fallen apart and is coming to be seen as the failure of nerve, failure of science, and failure of the asch conformity test that it was.
but that does not mean that it’s over.
what if embedded in all of this is perhaps one more lie?
Daniel Ellsberg at a press conference in New York City, 1972.
I think it best that I begin with the end. On March 1, I and dozens of Dan’s friends and fellow activists received a two-page notice that he had been diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer and was refusing chemotherapy because the prognosis, even with chemo, was dire. He will be ninety-two in April.
Last November, over a Thanksgiving holiday spent with family in Berkeley, I drove a few miles to visit Dan at the home in neighboring Kensington he has shared for decades with his wife Patricia. My intent was to yack with him for a few hours about our mutual obsession, Vietnam. More than fifty years later, he was still pondering the war as a whole, and I was still trying to understand the My Lai massacre. I arrived at 10 am and we spoke without a break—no water, no coffee, no cookies—until my wife came to fetch me, and to say hello and visit with Dan and Patricia. She left, and I stayed a few more minutes with Dan, who wanted to show me his library of documents that could have gotten him a long prison term. Sometime around 6 pm—it was getting dark—Dan walked me to my car, and we continued to chat about the war and what he knew—oh, the things he knew—until I said I had to go and started the car. He then said, as he always did, “You know I love you, Sy.”
So this is a story about a tutelage that began in the summer of 1972, when Dan and I first connected. I have no memory of who called whom, but I was then at the New York Times and Dan had some inside information on White House horrors he wanted me to chase down—stuff that had not been in the Pentagon Papers.
Daniel Ellberg, of Pentagon Papers fame, is dying. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:
The term “Fourth Estate” had taken on the dust of a neglected antique before the release of the Pentagon Papers. Afterwards it seemed possible to think again of the press as the independent pole of power required by a working democracy.
Dan Ellsberg at a press conference in New York City, 1972. (Bernard Gotfryd, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)
I have never met Daniel Ellsberg. A mutual friend, Rob Johnson, the executive director of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, in New York, proposed to introduce us several times but the occasion never presented itself. It does not matter. I know Dan Ellsberg as one knows someone by way of the work he or she has done, and what that work has meant in one’s life.
Another friend, a dear one, wrote a note from Gadsden, Alabama, last Thursday with the subject line, “Ellsberg dying.” This was thoughtful, as this friend unfailingly is, because Twitter has censored my account and I cannot read anything on it unless someone sends an item I am able to open. Ellsberg broke the news first to friends and supporters, among them ConsortiumNews, and then decided to share it on his Twitter account after someone had leaked it. “I’m sorry to report to you that my doctors have given me three to six months to live. Of course, they emphasize that everyone’s case is individual; it might be more, or less.”
In the letter, Ellsberg recounts his experiences during and since the Pentagon Papers period — the antiwar work, the work against nuclear weapons:
“When I coped the Pentagon papers in 1969, I had every reason to think I would be spending the rest of my life behind bars. It was a fate I would have gladly accepted if it meant hastening the end of the Vietnam War, unlikely as that seemed (and was). Yet in the end, that action — in ways I could not have foreseen, due to Nixon’s illegal responses — did have an impact on shortening the war.”
And, addressing all of us forthrightly:
“It is long past time—but not too late—for the world’s publics at last to challenge and resist the willed moral blindness of their past and current leaders. I will, as long as I am able, to help in these efforts….”
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