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The Rot Within, Part I: Our Ponzi Economy

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / MONDAY, JULY 21, 2014

Depending on blowing the next bubble to temporarily prop up the economy is the height of foolhardy shortsightedness. All the conventional policy fixes proposed by Demopublican politicos, technocrats and the vast army of academic/think-tank apparatchiks are the equivalent of slapping a coat of paint on [...]

Why We’re Doomed: Interest and Debt

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / MONDAY, JULY 14, 2014

Even if the economy were growing at a faster pace, it wouldn’t come close to offsetting the interest payments on our ever-expanding debt. If you want to know why the Status Quo is unsustainable, just look at interest and debt. These are not difficult to [...]

Neofeudalism’s Tax Donkeys (Yes, You) and the Battle for Control of Resources

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / WEDNESDAY, JULY 09, 2014

Those who own the resources and influence the political control of those resources are the New Nobility in a pernicious Neofeudalism enforced by the very government that claims to serve the debt-serfs and tax donkeys. Let’s tease apart several strands of Neofeudalism, my [...]

Is Small Business a Threat to the Status Quo?

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2014

Truth is the first victim of the Company Store’s dominance.

My view of the Status Quo as a neocolonial, neofeudal arrangement is succinctly captured by correspondent D.C.’s description of state-corporate capitalism: the Company Store. In the plantation model (i.e. any economic setting dominated by [...]

This Is How Empires Collapse

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014

This is how empires collapse: one complicit participant at a time. Before an empire collapses, it first erodes from within. The collapse may appear sudden, but the processes of internal rot hollowed out the resilience, resolve, purpose and vitality of the empire long before [...]

The Political Poison of Vested Interests

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014

Once vested interests take control, the only possible “solution” left is collapse. I have long identified diminishing returns as a key dynamic in the current unraveling of the Status Quo. Why is this so? We can summarize diminishing returns as dumping more money, capital, energy [...]

It’s Not Just the Stock Market That’s Rigged: the Entire Status Quo Is Rigged

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / WEDNESDAY, APRIL 02, 2014

One has to wonder why we are dodging this truth about what we’ve become: a nation that turns a blind eye to skimmers, scammers and legal looting. As in the story of the Emperor’s new clothes, the onlooker who declares the obvious– in this case, [...]

After Many a Summer Dies the Swan

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.ca / Jesse / 01 APRIL 2014

“Vanity and narcissism — the compulsive need to be admired and praised — undermine one’s courage, for one then fights on someone else’s conviction rather than one’s own.”

Rollo May

“Narcissus so himself, himself forsook, And died to kiss his shadow in the brook.”

William Shakespeare

“Alas! [...]

The dual income conundrum – Americans need to work two jobs to make up for stagnant wages and the sinister impact of a middle class being eaten away by inflation.

mybudget360.com / by mybudget360 / March 9, 2014

In the United States the dual income household is the status quo. In the late 1960s dual income households were not common. Today however two income households are the majority largely because many Americans require two incomes just to stay afloat. This has been labeled as the [...]

Why the Periphery Is Crumbling: The Spoils System Is Cracking

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

Instability starts on the periphery and moves into the core. While it is clear that the instability in periphery nations is arising from dynamics unique to each nation, there is one unifying causal factor: the spoils system in each nation is breaking down. Every [...]

From the Garden to the Table in 20 Minutes

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / by Charles Hugh Smith / SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014

Though the the Status Quo is unsustainable, that doesn’t mean we are powerless to improve our own lives. The great thing about a garden is that you can harvest vegetables and serve them for dinner a short time later. Winter gardens are not possible [...]

How to Make a Million: Extortion Creates its own Antidote

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2014

The problem is its own solution. Whether we try to stop the Status Quo, or let it stop, it WILL stop. Longtime correspondent Eric A. has a new essay describing a key dynamic of the years ahead: Extortion and skimming create their own antidotes. [...]

Doomed If We Do, Doomed If We Don’t

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2014

Even if we used a 10:1 fractional reserve ratio, the Fed’s $85 billion per month QE was creating $10 trillion per year in liquidity. The point to understanding the Status Quo financial system is doomed is not to revel in the doom [...]

Our Middleman-Skimming Economy

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2014

The Internet is enabling sellers and buyers to bypass the predatory State and the parasitic middlemen the State enforces. Why do we read commentaries and analyses? To understand why the Status Quo is dying and to have a hand in shaping the new way [...]

Who Has the Time and Motivation to Comprehend the Mess We’re In? Almost Nobody

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2014

If we don’t understand the problem or the dynamics that are generating the problem, it is impossible to reach a solution or practical plan of action. When it comes time to assess our grasp of the dynamics of this unprecedented era, how do you [...]

Resolution #1: Let’s Call Things What They Really Are in 2014

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2014

The Status Quo system is failing. Its collapse will be messy. Starting to call things what they really are is a necessary first step to working with this reality. Longtime correspondent Harun I. has offered a refreshing resolution for 2014: let’s start calling things [...]

Returning 2706% In The Past 40 Years, The Best Performing “Yellow” Asset Is…

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 11/25/2013 13:33 -0500

Monopolistic supply? Thriving wealth-effect-driven demand?

As we noted previously,

Medallions – essentially the right to operate a for-hail taxi in New York City – now trade for as much as $1.3 million, an all-time record.

Part of this dynamic is fixed supply [...]