Our Strange Attraction to Self-Destructive Behaviors, Choices and Incentives

Self-destruction isn’t a bug, it’s a feature of our socio-economic system. The gravitational pull of self-destructive behaviors, choices and incentives is scale-invariant, meaning that we can discern the strange attraction to self-destruction in the entire scale of human experience, from individuals to families to groups to entire societies. The proliferation […]

What Do We Know About Syria? Next to Nothing

Anyone accepting “facts” or narratives from any interested party is being played. About the only “fact” the public knows with any verifiable certainty about Syria is that much of that nation is in ruins. Virtually everything else presented as “fact” is propaganda intended to serve one of the competing narratives or […]

Why Trade Wars Ignite and Why They’re Spreading

The monetary distortions, imbalances and perverse incentives are finally bearing fruit: trade wars. What ignites trade wars? The oft-cited sources include unfair trade practices and big trade deficits. But since these have been in place for decades, they don’t explain why trade wars are igniting now. To truly understand why trade […]

The Genie’s Out of the Bottle: Eight Defining Trends Are Reversing

Though the Powers That Be will attempt to placate or suppress the Revolt of the Powerless, the genies of political disunity and social disorder cannot be put back in the bottle. The saying “the worm has turned” refers to the moment when the downtrodden have finally had enough, and turn on their […]

Were Trade Wars Inevitable?

Trade in which mobile capital is the comparative advantage is a system of Neocolonial exploitation of developing-world nations. Were trade wars inevitable? The answer is yes, due to the imbalances and distortions generated by financialization and central bank stimulus. Gordon Long and I peel the trade-war onion in a new video […]

Why Systems Fail

Since failing systems are incapable of structural reform, collapse is the only way forward. Systems fail for a wide range of reasons, but I’d like to focus on two that are easy to understand but hard to pin down. 1. Systems are accretions of structures and modifications laid down over […]

Playing for All the Marbles

Global Plunge Protection Teams must be ordering take-out food; every night is a long one now. The current stocks/bonds game is for all the marbles, by which I mean the status quo now depends on valuations and interest rates remaining near their current levels for the system to function. If interest […]

The Problem with a State-Cartel Economy: Prices Rise, Wages Don’t

The vise will tighten until something breaks. It could be the currency, it could be the political status quo, it could be the credit/debt system–or all three. The problem with an economy dominated by state-enforced cartels and quasi-monopolies is that prices rise (since cartels can push higher costs onto the […]

What If All the Cheap Stuff Goes Away?

Nothing stays the same in dynamic systems, and it’s inevitable that the current glut of low costs / cheap stuff will give way to scarcities that cannot be filled at current low prices. One of the books I just finished reading is The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End […]

15 Years of War: To Whose Benefit?

As for Iraq, the implicit gain was supposed to be access to Iraqi oil. Setting aside the 12 years of “no fly zone” air combat operations above Iraq from 1991 to 2003, the U.S. has been at war for almost 17 years in Afghanistan and 15 years in Iraq. (If the […]

Decrypting the Appointment of John Bolton

So perhaps the dominant wing of the Deep State is finally willing to cut a deal with Trump. To many observers, the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor is the functional equivalent of appointing the Anti-Christ–or maybe worse. Indeed, these observers would, when comparing the two, find grudging favor […]

Should Facebook and Google Pay Users When They Sell Data Collected from Users?

Let’s imagine a model in which the marketers of data distribute some of their immense profits to the users who created and thus “own” the data being sold for a premium. It’s not exactly news that Facebook, Google and other “free” services reap billions of dollars in profits by selling […]

Solutions Only Arise Outside the Status Quo

Solutions are only possible outside these ossified, self-serving centralized hierarchies. Correspondent Dan F. asked me to reprint some posts on solutions to the systemic problems I’ve outlined for years, most recently in How Much Longer Can We Get Away With It? and Checking In on the Four Intersecting Cycles. I appreciate the request, […]

Is Profit-Maximizing Data-Mining Undermining Democracy?

If targeting political extremes generates the most profit, then that’s what these corporations will pursue. As many of you know, oftwominds.com was falsely labeled propaganda by the propaganda operation known as ProporNot back in 2016. The Washington Post saw fit to promote ProporNot’s propaganda operation because it aligned with the newspaper’s view that any site that wasn’t pro-status quo […]

How Much Longer Can We Get Away With It?

Alas, fakery isn’t actually a solution to fiscal/financial crisis.. This chart of “debt securities and loans”–i.e. total debt in the U.S. economy–is also a chart of the creation and distribution of new money, as the issuance of new debt is the mechanism in our financial system for creating (or “emitting” in […]

Checking In on the Four Intersecting Cycles

If you think this is a robust, resilient, stable system, please check your Ibogaine / Hopium / Delusionol intake. Correspondent James D. recently asked for an update on the four intersecting cycles I’ve been writing about for the past 10 years. Here’s the chart I prepared back in 2008 of four […]

There is No “Free Trade”–There Is Only the Darwinian Game of Trade

Rising income and wealth inequality is causally linked to globalization and the expansion of Darwinian trade and capital flows. Stripped of lofty-sounding abstractions such as comparative advantage, trade boils down to four Darwinian goals: 1. Find foreign markets to absorb excess production, i.e. where excess production can be dumped. 2. Extract […]

Forget “Free Trade”–It’s All About Capital Flows

In a world dominated by mobile capital, mobile capital is the comparative advantage. Defenders and critics of “free trade” and globalization tend to present the issue as either/or: it’s inherently good or bad. In the real world, it’s not that simple. The confusion starts with defining free trade (and by extension, […]

The Death of Buy and Hold: We’re All Traders Now

The percentage of household assets invested in stocks fell from almost 40% in 1969 to a mere 13% in 1982, after thirteen years of grinding losses. The conventional wisdom of financial advisors–to save money and invest it in stocks and bonds “for the long haul”–a “buy and hold” strategy that […]

Should Facebook, Google and Twitter Be Public Utilities?

This opaque corporate censorship amounts to a private-sector Stasi, pursuing an Orwellian world of profits reaped from the censorship and suppression of dissent My longtime friend GFB recently suggested I revisit my position on RussiaGate, the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election. I have been dismissive of […]