The “New Normal” Is De-Normalization

Here’s what denormalization means: there was no “New Normal” for the dinosaurs. Everyone talks about the “New Normal,” as if there’s a guarantee that life will return to normal. But the “New Normal” is De-Normalization, which I define as everything that was normal is gone and will not be replaced with some new normal. In other […]

Could Wall Street Lose the Election?

Two simple regulations would drive a stake through Wall Street’s corrupt, evil heart. While the corporate media is focused on the presidential election, perhaps the more interesting question is: could Wall Street Lose the election? That is, could Wall Street face potentially fatal restrictions regardless of who wins? If this seems […]

The Economy Is Mortally Wounded

A fully financialized, totally debt and speculation-dependent economy is terminal once leverage and debt stop expanding exponentially. We all know the movie scene in which the character is wounded but dismisses it as no big deal, and then lurches into the closing sequence where we discover the wound was not inconsequential, […]

If the “Market” Never Goes Down, The System Is Doomed

The reliance on “good news” narratives dooms our financial system and economy to a death spiral once reality breaks through the induced euphoria. “Markets” that never go down aren’t markets, they’re signaling mechanisms of the Powers That Be. Markets are fundamentally clearing houses of information on price, demand, sentiment, expectations and […]

The Bogus “Recovery,” Stress and Burnout

We have three basic ways to counter the destructive consequences of stress. We have all experienced the disorientation and “brain freeze” that stress triggers. The pandemic and the responses to the pandemic have been continuous sources of stress, i.e. chronic stress, which is the pathway to burnout, the collapse of our ability to […]

TikTok and our Last-Ditch Desperation for Social Mobility

Social media offers hope of achieving higher social status, something that is increasingly out of reach in our winner-take-most economy. I’ve often addressed the decline of social mobility and the addictive nature of social media, for example, Why Is Social Media So Toxic? I have long held that the decline of […]

A Vaccine May Not Be the “Magical Cure” Everyone Anticipates

Few appear willing to follow the probabilities of a future in which a vaccine cannot possibly be the “magic cure” everyone wants. Let’s attempt the impossible and set aside all preconceptions we might have about a vaccine for Covid-19, and think it through somewhat dispassionately. Let’s start by stipulating that dispassionate […]

Memo from Insiders: Dear Bagholders, Thanks for Buying Our Shares at the Top

The self-sustaining recovery is a fantasy that’s evaporated. What looks like a powerful, can’t-lose rally to newbies is recognized as distribution by old hands. In low-volume markets (as in the past few months), insiders holding large positions can’t dump all their shares at once or the price of the stock would plummet due […]

The Next Leg Down: The Top 10% Are About to Take a Hit

No federal bailout or stimulus can reverse these three dynamics, and no amount of legerdemain can replace the spending of the top 10%. Few of those anxiously seeking a rebound in consumer spending take into account the top 10% of households account for almost 50% of consumption, and that top […]

Our Slide into Social Psychosis and Breakdown

Not only is our lifestyle on back-order, so is our sanity. Yesterday I mentioned our collective inability to make sense of the contradictory messages of the status quo and our own experience. This inability to reconcile completely contradictory messages generates psychosis, an internal breakdown that manifests as a disconnect from reality. […]

The Nation Is Falling Into the Abyss Between Wall Street and Main Street

The abyss between the Fed’s illusion of phantom wealth for Wall Street and the collapse of Main Street is bottomless, and our descent into the abyss is accelerating. I know this runs counter to every dominant narrative, but a vaccine doesn’t really matter, opening up doesn’t really matter, and the […]

Why Does It Feel Like We’re in “Life During Wartime”?

The laughably hopeless hope is that by propping up the corpses, the populace will discern some faint flicker of life in the decaying carcasses and return to their free-spending ways. Call it cultural synchronicity, but it increasingly feels like we’re living in the 1979 Talking Heads song Life During Wartime, which was […]

Why the Unraveling Will Accelerate

Sclerotic, hidebound institutions optimized for linear stability and permanent growth are simply not designed to adapt to non-linear change and disruption of permanent growth. Since the first news of pandemic in late January, I’ve been discussing potential accelerants to the unraveling of our fragile financial system: second-order effects (initial travel restrictions and layoffs were first-order […]

Introducing the “Everything Bubble” Sentiment-o-Meter

Since human wetware remains stuck in OS1.01, we can predict a remarkable reversal. The “Everything Bubble” has been a sight to behold. With central banks providing trillions to the big players and margin debt enabling small punters to leverage up, the hot money rotation has been a real merry-go-round as one asset and […]

Inflation/Deflation: The Economy Is an Elephant

This is the key dynamic of the economy going forward: defaults on debt, declining wealth as assets are relentlessly repriced lower and sharp declines in income due to layoffs and debt defaults. The economy is like an elephant surrounded by blindfolded economists and pundits: what each blindfolded person reports about the […]

Inequality Is America’s Monster Id

What they don’t understand is inequality is America’s Monster Id: the more you try to suppress it, the more powerful it becomes. The word privilege is much bandied about now. I’ve been writing about privilege for many years, and ended up writing a book about the source (and thus the end) of privilege: Inequality […]

The Real Unemployment Rate is 21%–and Heading Higher

As businesses, agencies and organizations recalibrate to the reality that the V-shaped recovery was nothing but a brief fantasy, 6 million additional jobs lost may be a best-case scenario rather than the worst-case scenario. It is somewhat less than reassuring that the “official” unemployment rate of around 12% is roughly […]

Welcome to the Crazed, Frantic Demise of Finance Capitalism

The cognitive dissonance required to ignore the widening gap between the real economy and the fraud’s basic machinery–speculation funded by “money” conjured out of thin air–has reached a level of denial that can only be termed psychotic. When scams start unraveling, the scammers become increasingly frantic to maintain the illusion of […]

This Is a Financial Extinction Event

The lower reaches of the financial food chain are already dying, and every entity that depended on that layer is doomed. Though under pressure from climate change, the dinosaurs were still dominant 65 million year ago–until the meteor struck, creating a global “nuclear winter” that darkened the atmosphere for months, killing […]

Could America Have a French-Style Revolution?

As with the French Revolution, that will be the trigger for a wholesale replacement of our failed institutions. Since it’s Bastille Day, a national holiday in France celebrating the French Revolution, let’s ask a question few even think (or dare) to ask: could America have a French-style Revolution? Not in some distant […]