Economies Can Burn Out, Too–And They Are

Economies can burn out, too, and they’re already sliding into the final stages of burnout. Burnout has a startling knack for sneaking up on us. We’re stressed and tired but still functioning at a high level, and then suddenly our capacity to keep going collapses. We are no longer able […]

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What’s Worse Than Inflation? Depression + Inflation

If “markets” controlled by the rich are allowed to distribute essentials, the result will be civil disorder and the overthrow of regimes. What’s worse than inflation? Depression + Inflation. And that’s where we’re heading. As I explained yesterday in The Fed Can’t Stop Supply-Side Inflation, central banks are trying to […]

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The Fed Can’t Stop Supply-Side Inflation

The Fed and other central banks have zero control of supply-driven inflation, period. America’s financial punditry is bewitched by four fatal fantasies: 1. Inflation is demand-driven. If the Federal Reserve (or other central banks) reduce demand with monetary tools like raising interest rates, inflation will cool. 2. Substitution of high-cost […]

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The Real Story of America Abandoning the Gold Standard

Even currencies maintaining convertibility to gold are still subject to bond yields, interest rates, trade and capital flows. It’s widely held that all of our financial woes are the result of abandoning the discipline of the gold standard in 1971. The premise here is that if the U.S. had maintained […]

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Deglobalization Is Inflationary

Price cutting is being replaced with price gouging, a substitution that consumers recognize as inflation.. Globalization was deflationary, Deglobalization is inflationary. The entire point of globalization is to 1) lower costs as a means of maximizing profits and 2) find markets for surplus domestic production. Both serve to export deflation […]

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A Tale of Two Recessions: One Excellent, One Tumultuous

Events may show that there are no winners, only survivors and those who failed to adapt. Some recessions are brief, necessary cleansings in which extremes of leverage and speculation are unwound via painful defaults, reductions of risk and bear markets. Some are reactions to exogenous shocks such as war or […]

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A Most Peculiar Recession

So what are conventional pundits missing today? I would start with three dynamics. Only old people experienced real recessions–those in 1973-74 and 1980-82. Recessions since then have been shorter and less systemic. In the good old days, a recession laid waste to entire industries which never recovered their previous employment. […]

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Are Older Workers Propping Up the U.S. Economy?

Are 55 and older workers propping up the U.S. economy? The data is rather persuasive that the answer is yes. The chart of U.S. employment ages 25 to 54 years of age and 55 and older reveals a startling change. There are now 20 million more 55+ employed than there […]

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Rather Than Focus on What You Don’t Control (“The News”), Focus on What You Do Control: What You Grow, Eat and Own

Now that globalization and financialization are finally unraveling, people are slowly awakening to the national security foundations of localizing production. What exactly is “the news” other than an inducement to passivity, despair and derangement? Since we exert zero control over what happens in distant lands and global economies, why waste […]

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China at the Crossroads

Watch where capital is flowing. That’s pretty much all you need to know to predict the future. The word “China” evokes strong emotions, so let’s set it aside in favor of a simple syllogism: 1. Certain things matter in all economies. 2. China is an economy. 3. Therefore these certain […]

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Can We “Export Inflation?” Yes We Can, Yes We Are

A strong currency exports inflation to those nations which do not issue the currency. Though it’s difficult to be confident of anything in the current flux, I am pretty confident of three things: 1) price is set on the margins 2) currencies are the foundation of every economy 3) the […]

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What Can The Beatles Teach Us about Management?

Own your work. Don’t give it away or let others profit at your expense. Leverage it when opportunities arise. What can The Beatles teach us about management?Young readers may wonder why The Beatles still matter 52 years after the band broke up. It’s a fair question. There are many answers, […]

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How Much of “Inflation” Is the Price Being Jacked Up Under the Excuse of “Inflation”?

The problem for global corporations feasting on “Inflation” profiteering is that the vast majority of consumers can’t afford another lavish vacation, overpriced vehicle or specious subscription. A funny thing seems to be happening within “Inflation”: companies are using “inflation” as cover for outrageous price increases that have little to do […]

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There Won’t Be Any Winners Because The Status Quo Is Corrupt Everywhere

Systemic corruption on this vast scale optimizes failure and collapse. Debating which nations will “win” as the global economy unravels is a popular but pointless parlor game.Since the status quo in every nation is deeply, profoundly, systemically corrupt, there won’t be any “winners,” there will only be losers. Apologists love […]

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What’s Truly Important? The Global Revaluation Is Accelerating

How much gold will you trade for a few eggs? It depends on how hungry you are. Two ideas will help us understand the rest of this tumultuous decade: core-periphery and the revaluation of what’s truly important: systemic adaptability, transparency, accountability, risk, capital and resources. I recently discussed the core-periphery […]

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When You Put Too Many Eggs in One Basket…

Greed is good until all the vulnerabilities and fragilities of systemic risk asymmetries manifest. When you put too many eggs in one basket, you create systemic fragility: if anything knocks that basket over, the loss is so overweighted that the entire system unravels. Why do we put too many eggs […]

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Why the Labor Shortage Isn’t Going Away

It’s getting hard to fill toxic low-pay jobs, and that’s not going to change. The nature of work and the labor market are changing in ways few discern or perhaps are willing to discern because these changes are disrupting the exploitive system they want to remain unchanged. But refusing to […]

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The Real Policy Error Is Expanding Debt and Calling It “Growth”

Waste is not growth, and neither are the unlimited expansion of debt and speculative bubbles. The financial punditry is whipping itself into a frenzy about a Federal Reserve “policy error,” which is code for “if the music finally stops, we’re doomed!” In other words, any policy which reduces the flow […]

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The Only Real Solution Is Default

The destruction of ‘phantom wealth’ via default has always been the only way to clear the financial system of unpayable debt burdens and extremes of rentier / wealth dominance. The notion that the world could always borrow more money as long as interest rates were near-zero was never sustainable. It […]

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US Dollar Strength: “Unintended Consequences” Or “The Empire Strikes Back”?

How unintended can these consequences be? My guess: not very. A great many people got the U.S. dollar trade wrong. The conventional view held that “printing money”, i.e. expanding the supply of money, would automatically devalue the currency. It isn’t quite so simple, it seems. It depends on where the […]

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