Adolf Neolitler prepares to meet his doom
Unsurprisingly, there isn’t a lot in the old media today. I’m amused every year before every major holiday by the same reality, but the reasons are not hard to see: the bad guys have all gone home to enjoy their ill-gotten gains by impressing friends with the age of their Champagne, and the hacks who either catch them at it – or print whatever they’re told to – are slowly being chucked out of every brasserie from San Francisco to Sumerwarra.
In short, nobody’s doing bad stuff, and nobody’s digging around looking for it. Once again, the birth of a prophet who called for humility, sobriety and the rejection of all things material is being observed by….the rich and their lackeys showing off, getting pissed, and counting money.
But for all that, in the material world all is not well….and sometimes this gets reported unconsciously by those who, by and large, approve of it. I like the Telegraph writer Liam Halligan because, although he too doesn’t really grasp the full monty of what’s coming, he’s not just another optimistic bumboy. In a column placed earlier this week, he wrote:
‘Would the Fed have dared to put its own QE on hold, and would it now be raising rates, if large central banks elsewhere weren’t still pumping out liquidity like billy-o, doing their bit to placate global markets? I think not.’
Not too hidden in there are two bits of Halliganal heresy: the Fed putting its QE ‘on hold’, and central banks jumping through hoops ‘to placate global markets’. In short, Liam Halligan (a sound Irish name) thinks that Janet of the Fed will have to reverse her policy before long; and then observes that the economic world does the markets’ bidding.
The first opinion is widely shared, but the second is still a relatively rare insight – that is, things are entirely the wrong way round. As of course, under financialised capitalism, they are: instead of business making real money and then speculating with bank funds to grow income and employment, the banks have been inventing money and then demanding unreal business performance to hide the colossal size of the error. Thus, central banks around the world use the ledger pen to both help the banks dump silly investments on us….and pump free money into share values that keep investor confidence up.
Where I differ from Mr Halligan is in his belief that pumping out false liquidity will have the effect of the real thing. It won’t, because that process leaves out the consumer, and so the recovery can’t happen – especially with an economic model that asks the punter to take less money home from work – but consume more using Zirp credit. The human sciences graduate is a rare bird in finance: most people, even today, will not max out everything if they don’t feel well off.
Ambrose (another fine Irish name) Evans-Pritchard (…er, hmm) suffers from the same belief that narrow economists’ ideas like QE and Zirp are somehow preferable to facing facts and then learning from them. But he too cannot be missed because – for all that his views are not so much a moveable feast as meals on wheels – he still joins up more dots more thoroughly than most. His piece this week on the end of the oil world might read in parts like another journo miles behind the music, but his point – OPEC hasn’t grasped the reality of it yet – is totally valid.
So here are two very good journalists working at a tinpot newspaper for two crackpot tax exiles with a serious case baronial delusion syndrome, and yet their ability to see what’s wrong with our world – arse about face economic ideas and neolithic energy mania – is still there.
Both Liam and Ambrose are Establishment commentators. As a man who thinks the Establishment needs to be radically rethought – aka, replaced with something wiser and more equitable – I am always going to take things further. Not only does power need to be transferred from commerce back to Sovereign government, electric cars alone are not going to take away the obscenely privileged wealth of Stone Age Islam and Mammon Texas. Only a leap in energy technology – involving the real potential of Einsteinian theory and our nearest star – will allow that to happen at the economic level.
As for politicians having power over the gargoyles and direct accountability to the Citizens, that’s a bigger issue. There is today a dominant acceptance by those ‘running’ things that their way is the natural order of things. It is going to take more than scientific breakthrough and electoral tinkering get rid them of this bad science…and then get rid of them.