Envision yourself on the Mount Everest ice field called the Khumbu icefall. You are with a group negotiating a crossing of the ice field on your way to the summit of Everest. You are almost at Camp One, having left base camp and are struggling through the most difficult acclimatization portion of your climb. You are part of a team, the first team up the mountain in this particular expedition, but in this endeavour, you feel alone. You are fighting nature’s forces, all of them — gravity, extreme cold, violent winds, blinding snow storms, thin oxygen, your own contracting blood vessels, cramps, and one step at a time you cross ladders, and you clip onto and off ropes that have been fixed in the ice. You worry each time you unclip your carabiner. Each might just be the moment when ice moves and disaster hits. And then it happens.
A large slab of the ice, which you and your team are standing on, collapses vertically and drops out from under you. In an instant it’s all over and silence consumes the deep crevice. You hit bottom, but you are alive. In shock, exhausted, and in disarray, your team members seem able to shake off the crushed ice covering them. While they each take account of their conditions, your team leader, one of the individuals who supposedly had knowledge and experience on the mountain, and whom you paid to lead you to the summit, makes his way to the highest point in the crevice, and after numerous attempts, manages to throw a hooked rope to the top, about thirty feet up. It grabs and holds firm. Using two Jumars, he very slowly ascends the rope. You look up, staring hopefully, silently cheering him on to succeed. He will help you out of this chasm. With difficulty, he reaches the top, and you observe his boots with crampons disappearing up and over the edge high above. Your fears subside, then as suddenly as the ice had collapsed under your feet, an intense shudder of fear fills your being.
The long rope comes tumbling down without the hook, and piles in a heap on the floor of the crevice. There is no sound from above. Your team leader has left without even a “good luck.” Exhausted, cold, with a storm brewing above, you and what remains of your team are on your own.
We are all at the bottom of a great chasm and our leadership has discarded the 99% of us who have not only not lost sight of the reality that has gripped America, we are living it.
Our team leadership, The Federal Reserve and the senior bankers, managed us into this predicament. We believed them and their political puppets, as they lulled us into complacency, spending borrowed funds on new automobiles and homes — for years low interest rates were our new best friends.
All levels of government bureaucracy exploded with borrowed funds. Corporate debt also exploded, as The Fed and Wall Street seduced CEOs with cheap money so that trillions of dollars could be distributed through private equity holder dividends and share buy-backs. These and other unproductive applications of QE cash were somehow presented to make sense — if anyone was paying attention.
Calling this corporate debt a ‘bubble’ would not do this monster justice. If you held large blocks of publicly traded shares, you won. Otherwise, you were a bleeding spectator. If you were saving anything for tomorrow, or for your retirement, you lost, and lost in a major way.
Year after year of QE helicopter funds dropping from on-high did not create new decent-wage jobs that would turn the economy around. Those funds, however, created a debt that presents us with an extraordinary phenomenon. Government debt, which bankers have made billions of dollars creating, corporate debt, and personal debt, which all banks have benefitted from, are at historical levels and will not be repaid — trickling interest payments maybe, repayment, no way.
All of your neighbours have debt. Debt for their homes, or debt for their newish automobiles, it is debt that will never be repaid. Any chance the banks will forgive them? None.
Almost half of the 99% bearing the burden accepts the NYT resident self-absorbed economist Paul Krugman’s excuse for the stagnant economy. In his wisdom, he claims that The Fed just didn’t helicopter enough money fast enough. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it. Minds incapable of prescience, self-reflection, or learning, cannot accept that their ill-conceived notions were and are destructive. If all you read is the NYT, you just don’t know any different, but the zero interest and self-serving QE which has exploded the Nation’s debt, are misguided and are malignant.
Armed with hundreds of billions of easy dollars, the 1% fed their lobbyists to create an unprecedented agglomeration of cash and influence in Washington. In corrupting the whole of the political class including the Oval Office, the 1% destroyed trust.
Incapable of acknowledging that we are at the bottom of a crevice, ignorants tell us to look at the stock market performance, pretending that it points to corporate health. This obvious lie gets plenty of mileage with politicians who understand little of Wall Street and its relationship with large corporations. Money artificially propping stocks is not finding its way to new job creation. That deception only floats in the waters of ignorance.
Over the next 20 years, millions of Americans who believed that the pension funds they had funded with their labours were solid and would support them into retirement, will wake up from that stupor, traumatized that their ‘Funds’ will not have capital sufficient enough to help them — in some cases, none at all. They believed the plutocrats, and now they watch as the rope descends from above into a heap on their crevice floor. They hear inane plans for open borders and globalist agenda, but cannot quite reconcile them with their own realities. Not only does the math not add-up, but, . . . . whose’s Nation is this? Is the EU experiment not imploding on itself and heading for the trash-bin of history?
We hear politicians joke about our young people, 20 to 35, living in parents’ basements. How long can that last? Sure, it’s hilarious and the vision alights a cackle of laughter from someone looking down from high above the crevice. How hysterical is it really, that millions have almost zero opportunity of climbing up that rope when new company formation is at a historical low in America? A HISTORICAL LOW.
Economic mobility is now lower than at any time in American history and never have so many been disenfranchised. The helicopter flies on, the avaricious cackler has an influence selling, quid pro quo dinner to get to, while the disdaining megaphone at the back of the copter shouts forced howls against ‘greed.’ The resonating guile in the tone is unmistakable.
The redistribution that leaders of democratic progressives lied about, has done wonders for the mega-yacht industry. In American history, there has never been such an insulting concentration of wealth as we have witnessed in the past decade.
Is the 99% also not tired of hearing about those philanthropic scraps publicly flicked off the caviar-covered tables in the form of ‘foundations’ and so glorified by the MSM? Those scraps may hold hopes of tickets to heaven, and get plenty of visibility, however, they detract attention from the reality of the deep crevice that now traps the 99%. Still, too many aren’t paying attention.
The Fed has created a National and international economic sphere in which recovery looks more and more impossible. The Fed and the senior bankers have forced us into a state controlled system we cannot climb out of. From within their eco chamber, they do not and cannot acknowledge the economic, physical and emotional pain they are inflicting on our society. The giant blob of government is choking the entrepreneur, and that spirit may not get revived.
Our world will increase its reliance on robots and computers to “do work.” We will not see employment return to levels we’ve known in the past. Through tax reductions we will have to attract large corporations to remain “on shore” and to retain their international earnings in America where governments will have a chance of collecting some taxes. Paying for the constantly growing bureaucracy will nevertheless be impossible.
The Fed has created this volatility and served up this societal destruction on a silver platter. The Fed has benefitted from the imposition of the open border, single party morality, single party fourth estate, and from the single party government bureaucracy ruled by corrupted single party mandarins.
Darkened glass limos, private jets, gated and guarded mansions, isolate those controlling the message from the millions who struggle meagre pay check to inadequate pay check to zero pay check. In isolation, the 1% tells you not to believe your lying eyes, or your stress.
Maintaining the central bankers presently managing the system beyond this Presidential election would deepen the mess we are in. It would prolong our endeavour to recover and rebuild from under the rubble they have created. Interest rates should have risen long ago to the 4% range, but alas, the politically motivated and too self-serving Fed will not change policy and will continue to manipulate both asset prices and the political process. I keep returning to this subject as it revolves around the most critical forces that affect each of us, regardless our age, race, or state within our society.
The bottom has already fallen out from under our feet. We just haven’t grasped the reality that The Fed and the 1% just tossed the whole life-line down, leaving us behind, deep in the crevice with no way out. We’re on our own.
In this Presidential electoral year there is much to be changed, but at the very least we must demand a new monetary policy that overturns the current myopic orthodoxy that has engendered the debt, distrust, and unemployment we are burdened with.
A constituent of the vast baby boomer generation with a career which has been fortunate to know the ponderous corporate worlds, as well as the intimately pressurized, and invigorating entrepreneurial domains of high tech and venture capital, I have harvested my share of mistakes meandering through corridors of enterprise from Silicon Valley, to London and endless, colourful, sometimes praetorian points in between. The voyage has provided an abundance of fodder for a pen yielding to an inquisitive keyboard, a foraging mind, and a passionate spirit.
Whether political or business or social or economic or personal, is it not all political? It is a privilege to write, and an even greater privilege to be read by anyone, and sometimes with the wind at my back the writing may occasionally be legible. I do not write to invite scorn, nor to invite respect, but if I get really lucky the writing can stimulate thinking. I also write for the very selfish purpose of animating my own processes, and engaging the best of what life offers. Above all, whether biting fire or swatting shadows, I am grateful to be gifted the freedom to write and publish whatever flows down to the keyboard. To all those who enabled this freedom, and to all those standing guard to preserve it, I am indebted.