Thursday , July 18 2019
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Charles Hugh Smith
At readers' request, I've prepared a biography. I am not confident this is the right length or has the desired information; the whole project veers uncomfortably close to PR. On the other hand, who wants to read a boring bio? I am reminded of the "Peanuts" comic character Lucy, who once issued this terse biographical summary: "A man was born, he lived, he died." All undoubtedly true, but somewhat lacking in narrative.

Charles Hugh Smith

The Three Ds of Doom: Debt, Default, Depression

"Borrowing our way out of debt" generates the three Ds of Doom: debt leads to default which ushers in Depression. Let's start by defining Economic Depression: a Depression is a Recession that isn't fixed by conventional fiscal and monetary stimulus. In other words, when a recession drags on despite massive fiscal and monetary stimulus being thrown into the economy, then the stimulus-resistant stagnation is called a Depression. Here's why we're heading into a Depression: debt...

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Epstein and the Explosive Crisis of the Deep State

Since the battle is for the legitimacy of the state, it must be waged at least partially in the open. Speculations by outsiders must give Deep State insiders many opportunities to chuckle, "if only they knew." We don't know, of course, and public leaks are engineered to misdirect our attention from what's actually going on or "frame" our understanding in a positive way. Decades later, history reveals a very ordinary mix of great successes and horrific failure in secret operations, caused...

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“Alexa, How Do We Subvert Big Tech’s Orwellian Internet-of-Things Surveillance?”

Convenience is the sales pitch, but the real goal is control in service of maximizing profits and extending state power. When every device in your life is connected to the Internet (the Internet of Things), your refrigerator will schedule an oil change for your car--or something like that--and it will be amazingly wunnerful. You'll be able to lower the temperature of your home office while you're stuck in a traffic jam, while your fridge orders another jar of pickles delivered to your...

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Predatory “Green Capitalism” Is Monetizing the Air, and It’s Going to Cost You

You want to reduce CO2? Then trigger a global depression that reduces global consumption of everything by 50% and destroys 95% of the phantom wealth owned by the global elites trying to monetize the air. I recently asked What's Left to Monetize?, and longtime correspondent Mark G. provided the answer: the air we breathe, via carbon taxes and markets for trading carbon credits, i.e. financializing / monetizing Nature to benefit the few at the expense pf the many. Here's Mark's commentary:...

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When Everything from Bat Guano to Quatloos Is Soaring, Speculative Euphoria Has Reached an Extreme

The more extreme the speculative euphoria, the greater the risks of a reversal. One sentence sums up the speculative euphoria gripping markets: January and June of this year are the only months in the last 150 which have seen all assets post a positive total return. (Zero Hedge) When every asset from bat guano to quatloos is soaring, the current speculative frenzy has reached extremes. We all know the quasi-religious faith driving the euphoria: central banks will push all assets higher as...

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What’s Left to Monetize?

What's left to monetize? It appears the answer is "very little." Advertising has always monetized consumers' time and attention, what we call engagement today. Newspapers and periodicals publish advertisements, radio/TV networks and stations air adverts, movie theaters run trailers/ads, billboards occupy our mental space while driving and websites and apps post adverts. The more media you consume, the more adverts you see/hear, and the more time you spend consuming media, the greater your...

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Vested Interests in Charge = Guaranteed Failure

It boils down to two very simple principles: accredit the student, not the institution and teach every student how to rigorously learn on their own. Vested interests have every incentive to maintain the status quo: specifically, those who currently own the assets, income streams and power will continue to own the assets, income streams and power. To accomplish this, vested interests must suppress, undermine or co-opt structural innovation, which threatens to obsolete the status...

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America’s Concealed Crisis: Fifty Years of Economic Decline, 1969 to 2019

If we consider the long term, it's clear America's economy and society have been declining for the average household for 50 years. What if the "prosperity" of the past 50 years is mostly a statistical mirage for the bottom 80% of households? What if whatever real gains (adjusted for real-world loss of purchasing power) accrued only to the top of the wealth-power pyramid, those closest to financial and political power? What if the U.S. economy and society shifted from "everybody wins" to...

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Following in Rome’s Footsteps: Moral Decay, Rising Inequality

Here is the moral decay of America's ruling elites boiled down to a single word. There are many reasons why Imperial Rome declined, but two primary causes that get relatively little attention are moral decay and soaring wealth inequality. The two are of course intimately connected: once the morals of the ruling Elites degrade, what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine, too. I've previously covered two other key characteristics of an empire in terminal decline: complacency and...

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No, Autos Are Not “Cheaper Now”

According to the BLS, inflation in the category of "New Vehicles" has been practically non-existent the past 21 years. Longtime readers know I've long turned a skeptical gaze at official calculations of inflation, offering real-world analyses such as The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001 (August 1, 2016) and Burrito Index Update: Burrito Cost Triples, Official Inflation Up 43% from 2001 (May 31, 2018). Official claims that grossly understate real-world inflation...

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