Dollar Collapse

With all of the smack-talking about bringing down a biblical plague of economic misery upon Russia unless the hated and demonized president Vladimir Putin stopped the Crimean referendum Barack Obama’s sledgehammer of sanctions was as impotent as his five year tenure in office.  With the once mighty US establishment and it’s pocket media having spent weeks snarling like the hounds of hell themselves over opposition to their ill-advised and ultimately disastrous coup d’etat against the democratically elected leader of Ukraine today’s announcement of a tepid targeting of a handful of individuals fell short. Barry has proven once again what a shitty poker player that he is and brings to mind the old saying from the movie “Rounders” that “Listen, here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.” Alas real life isn’t just a movie and Teddy KGB’s “tell” of eating Oreo cookies has nothing on power geopolitics especially in dealing with the real KGB iceman Putin. Obama and his foreign policy team were fleeced and sent packing, shorn of all but the most skimpy of fig leafs.

It has been quite obvious for some time now that the emperor has no clothes but Obama insists on sticking out his bony chest, huffing and puffing about “red lines” and then folding with a pair of deuces, the man can’t bluff worth shit. The ‘leader’ of the supposedly free world slapped his silly-assed sanctions on a handful of Crimean and Russian officials, most of whom are likely smart enough to have utilized even the most conservative of asset protection strategies so as to render the move irrelevant in doing anything other than making a mockery of Obama and his pet buffoon John Kerry.  The world is laughing at America again but you can hardly blame them considering the ongoing fools parade of ass clowns that we have been trotting out as of late. Granted that it’s hard to bluff your way to the jackpot when your best hand contains the backing of gangs of brutal fascists and neo-Nazis whose arm-twisting (as well as Molotov cocktail throwing and sniper skills) were essential in ousting the elected president of a land whose fatal mistake was in not playing ball with the global finance mafia that is now going to whack the country into bite sized chunks to feed to the US corporate plunderers.

There are those however who will not find the flaccid punishment meted out by Obama’s regime to be very amusing, particularly the fanatical neo-cons and our de-facto president the warmongering lunatic Senator John McCain. Fresh off of his latest pilgrimage to Kiev where he continues his rogue agitating and palling around with neo-Nazis and showered with paeans to his greatness by the reigning queen of neocon propaganda Jennifer Rubin at the beltway gospel Washington Post the man who refuses to gracefully lose elections will not be denied. McCain, who will never be truly satisfied until Moscow is reduced to a smoking pile of rubble will soon be descended upon by the corrupt squadrons of media careerists to rage against that horrible Negro who whupped his ass in 2008 for not authorizing a nuclear first strike  against Russia over the Crimean secession.

Ms. Rubin is a textbook example of the thorough rottenness of the American media, a chronic liar who should have long ago been fired for her racism and distortions continues to sing the siren songs of permanent war as well as an outspoken advocate for the neocon doctrine of feeding American blood and treasure into the sucking hole of death that is the Middle East – all for the greatest glory of God’s chosen land of course. In her latest dispatch from which I excerpt she invokes McCain’s dastardly New York Times kneecapping of the man he lost to in the 2008 election as well as lays it all out in a bullshit packed screed from which I excerpt the following:

Most damaging, our allies have lost faith in the administration and complain openly. “Israelis worry there is diminished interest in keeping American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, and fear that if a nuclear deal is struck with Iran, Washington will no longer anchor an alliance to contain Tehran. The Saudis are talking anew about the possibility of needing a nuclear deterrent of their own. . . .   The ‘pivot to Asia,’ which has been slow to materialize, was supposed to be emblematic of a new combination of soft and hard power; it was as much about building trade relationships as making it clear to the Chinese leadership that America has no intention of ceding the East and South China Seas as areas where Beijing could expect to become the sole power.” (Like Walter Cronkite and LBJ, when Obama loses the New York Times, it might be time to rethink things.)

In short, just about every conservative criticism of the administration is now conventional wisdom about the president’s shortcomings. Congress can only do so much. Our allies can only do so much. Ultimately, however, if the president is misguided and wholly unwilling to recognize a series of debacles, bad things will happen in the world. The question remains whether the president will do anything to stop the drift. If not, by the end of the term, the Russia empire will be on the march, Iran may be a nuclear-capable state, China will have intimidated our allies and both democracy and stability in the Middle East will be hobbled. As bad as Obamacare may be, it is exquisite public policy compared to the foreign policy mess.

Rubin is so prolific that I often wonder whether the bitch is actually writing her own columns or if they are simply send to her by a central lie factory within the propaganda empire of William Kristol. It is however great stuff when it comes to the tightly packed clusterbombs of horseshit and lies that any observer of the neocons have become accustomed to. The reference to Israel (if she loves it so much why not just fucking move there) and the piggish and decadent House of Saud as allies is repugnant to anyone who truly values American decency and the use of the McCain NY Times jeremiad as being legitimate by comparing it to Vietnam is ridiculous. It is just the old Nazi “stabbed in the back” lie that has been exploited by the neocons and other blood barters to imbue upon the Vietnam disaster some sort of cloak of nobility.Somehow I think that Walter Cronkite is rolling over in his grave as necrophiliac ghouls like Rubin, Kristol and McCain descend to exhume his corpse that they so indecently violate with invoking him to justify their bullshit wars of aggression.

The Bank of England just published an article about the future of digital currencies and payment technologies. In the article, the BoE hops on a familiar bandwagon by stating that Bitcoin is not a currency and acts more like a commodity. The main argument is that digital currencies have not been shown to act very well as a medium of exchange. Sure, digital currencies have a significantly less share of the market for mediums of exchange, but they are young and trying to gain traction.

This is mostly because the value of any digital currency is built off of nothing. There is nothing backing the currency, and the value is only how much people believe in its value. Surprisingly, you will hear that the value of fiat money is that there is something backing it. For a long time, the US Dollar was backed by gold reserves, but such is not the case anymore. So, the value of fiat money actually comes from debt, with the federal reserve issuing bonds to control the money supply.

So the question remains, would you rather have a currency that gets its value from debt, or a currency that gets its value from nothing? If it were so simple, I think my answer would still be nothing. Debt is a dangerous thing. But the value from digital currencies is not based off of nothing, it is based off of the value created by being able to transfer money quickly and with less fees. Also, the ability to make plans about how the value of your money will be affected by the supply of that money. No need to worry if politicians will make laws that ruin the value of your hard earned money. Basically, digital currencies are more valuable to me than debt.

 

Image:  ell brown, Flickr

As you may be aware, Goldman Sachs just released a report titled “All About Bitcoin”, where they give a comprehensive study on what Bitcoin is and what the future looks like. Companies in the financial field have the responsibility to their constituents to evaluate markets and potential investment opportunities, so the report may not be out of place, but am I the only one getting sick of hearing people say that Bitcoin is not a currency?

Goldman’s Dominic Wilson and Jose Ursua touch on the idea that since Bitcoin is not a very good store of value, so it will be difficult to be adopted as a medium of exchange. When higher-ups state that Bitcoin is not a currency, all I hear is my Econ 101 professor rattling off the things that make something a currency and that we will all have to memorize them for the test.

Bitcoin has never claimed to be a currency in the classic sense of the term. Admittedly, Bitcoin falls short on certain aspects of classical notions of currency, but it is a young technology. Some have said that a world currency would never work, and that Bitcoin cannot be that currency. However, Bitcoin is changing the way financial transactions are viewed and will only get stronger with time.

 

Image: LendingMemo, Flickr

One should always read news stories with a grain of salt, thinking that quotes were taken out of context, but recent comments by Mogan Stanley CEO James P. Gorman about Bitcoin leave a reader to wonder what qualifies one to be chief of a large banking firm.

Gorman, in an interview with Fox Business News, basically admitted he was pretty much clueless when it comes to Bitcoin: “Wow. I’m not sure I understand it… It’s totally surreal,” he said. “I mean, who’s the founder? This guy in L.A.? What’s going on with Mt. Gox? There’s so many moving parts.”

This sounds like a man who reads the titles of the stories in the news but never actually reads the articles. The growing consensus across the Bitcoin community is that the guy in LA is not the founder of Bitcoin. As far as Mt. Gox goes, it is easy to track the demise of Mt. Gox.

You would think that a banker would understand that technologies in the financial field have many moving parts, so for him to comment that he is baffled by Bitcoin, makes him look like an idiot. If you are an employee of his, do you look at these comments and try to find work elsewhere, where your boss would actually understand something in their industry?

Gorman also added: “I would think and hope that the regulators are paying a lot of attention to it,” which tends to be the sentiment in the banking industry. Jamie Dimon at JP MorganChase also expressed some skepticism over the currency, remarking that it is a terrible store of value. Bankers want digital currencies eradicated, or at the very least regulated, because they are competing products and it will put them out of business.

Unfortunately, digital currencies are the way of the future, and if it takes these firms a long time to adopt, they will be left in the dust. Customers are sick of being taken for a ride by banks and governments, and digital currencies will help put into the peoples’ hands power over their money.

 

Image: Financial Times photos, Flickr

In a series of tweets, economist Nouriel Roubini recently took a few shots at Bitcoin and those that are all pumped up about Bitcoin. Roubini, who teaches at Stern School of Business and owns an economic consultancy firm, has renown in the field of economics for predicting the housing crash in 2006.

I mean, sure there are some problems with Bitcoin that are being ironed out, but that is exactly what is happening: they are being ironed out. As with any new technology or innovation, the beginning is a highly volatile stage, until everything is better established. Because of this Roubini’s tweets mean almost nothing, and each “argument” has a counter-argument that makes even more sense. See below:

Starts out strong by using the argument that Bitcoin is not a currency because I say so. What Roubini actually recognizes in this tweet is that in the criminal world they value Bitcoin and have been using it as a means of payment. Assuming this is not the case for mainstream civilians, Bitcoin could still be considered a currency, just for a certain group of people.

Roubini is clearly unaware of all of the goods and services that are being sold for Bitcoin. In fact, there are even places that are only accepting Bitcoin. Therefore, the argument that it is not a unit of account is invalid. He is making macro statements about Bitcoin that cannot be applied to everyone. Bitcoin has a ways to go before it is established as a unit of account to the scale of large government currencies, but this man obviously has not done his homework.

Um, ever heard of Overstock.com or Virgin Galactic, or literally thousands of other vendors that have started accepting Bitcoin? Also, arguments are pretty sure to be invalid when you use superlative statements like “all who accept it convert it”.

My response to this statement is that given the fact that Bitcoin didn’t die with Mt. Gox, it shows that we are on the way to Bitcoin holding some value. Still, Bitcoin is young, and with all currencies that are young, they will experience volatility.

A commenter on CoinDesk also points out:”What he claims “ponziness” is actually the early degree of global adoption. In this vein, I could run around saying that gold and silver were Ponzi-schemes until a majority of prehistoric humans reckoned it as something valuable.” This goes back to something that I learned in economics: something is only valuable if people believe it is valuable. Diamonds aren’t valuable because they are scarce, they are valuable because we believe that they are. In a similar vein, if a majority of people believe that Bitcoin is valuable, then it will be, and we are definitely on the right path for that to become a reality.

Image:  thetaxhaven, Flickr

It is so delightfully ironic that in an epic battle of the comparing of dicks that Putin has now one upped the insecure Obama by allegedly test firing a Topol ICBM missile on Tuesday. Let’s just hope that for the sake of the continuation of human life on Earth that the pathological narcissist U.S. President doesn’t decide to prove that his is bigger.  In the latest developments of what the western state-corporate controlled media is breathlessly hyping as Cold War II or the REAL clash of civilizations the hurricane of bullshit reached category four level with an ominous storm surge. Secretary of Skull and Bones John Kerry, fresh off of his over the top asininity on the Sunday morning propaganda circuit where he uttered the nonsensical words that “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext” which he was allowed to slither off of the hook for by the insufferable gravy-train rider Bob Schieffer who never bothered to bring up the word “Iraq” made landfall in Kiev.

Kerry as is his modus operandi make a big show out of launching into extended forays of verbal mish mash, just as he did when ginning up a case for an attack on Syria until his own tongue did him in and gave Putin a chance to sashay in steal away the next Middle East war. He also laid flowers at the Kiev Memorial for those killed during the violent street protests that were hijacked by western backed fascist goons and turned into murderous riots. But what would a visit to an un-elected government installed by chicanery and subversion by an American official be without the obligatory bribe. Kerry delivered to the newly installed fascist/neo-Nazi stocked regime in Ukraine the gift of the promise of over $1 billion dollars in loan guarantees - hey American taxpayers, you have enjoyed the show on TV now you will be paying for it – with Obama, Kerry, Samantha Power and Susan Rice delivering their brand of liberal interventionism at gunpoint get used to it. There is an acronym that the entire doomed non-elite classes of citizens in The Homeland should become familiar with BOHICA = Bend Over Here It Comes Again. Kerry of course made no reference to the right-wing thugs and neo-Nazis who are backing “Yats” and the occupying government but with the subject being taboo and a likely career killer in the domestic media why would he?

So on it goes, the aggrieved Obama is talking more smack accusing Putin of violating international law - my God has this man no shame? – while he presides over one of the most flagrant violators of the law on the planet.  The entire sordid circus has pretty much reincarnated the neocon ghouls who are caterwauling for war with Russia at the top of their lungs from the think tanks, media venues and editorial pages from which they pontificate to send others to their deaths and permanent maiming as though it is some kind of sick fucking game. While they have spent the last two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union – their original object of hatred – backing illegal wars against nearly every country in the vicinity of Israel the new tensions with the Bear have them honing in with a laser focus. The scrum will soon be joined just in time for the 2014 mid-terms by the packs of corrupt charlatans and opportunists in both of our now beyond salvage criminal political parties with all of them trying to one up each other on how best to nuke Russia. There is yet anther excuse to once again avoid any sort of serious discussion of the real issues that plague America such as the economic strip-mining by looter capitalists, government subsidized financial markets, offshoring of jobs (crack cocaine to CEOs) and that hidden inflation that is conveniently omitted from official figures but is seen during every trip to the grocery store with rising prices and shrinking packages.

But as bad as it gets here in the U.S. of A. with the ongoing redistribution of wealth to the fractional upper 1 percent and the ongoing funding of wars without end it is going to be far worse in Ukraine as the pigs will soon be feasting with the devastating austerity package that is about to be imposed. The global finance mafia is going to devour the people of Ukraine once western control has been consolidated. The interim prime minister “Yats”, an endearing nickname made famous by the “Fuck the EU” intercepted and leaked phone call of one Victoria Nuland who is an Assistant Secretary of State in charge of European and Eurasian Affairs is a made man with a job to do. Arseniy Yatsenyuk is a former central banker and therefore the top choice to wield the carving knife soon to be taken to those essential services, social programs and pensions that have to be stolen from the people in yet another country that will be assimilated into the Borg collective of the impoverished. He is also the chosen man of American interests to get the job done so that the parasitic elite can revel in their theft of even more money to finance their lavish globe-trotting lifestyles. He has the full backing of the U.S. establishment as well as vicious state-protected goon squads to act as enforcers with those who dare to step out of line including Nazi wannabes – it all sounds so 1980′s Latin American but with the coming of Cold War II it is back to the future for The Homeland.

The sound of the fury is deafening as it rolls forth across the fruited plain today. The crybaby American power elite, the at one time biggest, baddest bully on the whole spinning globe is throwing an ugly and prolonged snit over the reviled Russian leader Vladimir Putin sending troops into Ukraine to protect his own borders. The U.S. warmongers and whiners are braying today in a keening cacophony of petulant assholes who have had the grievous injury of not getting their way. The neo-Nazi backed fascist coup d’etat executed against Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych was to have been a triumphal bit of vengeance for Putin’s daring to offer up asylum to former government contactor turned patriotic NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden thereby sparing the young man a living hell of torture and imprisonment followed by a Stalin style show trial in The Homeland as well as his derailing of the war on Syria which was always based on lies from the onset.

No doubt that Putin stewed during the American led campaign of lies and hypocrisy carried out by dishonest demagogues and state media stooges during the Sochi Olympics and the ousting of Yanukovych by scum and thugs was obviously timed to inflict the ultimate indignity. But once again, Putin being the masterful politician and former KGB spy schooled Obama. I always got a kick out of the assertions of my liberal friends that Barack Obama was the Michael Jordan of politics, patiently and carefully studying the defense of the Detroit Pistons Bad Boys and would at the precise moment of opportunity would in a whirling dervish of superhuman daredeviltry and single-handedly winning the title as his badly outclassed opponents were left in a heap of despair watching the coronation of the young champion. Well to use another of those wonderful sports analogies Putin just punked Obama again and made him into his bitch, there is nothing quite like being butt-fucked six ways from Sunday on the world stage. Obama is nothing more than an amateur and a narcissist, a self-important fool who was never really cut out for the big leagues to begin with.

Secretary of Skull and Bones John Kerry ripped Putin for his “incredible act of aggression” in Ukraine but this is the same stammering dolt whose chestnuts were pulled out of the fire over attacking Syria back in September by the Russian leader, it would have been an unmitigated disaster. Such an ingrate not to mention a colossal hypocrite and a fitting representative of a rogue state that flagrantly violates every premise of international law on a daily basis but when you are a member of the American elite the law can just be damned – laws are for the little people. Kerry is understandably pissed off  being one of the high-rolling Davos elite and an honorary piece of the corrupt Eurotrash that would have benefited enormously from cramming their latest round of crippling austerity programs stright up the asses of the Ukranian people. Not that Yanukovych personally stuck it to Kerry by nationalizing a Heinz Ketchup factory like Hugo Chavez did but that is another ongoing U.S. backed coup in a country that doesn’t sit on Russia’s border. Kerry’s tirades actually began earlier this week when he carped about the lack of taste for U.S. intervention being the attitudes of a “poor country”. This guy has no business whatsoever acting as Secretary of State as it is very obvious that he is a walking conflict of interest thanks to his marrying into the Heinz family fortunes and his history of flip-flopping, for example wining and dining his pal Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and then pushing for a military intervention to remove him from power.

Taking the place of the neo-Nazi loving Senator McCain on the on the Sunday morning bloviation circuit Kerry was everywhere today pushing the lies of the American gangster state. Other than appearing on Fox Kerry hit for the cycle appearing on all of the big three regular television networks to kick Putin in the balls – ostensibly for sending troops into Ukraine but really to avenge the twin insults of Snowden and Syria. The longtime Massachusetts Senator is man with a notoriously chronic case of diarrhea of the mouth while on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Kerry made the ludicrous statement that – “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext”. But in typical fashion the ever ridiculous hosts, in this case longtime insider and gravy train rider Bob Schieffer failed to call him on such obvious bullshit. What was allowed to go totally unmentioned is that the flag-wrapped exceptionalist people who run The Homeland have invaded another country on “completely trumped up pretext” in the 21st century when Obama’s predecessors George W. Bush and Dick Cheney attacked and invaded Iraq - a country that did not even remotely threaten the U.S.  Saddam Hussein did NOT have weapons of mass destruction yet a costly and disastrous – at least in terms of American prestige – war was started under the exact type of completely made up horseshit that Kerry has the gall to  accuse Putin of. Hell, if anyone should understand this it is John Kerry – he ran against Bush for the presidency in 2004 for Christ’s sake.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Kerry whined about kicking Russia out of G8 and boasted about economic sanctions, pity the poor wounded empire that is unable to militarily bully Mr. Putin like it does everyone else and as for economic sanctions, none could more onerous and cruel than those which that have been inflicted upon the American people themselves. The failed economic policies of the Obama regime (or for that matter any establishment Republican regime) represent the ongoing fleecing of Americans to provide free gambling money to Wall Street casinos and to pay tribute to the global finance mafia that Kerry is a mouthpiece for.

Everyone is joining in on the scam too.  Mealy mouthed piss babies like Senator Lindsey Graham – in full bitch fit mode are going after Obama hammer and tong after dear leader was fed yet another one of those vodka-marinated shit sandwiches by Putin. Graham of course is fending off a tea party challenge to her longtime Senate seat and yet another public lynching of Obama, especially for not being tough enough on Putin sells well with the Jesus freaks, rubes and Birchers in the Palmetto State. Even the opportunistic Sarah Palin has slithered out of her spider hole to bemoan the lack of backbone by Obama in not launching a full-scale military invasion of Russia – which she could presumably see from her back porch.

On days like this I am ashamed to be an American but considering what this country has become I am damned proud of it.