Dollar Collapse

There is an old acronym that brings to mind the dismal state of affairs in America and that is BOHICA (Bend Over Here It Comes Again) and it is coming without a lubricant as smilin’ Joe Biden – he of the donkey teeth – visited Kiev to shower the unelected coup regime with more US taxpayer dollars. Oh Joe, say it isn’t so. Not that the majority of Americans bother reading anything that informs them of the true nature of the world, preferring to be spoonfed little sound bites of McNews from paid liars and government shills on television but if they were able to somehow bypass the propaganda I can’t imagine that this would sit well. Having already been economically busted down thanks to Bill Clinton’s finance industry “reforms” which really only served to rig the game for Wall Street predators, fleeced by George W. Bush for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and crushed by Barack Obama’s ongoing subsidizing of Wall Street casinos with free house money now we will be sending money to neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

According to a story in The Guardian, the Vice President and possible 2016 Democratic party nominee if Queen Hillary the Inevitable changes her mind promised that:

Biden told Ukrainian members of parliament in Kiev, including presidential candidates, that the US stood with them against “humiliating threats”. He added the US was ready to help Ukraine’s economy but warned that Kiev must fight the “cancer” of endemic corruption.

As Biden met with the acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, in Ukraine’s parliament building, US officials said the onus was firmly on Moscow to fulfil the accord meant to reduce tensions in the worst east-west confrontation since the cold war.

There are always ulterior motives behind US intentions as the government is rotten to the core with corruption and money has become the ultimate vote, even more so after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling further rigging the game for the oligarchy and shutting out the peasants. There is a lot of big corporate money at stake in Ukraine and the country’s geopolitical importance in pipelines and natural gas and the ability to use the US military to control the distribution routes so as to stick it to Russia weighs heavily. This isn’t exactly top secret either political grandmaster Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote of the necessity to control Ukraine in his book “The Grand Chessboard” and ever since the old Soviet Union disintegrated, was looted by the IMF and US favored oligarchs the American political class and the Deep State that underlies it have been hellbent on humiliating and crushing Russia. There has been the ongoing absorbing into NATO (a Cold War relic that long ago should have been relegated to history along with the Berlin Wall) former pieces of the Soviet Empire and surrounding Russia with missile bases. It is easy to see why this does not sit well with Putin and the ability to goad the thin skinned Obama into an emotion based confrontation with the nuclear armed Russia does have official underlying policy reasons. That is not to say that it is right though nor very wise.

The short term goal I suspect is to steal the European natural gas market away from Russia with the “fracking” boom here in The Homeland and the miracle of shale oil making the US a player in global energy markets. The push for the Keystone XL pipeline continues but has been bumped until after the mid-term elections by the calculating political animal Obama and his swinish cadre of Democrats. Republicans on the other hand trumpet the miracle of jobs created by the completion of the pipeline and further domestic exploration, you know “drill baby drill!” but what nobody is saying is that little to none of what is extracted is going to be used for domestic consumption or to bring down prices once again approaching $4.00 a gallon plus despite government lies to the contrary. What IS going to happen with the increased supply is that the product will be exported – further raising prices in our star spangled lemming colony and with higher gas prices come higher food prices. Don’t worry though, the government very conveniently omits food and energy costs from core inflation figures so everything is just fine.

You have to wonder at what point do Americans finally do what so many others are doing across the planet and rebel against the system. There was at least some of it during the days of the Occupy Movement but it was ruthlessly and quickly destroyed by the power of the state and the current protector of the elite Obama. With the political system no longer functional and becoming more so by the day with democracy being subverted by big money when will Americans finally get it that they no longer live in the country that they have been indoctrinated to believe that they do. The Chinese have a rather innovative idea on how to deal with corruption and politicians that can’t be beaten at the ballot box – they just beat the hell out of them in the streets. Not that I am encouraging violence or anything but one of the greatest problems that exists today is that the government doesn’t fear the people. The below excerpt from the popular website Infowars with the caveat that I do not consider it to be a very reliable source (too much Kochtopus and CNP propaganda) but it does have the best presentation on riots in China where corrupt officials had the living hell beaten out of them, the link is here:

 “Kill them! Kill them!” chanted mob

 Irate Chinese citizens savagely beat five government bureaucrats during an incident that escalated into a 1,000 strong riot on Saturday in another telltale sign of the Communist country’s increasing social tensions.

 The disturbance began after members of the Chengguan municipal police, China’s widely loathed bureaucrats who enforce government regulations against street vendors, began harassing and beating a woman in the Cangnan County of Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province.

When a bystander, 36 year-old Mr. Huang, came to the woman’s aid by filming the confrontation, he was reportedly attacked by cops with a hammer and began to vomit blood before dying on the way to hospital.

 After word spread on social media about what had just happened, a huge mob of citizens arrived to surround the Chengguan officers, who attempted to hide in their van. “Kill them, kill them!” chanted the mob as the officers were savagely beaten with bats, bricks and stones, leaving them bloodied and unconscious.

 “Angry onlookers deflated the van’s tires, while others smashed windows and doors with bricks, rocks, and wooden sticks. The men were dragged out of the van and beaten senseless by the mob,” reports Epoch Times.

This along with a piece from the financial blog Zero Hedge where a cop is beaten to death  shows what could make the rulers in Beijing very restive and at some point the corrupt government in Washington needs to rediscover a healthy fear of it’s subjects. 

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.