Peace Is Not A Secondary Consideration

Many people who support certain candidates want to support universal healthcare and place peace as a secondary consideration or make peace completely optional.

The same people or many of them want to increase wages with the same view toward peace.

Peace is not a secondary consideration. Peace is not optional. This entire thought process brands the holder of these views as nothing better than an unethical capitalist. Right in line with weapons manufacturers and vulture capitalists.

When one is willing to place peace on a back burner while crying for universal healthcare and higher wages, allegedly socialist policies which benefit them, they are literally stating they do not care about the deaths and injuries our country inflicts upon brown-skinned people in other countries. Just as long as you are making a profit or reducing your costs, any atrocity done in your name is acceptable. Because that is all you are thinking of. Your bottom line.

It’s amusing (sic) when so-called “leftists” (sic) place themselves morally above WAR Street executives or candidates who pass tax cuts for the rich. Yet at the same time are willing to blind themselves to the warmongering policies or political double-speak of their preferred party or candidate. Double speak which includes phrases like, “(We will) Work with pro-democracy forces around the world to build societies that work for and protect all people.”

Never question what this means. Never ask who defines what is a “pro-democracy force”. Never ask why the use of the word “force” is necessary in such a statement. Never ask why the candidate who makes this statement has remained silent on election fraud in 2016 for three years, yet disparaged the Venezuelan election, which was monitored by observers from FORTY countries and deemed legitimate. Is the US the one to determine which countries are “pro-democracy”, while we still have gerrymandering, the Council on Presidential Debates and superdelegates? Never question how we will behave toward governments which are deemed NOT “pro-democracy”.

Just pay no attention to what is not said.

Domestic economic policy is continuously compromised by the expense of our foreign policy. The way we “support democracy” involves dropping over 120 bombs a day at an average cost of $80,000 each. The detainment, torture, dismemberment and slaughter of unknown millions of innocent civilians, including men, women and children. The starvation of millions more via sanctions we have no right to impose. Military and “intelligence” operations around the globe, overthrowing democratically elected governments that refuse to bow down to the US Empire. Over 1400 permanent military bases globally, an unknown number of black ops sites and temporary bases or encampments, mass surveillance of our own population, legalized propaganda and censorship domestically. All paid for with your tax dollars, past, present and for generations to come.

In other words, our “support of democracy” costs us well over $1 trillion a year.

Never mind that this expense is used as the primary excuse for saying “we cannot afford universal healthcare”, for reducing food stamps and housing benefits. Never mind any of that.

Focus instead on what this says about you, as a person. How much you are willing to place your own profit, your own benefit above the lives of those in other countries. Focus on the fact that you are you can be reading this right this second and are struggling to make excuses to defend it. Focus on the fact that you will be angry at me for saying these words, rather than awakening, realizing the truth or even considering the truth behind these words. You will be angry but not the least bit ashamed.

You’re no different from the worst capitalist you so disparage. You’re worse because you know what the truth is. You’re worse because you will not have a guaranteed bonus for your words and actions. Your stock package will not increase in value. You will not get a promotion. You will not have your image posted in some business magazine, praised as a “success” and a “leader”.

You’re worse because you tell yourself there is a choice between what you want and peace. Peace is the only choice we should even consider at all.

Know what else WAR Street capitalists do the same as you? Portray themselves as being concerned with others. Listen only to voices in their own circles and reject all others. Tell themselves they are “better than” and that they “deserve” their profits, even if someone else suffers.

So you can stop hating on those capitalists until you look in the mirror and can HONESTLY say you are different.

YOU Just Spent $300 BILLION To Bail Out Wall Street.. And That Cost Just Started

This past week, the Federal reserve began pumping money into “the market” at a rate of $75 Billion PER DAY, for 4 days in a row.

They stated that they will continue doing this for three weeks straight, at a maximum rate of up to $75 Billion per day, every day.

So, 4 days at $75 billion per day adds up to $300 billion. If they pump the maximum amount stated of $75 billion per day, 5 days a week, the grand total potential damage will be $1,050,000,000,000.00. Yes, that is accurate. $1 TRILLION plus $50 billion.

Keep in mind that when the Federal Reserve speaks of helping “the market”, what they are referring to is the stock market. It has absolutely nothing to do with the consumer market, the residential housing market or anything that has anything to do with the typical American. It pays no worker salary, no rent, provides no food to any American that needs it, provides no medical care, subsidizes no life saving medication.

This money simply does not exist before the Fed magically “creates” it for the sole purpose of handing it out freely to shore up a failing stock market. All of this is coming after a massive tax cut that corporations used to repurchase their own stock for the benefit of corporate executives and major investors. It comes after a $38 billion bailout of corporate farmers, which did nothing to reduce food prices for citizens. THAT came after an $18 billion bailout of the same corporate farmers in 2018. It comes after JP Morgan was revealed to have been hoarding gold and an estimated 50% of the global silver market for the purpose of manipulating the international precious metals market. It comes after multiple investment advisers and wealth managers (including JP Morgan) have advised their wealthiest customers to divest from the dollar, invest in foreign currencies and precious metals, especially gold.

Ford has laid off tens of thousands of workers in the past year. GM laid off tens of thousands more. GE laid off tens of thousands more. We have retail closures at a rate higher than any year in US history. Record numbers of federal student loan defaults. Manufacturing is down globally. Transportation of goods is down globally. Bloomberg reported that the economy had lost 600,000 jobs between December 2018 and May 2019. UAW are on strike, while GM canceled thousands of workers health insurance, after posting a profit of $8.1 billion in 2018.

Now, try and imagine what the economy would look like if the same $1 Trillion were provided to workers, to consumers. That money would be enough to hand $50,000 EACH to a total of 20 MILLION workers. Or $25,000 each to 40 million workers. In other words, it would prevent sickness or death, eviction/foreclosure, pay for education, pay off student loans, provide transportation.

So, what has the effect of this cash giveaway to the rich been so far? On Thur and Fri this week, the DOW dropped by a total of 212 points, for a total drop during one week of 285 points.

Why is this happening? Because corporate liquid assets have run dry. Something I have been warning about since 2017. Corporations used all their money to buy back stocks and drive stock prices higher, while outside investors have largely pulled their money out of the stock market, even before the warnings of JP Morgan and the like. With no more cash on hand, the corporations have nothing left to prop up the market.

Remember that the stocks most propping up the stock market are of companies that produce basically nothing. The FAANG stocks- Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. The value of stocks is measured in the fiat dollar, of which the value is measured based on resources not owned by this country, with more dollars being printed by a private bank out of thin air, valued on uncertain future repayment by the companies that produce nothing.

I have been predicting for years that these events would occur in exactly this sequence. This is the final step before the cliff. There is absolutely nowhere else to go. The Fed can discuss dropping interest rates into the negative all they like. It will do no good. We are now at the edge of a Fukushima-level economic event and there is no turning back. This crash has been formulating for decades but was absolutely certain in June of 2018, when the Federal Reserve raised the core interest rate. That was the sign it could not be averted. Stocks immediately dropped that very same day.

At this point there is literally no value in investors or corporations spending money on capital investments to maintain or create jobs, to increase production or anything else. The dollar can no longer be propped up, no matter how many wars we wage or threaten. Consumers have no more money which will fund even a continuation, let alone an expansion of the current system.

The next step will be that the last investors and corporations will begin selling off stocks in a mushroom cloud, each investor and executive trying to sell off as much as possible to cash in while the stocks are at high numbers. Convert to cash, deposit the funds in offshore accounts as they board their private jets out of the country. Smaller investors not sitting directly in front of their computers as day traders will lose basically everything, far worse than 2018 or 1929.

I will offer one single disclaimer to this. If you read over my previous economic writing, the only times I have ever been proven incorrect is when I included an estimated timeline. I have never been incorrect regarding events themselves. So you will notice that I am not including a timeline in this post. The reason I have been incorrect on time frame has been because I literally underestimated the absolute depth of corruption. This crash is definitely at our doorstep, right here, right now. So it is only a matter of time, which will not be long.

The only thing which could potentially stave it off momentarily would be an actual war. Not military intervention, actual war declared by Congress. yet even that will not save the economy and would ultimately lead to the collapse being worse than we currently face.

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! (Not by much.)My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

I have opened my new website which is intended to be a central listing of protests and political rallies across the US. It’s still a work in progress but is functional. You can find it at http://RallyAndProtest.com

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is at https://issuesunite.com/ and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.

The Dangers of Shadow Banking

You have probably heard the term by now, “shadow banking”. However, many people don’t understand the risks it poses because they do not understand exactly what it is.

Shadow banking by all estimates is greater in size than the global banking system. By some estimates, it is greater in size than the global economy.

Comparison. You see lots of stories about how the Chinese shadow banking system poses a threat to the global economy. However, according to Bloomberg, the US shadow banking system is nearly twice the size of the Chinese shadow banking system, with China accounting for 16% of estimated shadow banking programs, while the US accounts for and estimated 31% (almost 1/3 of all shadow banking globally). In 2016, China began enacting policies to rein in their shadow banking problem. This is aside from the fact that most Chinese banks are nationalized. Nationalized banks cannot be shadow banks or pose the level of risk that privatized shadow banking systems do. In the US, any attempt at regulating shadow banking has met with legal, economic and political resistance.

What is it? Shadow banking is comprised of financial institutions and systems which are not held accountable to regulatory agencies the way officially recognized banks are. In the US, financial products and institutions are typically regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Securities and Exchange Commission, with other regulatory agencies which oversee various smaller segments of the financial market. These agencies ideally place limits on how much financial institutions can loan out in relation to their deposits, practices that reduce fraud or economic/financial risk to the public.

Who is it? Shadow banking (I’m tired of typing that out. Let’s abbreviate it SB, okay?) is comprised of financial institutions which have a wide range of influence. You either right now or have in the past done business with SB entities without knowing it. They include such entities as hedge funds, short term lending agencies like payday lenders and vehicle title loan companies, home equity lenders, insurance companies and many investment firms. It also includes entities such as GoFundMe. However, the largest and most dangerous of all involve financial derivatives and credit default swaps.

Why are they popular? SB entities generally offer the chance of higher returns on investment compared to regulated institutions. However, a major reason they can offer higher returns is that the financial products they offer tend to be high risk. Their loans and products have a much higher default rate than standard financial products. Think of high interest loans to high risk borrowers.

The dangers. The dangers involved with SB is the fact that they do fall outside the regulations that regular banks are subject to. Regulations which require banks to maintain a certain level of collateral deposits as a percentage of how much they can loan out. If the economy or a specific entity show signs of a higher default percentage, leading to decreased returns or even loss on investment, investors in these entities can withdraw their entire investment without notice. If large investors or large numbers of investors withdraw their investments, it causes a run on that institution or even an entire SB industry category. That can have drastic effects alone but it can also have a domino effect, especially if a large SB company offers multiple products.

Not limited to non-banking entities. One huge problem with the SB system is that regulated entities often invest large sums in the SB entities or loan money to them. The SB system had a major role in the 2008 crash thanks to high risk loans and mortgages by SB companies which were packaged as lower risk loans in “bundles” which were purchased by standard banking institutions. However, banks are well known to establish their own SB companies as well. The obvious risk with this is that if these entities fail, they bring down large banks.

Regulation does not stop it. Some may believe that legislation like Dodd-Frank placed limits or regulations on the SB system. Not at all. Dodd-Frank only addressed standard banks and did not address the SB system at all. Many candidates receive campaign donations from SB companies. Some economists claim that if the SB system were eliminated that the economy would suffer greatly. However, all agree that it is an extreme danger which should be regulated.

Shadow Banking steals from the legitimate financial system. Were SB brought under control and regulation, it probably would result in less investment by some. However, it would result in greater stability in the financial system. SB investments divert funds from legitimate, regulated, more transparent financial systems. The fact is that returns on legitimate investment systems suffer as a direct result of funding diverted to the SB system, causing lower returns. SB is popular simply because of lesser regulation and oversight.

SB and regulated markets are tied together. As noted above, regulated systems and SB systems are tied together. However, even when not directly tied together, they are intrinsically tied because of shared investors. Some may believe that if the stock market and regulated systems retract that SB systems will expand. As seen in 2008, the opposite is true. When financial markets retract, they have a domino effect causing all markets to retract concurrently. Many businesses have a combination of funding from regulated and unregulated sources. Thus, when large businesses or a large number of businesses fail, it has an effect on all the above. When investors see a risk of losing because of a retraction, they pull funding from all investments in similar streams. In addition, Quicken Loans is a SB entity, now the largest mortgage lender in the country. Other mortgage lenders are also SB entities, though smaller.

Cyclic effect. As employers see reduced profits, they reduce staffing. When this happens in large numbers as we have only begun to see, it means the consumer market retracts. More consumers default on loans of all kinds. In the case of SB lenders, they are much faster to pursue vehicle repossessions, foreclosures, etc. This is an attempt to claim the property, charge the initial borrower and resell the property to a second borrower at a secondary profit. Yes, this is illegal for regulated lenders but not for unregulated lenders. In the interim and when this fails, SB profits decline. When profits decline, investments decline. When investments decline, the interest rates on any loan offers increase. This causes more rejections and more defaults. All of this reduces finances available for consumers to spend, causing a further decline in consumer spending, bringing us back to reduced profits for employers and the cycle continues. This cycle happens very quickly.

So, while shadow banking is typically described in terms which seem abstract or which affect only large investors, as you can see it absolutely affects you personally in very real terms. The fall of the stock market can mean the fall of shadow banking. The decline in each one and both can affect your credit, your employment, your housing, your retirement savings and on and on.

Wonder what Libertarians will think about this?

Fed Announces Rate Cut, Stock Market Tanks

This week the Federal Reserve announced a reduction in the interest rate of 0.25%, bringing it down to between 2.0 and 2.25%. Concurrent with the rate cut, the DOW declined by 736 points in 4 days. This came after a milder decline the previous week.

Typically, a reduction in the interest rate is coupled with a rise in the stock market. Why is it different this time?

Some are pointing to Trump’s announcement of additional tariffs on Chinese goods. However, that announcement was made the day after the rate reduction. The day of the announcement was the same day that saw the largest decline in the market.

The two factors that influenced the decline were: 1- The reduction was not nearly as much as many investors had desired. 2- The announcement of the reduction was accompanied by a statement by the Fed chairman that this will NOT be the beginning of a series of reductions.

Granted, he did not state unequivocally that there will not be any future reductions, he just made clear that this is not the plan at this time.

Basically this announcement means, that while interest rates remain extremely low, the era of free money is over. Large investors and corporations have been forcing an artificial high in the stock market for years now and had hoped to continue that trend. They had even hoped interest rates would reach negative territory, as has happened in some other countries. Which would literally mean they could get paid to borrow money. (Yes, for real.) Even as they used the money they borrowed to buy back stocks, forcing stocks to go even higher, making even more personal profits.

The whole problem with this is something I have noted before. It doesn’t matter if money is borrowed at 0% interest or even with some small negative interest percentage paying them to borrow. A loan is still a loan and must be repaid at some point. Unless.. Unless the entity which borrows that money then declares bankruptcy.

Liquidity for major borrowers has been drying up over time. Companies may state they have a certain level of cash reserves but too often those reserves are held in negative equity. That is, they have more debts than reserves on hand. They use stock values to declare as assets, yet even the most ardent Wall Street economists admit the stock market is tremendously over-valued. The vast majority of stocks aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. Many of the companies behind the highest valued stocks produce little or nothing of value.

Behind the scenes and not much reported on are the facts of judgments against and losses by these companies. Netflix has announced that they are losing subscribers, leading to decline in their stock. Apple announced far lower than expected sales, as did Ford Motors. Google has had multiple legal judgments levied against them with massive fines by the EU. Google is currently being investigated by the DOJ for antitrust violations as well.

The craziest part of all is how interdependent most of the FAANG stocks are- Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google. Of the five, Netflix is the most independent yet is highly dependent on the content produced by other entertainment companies, with whom they have a love/hate relationship. Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple depend heavily on one another for the tracking and selling of data both between them and to third party advertisers. Which means that if one falls, they all suffer in the stock market.

Yet I have pointed out many times that the stock market tends to be a negative image of the real economy. If employment and wages are doing well, stocks literally go down. We have seen this phenomenon several times in the last two years when jobs and wages reports were released. If jobs and wages are up, stocks do down. When employment and wages decline, stocks go up. This is because investors view wages as a cost. Your job is literally a liability to your employer and investors when considering their profit margin and stock value.

There are other issues playing into the stock decline. Like the fact that the Fed also announced that they are reducing their aggregate holdings two months earlier than previously anticipated. This is basically stating that the Fed holds bonds, mortgage backed stocks, precious metals and multiple currencies in reserve. The statement that the Fed will be reducing “aggregate holdings” is a vague, nonspecific statement which leaves more questions than answers. Exactly what holdings will they be reducing? Only time will tell.

The practice of the Federal Reserve is market manipulation of the highest order and should be illegal by any means. In fact, it would be illegal if the Fed were a government agency but it is not. If the US Treasury has holdings of precious metals like the gold (allegedly) in Ft Knox, that is considered a reserve which is for the purpose of backing the value of the currency, which many countries have done since the creation of national currencies and going back further to the Knights Templar. Those reserves belong to the people of the country. With central banks like the Fed, such is not the case as they are corporate enterprises. Keep in mind that Trump and our media viciously attacked China for claims of currency manipulation and industry subsidization. All while the Federal Reserve and our government do the exact same thing both separately and in conjunction with each other.

For many years, the actions of Western central banks and governments have inflated the value of the dollar, Euro and stocks while suppressing the value of precious metals. The creation of currency has continued unabated since 2008 in numerous countries, which should have reduced the value of the currencies. Multiple nations have been buying huge amounts of precious metals, especially gold and silver, most notably by Russia and China. So the value of precious metals should be much higher than they are. This is just beginning to show because the control has slipped beyond their grasp.

Last week, JP Morgan issued a newsletter to their largest investors (those with holdings in excess of $200 million just with JP Morgan, while such investors typically diversify) advising them to divest significant portions of their holdings away from the dollar into foreign, mostly Asian, currencies and into precious metals, mostly gold. So to move away from the dollar means moving away from US stocks.

As other countries and investors move away from the dollar, at some point we will see the effect on the value of the dollar in relation to other currencies, resulting in accelerated inflation.

For the record, I said in June of 2018 that the crash had begun. In truth, I was correct. It has been since then that mass layoffs have been announced, retail closures accelerated beyond anything seen in US history and the consolidation of wealth began the final stages. We are now witnessing the end of that stage, meaning that the illusion can no longer be sustained much longer. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs since then and millions more must work multiple jobs for mere survival.

As the stock market declines, the first to suffer will be smaller investors with retirement accounts like 401k’s. This will be an undeniable event which even corporate media will be hard pressed to explain. I’ll be watching to see what lies they try to tell as it happens. By small investors, I mean those with less than the $200 million minimum mentioned above. You may have $1 million in stocks and think you’re a big investor but you’re not.

I still expect a stair step decline in the stock market, which will be investors trying to extract the final pennies out of stocks before the final crash occurs. Though it will be muted by comparison to what we have seen.

Buckle in and fasten your crash helmets. This is going to get rough.

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! (Not by much.)My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

I have opened my new website which is intended to be a central listing of protests and political rallies across the US. It’s still a work in progress but is functional. You can find it at http://RallyAndProtest.com

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is at https://issuesunite.com/ and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.