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2019-07-27 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Macro Factors , 429 references
[Comments enabled]  

This garbage is just flat-out ridiculous:

I earn my living investing other people’s money in the stock market. I am terrified contemplating how I am going to save my clients’ money, as well as my own, if a Democrat is elected president. The policies that the Democrats are advocating will destroy the American economy, not just the stock market, but the whole US economy. My first instinct will be to raise cash ahead of the stock market crash, but even that is only a temporary safe harbor.

The Green New Deal, renewed regulations, Medicare for All, free college,  as well as the 70-90% tax rates proposed by Democrats, will tank the stock market and US economic growth, leading to higher unemployment and reduced wage gains. All these programs require higher taxes and not just the soak the rich fantasy of the 70-90% rates. Most of the Democratic candidates have pledged to roll back the 2017 Republican tax cuts that fueled the renewal of economic growth in the US.

All of this is true.

But it's irrelevant.

As I've pointed out for more than a decade by 2024 CMS -- that's Medicare and Medicaid -- are incapable of the shenanigans that they use to suppress their budgetary deficit impact.  This is not rocket science, it's arithmetic, exactly as is the so-called "doom dates" on Social Security.

But Social Security's "doom dates" are in fact rather minor.  Being able to pay 80% of a promised benefit (that is, you're running a ~20% fiscal deficit which is consuming assets) is sort of ugly, but that's fixable.  Nobody's going to like a 20% tax increase on FICA (7.65% of wages up to the cap, plus another half you don't see) but raising the cap, increasing that tax by 20% or some combination that gets to the same place resolves the problem.

That's not catastrophic.  Nor, for most people, is a 20% reduction in payments, although the howling (and election losses) that result from the latter guarantees that won't be the outcome.  Those tax changes will and can be made and will not result in a collapse of the economy.

However, CMS is not running a 20% fiscal deficit; in their case roughly one dollar in five is covered, not four dollars in five!  When they run out of that stoked-back powder there are two choices, and only two choices:

1. Essentially default in its entirety on the promises made to Medicare recipients, both current and forward, forever.  This will simply cost-shift basically all of that onto Medicaid, particularly with regard to nursing home care once you bankrupt the vast majority of Medicare (retired) people, which will happen almost instantly.

OR

2. Congress changes the law so as to permit CMS to run without backing, that is, the entirety of their operating deficit shows up on the federal budget as a fiscal deficit.

Social Security and Medicare are currently prohibited by law from doing #2.  Congress will have no choice but to permit #2 for at least Medicare, and since utterly nobody in the political or news space de-aggregates these two programs when talking about "fiscal cliffs" even though they have radically different exposures and funding problems the pressure to do it for both in the same bill will be overwhelming.

Not that it really matters; #2 will roughly double the federal deficit on an essentially immediate and permanent forward basis.

The "big lie" is this:

Whatever you think of President Trump, you know by his record that he will put America first and that his policies have created a robust economy. Unless you want to see the US economy and your standard of life destroyed, there is no alternative to voting for President Trump.

No, he has not.

The GDP data is here.

It shows a 4% gross GDP advance over the last 12 months (to Q2/2019.)

Debt to the penny shows a 3.91% fiscal deficit as percentage of GDP over the same period of time.

In other words there is no "robust economy" at all; it's a lie.

Actual GDP expansion in real terms over the last 12 months is 0.09%!

Statistically-speaking that's zero.

These are not my numbers and not my assertions; they're the government's figures and they're widely-regarded as facts.  Trump's most-recent "budget deal", which he is advocating for, has passed the House and will almost-certainly pass the Senate and be signed into law will remove all fiscal rectitude until the middle of 2021 by suspending the debt ceiling entirely.

Again, I remind you, by 2024 on current trajectories that roughly trillion dollar deficit ($828 billion on a rolling 12 month basis at present, and accelerating) will permanently double.

Yes, GDP will go up, since every dollar of that deficit will be immediately spent.  That's how borrowing works; you borrow money and you spend it, and as soon as you spend it GDP increases.  That's basic math and economics.

However, diluting the currency as a means of "goosing" GDP doesn't actually advance anything in terms of actual economic output.  Worse, productivity, if you believe the BLS, is "advancing" at 3.4% annually as of the last read.  This is, paradoxically, very negative in light of the fiscal deficit because "doing more with less", which is the definition of productivity, means that GDP should be running at least at that level on a fiscally-adjusted basis!

In other words if you include productivity, and for honest numbers you have to, the US is currently in a deep recession as it is in fact contracting real output on a roughly 3.3% annual rate.

How is this possible given "full employment" and the stock market soaring?

It's not hard to figure out; it's happening the same way you're "just fine" if you make $100,000 a year but continually add another $4,000 a year to your credit card balances.  That $4,000 is quite a lift in your standard of living.  It allows your family of four "another" week-long cruise per year, for example, or a very nice trip to Disney, or, for that matter, more than half of the monthly payments on a brand new $50,000 "loaded" pickup truck or Lexus.  Note that if every family did this GDP would increase at that same 4% since you're all spending 4% more than you make and the gross output will thus lift by that same 4%.  The (obvious, to anyone with more than two firing neurons in their brain) problem is that you're not really gaining any prosperity at all; in fact you're going backwards as you're accumulating an obligation that at least has an interest expense and at least in theory eventually must be paid off!

This illusion of "prosperity" can continue for a very long time -- so long as your credit card company doesn't call the loan, or even just shut off the spigot and deny any more charges. But even if just the latter happens not only does that $4,000 a year of "spending" disappear the interest payments do not disappear, and since you can't afford to pay down any of the principle those interest costs go on forevermore into the future.

Again -- as things stand right now we're consuming our capital base at a roughly 3% annual rate.  That depletion rate is set to double within the next five years.

I do not know when the markets will wrap their arms around this just like I don't know when you as a family would if you were running up your credit card on those Disney vacations.  But I do know that the day when it happens will come.  Not might, not could, will.

The willful and intentional denial of this fact by you, Greenwald, along with the others drum-beating for the flying-hair monster currently in office will simply make it worse when it does happen.  After all a market crash from DOW 27,000 to DOW 5,000 is very, very bad.  But one from DOW 35,000 to 5,000 is demonstrably worse because more and more people will believe that the so-called "value" in those assets is not only real but theirs to consume over the coming years when in fact it is not.  How many of those people have a half-million dollar "retirement fund" that is, in fact, really a $50,000 one?

What really galls me, however, is so-called "money managers" like the cited one in this quoted article, who believe that (1) this "prosperity" is real despite the data saying its not being literally in their face, (2) Trump is responsible for it and (3) voting for Democrats will be a disaster while not doing so will continue the "prosperity."

The root problem is that there is no prosperity in the first place; it's a chimera and fraud writ large and has been the case and policy of both parties since approximately 2000, when the accumulation of federal debt crossed the zero boundary and began resulting in negative contribution to GDP.

This is an exponential series.  Like all exponential series the negative impact starts slowly and thus the "belly" in the curve from the two lines on the chart for a while expands.  Yes, the top-line (debt) is accelerating but the imposed cost starts at a lower level and thus there's more "gap" between the two curves for a while.

But arithmetic tells us that exponents always behave exactly the same way.  That the appearing-safe "belly" will disappear, the gap will close and when it does you have a catastrophe because you can't cover the expense.  There is nothing you can do about it other than to halt the excessive spending and pay down the outstanding balance, but this requires not just halting the excessive spending (that is, cutting it to income levels) but going even further in order to pay off some of the outstanding balance.

At present the Federal Government is spending approximately 25% more than it takes in from all taxes combined.  To halt the detonation the spending cuts must therefore be more than 25% in total, now and forevermore into the future.  Everyone in DC has a wipe-out, toddler-style screamfest if you propose not spending more every single year yet the corrective action required is for one quarter of all money spent today be whacked off the budget.  That's how far down the rabbit hole we've gone, all without a single whimper of revolt or refusal to consent by the public at-large.

The mantra for the last 30+ years is that we're "leaving this mess to our kids and grand-kids", implying that we're saddling those who either cannot yet vote or worse, aren't yet born.  That was true 30 years ago,  It was probably true 20 years ago, as the generation just being born then would become adults about...... now.

But today it's no longer true.  We're not leaving anything to anyone.  The problem is here, it's ours, and we either stop it now or it will blow up in our faces.  Five years is a very short period of time to make fiscal adjustments and allow the economy to adjust and come back into balance.  Trying to eke out another 10, 20, or even 50% in stock prices over the next five years is not only unwise it's literally suicidal on a national basis and those advocating for same deserve to be held to account when, not if, their continued drum-beating for a fiscally, economically, politically, morally and ethically bankrupt position results in mortality.  One can only hope it's their progeny, spouses and then theirs personally, in that order first.  Sadly while I can hope and pray for them to be first it will not be only them no matter who goes first; the count of ordinary people who will be utterly destroyed and likely die is going to reach all the way from top to bottom with those at the bottom bearing the greatest percentage of losses.

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2019-07-24 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 1366 references
[Comments enabled]  
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When someone runs a pack of lies intended to commit theft of trillions while allowing brigands to go free and steal, you should force them from office.

If they refuse to leave then the people should contemplate whether their government continues to enjoy consent of the governed.

And if that contemplation leads the people to the conclusion that it does not, then said government is dissolved.  It may leave in peace or may leave otherwise but the people have every right to compel it to leave.

This is the foundation of America.  You cannot believe that America is a valid nation, with a valid government, and not adhere to all of the above.  If you do then you're Hitler, Mao, or Pol Pot.  You have no more right to continue to be in said government than they did while they were murdering millions.

Thus, I give you Sanders:

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Tuesday compared the push to combat climate change to the response to the attack on Pearl Harbor as he unveiled legislation that would declare a “climate emergency" and demand a massive-scale mobilization to tackle it.

“In some ways...I’m reminded today in terms of the crisis that we face in climate change about where the United States was in 1941 when it was attacked at Pearl Harbor, and what happened at that point, having to fight a war on two fronts in the East and in Europe, the United States came together and within three years it had created the type of armaments program that was necessary to, in fact, win the war,” he said in a conference call with reporters.

This is a lie in all respects.

It is intended to steal trillions from United States citizens.

It is intended to enrich other nations at the expense of said citizens.

It is intended to enslave.

And under the 13th Amendment, it is unlawful, it is unconstitutional, and those who adhere to it must be forced to leave.  Here, now, today, and by any means necessary.

I submit the following facts, which cannot be disputed.

  • Human activity is responsible for approximately 3% of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  • Humans are not harmed, nor are any animals, by CO2 levels even more than double that in the atmosphere today.  In fact, the average CO2 level in an American home is twice that of the outside air.  This is simply due to the fact that we limit air exchange with the outside on purpose for energy efficiency reasons, and humans (along with pets) emit CO2.

  • During The Medieval Warm Period, roughly 900-1300 AD, global temperatures were approximately 1-1.5 degrees Centigrade higher than they are now.  There were exactly ZERO SUVs, coal-fired power plants and similar on the planet at the time.  The Vikings explored Greenland at the time and gave that land mass it's name, cultivating both crops and domestic animal food sources including horses, cattle, pigs, sheep and goats.  More than six hundred farms have been found and excavated on Greenland, proving that this was the case.  Post-1300 or thereabouts when the Little Ice Age began these all became non-viable and were abandoned.  I note that the Medieval Warm Period not only did not end the planet from an ecological basis it was thriving, as demonstrated by said civilizations, during that time.

  • During the Maunder Minimum, part of the Little Ice Age, the River Thames froze.  We know this happened because there are paintings, among other historical records, created at that time (~1660) which survive today.

  • Temperatures today are well below the maximum set during The Medieval Warm Period; we have exited The Little Ice Age and the planet is naturally warming.  For exactly how long that will continue cannot be determined but it is important to note that the Earth is currently in an interglacial period, which will eventually (long after everyone currently alive is dead) end.  When it does the planet will cool dramatically, as it has many times through the millennia.

  • This is not the only such anomaly during the time of recorded history.  The Romans enjoyed a similar warm period right around the time of Christ.  Perhaps not coincidentally, a cool period coincided with Roman collapse.  One does not have to wonder why that would have completely hosed the Romans.

  • Climategate exposed an enormous amount of intentional fraud on the part of those promoting the "Global Warming" nonsense, along with their intentional destruction of their claimed original source data.  This is, today, long-documented truth.

There is a long history of scientific fraud associated with various "environmental causes", many of which brought political changes predicated on lies that were directly responsible for massive numbers of deaths.  Here are two of these, one resulting in deaths and one not:

  • During the period from the early 1940s to roughly 1975 there was a great deal of concern that the planet was entering another Little Ice Age.  TIME Magazine wrote stories and ran covers about the planet almost-literally freezing over.  This is just one of many scaremongering games politicians and so-called "scientists" have run on the subject of climate and other ecological "disasters."  AOC is not old enough to have been alive when this occurred, but I was and remember it well.  Scientific "consensus" was that we were facing imminent disaster.  Of course the truth, now known. is that we never were, as it never happened.

  • So-called "scientists" also claimed, with much fanfare and universal consensus, that DDT was responsible for the thinning of eggshells among various bird species and, if the substance was not immediately banned, would lead to the destruction of all aviary species and ultimately the planet.  This screamfest culminated in the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.  It was all a fraud.  This is not my assertion, it is that of multiple PhDs, including published articles by same.  The resulting ban on DDT, undertaken by our EPA who knew they were lying, had overstated human exposures from the environment by a factor of 1,000 and never corrected the record, along with other governments worldwide who also went along with the fraudliterally killed millions in the ensuing years by allowing malaria, which had been seriously curtailed by mosquito abatement using DDT, to rebound.  This single fraud, all based on alleged "scientific consensus", killed more people than the entire Holocaust; the people who ran that crap managed for many years to rack up between a million and two million deaths annuallyNot one politician or so-called "scientist" was ever held to account for what was one of the largest genocides ever perpetrated on the human race with nearly all of the victims being brown or black. 

Next up we have the inconvenient fact that with humans being responsible for approximately 3% of all CO2 in the atmosphere (the rest is natural) even if we wanted to we could not drive the climate sufficiently to do damage via CO2 emission.

It's simply impossible from a standpoint of physics.  Approximately 2% of all gases in the atmosphere have an absorption spectrum that renders them involved in the so-called "greenhouse effect."  Of that CO2 is only about 3.5% of the total.  In fact nearly all of the gas that is involved in absorption and radiation of solar energy is water vapor.

Never mind that CO2 isn't a "pollutant."  Find anything green in your home or outside and look at it.  About 50% of what you see was once CO2.

CO2 is in fact scarce on a historical planetary basis.  It has been this low only once before for any length of time in the planet's history -- about 300 million years ago.

Further, and very damning, the so-called "measurements" used to make the claim of increasing CO2 levels "in the modern area" are also a scam.  They were cherry-picked; a look at a scatter graph of actual measurements and applying a best-fit curve shows that levels were near 500ppm in the early 1800s, long before we drove SUVs and burned coal or natural gas for electrical power.  This fact is, of course, conveniently omitted and yet this data is public.

It is certainly true that CO2 levels are higher now than they were 50 years ago.  This is good, not bad, in that it feeds plant growth.

This is beneficial, not dangerous.

Now here's the other problem with the base claim: "Human CO2 rise is causing warming."

From early 1900 to roughly mid-century the Earth was warming and CO2 levels were going up modestly.  Since then CO2 levels have risen at roughly three times that rate but temperatures have not gone up faster than they were before.  The rate of increase has not changed even thought he alleged "driving" factor has roughly tripled in impact.

There is no correlation and therefore the claim is, on a scientific basis, false.

Remember: Correlation cannot prove causation -- it can only suggest that it might be true -- but a lack of correlation disproves causation.

Why is the correlation missing if CO2 in fact captures photons, which we know to be true, and thus can cause warming?

Physics tells us why.  CO2, like all gases, has an absorption spectrum.  That is, it only absorbs certain wavelengths of energy.  The problem is that there are only so many photons of energy at that spectra emitted from the Sun that strike the Earth's atmosphere; once you've absorbed them all more CO2 in the atmosphere doesn't do anything to make the planet warmer because there are no more photons of the appropriate spectrum to be absorbed.

This is physics and those are laws, called such because there is no way to violate them.

Finally, none of the so-called "climate models" of the last 20 years have verified.  The expected rise in temperatures did not happen.

An inconvenient truth: We don't have enough carbon-based fuels on the planet to drive planetary CO2 levels even to the level inside your house.  Long before we got there we'd run out of economically-extractable fuel sources and be forced to use something else.  But government doesn't have to do anything to accomplish this; basic economics will do it all on its own as the cost of extraction rises since we continue to burn up the easier to get at, and cheaper, sources first.

Now let's look at what does correlate -- Ecliptic and Elliptical orbital variation and sunspots.  In fact, if you overlay those three factors on the actual temperature record for the last thousand years you find near-perfect correlation.

Does CO2 "cause" warming?  There's no evidence for it and the lack of correlation in fact disproves it.  In addition physics and thermodynamics argue against it as well.  There is no evidence to support the claim and plenty of evidence to support, on a correlation basis, that natural orbital, cosmic ray and sunspot activity is responsible, none of which, obviously, has anything to do with the number of SUVs being driven or whether we use coal and oil for fuel.

Now let's tackle one final claim: In 12 years -- just over a decade -- we're all dead if we don't stop emitting CO2.

That's so laughable that it should result in an immediate hanging for anyone running that crap in a political context.  Why?  Because through most of the Earth's history CO2 levels were dramatically higher than they are now and far beyond the so-called "runaway" level being pontificated.

If such a "runaway" was going to occur it would have happened millions of years ago and killed everything on this rock -- we would not be here.

This is a fanciful lie at the level of open and outrageous fraud; nobody should be able to run that crap and evade prison or worse.

Oh by the way, before I leave this specific part of the topic, let me make a further observation: After the Soviet Union fell suddenly "measured" temperatures started to shoot up.  Want to know why?  A large number of on-Earth temperature stations were in the former Soviet Union.  The Soviet Government, being Communist, paid for fuel at outposts based on the reported temperature; thus, there was a strong incentive to lie and under-report temperatures, especially in the winter.  Most of those stations went offline when the USSR fell but those that did not suddenly and magically started reporting true temperatures which instantly were materially warmer -- a literal impossibility since no time had passed.  The so-called "climate scientists" know this but have not removed that data as knowingly invalid -- on purpose.  In addition surface observations are naturally concentrated where there are people -- which biases the numbers upward due to well-known "heat island" effects (e.g. masses of concrete, blacktop, a thermometer in proximity to an A/C condenser, etc.)  All of this means the error band is wider than the signal (~2 degrees C, typically) and is majority biased one way -- upward.

In other words surface observation data is worthless since there's no possible way to accurately correct the historical data. 

We do have, however, for the last 40 years or so, high-quality satellite data.  It shows the same slope as prior to the 20th century; in other words yes, it is getting warmer -- but increased human emissions of CO2 is not the cause as the rate of change has not increased.

So let's put this in perspective: Will the planet likely be about a degree Celsius warmer in 2100 than around 2000ish?

Probably.  Unless we're entering into a solar minimum -- which we might be -- and if we are, you're going be rather surprised at the temperature deviation starting in the next 10-20 years or so because it's not going to be upward!

Are we the cause of any of this, and if we were to cut CO2 emissions would we stop it?

NO.

Period.

There's one final point.  Let's assume all of the above is wrong; humans are the cause of global warming, it's going to get a lot hotter in the next 100 years, well over 2 degrees Celsius, and we all need to cut all greenhouse gas emissions dramatically to stop it.

Then you have a further problem because the very scientists who claim we have 12 years to stop this also state that even if the United States cut its CO2 output to zero tomorrow that we'd manage to prevent...... a few tenths of a degree of increase in temperature.

Doing so, of course, would mean:

  • All coal, oil, and natural gas electrical generation is immediately shut downWe cannot supply the nation's electrical needs without these sources at anything approaching commercially-reasonable costs.  Solar + wind + batteries would triple or more the cost of electrical power.  This would take the $200 electrical bill in the southern states and make it $600 a month, or close to $7,000 a year.  The median family could not pay that under any set of conditions.

  • ALL air travel of any sort is immediately and permanently barred. There is no way to operate an aircraft without fossil fuels; it is simply a matter of energy density.  This means no Air Force, no Naval Aviators, no civilian air travel and no Air Force One.  Delta, American, United, Southwest, Fed-EX and UPS would all be instantly and permanently grounded.  Overseas travel and trade would effectively and permanently end.  Every person currently employed in any such job would be immediately and permanently unemployed.

  • ALL current oil and natural gas heating in homes and business must be shut down and removed.  The retrofit costs to electrical system (e.g. Heat pumps) would be enormous and in areas where temperatures go below freezing heat pumps do not work during that time because the outside coil both cannot pick up enough heat and it freezes.  Since fossil fuels, including wood burning, would be prohibited the only option would be electric resistance heating which is three to five TIMES as expensive.  $500 monthly heating bills anyone?  Who can afford that in the Northern states?

  • ALL current farm tractors and similar cannot be used and must be destroyed.  Farm output would instantly collapse.  We can easily feed the United States today; this would no longer be true.  Our agricultural output would fall by at least 80%.  But, it wouldn't matter because.....

  • All trucks, currently operated by diesel fuel, and all internal-combustion cars would be permanently banned.  Even if you had food on a farm 300 miles from the city you couldn't get it to the city and everyone inside said city would starve.

  • All ships and our Navy, along with our Air Force, would have to be be permanently scrapped.  The only remaining vessels allowed would be either nuclear powered in the case of naval vessels or sailboats.  Anything too small for nuclear plant couldn't exist at all.  No landing craft, destroyers, frigates, etc. There would be no point to a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier since there would be no aircraft.  We wouldn't have to worry about trade with China, India, Pakistan or Vietnam since there'd be no way to get anything here.  All recreational watercraft, from jetskis to the largest yachts, would have to be scrapped and all businesses making those and their components would have to be shut down.  Even a pleasure sailboat would be illegal as they all have auxiliary internal combustion engines which could not be sold, used or fueled, nor could a generator be used.

  • Personal transportation beyond the range of single-charge return distance (about 300 miles) would become impossible.  Today you can drive north of 1,000 miles in a day, in your own car.  The best of battery technology, both today and on the horizon, limits you to about 300 miles with no reserve, and a multi-hour charge requirement before you can continue.  This makes your effective ability to personally travel less than one third of today's limit on a daily basis, and you can't decide to get on a plane or train to get around that either because, as noted above, all planes are banned.  Oh, and said "electric cars" would cost twice what fuel on a per-mile basis costs today.  You not only couldn't afford the Tesla you couldn't afford to plug it in to charge it.  Oh, and as for RVs?  Forget it.  Banned.

  • Emergency personal generators are immediately and permanently banned.  Was there just a hurricane, tornado or ice storm and your power is out?  Too bad, so sad.  In the winter your pipes freeze since you can't use auxiliary heat.

  • Re-configuring trains to be all-electric, since diesel fuel is now banned, would take a decade and outrageously increase the cost of rail transport.  There is no feasible way to do this, especially in areas where there is sparse or no electrical infrastructure today.

  • Mass-transit?  Forget it.  Buses?  What are you going to run them on?  Can't use natural gas or diesel.  Now what?

  • Re-configuring personal transportation, not including commercial transport (e.g. trucks, etc) to all-electric would require an approximate tripling of the electrical infrastructure in the United States.  We have no possible way to do so today even with an all-on, decade-long effort using fossil fuels.  It is flatly impossible to provide this level of electrical output using "renewable" energy sources such as wind and solar.

  • Solar, in particular, requires an enormous amount of energy and CO2 release to make the cells; there is no free lunch. You must put the energy in that you wish to later extract.  Since we cannot release any CO2 we also can't make any solar cells.  Sorry, there are no more solar cells.

  • You also can't make wind turbines.  Refining rare earth metals vital to their production requires energy.  The amount of energy returned by said windmill goes negative in this paradigm and thus it makes no sense to build windmills either as the energy to produce the windmill and operate exceeds that which is returned.

  • Finally, renewables such as wind and solar are intermittent; you thus need storage of some sort.  This means batteries or some form or potential or kinetic physical storage.  All require energy to be expended to manufacture and maintain them.  The energy balance of such a scheme is ridiculously unfavorable and, in the case of batteries the environmental damage associated with manufacturing and, in the case of lithium-based cells which cannot be economically recycled, their disposal, is severe.

It just gets worse from here; the bottom line is that a 100% CO2 cessation in the US (or "net zero", which forces capture at additional cost for any CO2 emitted) would instantly collapse the economy and kill an enormous percentage of the population -- likely two thirds or more of those here in America today -- by starvation.  It would ruin our cities by making mass-transit impossible beyond the immediate vicinity of subway stations.  It would also effectively delete our military.

Such a threat to cut CO2 emissions by humans in America, other than by breathing, to zero is a declaration of intent to commit genocide against the American people.  If there's a crime worthy of summary execution, that's it.

Even worse, doing this would accomplish nothing.  Why?  Because the US is not even on the map when it comes to the nations with the largest increases in CO2 production -- both here and into the indefinite future.  If you actually want to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere you must focus on, and enforce, cessation of emissions in those places where that growth is occurring.

In order to to that what you're actually saying is that we must destroy both India and China along with their entire population right now, and in addition we must also make clear that all other nations, from Vietnam to the Congo, may not develop middle-class lifestyles and advance the comfort and security of their people ever or we will destroy them as well as soon as they begin to do so.

Why?

Because India and China are by far adding the most CO2 to the atmosphere.  In fact the United States is roughly net-neutral at the moment (we were net negative a couple of years ago, and net positive last year.) Among other things while most people in the US and Europe already have air conditioners, which are a huge driver of electrical consumption almost none of the people there do.  The count of households and commercial enterprises there utterly dwarfs the United States and the rest of the Western World.  They will not stop advancing whether we like it or not unless we are willing to kill them all -- period.  Nor will Vietnam or, as time goes by the majority of the African continent.

As the global warming alarmist "scientists" admiteven if we cut our CO2 emissions to zero (not net zero, actual zero) it would make no difference in the outcome on a percentage basis.  Therefore the "cut America to zero" does nothing; the only path to achieve their "goal" is to commit genocide on a mass basis against the people of the world to the tune of billions murdered.

The climate screamers know this as well.

In short it's all a fraud just like DDT was and the people pushing it know it -- except that this time they intend to kill tens or even hundreds of times as many people as they did with the DDT scam.

This is another attempted genocide, just as the ban on DDT was, and must be stopped by whatever means are necessary.

The politicians pushing this crap must be ordered to abandon it by the people of the United States, as those who they represent.

If they refuse they must be removed from office.

If that fails then our only remaining choices are being slaughtered by financial ruin, murdered literally by starvation and inability to transport food and basic needs from the much-diminished production capacity to where they're needed, or we overthrow all governments involved in this scam by whatever means are necessary.

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Oh my.

My last article, as expected, was indeed a stick in the hornet's nest.

The idea of shooting the bastards isn't popular, you know.  But in point of fact the thought of doing it should be very popular, as should be the implied threat.  After all that we threatened exactly that, then did it when the implied threat was not taken seriously is why this nation exists.

And I remind you: We did it because the British came for the people's ammunition.  Not the guns, the ball and powder.  That was enough; we shot them.

Concord wasn't the first insult; it was simply the last in a long line of them.  The British were warned, repeatedly, and ignored those warnings.  There were little skirmishes here and there, and occasionally someone got shot -- including colonists.  Indeed, the Boston Massacre in 1770 could have conceivably led to an immediate shooting war -- but didn't.  In a particular note of irony John Adams -- yes, that John Adams, future President of the United States -- defended the British at their trial for murdering Crispus Attucks.

But let's look at more-modern times.

Specifically, this ridiculous act of incitement that came out yesterday:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks moved higher on Thursday after a slow start as comments from New York Fed President John Williams helped cement expectations for an interest rate cut from the U.S. central bank at the end of the month.

Williams actually said that the "neutral" rate was, in his opinion,. 0.5%.

This sort of garbage should result in an immediate firing of said Fed Governor, and if it's not forthcoming the people should rise and demand he leave his seat under whatever penalty is necessary to make that happen.

Why?

Simple: There can never be a rate of interest anywhere on the curve that is less than the federal deficit as a percentage of the economy or you are stealing from the publicOver the last 12 months the deficit has been $781 billion.  GDP as of Q1 2019 according to the BEA was $21,060 billion.  This means the federal deficit was 3.7% of the economy.

Therefore there can be no interest rate in the curve that is less than 3.7%.  In fact it has to be higher -- even if only by a little bit, because time has value and therefore to borrow money, even for a day, must have a cost in real terms.

This understates the reality of credit creation (by quite a lot) but this particular metric is irrefutable.  We can have a lively debate about credit card and student loan debt, for example; the latter is part of the public debt now since the federal government backs it all but the former is not; commercial banks literally create it with zero collateral behind it.

Nonetheless there's no argument on the federal deficit; every bit of it is inflation.

If the rate of interest is below the rate of inflation then you are losing real value.  Period, end of discussion, full stop.

To do this on purpose is to steal the rest of the value from the American people -- each and every year.  Specifically, right now Fed Funds is trading at 2.41%.  Since the deficit is 3.7% the fact is that 1.29% of $21 trillion dollars is stolen from every person in this country on an annual basis at present rates.

This is $271 billion dollars a year or about $821 per person, per year in the United States.

If Williams got his way (and the Fed Funds rate was 0.5%) then it would not be $821 it would be $672 billion or about $2,036 per person, per year.

There is this trope that when it comes to war it's all about energy.

Well, no.  Yes, it is true that borrowing below the Federal Deficit rate means you're paid to borrow.  This means you can frack, drill, etc -- and get paid to borrow the money to do it.  However, if you think the $1/gal gasoline price difference is "free" it most-certainly is not; where do you think the $821 per person goes?  Right into the oil company's pocket, in part.

It is true that war ends up -- most of the time -- being about resources.  But energy is available in nearly all cases in some form or fashion; the Germans, for example, figured out Fischer-Tropsch and thus were able to turn carbon (coal) into synfuel. Indeed, you can do that from CO2 in the atmosphere if you want to; it is therefore about money, that is, the cost-per-unit of energy and when you abuse monetary and fiscal policy you're not only setting up for war you virtually guarantee it.

The problem with this sort of monetary policy is that it is never enough once you start.  Once the market gets "used" to this idea -- that borrowing should be something you're paid to do instead of something you pay to do then people, companies and governments will do much more of it.  The result is buybacks, stock prices skyrocket and similar all over the economy.

But none of this actually helps you; it in fact screws you because that $821 is real, it's extracted every year and it falls on everyone, whether they do anything or not.  You cannot outrun this by buying stocks or anything else for that matter -- not gold, not property, nothing.  The reason is simple -- your entire personal economy is impacted by the inflation but you can only invest your surplus, that is, whatever you make minus what you need to consume.  Therefore you are always behind unless you either can take risk or use leverage that isn't yours if the bet turns out badly, much as the banks did before 2008.

Therefore if you can invest even 50% of what you make you can only "get back" half of the destruction served upon you since the other half has to be consumed for you to live.  The only way to evade that is to play with other people's money and skim off the top of it (which is theft) or con the government into covering the losses when the bets go bad.

If this was always just $821 and never got worse it would be bad, but tolerable.  The sad reality is that it never is, because once you start down this road you are no longer acting to make a profit; they're acting to steal from others.  But that theft is a fixed amount, which means your EPS -- that is, your alleged "profit" -- never goes up.

What's a company worth that can't increase it's profit?  Nearly nothing, ultimately -- it is incapable of getting any bigger, better, or making more money.  It therefore has no stock price that matters.

Therefore this path once it begins requires the government always increase its deficits as a percentage of GDP and The Fed, or whichever Central Bank is involved in whatever nation, always must increase the "spread" between said deficit and rates in the negative direction.

In other words the theft must always get larger, every year, or the scheme collapses and so does the market.

But trees do not grow to the sky and ever-increasing exponential scams cannot be continually maintained.  This is mathematics, not politics.  These schemes will always eventually collapse under their own weight and when they do huge numbers of people are ruined.  If it goes on long enough not just individual people but entire nations are ruined.

That's the problem and why such an event as policy must never be permitted.  It is why the people must rise and tell the government this must stop, now, and if it doesn't we will do whatever we have to in order to make it stop, up to and including reprising 1776.

Contemplate this folks: There has never been a nation that has entertained a below deficit interest rate policy in other than emergency circumstances such as an actual shooting war and managed to exit that policy successfully.  In most cases the result has been either civil and monetary collapse or war. People cite the US post-WWII; the Fed during that time did repress interest rates but we had just blown up everyone else's capability to produce things all over the world!  The instances in which disaster did not happen were all a consequence of similar circumstances.

Japan is the notable exception to that thus far but despite their repeated claims that they could exit said policy over the last two decades they have failed to do so and there is exactly zero evidence they ever will be able to do so.  At the same time their economy has been decimated; they were once the pre-eminent source of high-tech goods.  Not any more.  Their much-vaunted car manufacturing has been moved in no small part to the US and other nations.  Yes, the firms are centered in Japan but most of the cars are not built there anymore nor do they employ Japanese labor.  Why?  Because the theft there consumed all of the saved capital of the nation and that is always the source of innovation and, ultimately, business formation.

Let's take Germany.  After WWI the Treaty of Versailles not only demanded reparations it also demanded the confiscation of guns from the civilian population.  The German Government did so.  They then tried to run fiscal deficits in order to maintain the appearance of everything being ok.  Exponents are a BITCH, however, and the problem quickly spiraled out of control.  The people did not shoot the government, which they should have done immediately.

Why?

Because not doing so ultimately led to the collapse of the Deutsche Mark, the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Adolf Hitler along with the death of somewhere between 70-85 million people in WWII.

Had the people of Germany risen and shot the government, as we did in 1776, some of them would have died.  Maybe quite a few of them.  But there would have been 100 times less death than what happened instead.

For sitting on their hands and burning Marks -- literally burning currency for heat -- the people of Germany tolerated the fiscal and monetary authorities undertaking an action that was mathematically certain to ruin them and the only way out that the government ultimately saw from this policy was war.

America is not blameless in this.  In fact we're one of the worst offenders in this sordid episode.  By what right did we try to impose the disarmament of the civilian population in Germany?  Do we not have a Second Amendment?  Is the Second Amendment not there for the explicit purpose of an ultimate check and balance against a government and monetary authority that undertakes a policy which is mathematically certain to ruin the nation?

It sure as hell is; in fact that's the entire point of the Second Amendment!  Should the government undertake a set of policies that the people determine are destined to ruin the nation the people have the right and the ability to put a stop to it by whatever means are necessary, including, if it comes to it, shooting the tyrants.  We denied the German people that unalienable human right, we arrogated to ourselves the ability to deny that right to them and the result was EIGHTY FIVE MILLION DEAD PEOPLE including six million Jews.

WE DID THAT.  WE TOOK THE TOOLS OUT OF THE GERMAN CITIZEN'S HANDS TO STOP IT.

Not some magical fairy, America.

Yeah, that was stupid and we paid for it with a half-million of our citizen's lives in the ensuing war.

By the way, the Soviets paid for our arrogance with some twenty four million of their citizens.  You think Putin ought to be impressed with us when we screwed his nation with a casualty rate fifty times ours?

Now granted, basically all of the people who did that are dead.  Fine.  No reparations for you sir!

But if we don't learn from that grievous mistake we're going to repeat it.  We are in fact doing it right now.  Japan has a debt-to-GDP ratio of about 250%.  China has a 300% debt-to-GDP ratio.  We're running fiscal policy and pressuring The Fed to run rates below our fiscal deficit instead of the opposite.  We should put into place a demand for the opposite and that law ought to be enforceable, by hanging if necessary as it was formerly in America under The Coinage Act of 1792 which proscribed a penalty of death for the debasement of the nation's money, an act that is taking place right now and both The Fed and Congress are equally guilty.  We The People in fact must demand restoration of that clause and penalty and then enforce it -- today.

I remind you that within the next six years at present rates we will hit one of the many walls via this policy, and it's a big one.  Specifically, Medicare will go broke and be forced to either not pay or to steal the required additional funds.  This is not small-ball; Medicare and Medicaid in fact consume over a trillion dollars a year at the present time.

Trump, our President, is in fact cheering this on.  "The Squad" wants even more deficit spending than does Trump, as do the rest of the crazies on the left.

This path leads to social collapse or war.

It is cheaper to stop it now by demand, backed up with the willingness to do whatever it takes, even if that demand has to be enforced the hard way, by a factor of hundreds, than to let this garbage continue.  Many of the nations that are engaged with us in this path have nuclear weapons.  We will not kill people one at a time, or 100 at a time.  One bomb or missile will kill a million at a time.  85 million dead from WWII will be a tenth or less of the body count if it comes to that -- and it will if we do not stop walking the path we're on.

I repeat: THERE IS A 100% RECORD ON THE OUTCOME OF THE CURRENT PATH OF ACTION BY OUR GOVERNMENT AND THE FEDERAL RESERVE AMONG NATIONS OF THE WORLD.  THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO BELIEVE WE WILL OBTAIN ANY DIFFERENT RESULT THAN HAS OCCURRED EVERY SINGLE TIME A GOVERNMENT AND CENTRAL BANK HAS TRIED THIS.  IT HAS NEVER WORKED.  IT HAS ALWAYS LED TO STAGNATION AT BEST AND WITH ONE EXCEPTION THUS FAR, JAPAN, IT TYPICALLY LEADS TO ECONOMIC COLLAPSE OR WORSE, WAR.

WAR, TODAY, AMONG NUCLEAR NATIONS, MEANS THE DEATH OF TENS OR HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE.

You choose America -- but choose wisely and soon, because as I pointed out in my Lily Pad essay, by the time you see the pond 50% covered -- and you think you've still got plenty of time you are literally one day away from being dead -- every single one of you.

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It showed up in your mailbox, on your TeeVee, in your political ads.

It was cute.  It looked a bit like a rodent, a viper or a dragon.

But it was cute and cuddly.  It had forlorn eyes that gazed at you oh-so-lovingly.

It snuggled with you at night.

It just wanted a bit of food, a bit of warmth, a bit of comfort.

You couldn't leave it outside to freeze to death and die in the wintertime, or to be eaten by a hawk in the summer.

So you took it in.

You nurtured it.

You fed it.

You kept it warm at night.

You even let it sleep with you.

It will be ok, you assured yourself.

But it was indeed a monster, and it did what all monsters do.

It grew.

It got bigger, and stronger.

At first the little bite off your plate was no big deal.  But a while later you realized it was consuming a decent amount of your food.  Your budget increased to support it.  After all, it was cute and cuddly, and you liked it.

It was hot when you were cold, and cold when you were hot.  More was spent on A/C or heat which you didn't want or need, but it did.  After all, it was cute and cuddly, and you liked it.

Eventually it got big enough that those formerly-forlorn eyes looked menacing.  You didn't dare kick it out of your bed, or your home.  Now you were afraid; if you did throw it out, it could get back in by force.  It might be able to kill you in your sleep.

More months and years went by.  Now it's consuming enough food and other resource that it's no longer cute at all.  You're foregoing your own nutrition.  You're only showering once a week because it's using so much water you can barely afford the bill.  Your power bill is crippling you.  Your homeowners insurance company, knowing you have a dangerous creature on your property, has made your insurance costs skyrocket.  It bites you one day, "it's an accident" you tell yourself, and the doctor hits you for $20 large to pay for stitches, rabies and other shots.  You don't have it, but you have to spend that or you might die.

It's no longer simply about the risk of killing you in your sleep.  Now it can kill you any time it wants.  It has razor-sharp teeth and demands more and more food.  When it's hungry and you have no money to buy it food, it eats your couch.  Oh, and it shits everywhere too -- all over your carpet, your nice wood floors and even in your bed.

Welcome to your own self-imposed hell.

What is this monster's genus and species?

It's debt.

Netflix is getting hammered on this.  They have an insane amount of debt that they took on which generates a forward and irrevocable obligation to pay in the form of interest for "original content."  But their subscriber growth rate, which made people think this was reasonable, was a chimera; it was a forward projection of exponential growth forever into the future, which is mathematically impossible: There are only so many humans on the planet.

Now it's caught up with them.  The monster is taking nips out of their feet while they sleep.  Soon it will consume their head.

How'd they get a $400 stock price, now just over $300?  On bullcrap you believed -- willingly, knowingly, while prodded by CNBS and others.  But let's not kid ourselves -- you hit the "buy" button, didn't you?

The same is true nationally.  It's true for the entire stock market.  Buybacks, funded with debt, are a noose around your neck you cannot get rid of.  The shares are repurchased, you bought them at a fixed price but when they're worth less on the open market you have a loss you cannot get rid of and, much worse, you have a forward obligation to pay that interest forever on your loss-making transaction!  There's only one thing worse than a loss-making transaction and that's one that never, ever stops costing you more and more money!

EPS goes up when you do this as long as earnings are increasing.  But when you have a loss the loss per share goes up by exactly the same amount.  This garbage may well double the stock market originally when the earnings are improving (and it did) but it inevitably will crash the market by twice as much when earnings turn bad since the negative number will be twice the size it would have been otherwise.  Instead of a 40% loss it'll be 80% -- or even 100% when the firms involved all go bankrupt because they simply can't pay.

The same is true for government deficit spending on things that are just flat-out gone; that is, anything that is consumed.  Like food stamps, health care and similar.  The interest expense is there forevermore unless you pay down the debt which you cannot do until and unless you stop deficit spending entirely.  That now amounts to a trillion dollars a year, or roughly one quarter of all government spending.  Do you think the government will stop feeding the monster even after it has chewed off an entire foot and half a leg?

Everyone knew this when that crap started -- both at the government and individual company level.

They knew it and did it anyway.

They lied to you.

On purpose.

They're still lying.

Kudlow, Cramer, President Trump, Nancy Pelosi, all of them.

That meets the classic definition of fraud and should be justification to hang them all except for one problem: You cheered it on, welcomed it, voted for it and in fact in the political sphere both parties were equal participants and there has not been one revolt, organized or not, by anyone in this nation demanding it stop "or else."  Quite to the contrary; everyone is demanding that the monster be fed even more and get ever larger -- forever!

So get up, stand in front of the mirror and then fuck yourself because you're looking at the responsible party.

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2019-07-01 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 304 references
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Watch this one folks.

$400 vials of insulin.

$25 for the very same vial in Canada.

CNN points out that the manufacturers, of which there are three, intentionally do not enter competing lines of business and thus there is no competition between providers.

On purpose.

Intentionally divvying up markets like this is a felony.  It has been a felony since the late 1800s -- more than 100 years.  The Sherman and Clayton acts, known as 15 USC Chapter 1, declare such practices or any attempt to engage in them federal criminal offenses carrying 10 years in prison for each person so-involved.

The number of criminal prosecutions in the medical and drug sector over these obvious, blatant criminal acts number zero.

The media calls this "greedy" as do "activists."

They do not call it what it is under more than 100 year old law: Felonious.

They do not ask: Where are the goddamned handcuffs and why aren't the executives in prison?

They do not call for prison terms -- right now.

They ignore, as do the activists, the clear statement of law found in 15 USC Chapter 1.

There is no "hard" problem here to solve.

You need only jail a few executives and all of this bullcrap will stop across the medical industry instantly.

Well?

If the government will not do its job then why do you sit back and whine and run "human interest" stories instead of storming the Halls of Congress and State AG offices, along with demanding that both the FBI and State Cops raid these firms and arrest all of the executives inside, shuttering the buildings and chaining the doors closed until this blatant and obvious lawless behavior stops?

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