Economic Collapse – Game Changer for Global Markets

1 11 2010

Building Asset-Based Market Infrastructure Best Alternative for Global Economy

(Updated 102408 – Formatting)

(RePosted 110110)

DJIA 9 October 2008

DJIA 9 October 2008

 

 

Few doubt that the collapse of the world economy will be a Game Changer. But the change needed is to a new game – a new infrastructure.  Not a set of minor changes to the same game.

What is the “game?”  The current model, which has gone down like a house of cards in a stiff breeze, is one tilted towards the interests of corporations, governments, and against those of the Individual.  It is based on various gradations of slavery, wage-slavery, consumerism predicated on freely available credit at usurious rates, predatory lending practices against victims disarmed by law, and perpetual debt.  We have created a debt-based global political economy, not an asset and equity based model.

Yet a non-debt based economic system is what we, the Individual Humans who collectively comprise the global economy, need the most.

We need to base our 21st Century political economies on equity, and assets.  Debt is a tool to grow equity and assets, not a substitute for it.  (Unless You are designing a slavery or permanent indentured sort of system.  It’s tougher to do that in a civil democracy.  And bear in mind the sort of Individually held asset and equities basis of global political economy hypothesised here is not the same as asset-egalitarianism.  It merely alludes to a reworking of the global financial system in a way that moves the advantage to the Individual accumulation of wealth over the current emphasis and advantage accorded to the corporate concentration of wealth.)

DJIA 15 October 2008

DJIA 15 October 2008

It is truly ironic that the heedless masters of the universe who invented opaque and impossible to value derivatives, hedges, indices and credit default swaps, and the predatory mortgage instruments they stood upon – It is truly ironic that they have so cannibalised the engine of this debt economy – Consumer Spending – that they have effectively killed this goose that laid such golden eggs for so long.

As Mike Whitney observed in his recent article at CounterPunch,

No job is safe. American elites and corporate tycoons are loading the boats and heading for foreign shores. The only thing they’re leaving behind is the insurmountable debt that will be shackled to our children into perpetuity and the carefully arranged levers of a modern police-surveillance state.”

The past three weeks have seen the front line dominoes tumble as the jury-rigged infrastructure of perma-debt collapsed before the eyes of those reputed to for years to be the smartest and boldest “risk takers” leading the global economy.  The most rabid force for de-regulation, the US Republican Party led by George W. Bush, is winding up its occupation of the Oval Office by nationalising the most pivotal parts of the US Banking System.

One by one, the remaining investment institutions have queued up for a government bailout that gives governments an equity stake.

Source - Hoover Institute

US - China Trade Deficit Growth Through 2006 : Source - Hoover Institute

Of course, in the US these massive infusions of government cash and guarantees are backed by the Treasury – which means borrowing from other nations, principally China.  And the repayment of this new debt will naturally fall on the US taxpayer, absent any serious reform.

LIBOR and the TED Spread are only immediate indicators of the credit market’s liquidity. The larger issue of infrastructure reform needs to consider how to build an asset-based, as opposed to debt-driven, political economy.  And that means encouraging the accumulation of assets and equities by Individuals, as opposed to corporations.  This impacts the structure and regulation of credit markets.

International leaders participating in the upcoming series of summits need to pay particularly meticulous attention to this.

For unless they obey the current inflection point and switch the game over to an asset-backed model of consumer spending, no amount of government intervention will preserve the current debt-driven model based on cannibalised captive markets.

Bubble Gum, Spit, and String

Such efforts as purchasing toxic assets, and injecting captial into the banks are short term patches of bubble gum, spit and string, and I surely hope our international leaders realise that.  There are already signs from the banks such injections, alone, won’t work.  The upcoming series of economic summits needs to focus on establishing a long term market model that honestly gives Individual Citizens a fair shake, and a more prominent role as stakeholder in the global system.

In the recent past I have been pessimistic about the real willingness of our leaders to address the root causes of this crisis.  On September 26, before the bailout was passed, in an email to Congress,  I asked “Where is the call for an international summit with our WTO trading partners, particularly China?”

But the pressure on the US by international leaders for it’s participation in a series of summits to address the current crisis in the economy gives me cause to reconsider my cynicism.

Consumer Savings

Consumer Savings

For this culture of debt, the dead end is clearly visible.  In the past 20 years and more Congress has let the Consumer Credit industry run hog wild, more recently letting predatory mortgage instruments do the same.  Debt.  Not assets.  Not equity.

In this sort of environment, consumer spending drives everything.  Like Love, it makes the world go ’round.  Henry Blodget did a lucid piece the other day on ClusterStock, entitled “US Consumers are Broke.”  I highly recommend it.

Equity/Asset Based Games vs Debt Games

If our global economic system threatens to collapse, as it is, and if consumer spending (particularly US consumer spending) is the engine; then we need to pay particularly close attention to the infrastructure changes our international leaders will try to design to address the crisis.

We don’t need to merely patch up the existing debt-based paradigm, except on the shortest term.  What we need to do is change the game to an asset and equity basis.

Consumer Debt

Consumer Debt

Consider:  Consumer spending is vital to either game as the driving force, but only in an asset / equity based economy is it guaranteed to grow, because the game is designed to build up the middle class – not hollow it out with predatory, usurious, and perpetual debt.

Consumer Credit should no longer be used as an Orwellian cyber-leash on the populace.  Instead, in building an asset-based market, the Individual owns and excercises real and legally enforceable control over their credit and other financial information.  The role for reporting agencies are transformed to data services competing to be the delivery agent for the Individual.  That means a much more direct relationship with those who would access that information – which would no longer be the sort of commercial product that automatically becomes subject to data mining.

Real protections against predatory lending instruments need to be instituted – that means no more Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), no more Balloon Payment, or Interest Only, or so-called option-ARMs.

WikiMedia - Credit Card -CC

That also means a cap on credit card rates, and a prohibition of unilateral rate changes based on the consumer’s account status with any other lender.  So one’s credit card rate doesn’t suddenly jump from 8 to 62 percent because you forgot to pay the electric bill last month – a bill you never pay with that credit card.  But the card company data mines your payment stream, sees the omission, and cranks up the rate.  Such behavior tends to gut the future ability of the account to maintain a credit relationship, and is thus cannibalistic of it’s own market.

This is what has happened to the US Consumer in this economic game of debt.  This is why the US Consumer is broke.  This is why the US Consumer is wary of credit, mortgage, and investment instruments tilted against them.  Any serious infrastructural reform that will last must address these very real concerns, and not just give them lip service.

Money To Be Made- More Reliably in Asset Based Economy

If US consumer spending has been such a great engine for growth and expansion in international trade, think of what a robust middle class would mean when combining the consumer spending of the US, China, India, and the EU.  In an international monetary system driven by the Individual accumulation of wealth, the emergence of a solid middle class would be an increasingly strong economic engine.  Perhaps international leaders should consider flattening the economic landscape in their upcoming efforts to build a newer, more resilient global economic system.  Rules and regulations should be guided by the express intent to enable and build up individual assets and equities, as opposed to corporate debt.

We must abolish the current idea of “minimum” wage and migrate to the concept of the Living Wage, indexed to the actual cost of living.

We need to encourage the invention of financial instruments for Individuals which give them certain and distinct advantages over existing corporate institutions, as a safeguard of their ability to accumulate wealth and contribute to the engine of asset and equity based consumer spending.  Predatory corporate and financial instruments are a certain death to such aims.

This means eliminating all taxes on personal income, personal savings and investments, to encourage and facilitate the accumulation of wealth regardless of class.

This will mean not just more banking regulation and tighter supervision over the mortgage and derivatives markets, but increases in wages across the board, across the world, in all countries participating in this restructuring.

In a global political economy that properly uses debt as just another tool to facilitate the building up of the actual wealth of the People, and not as a centerpiece to drive markets,  the health and robust growth of a more reliable form of Consumer Spending is ensured.

That’s all I have time to write for this weekend.  More later. Until then, the Fabulous O’Jays!

-dcm

Update 110110

Obama’s Big Chance – The New WPA

Sphere It!

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Pardon Bradley Manning Mr. Obama

15 08 2010

UPDATE 081510

UPDATE 031611 – fixed relocated video

Bradley Manning is a good Soldier who does not obey unlawful orders.  If he actually leaked anything it was in fulfillment of his Oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, domestic and foreign.

President Obama, do You seriously want to try to expand Parker v Levy [1][2][3]and the “Separate Society” of UCMJ in this climate?  Sure, maybe You can get SCOTUS to go along, but if You do You may have a revolt.  And if SCOTUS doesn’t go along You risk the bullshit decision of Parker v Levy being overturned.

You’re a smart guy, Sir.  Wisely avoid this particular battle.  Pardon Bradley Manning.  He’s a National, nay, International Hero.  If You find it too logistically difficult, politically speaking, to honor him, at least Keep Your Promises to Protect Whistleblowers and protect Him.

Oh, and one more thing.  Don’t murder, kidnap, or torture ahem detain or “interrogate” any Wikileaks Team member. They are working for Peace, and our ability to have sufficient access to History to know where we are.

Are You, Mr. Obama?

:dcm

UPDATE 081510

Listen to the SCOTUS Parker v Levy Opinion:




Hear the  SCOTUS Parker v Levy Oral Arguments:




:dcm 081510 1505hrs

Here’s a video from

From the original oojamaflipper video notes:

oojamaflipper | August 13, 2010

link to petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/manning…

Support Website: http://www.bradleymanning.org/

facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/savebradley

contact Bradley –
Inmate: Bradley Manning
3247 Elrod Avenue
Quantico, VA 22134
USA

Brig phone: +1 (703)432-6154
Brig fax: +1 (703)784-4242

wikipediapage on whistleblowing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleb…

many thanks for the protest clips: http://www.youtube.com/user/liamh2

how wikileaks can save the world: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od3PYThcVqs

stalk me: https://twitter.com/#!/oojamaflipper





How Wikileaks Changed Journalism – Discussion :Frontline Club

12 08 2010

Professional journalists discuss the reaction of the release of 76,000 War Diaries documents online to date.  Julian Assange, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Editor of Wikileaks joined in via Skype.

From the Frontline Club:
The controversy surrounding WikiLeaks’ historic release of more than 70,000 classified US military documents on the war in Afghanistan has not died down.

But one thing is certain: online data and its dissemination is changing journalism and the relationship betwen public and power.

In this special event, we ask:

  • How are organisations like WikiLeaks changing the way public data is released?
  • What do the Afghan War Logs mean for the mainstream media and government media relations?
  • What are the legal implications of the War Logs files’ release?

Joining us on this panel are: Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief (via online link up); journalist, academic and freedom of expression activist Heather Brooke, whose successful campaigning led to the full release of MPs’ expenses files; media lawyer Mark Stephens of Finers, Stephens Innocent and Simon Rogers, editor of The Guardian’s Datablog.

Chaired by Paddy O’Connell, the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

:dcm





Julian Assange of WikiLeaks – Oslo Freedom Forum 2010

12 08 2010

From Oslo Freedom ForumFrom

May 18, 2010

Julian Assange is a spokesman and advisory board member of WikiLeaks, a transparency website whose mission is to “open governments” and expose human rights abuses. It has a core focus on protecting dissidents, whistleblowers, investigative journalists, and bloggers who face state threats, and it largely operates by publishing leaks of sensitive documents.

Winners of Amnesty International’s 2009 Media Award for exposing extrajudicial assassinations in Kenya, Assange and WikiLeaks have recently launched www.collateralmurder.com, a website that hosts a leaked video of U.S. military forces in Iraq apparently slaying over a dozen people indiscriminately.

In his speech, Assange chooses to focus specifically on WikiLeaks’s work against censorship and human rights abuses committed by Western governments. Paraphrasing Orwell, Assange explains that he who controls today’s internet servers controls the intellectual record of mankind.

He warns us that Western governments, large corporations, and certain wealthy individuals are increasingly able and increasingly trying to remove material permanently from the historical record using sophisticated methods.

Assange reviews WikiLeaks’s work in uncovering human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and Guantanamo, and discusses the dangerous irony in the U.S. military’s conduct as it decorates its detention centers with “Honor Bound to Defend Freedom” signs.

If the West doesn’t reverse its course of increased censorship and rights abuses, Assange warns, it will lose all of the ideals that it once stood for.

Julian Assange – Oslo Freedom Forum 2010

Two Parts


:dcm

Julian




War Diaries a Damning Indictment of the Afghan War :NewsClickin

8 08 2010

Update on http://bit.ly/WLdr3d
The White House Press Office can’t seem to get it together to answer my questions. The Pentagon answered one of them – Geoff Morrel said the DoD “won’t help them redact” the unreleased 15k documents. So where does that leave us?

The Pentagon position means the United States government will not lift a finger to protect our Friends on the ground in Afghanistan. Not if it means admitting the US no longer has the controlling say in what shall be released, and not released. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” – Ecclesiastes 1:1

Also, Robert Gibbs, the current White House Press Secretary has time to bash the left, the People who put him and his boss, Mister Obama, in their jobs. But there is no time to answer this question: Is it more important to capture Osama Bin Laden, or to detain and “question” Julian Assange and members of the Wikileaks Team?

I guess Mister Obama’s pressuring other countries to hassle and prosecute and detain and extradite Assange answers that question. Bin Laden isn’t as important a target for the US as Wikileaks is at the moment.

[Note: I am adopting the convention that anyone who sits in the Oval Office who does NOT renounce PATRIOT Act sanctioned Bush era policies of assassination, indefinite detention without charges, torture, due process, habeas corpus, does not deserve the honorific “Mr. President.” If the current occupant will not take Murder off the table, extraordinary rendition – kidnapping off the table, torture off the table … then he no longer can lay claim to being “Mr. President.” Mr. President enforces the law. Mr. President protects whistleblowers. By his actions to date, Mister Obama does not. Mr. Bush, who was ordained by the Supreme Court, never did deserve the honorific.]

I started a petition to Mister Obama to refrain from killing, kidnapping, or torturing anyone from Wikileaks. It’s here: http://act.ly/2a2

[end of update to http://bit.ly/WLdr3d ]

The Afghan War Logs published by Wikileaks is one of the biggest leaks in the history of US military. The logs consists of 91,731 documents which reveal that hundreds of civilians have been killed by coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Newsclick exclusively discusses the issue with Prof. Vijay Prashad.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Related Links:
CSPAN Wikileaks Search
Syndey Morning Herald – WikiLeaks driving them Gaga
Pirate Party Australia Defends Wikileaks
White House Press Office

:dcm





White House Won’t Protect Afghan Sources, Won’t Rule Out Killing Assange

3 08 2010

Capturing Bin Laden Takes Back Seat to Fighting WikiLeaks

UPDATE 080410

Last Thursday I thought I’d ask the White House a simple question.  Is it more important to capture Osama Bin Laden, or to detain and “question” (under the PATRIOT Act, we all know what that can mean.) Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

I thought this was a no brainer.  How wrong, I suppose, I was.  At least, for the White House.  The decision on what may be declassified has been removed from the Executive Branch of the United States (or any)  government, and it seems the Obama administration has yet to figure out how to respond, aside from scheming to capture / detain / or otherwise incarcerate Julian Assange, so that he may be interrogated.  With, or Without Due Process.  But really now, Patriots!  In secret?

Not Bloody Likely.

An absence of answers from the White House Press Office apparently means what?  Corking-up WikiLeaks is more important than stopping Al Qaeda?

On Friday morning, I called the White House Press Office again, and repeated that question, and another.  I spotted Assange’s interview with abcnews.au wherein he asserted the White House had been approached by the New York  Times on behalf of the media partnership, and asked if they would help remove names of our Afghan Friends.  The White house “declined.”

I asked, “Is this True?”

Since then, silence.

Seriously.  The White House declined an opportunity to protect our “assets”?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Just to keep this in perspective, here is WikiLeaks extraordinary press conference last week:

Link: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/8526049

Short Link: http://bit.ly/aQyzbs

WikiLeaks Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010

The Guardian Afghanistan War Logs

Der Spiegel Afghanistan Protocol

New York Times Afghanistan War Logs

My email this morning to the White House Press Office is below.

-dcm

UPDATE 080410:

I took the press conference at the Frontline Club July 26 and split it in two and made it available for download here:

Frontline London Press Conference July 26 2010,downloadable,2 pcs http://bit.ly/WLatFL

Also,  rageunderground over at YouTube has mapped from the WikiLeaks War Diaries,  all of the Afghan War IED attacks from 2004 through 2009, and overlaid them on a NATO map of the area.  Here:

:dcm

UPDATE@ 080410

First, there is now an easy to use Citizen Journalist Research tool for the Afghan War Diary Database at http://www.diarydig.org/ .   Next…

Here’s a riotously succinct synopsis of why we need ironclad Net Neutrality, as illuminated by the release of the Wikileaks Afghan War Diaries, courtesy of thejuicemedia’s Rap News.

:dcm

Subject: 2 Simple Questions regarding WikiLeaks/Guardian/DerSpiegel/NYT War Diaries, from Scribal Thrum


David Manchester <david.c.manchester@gmail.com> Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 9:17 AM
To: White House Press Office <media_affairs@who.eop.gov>
Cc: [list of journalists]
Dear President Obama and Robert Gibbs:

Once again, I ask.  For the fourth (4th) time since last Thursday 07/29/10:

  • Which is a greater priority for the White House and Pentagon – capturing Osama Bin Laden, or detaining and “questioning” Julian Assange?

Once again, I ask.  For the third (3rd) time since last Friday 07/30/10:

  • Is it true the White House declined to help the media partnership of NYT/Guardian/DerSpiegel/WikiLeaks to scrub the names of our Human Resources from the War Diaries as part of their Harm Minimisation?

Every single time I have contacted the White House Press Office (“media affairs”) I have identified myself, given a phone number, email address, and identified the blog I publish.  Every single time I have been assured You will “get back” to me.

You have not.

Is it because I run a blog, and the White House does not think that merits a response?

Have I received no response because the White House does not think I am qualified as a journalist?  Let me assure You, I was trained in Print, Broadcast, and Photo Journalism by the Department of Defense Information School.  I served on active duty as an Army Journalist.  The paper I worked on won numerous awards during my tenure there.

Please respond to these questions with answers.

As I mentioned this morning when I called around 0715hrs, my headline for my next post on Scribal Thrum will be something like

White House Won’t Protect Afghan Sources, Won’t Rule Out Killing Assange
Capturing Bin Laden Takes Back Seat to Fighting WikiLeaks

If I have no response from You by 12 noon today I will surmise the White House is okay with this headline, and will proceed.

Thanks for the Help!

Regards,
Dave Manchester
xxx.xxx.xxxx

https://dredeyedick.wordpress.com
http://thewall.civiblog.org/nsa.html





Awaiting Answer from Obama – Capture Bin Laden or Detain Assange More Important?

30 07 2010

Did White House “decline” to Help WikiLeaks Media Partners

Harm Minimisation Process?

In the wake of conflicting messages coming out of the White House about the WikiLeaks War Diaries, as covered in The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and the New York Times, I thought I’d call the White House Press Office yesterday and ask a simple question:  Which is a higher priority for the Obama Administration; Capturing Osama Bin Laden or detaining and “questioning” Julian Assange?

The asked me where I’m from, politely, twice.  I said I had a blog called Scribal Thrum, gave them my name, and blog address, email, and phone number.  The nice young man said he would have to get back to me.

I had not heard anything by this morning.  But last night I caught Assange  interviewed by an Australian ABC News affiliate, and he said that the media partnership – WikiLeaks, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and the New York Times had the New York Times representative approach the White House, well in advance of their publication date, and ask the White House for help in redacting any names of US human resources on the ground, to protect their lives.

And, Assange said, the White House declined.

So this morning I called back.  I spoke with a nice young man named Andrew.  He said he would do his best, but they did get a lot of questions.  He gave me an email address to send the questions.  Here is what I asked.  I have not as yet gotten a reply.

Andrew,

I just spoke with You on the phone, and called yesterday.  Thanks for the information.  As I mentioned,  I write a blog called “Scribal Thrum” and would like to ask 2 fairly straightforward questions for my blog post this afternoon / evening (my target deadline is 4pm EST but may extend it out to 8pm EST).

My questions:

1.  Various elements of the Executive Branch, most notably the Pentagon, have sought Mr. Assange, saying they wanted to “talk” with him.  He has received warnings from various quarters not to come to the US, and to watch his back.
Since the War Diaries were published, there has been a great hue and cry against WikiLeaks, Assange, and this leak.

My first question is:

Which is a greater priority for the White House and Pentagon – capturing Osama Bin Laden, or detaining and questioning Julian Assange?

2.  Is it true the White House declined to help the media partnership of NYT/Guardian/DerSpiegel/WikiLeaks to scrub the names of our Human Resources from the War Diaries as part of their Harm Minimisation? If so, Why did the WH decline?  If not, what was the WH contribution to harm minimisation?

Thanks for the Help!

Best Regards,

[bolding in original-dcm]

As I said, no reply has been forthcoming.  As yet.

Until the White House sees fit to respond, Please enjoy this fine video by ThePhaedrus83:

-dcm








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