[KR71] Keiser Report – Markets! Finance! Global Death Spiral!

Stacy Summary: We look at death spirals and vanity trades in the global financial markets. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Richard Buchanan about his attempts to form a Facebook union.

246 comments on “[KR71] Keiser Report – Markets! Finance! Global Death Spiral!
  1. Tao Jonesing says:

    200?

  2. F. Beard says:

    chose your G-d F. Beard Mammon or Jesus not gonna have both…Capitolism is a system of explotation no matter how you fudge it… chArles

    I suppose that depends on how one defines “capitalism”. I don’t define it to mean a system with a government backed banking cartel. That is the key to the exploitation, imo. My definition of capitalism is economic liberty, not being forced by the IRS into using FRNs or else.

    It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it. Proverbs 10:22

  3. Tao Jonesing says:

    (two hundred and) First!

    Benefits of being West Coast USA.

  4. Tao Jonesing says:

    oh, well

  5. F. Beard says:

    Max make LewRockwell.com:

    Draining the Treasury With Wars and Foreign Entanglements

    It’s still one of my favorite sites though I am post-Austrian.

  6. F. Beard says:

    “We’ve already bailed out everyone. There is no more money …” from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SciH1Ug4pGY via Mirror^2

    Wrong and wrong. The victims have NOT been bailed out and the money supply is limitless since we (the US) issue our own currency.

  7. Tao Jonesing says:

    @chArles,

    I tracked you down as the originator of the quote that beardy responded to in comment #201, and I have a couple of observations.

    First, capitalism need not be a system of exploitation but is, at a very minimum a system of symbiosis.

    Second, the exploitive nature of capitalism seems to depend entirely on the extent to which rentiers rule the system. Rentiers by nature exploit, and when rentiers rule, as they do right now, the capitalist system goes from a complementary symbiosis to a parasitism that kills the host.

    Third, most schools of economics (including the neoclassical Keynesian synthesis, Chicago and Austrian) pretend that capitalism is divided between capital and labor and entirely ignore rentiers. That’s the real threat that Keynes presented: true to the classical liberal ideal, he called out rentiers as the true threat to capitalism and sought to hold them in check.

    I fervently believe that the primary reason that FDR succeeded with the New Deal is that both capital and labor realized for the first time that they were both threatened by the rentiers (i.e., the FIRE sector). In many ways, FDR showed a remarkably light hand, especially in his approach to the industrial monopolies that the FIRE sector had formed to control the U.S. economy (he didn’t break them up but installed labor monopolies as a check).

    Fourth, accepting a vector that pushes us towards the Austrian School, which represents rentier purism, would be a very bad mistake, primarily because capitalism would become precisely what you say it is (but need not be).

    Finally, in closing, my experience is that exploitation is entirely in the eyes of the beholder. Different people have different skills and different ambitions, but most people tend to avoid leadership positions, at least in my experience. The vast majority of people would prefer to follow because leading is hard. Whether the relationship between leaders and followers is exploitave depends entirely on the extent to which the leader feels he/she serves those who follow. I’ll grant you that, in the present neoliberal-tainted environment, most leaders could give a crap (see, e.g., Obama), but there are exceptions around which to build a new paradigm.

    To have a chance, we just need to prevent the rentiers from doing harm and controlling things, as they do now.

  8. MirrorMirror says:

    Photos copyrighted ? …

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kansashorizons/4925068591

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kansashorizons/4925696264

    Does the Copyright belong to Flickr .. or the person that uploaded them ?

    Anyone ?

  9. In the end, we are all damned says:

    @Tao Jonesing

    Have an idea: I would like to see if I can carry a conversation with you, outside this site. I don’t know your level of interest but I think this gives you full control (in case you are concerned about privacy or controls): I opened a yahoo email account with the name “exchangevenue” with pass of “exchange123″.

    If you are not interested in any way, let me know. If you have a better idea, let me know.

    Thanks

  10. davem says:

    Hi Max and stacy
    Loved the show – watched it on RT last night at 10:30pm. Somehow it’s nicer watching on TV rather than my PC – the shared experience thing maybe. You’re so articulate and it’s a joy to hear you say things that no other TV show has the guts to say. I’ve been trying to get my wife to watch with me, as I want her to hear your words of wisdom, but she falls into a deep sleep every time half way through. Can you get RT to move the program to an earlier slot? I think you’re missing the big audiences by showing so late.

  11. Mini US says:

    @Mirror Mirror.

    Good copyright question.
    I just signed a form giving a production permission to use my footage that we shot last week.
    5 Multi-Camera positions.
    I’ve never thought of it as my footage as I get paid for it.
    However, I have had reason to hold onto footage until paid from foreign companies as I have been burn’t before.

  12. Bel-Ami says:

    Facebook is an Alienation machine. It offers a formatted hyperreality in lieu of a world diminishing in human value.

    One could say the same of Google and its relation to knowledge.

    Ineptire est juris gentium.

  13. chArles says:

    @ CAPITOLISM IS EXPLO”TA”T””IO”N

    sorry brief comment…off to work..Capitolism is explotaive no matter if there is a government or a rentier classs or however y’all want to fudge it…Capitolism states that I as the owner of X, whatever that is an idea or a machine or a mine or a farm am entitled to more of the proceeds that labor produces from said things…or if I don’t employ folks just sellig any item, I demand that it be sold at more than just cost…that is explotation, you can fudge it all you like, talk of LIBERTY, FREE AGENTS but…it don’t pass Ethics 101 let alone BEards great sky G-d test.

    its explotation…whether this is good or bad is for each individual to decide…and to all the Libertarians who are screaming now…Taxes are Theft happy now?…I can live with that

  14. bammbamm says:

    Boy he was an exciting chap wasn’t he?

  15. stacyherbert says:

    @davem – ha ha, your wife sounds awesome!! what time zone are you on?

  16. Tao Jonesing says:

    @chArles,

    Ah, I think I see where you are coming from.

    Capitalism’s weak point is the property fetish that underlies and drives it. Libertarians argue that property rights arise from natural law, but a more rigorous analysis leads to the conclusion that the recognition of property rights is the first act of violence against nature (i.e., exploitation).

    The problem is that the need to claim things as property is so ingrained that it manifests itself while we are infants (mine!). In that sense, the property imperative is not cultural but human, and, therefore, humanity is naturally exploitative. Capitalism is the result of humanity’s exploitive nature, not the cause of it.

  17. Tao Jonesing says:

    @in the end,

    Happy to correspond the old-fashioned way. My gmail is taojonesing.

  18. Richard says:

    Facebook worth $33 dollars ahead of IPO – Well done everyone you just got sharecropped.

  19. chArles says:

    @ Tao Jonesing

    my arguement was originally against Beard….who for whatever reason demands this hyper religiousity but fails to see that his/hers other core faith “Capitolism” is at odds…with that very concept you mentioned of “MINE” that is an anathma to Christianity in any forn other than a bastardization of the faith…he/she should be quite familiar with this…to enrich oneself of the sweat of your brother is vile…to declare ownership of anything in face of need (which is eternally present) is damnable…read Doestesky’s parable of the “onion” contained in the Brother’s Karamosov

    I will also state Capitolism violates not just Christian Monotheism but all dominant strains of Monotheisim at is foundational principle of self enrichment it violates both Islamic and Judeaic conception of ethics…and any rational based system ala Kantian

    this is not stated in this society, wonder why?

  20. TheFlyingDutchman says:

    Come on Max, you used to tell the truth without the white wash but maybe you’ve been co-opted my the MSM here. When you say Fox can’t compete on any level playing field did you not check the cable ratings from 5p-10p? I think you didn’t or you’d see that they beat ALL other news networks COMBINED!

    I have much more respect for you when you tell it like it is, we get ENOUGH white wash BS already here in the states from the MSM, go back to telling it like it is, the truth!

  21. Tao Jonesing says:

    @chArles,

    Thanks for the additional background and context for your statement. I’m more interested in having a conversation than joining in an argument. It makes it easier to learn. :-)

    The property fetish is central to Christianity and Judaism (no coveting or stealing), but it is tempered by other imperatives. I can envision a version of capitalism that is tempered by similar imperatives and thus is fully consistent Christianity. I agree that the modern, sociopathic version of capitalism is unethical and inconsistent with Christianity.

    There was a time when people of good conscience recognized the conflict between Christianity and capitalism. Adam Smith certainly did. The neoliberals set out to strip capitalism of conscience, and ironically they did so by interpreting Smith’s invisible hand metaphor to mean the opposite of what Smith meant.

  22. davem says:

    @stacy
    We’re on GMT, and Keiser Report comes on at 10:30pm. 10pm would be better timing, particularly for my wife. Also by running at 10:30 you’re actually in competition with BBC2 Newsnight.

  23. Talcott says:

    @Tao Jonesing

    I agree that Capitalism is for a significant part aharmonious with Christianity. However saying it has a property ‘fetish’ may strike extremity. I would name an economic system withing a group of Yeshua’s followers(if they have integrity) as ‘communityism”. Act’s gives a vignette of the early church which illustrates that.

    Acts 2:44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

  24. F. Beard says:

    @Talcott,

    Yep. The early Christian believers in Jerusalem practiced a form of communalism but It seems like Paul was always collecting money for them. Other Christian attempts with shared property failed too.

  25. chArles says:

    @ Tao Jonesing

    there is nothing wrong with a good ole fashioned arguement, which can be an educational experience…most of my comments here are sparked from boredom…I have no hostility towards any of my interlocators….but will admit grow weary of parrots…anyone can copy and paste in this age…true intellect is a systhesis

    but on to your point…the injuncture for property identified by prohibitions against theft I would argue are more Judaic than Christian, I maintain that Jesus represented a drastic parigdigm shift in early bronze/iron age mans thinking process as our agrarian lifestyle offered more stability…also this form of economy where large stretches were plowed under demanded greater labor expenditures therefore altering the interpersonal relation most people encountered…this drastically changing enviroment is what the carpenter walked into…and his message was an extreme form of egalitarinism and selfless behavior…just read ACTs and one get’s a picture of early christian communities…whatever one wishes to call these communities the last thing they were was capitolist in nature

    I do maintain that the core principle of Capitolism is incompatable with any strain of ethics…the priciple of self enrichment can not…. no matter the number of intellectual hurdles be made compatible with treating others as an ends base which is what any humane ethics demand…self enrichment (merit or force is not relevent how this is to be accomplished) is it’s foundational principle, and that priciple is the bane of civil society

    you seem you want the dog in a muzzle because you have grown partial to it…I state the dog is rabid,

  26. chArles says:

    @ F. Beard

    DEFINE “FAILED”? communal propertiless societies have histories that stretch in the hundreds if not thousands of years…and I am not just representing our nomadic grandmas…I am talking cultures and socities with permenant structures

  27. F. Beard says:

    DEFINE “FAILED”? chArles

    As in starvation. I believe the Pilgrims experimented with a form of communalism but had to abandon it.

    Charles,

    I have no problem with voluntary communes. A truly libertarian society would permit all kinds of voluntary experiments.

  28. Tao Jonesing says:

    @Talcott,

    I’m not saying that all forms of capitalism display a property fetish. I’m focused primarily on the American version of it, which has been perverted by 30+ years of neoliberal ranting that there is no society, that there is only a collection of individuals who own and voluntarily exchange property. The value of a person is based entirely on the value of his stuff, not on what he does within a broader context of the social and actual environment. That’s what I mean by “property fetish.”

  29. Tao Jonesing says:

    @MirrorMirror,

    My guess is that the copyright for the photos on Flickr will be owned by the person who owns the account to which they are posted. The answer will be in the Flickr user’s license, which you can probably get by signing up to your own account.

    It does look like Flickr offers license brokerage services. Check out this link, which was on one of the pages you sent me (next to a copyright symbol):

    http://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147

  30. chArles says:

    @ As in starvation. I believe the Pilgrims experimented with a form of communalism but had to abandon it.

    this is a nice talking point of a certian segment of the christian right…it is false….research it further and look who has advocated it and what their research was…it falls flat….besides its dubious nature it is a false analogy a group of people entering into a system of mutual aid in a forign land would naturally be problomatic…and failure could no more be pin pointed to their cooperative efforts than their lack of knowledge of the land

  31. Tao Jonesing says:

    @chArles,

    “you seem you want the dog in a muzzle because you have grown partial to it…I state the dog is rabid,”

    I’m not partial to the dog. I just think the property imperative is part of human nature and any attempt to excise it (1) would not work and (2) would ultimately dehumanize us as individuals and as a society in much the same way that neoliberalism’s attempt to excise the social imperative is doing.

    I’d rather accept the faults of the human condition and manage the tensions they cause than make things worse by denying the practical reality that those faults exist and cannot be purged. It is through those tensions that we evolve and grow.

  32. flicks says:

    “Does the Copyright belong to Flickr .. or the person that uploaded them ?”

    The person or company that uploaded them. You can change the copyright setting on flickr but that is set to – all rights reserved

  33. chArles says:

    @ “I’m not partial to the dog. I just think the property imperative is part of human nature…”

    please don’t take my word usage as a slight was being poetic there…but you and I fundmentally disagree here….the concept of “Human nature” does not exist…it is a contrivence that even the best of minds fall pray to..read the letters between Frued and Einstien at the onset of the 2nd world war…Howard Zinn uses these collection of corraspondence to make the point that all one can do is bring Empirical data to the table and then proclaim HUMAN NATURE IS X…well the empirical/historical data isn’t that strong and is Cherry picked by the advocate of whatever X position is

    read Kroptkin’s Mutual Aid and one get’s a picture of human nature that I may find comforting while reading Hubert Spencer and one finds a concept that is comforting to those running around screaming about the Selfish Gene…which can no more be proven than a benevolet or Religious Gene

  34. Tao Jonesing says:

    @chArles,

    “the concept of “Human nature” does not exist”

    I use the term “human nature” for lack of a better alternative. While I haven’t read Zinn’s work on this point, I do not believe that I’m engaging in the kind of exercise that you describe.

    I’m simply saying that human beings are animals that display both “individualism” and “collectivism” from birth. Any society that attempts to completely eliminate either trait will fail, most likely in a spectacularly horrible way. This isn’t about genes or memes, its about how our brains work and the diversity of human existence.

    Another way to think about it is that I am not using the term “human nature” to refer to a static, immutable thing. Rather, I am using it to refer to a dynamic process driven by how human beings interact and decide as individuals and groups. At any given moment, the outcome of that process cannot be predicted. History is no guide, and empirical data are of no use.

  35. mae's fanny says:

    @ tao and @chArles
    I really enjoyed your conversation!

  36. chArles says:

    @ Tao

    “I’m simply saying that human beings are animals that display both “individualism” and “collectivism” from birth. Any society that attempts to completely eliminate either trait will fail, most likely in a spectacularly horrible way.”

    the animal upon birth has no conception of individuality, it is incapable of differintiating itself and the world, if one could rember this time or question the animal it would not have a conception of I, but exist entirely as “Is” or being…only as it acts in the world and begins to grasp its limitations, pressing against its crib or screaming for mommie to no avail it is shown the folly of solpolism….my contention is the enviroment the beast finds itself in will form its self serving or communal nature….most current psychological research on ethics and morals amougst children indicate they seem to be ammoral things…the child will go through out the whole world and delinate everything as “Mine” and is conditioned against this behavior pattern by other’s whom’s will it can’t act upon or the world itself will smack it in the face….

    so to return to saying people are selfish ahhh fudge it, guess we can’t do better or offer an alternative…because thats the way it is and to think otherwise is to be foolish or invite gulags I do not buy the arguement. I’m not a nice libreal like good ole Rawls, who gonna make peace with the devil in hopes I can harness its energy to increase my material abundance to then piecemeal out in order to damper the inequities the devil demands…nope not I

    (also bear in mind this is a bar room arguement or classroom fight not me at a lecturn trying to deal with the possible, which would yeild different points)

    I am not saying that a mutual aid co operative society based on mutual argreements is possible, I even maintain fervantely that my systems can not grant one the same levels of complexity the current system does, I’m stating the current system is vile, capitolism is vile, the core foundation principle is repelant and leads to the current folly and you can’t prevent it from cascading into misey for the great multitude with no amount of tinkering

  37. Tao Jonesing says:

    @chArles,

    I just read some of what Zinn had to say on “human nature,” and I agree with him while at the same time maintaining my position.

    The way I tend to express Zinn’s observation is as follows:

    There are basically three types of people. Those who believe humanity is inherently good, those who believe humanity is inherently evil, and those who believe that what a person believes about the inherent nature of humanity says far more about what the person believes of himself than it does about humanity.

    Collectivism and individualism are both too much a part of how we think and interact to ever be successfully purged from human existence. There will always be people who believe mankind is inherently evil because they think they themselves are evil (e.g., selfish), just as there will always be people who believe mankind is inherently good because they think they themselves are good (e.g., altruistic). The real question is how to create a society that successfully balances collectivism and individualism.

  38. chArles says:

    @ Tao

    “Collectivism and individualism are both too much a part of how we think and interact to ever be successfully purged from human existence.”

    I agree with this (excluding the absolutiness in ending), because this is the dominant narrative of our current society, it is maintained in my opinion by a concerted effort because it benifits a segement of society also intellectual laziness is a factor….that is why as I got older I became more of a cultural revolutionary type, believing political and economic revolutions would falter without addressing this problem of the dominant narrative in this current society

    I am in Zinn’s catagory of I think it is more revealing about the “individual” saying X than the actual statement of X

  39. Tao Jonesing says:

    @chArles,

    First, I’m greatly enjoying the discussion.

    “I agree with this because this is the dominant narrative of our current society, it is maintained in my opinion by a concerted effort because it benifits a segement of society also intellectual laziness is a factor….that is why as I got older I became more of a cultural revolutionary type, believing political and economic revolutions would falter without addressing this problem of the dominant narrative in this current society ”

    I agree that there is a dominant narrative that is exploited by one segment of society to benefit itself, but that narrative does not offer a third way that recognizes that there can be no winner in the debate, that both “sides” have only a piece of the truth, that the whole truth is greater than the sum of its parts. By constantly framing things as left v. right, conservative v. liberal, individualist v. collectivist, etc. that segment of society creates conflicts that distract us all from from seeing the world for what it is and what we can make it.

    That being said, raising two girls who had completely opposite personalities at birth has convinced me that there are real and meaningful differences between people at birth, differences that can be influenced by how they’re raised but never completely erased. I believe that the primary driver of differences between individuals is how they perceive and deal with uncertainty, and that is governed primarily by their individual dopamine systems.

    As I’ve gotten older I’ve become less of a revolutionary and more of an evolutionary. I believe that the only way a lasting social revolution can be achieved is through something that seems evolutionary, a minor change to the familiar. Human beings are constantly comparing what they see to what they expect, and the farther away something is from what they expect, the more likely they are to reject it (this is the dopamine system at work). The closer something new is to what is expected, the more easily it is accepted, even if it is completely new (this is my explanation of memes).

    At the end of the day, I think we both reject the dominant narrative and seek real change. There is something very wrong in the world today.

    Then again, maybe the world has always been this way. Maybe I’m only awakening to this reality because I’m living through what history will judge as the collapse of the American empire.

    No wonder I’m torn between wanting to make the world a better place on the one hand, and wanting to be left the hell alone on the other.

  40. chArles says:

    @ Tao

    I to have enjoyed this, got me through my day at the Giant Orange Box (maybe that explains, the briefness of replies and spelling errors/typoes)

    this

    “That being said, raising two girls who had completely opposite personalities at birth has convinced me that there are real and meaningful differences between people at birth”

    I find this absolutely fascinating, because it does put the old kabosh on my pure Enviromental Psych belief…for a long time I was of a quasi Lockean belief in psychological make up…meaning Tabula Rosa (Clean Slate) everything has to be imput via engagement with the world…on dark days was of the Humean varity believing personality or even to speak of the “I” was ludicrious because it is a multitude creature eternal changing…I am less certian of this but worried to give it up entirely because it is a very big hammer to lend to people who wish to smash equality/egalitarinism

    I’ve mentioned earlier in a different post some where that the head of the Cognative Department of Psychology brought me into his research project as ” the Bastard in the Room” meaning the high skeptic of Evolutionary Psychology and Biological Psych and life in general, (the Catholic Church employs a group of Jesuits who are called Devil’s Advocates to shoot down sainthoods) that was sorta my role on his project of a “Cognaive Founding of Ethics” two years and we couldn’t test anything (yes I am rambling missing intellectual stimualtion and being in the game)

    what raises this ramble besides to much Red Bull

    @ I believe that the primary driver of differences between individuals is how they perceive and deal with uncertainty, and that is governed primarily by their individual dopamine systems.

    I’ve argued this seven different ways in my little life…and still am uncertain if it is the stimuli that is governing the effect or the effect governing the stimuli…I wish to give dominance to the stimuli which is producing the effect (meaning raises or lowering of Dopamine or Seratonine for that matter) which feedbacks upon the perception…my Ex would tell me she wouldn’t expect anything else from a childhood mArxist…

    I agree it is a slow change of nudging the possible to the expected though…Was a pleasure today

  41. mae's fanny says:

    @chArles @tao
    san bushmen are very interesting in this regard

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushmen

  42. chArles says:

    @ Mae

    thanks for link,

    curious as to what the impact of this will be

    “In the 1990s, a portion of the population switched to livestock farming as a result of government-mandated modernization programs, as well as the increased risks of a hunting and gathering lifestyle in the face of technological development.”

    as how this will alter their traditional culture (i.e. ideas, values, belief), because I do believe, this step in human history,(moving from quasi nomadic hunter gathers to agrarian economies) altered us drastically with our engagement with the world….20 years isn’t enough time INMHO but I would be curious as to any socialogical data that is being currently developed

  43. chArles says:

    also I hope it goes without saying I find the concept of Government forced Modernization vulgar

  44. mae's fanny says:

    @chArles @tao
    You are right, all other animals are hunter gatherers except us!
    I have developed a great admiration for john harris. he too, latley, is talking about the ego and its effects on our behaviour. He is btw also a carpenter ;)

  45. Cesare Bonventre says:

    Cohen v. Facebook, filed in LA County, case number BC444483

    According to the law suit, the 2009 revenue generated by Facebook was nearly one billion dollars! All that with nearly no over head and no COGS

    Facebook software algorithms were created to market data, (and prevent the end-user from taking advantage of that market data)

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