The cancer in us.

When Cancers grow they don’t do so according to any plan. They grow when cells cease to regard themselves as part of a larger body and choose instead to gorge themselves, unregulated and unchecked, upon it, and are enabled to do so by the absence of the body’s Programmed Cell Death system which should normally force the shut-down of dysfunctional cells.

Our social body is being eaten alive by a cancer of debt backed finance.  Some in our banks no longer care about the health of society and wish only to grow as large as they can as fast as they can, for their own sake. And our body politic has lost any means of shutting them down. There was once such a shut- down mechanism, but our politicians were too cowardly or corrupt to enforce it and have now surrendered it to the banks themselves.

But a characteristic of cancerous growth is that it mutates. So does financial fraud and lying. A mutated and newly aggressive lobe of a cancer can suddenly erupt from within itself and grow until it starts to envelope that from which it grew.  Sometimes it diverts  blood away from the original growth to the point where the original starts to necrose and rot.

Both in cancer or in our present financial system there is no loyalty. Both are a living tissue that has become blindly greedy. Neither has any thought for the future, not even their own. In both cases what was once healthy has mutated, out of control or care. They exist for their own immediate survival only, for which they will consume even that which once supported them and upon which, they themselves ultimately depend.  Cancer and debts eventually consume and destroy everything, even  themselves as they draw everything into themselves.

I think we are beginning to see this happen in the tangled, misshapen growth of our banking and debt cancer.  What was theft and fraud is mutating into legal retribution and blame.  Different growths within the debt and banking cancer are trying now to devour each other. Like starving spiders in a sealed jar they all have their fangs in each other poisoning, digesting and sucking with a cold and thoughtless ferocity.

And this provides me with some hope.

If the financial fraud mutates as I think it will, and nations increasingly try to find ways of claiming that regulators and bankers in other countries were the cause of their own banks downfall so this mutation of the fraud itself may do what our pathetically corrupted regulatory regimes have failed even to attempt.

Till now there has been, to be blunt, a special relationship between the regulators and the banks – like that between a whore and those who pimp her.  The banks pimp out their regulator to make the pubic feel better.  Their job is to provide relief with a sham inquiry here and a quick stress relief test there.  How else could you describe three ‘inquiries’ in to Irish banking, each so tightly drawn as to assure none of the difficult questions could be asked let alone addressed?  In all our contries ‘our’ financial regualtor works for the banks and is there to manage public anger and make sure our access to facts is strictly ‘regulated’.

But events are now overtaking the regulators themselves.  We are now beginning to see legal action taken which will, I think eventually not only by-pass the regulators but eventually draw them in as accused.

The recent Madoff case citing UniCredit, HSBC, Bank Austria and others is a case in point.

If every country tries to blame the banks and regulators in other nations, we may yet get at the truth.

47 Responses to The cancer in us.

  1. guidoromero December 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Optimism is good. Nonetheless, history shows that when fiscal revenue stalls even in relative terms and actually declines, the social discontent engendered by the self reinforcing dynamics of spiking unemployment and cratering social expenditure leads to revolution.

    But revolution is something that happens in dinky African countries. Western leaders cannot contemplate allowing social discontent to morph into revolution.

    The solution will be to create a war. A global war this one so that not only can the attention of the masses be diverted but we can also pack them off to the front simultaneously taking care of unemployment at home and excess industrial capacity abroad.

  2. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Hello guidoromero,

    Yes, that's the approved practice. But so far it's not been working for them. Rumours abound that the US has been seeking a convenient provocation in Korea but has not succeeded.

    The ruling families of the Gulf States have been clamouring for a war against Iran, also to no avail. According to some of the Wikileak cables the Gulf states have been buying around $50 billion in military hardware of a sophistication that would allow them to deal with anything Iran has and equal Israel's airpower as well.

    I have friends who take more interest in the military side than I do, who are convinced as you are, that some sort of war is being sought and is close. But they have been saying this for quite a while now.

    I am not so sure.

    I think the moment has passed for now and a whole new campaign of fear and demonizing will have to be mounted before a new moment can be created.

    In the mean time it is the 'enemy within' that is absorbing the attention of MI5 and the Branch – at least from what I hear. The fear is if scattered and disjointed protests about differetn things find the ability to link up. What is being duscussed on the Thames, I am told, is making sure this does not happen.

    As long as prtotest remains stuck at simple 'anti-cuts' the feeling is, different groups prtoesting seperate cuts can be set against each other. The fear is if they make common cause and question where the money that is being cut has gone – who has it and shall we claim it back?

    If such an awakening within the anti cuts movement takes off, that will be the fear and the accelerant for major action both domestically and internationally.

  3. guidoromero December 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    This chart says that at some point the most profitable industry in the world which also happens to be the biggest employer, must make use of its products somehow, somewhere:

    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/07/31/business/20090801_CHARTS_GRAPHIC.html

    Regarding Gulf states. Don't forget that other than Syria and, eventually, Egypt, nobody has an "army" worthy of the name. And it remains to be seen what Syria's capabilities are.

    Gulf countries employ third country nationals in their armies. Predominantly South East Asians… any war that must be fought in or by the Middle East will be fought by the West on behalf of the Gulf.

    For as long as fiscal revenue declines, people across Europe will find common cause eventually. It is a mathematical certainty.

  4. guidoromero December 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    Oh! And what's up with Sweden man? Amongst other recent uncharacteristic behavior, since when are Swedes war mongers?
    As I reported in my blog, general secretary of Nato Mr. Rasmussen is really going out of his way to employ Nato troops "beyond" our borders. He actually used the word we "must" do so.

  5. theprofromdover December 19, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    History says -pick a fight with someone as a distraction- but not if you are already fighting someone else.
    The buffoons Bush & Blair skipped gaily into Iraq & Afganistan, so now their peoples have no trust in their governments' statements and no stomach for another trumped up war.
    So war with Iran, China or Korea is out.
    I suspect that Iran and Israel are sactually secret friends in any case; ..enemy of my enemy and all that..
    But never underestimate the crass stupidity of a governing cabal who think they have a god-given right to rule forever.
    If 911 taught us anything, it was that real life can now take inspiration from the movies, and apparatchiks can be ordered to do anything if they are told it is for 'homeland security'.
    Don't be surprised if the next 'event' has all been scripted already.
    I'm sorry Holbrooke died, I thought he had a role to play. 30 years an insider, he knew where a lot of bodies were buried.

  6. deniski December 19, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    WOW ! That was powerful.
    I know nothing about the world of finance but you're informing me nicely, thank you.

  7. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 19, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    deniski,

    You are most welcome. Thank you for reading.

    Hello 'pro',

    nice to hear from you. I think Christmas can't come quick enough for the ruling class. Events are spinning ahead of them.

    We need to keep the pressure on them. Be that high pitched distraction of the mosquito they can't quite see to flatten and distract them from the real dangers of their own plan unravelling.

  8. forensicstatistician December 20, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    David,

    You have a wonderful gift of clarity of expression. The lecture at Lancaster was concise and especially eloquent. I'm awaiting your book with baited breadth!

    I almost despair at the mainstream media who have completely failed us these last few years.

    I'm especially keen to hear more about your thesis of "a solvency crisis, not a liquidity crisis".

    Who or what evidence are you relying on to demonstrate that this is at the heart of the problem? I recently read an excellent book by Peter Warburton, called "Debt & Delusion" written more than 10 years ago. This paints a compelling picture of debt ignorance (by the public & policy makers alike), yet his views appear ignored.

  9. Dope Addict December 20, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    so now their peoples have no trust in their governments' statements and no stomach for another trumped up war. So war with Iran, China or Korea is out.

    I'd like to agree with you, but we've got some pretty gullible people here in the USA. The president just needs to gin up enough fear of Iranian nukes, ignore the overwhelming opposition (like Bush did,) and play to the dimwitted patriots who impel us to "get behind the troops."

    My point is that the president & congress don't need its people to trust them. Their response to the economic crisis has shown that they aren't the least bit interested in what we think or want, or even what is financially feasible (wars are expensive.)

    They ignored the enormous majority of the people who opposed the bailout. They'll do the same if they want war with Iran. What we think or want doesn't matter.

    Golem, I especially appreciate your comments about stress tests & the like. Those were meant to appease us, but bankers knew the truth. And now that the cookies on the periphery are crumbling, taking the center with them, it's time to start blaming.

    Those regulators who were their friends are becoming their enemies as they all point the finger at each other.

    The new year should be interesting as this continues.

  10. Sean December 20, 2010 at 4:35 am #

    nice summary of fiat money and the fractional reserve banking.

    "There was once such a shut-down mechanism, but our politicians were too cowardly or corrupt to enforce it and have now surrendered it to the banks themselves"

    that would be the gold standard then? acting as a break on money creation.

  11. RichGB December 20, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    Unbelievably, Congress is now planning to bail out the Credit Unions as well – see HERE.
    In essence, Credit Unions will gain the right to convert to Mutual Savings Banks, which can then be swallowed up by the big banks. Wall Street is metastasizing with a vengeance!

  12. dave from france December 20, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    guidoromero— It's nearly four whole years since this–

    ————————————–
    I haven’t received the latest issue of The New Yorker, but it’s already making news with an article by the invaluable Seymour Hersh reporting that the Pentagon is preparing intensively — and illegally — for a military strike on Iran.

    Hersh says the Department of Defense, not the CIA, is smuggling agents into Iran disguised as Iranian civilians.

    Not only is this illegal under U.S. law; under the Geneva Conventions, only those captured in uniform are entitled to the protections due to prisoners of war. It’s hardly necessary to spell out where this may lead.

    Hersh really keeps his ear to the ground, has great sources, and collects well-earned enemies in every administration. I wonder how many high-level conspiracies he has aborted over the last four decades by getting wind of them in time.

    Meanwhile, with respect to Iran, the politicians have a new mantra, repeated so obsessively as to remind one of the brainwashed soldiers in The Manchurian Candidate: “All options are on the table.” This is a transparent euphemism for “We’re not ruling out nuking Iran.”

    When John Edwards said it to an Israeli audience recently, he added, just so nobody would miss the point, “I repeat: all options.” That’s how you raise campaign money nowadays: by threatening mass murder.

    —————————————
    More recently thanks to Wikileaks –

    ——————————————-

    "Of course it's possible that the North Koreans actually sold Iran missiles that they can use to strike Europe. Or they didn't do any such thing. Or that they sold them missiles that don't actually work. But the Times ( NYT) seems to be going with the first story, based on secret documents that, when you actually read them, suggest strongly that the other two possibilities might be correct. In light of this, the decision not to publish the cable makes a lot more sense: You can make strong allegations about an official enemy without letting your readers see the less than overwhelming evidence"FAIR
    ———————————–

    On that last one the Washington Post ran an equally war-scareing article to the NYT, but corrected it soon after , details in Counterpunch early december .

    So not all of the MSM buys their Warmongering agenda, and the Fifth Estate of the blogosphere is sharpening up too, as we see here!

    On our pârticular 'Front, I'm seeing more and more of the mainstream 'coming out' as it were.

  13. dave from france December 20, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Damn, forgot to save, hope I'm in the spam-folder !

  14. dave from france December 20, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Dopeaddict–
    "Of course it's possible that the North Koreans actually sold Iran missiles that they can use to strike Europe. Or they didn't do any such thing. Or that they sold them missiles that don't actually work. But the Times( NYT) seems to be going with the first story, based on secret documents that, when you actually read them, suggest strongly that the other two possibilities might be correct. In light of this, the decision not to publish the cable makes a lot more sense: You can make strong allegations about an official enemy without letting your readers see the less than overwhelming evidence." FAIR

    The WaPo ran the same war-scare story on the same Wikileak cable, but actually retracted it soon after … so not all the MSM speak with one voice …deets in Counterpunch early december .

  15. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 20, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Dave from France,

    What is it with you and the Spam function – why always you? I am really sorry Dave.

    I'll switch it off and see what happens.

  16. wirplit December 20, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Thanks for that brilliant image of Cancer Golem. Information is Power but how to explain what to so many people are turn off subjects is a real problem.
    I know Cancer been used many times in regard to Politics but your almost scientific description hits what has happened in the perfect graphic image. it describes in a way that clarifies rather than confuses what has happened and is happening to the Social Body and how to understand the Crisis in stark terms. If Society as we usually understand it and such as Cameron play on in images like The Big Society is regarded as a Body than our banking industry and the whole financial world is perfectly described as a cancer or a cancerous organ. The organ is necessary but is being eaten by the tumour that is hidden yet grows incredibly fast until it starts to threaten the life of the body as a whole.

    The power of this image is that everyone knows that cancers grow uncontrollably and need to be acted upon with the knife very often very fast. It underlines the urgency… and the results of not intervening…
    Thanks again I think this image needs to get into everyones heads…

  17. Leni December 20, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    That the banking and financial sectors are turning on each other is hardly surprising – they have eaten and spat out of the bones of all other available nourishment.

    Their fight now is ensure their own survival by reducing the number of players – pushing wealth and control into even fewer hands.

    Perhaps those on the periphery, the supporters and lickspittles who live of the lesser but nevertheless considerable crumbs from the big players – they hoefully will join the fight to expose the truth.

    Lies certainly. The warmongers also rely upon deceipt and manipultion based on fear. Will they succeed ? The arms manufacturers are responsible for much of the wealth creation as are the private security firms who operate in post war zones unchecked by local legal systems or common decency and compassion.

    We need a much more broadly based resistance. Concentrating only on the cuts is enabling a so far successful campaign to anathametise the unemployed and disabled to deepen and win adherents. This hate campaign is distracting us from the real villains who trully are a deep rooted cancer feeding on our societies and our lives.

  18. airstrikes December 21, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    I'm sceptical that the US will decide to attack Iran in the near future. Despite appearances to the contrary the ruling class don't just go to war for the hell of it.
    The go to war to advance definite political or commercial aims. So in the case of Iraq you had the lure of oil, toppling an unfriendly regime, putting troops in a strategically important country and so on. Same goes for Afghanistan (minus the actual oil, although pipelines did play a part in the decision, not that we'll be seeing any pipelines going anywhere while US troops are in the country of course)

    So when weighing up the possibility of an attack on Iran you have to ask to look at it from the point of view of the ruling class in the US and ask, 'what do we get out of it?'

    Air strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear capability?
    Hugely risky with very little prospect of actually succeeding. Iraq and Lebanon would explode immediately. Iran could block the Straits of Hormuz and there goes a good portion of the worlds oil supplies.

    Regime change?
    Impossible without a full scale land invasion. Does the US have the troops to pull it off while tied down in Iraq, Afghanistan and 50K troops on the Demillitarized Zone eye balling the troops of the God-Emperor in Pyongyang? No way. Even if they did the Iranian armed forces don't strike me as push overs. They have been supplied by Russia with the most up to date hard ware and they have a cadre of leaders steeled in one of the most brutal wars of the late 20th century.

    The idea that the US would deliberately go for war to divert popular anger over the financial crisis just seems too intangible to me. They might if Iran was like Grenada in military and political terms but it isn't. That said you couldn't rule out the US accidentally finding itself at war with Iran. By this I mean a strategy of ratcheting up tensions spins out of control. As Barbara Tuchman once said, 'war is the unfolding of miscalculation'.

  19. Dope Addict December 21, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    airstrikes said…
    I'm sceptical that the US will decide to attack Iran in the near future. Despite appearances to the contrary the ruling class don't just go to war for the hell of it.

    I'm not saying I believe the US will start a war with Iran, only that if they decide to do so they won't be deterred by any public opposition, nor by the apparent lack of $$ to pay for it.

    But if capital goes beyond the hesitant steps described here by Golem & really starts eating itself, the US govt is going to need to be seen doing something about it (& unemployment,) or it's going to need a distraction. What form that would take is up for debate.

  20. Leni December 21, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    Airstrikes

    I am interested in the fact that most discussions around the to bomb or not to bomb question turn on the question of oil and money. The who will gain what and who will lose – in purely material terms.

    there is the question of who will be hurt and who will die. radioactive fallout would not be confined to Iran. The Iranian people themselves do not deserve to die as neither do the people of Iraq,Pakistan and other areas downwind of the site.

    War is an instrument of power and money often excused in pseudo moral terms and with language which seeks to deny the truth in much the same way as bankers and their sycophantic beneficiaries try to justify greed and theft.

  21. guidoromero December 21, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    @ Leni 23:31

    Banks don't need to turn upon each other. In a debt based fiat monetary system, the tide of rising prices brought about by devaluation spreads gradually to all sectors. Past the inflection point, the tide withdraws and profits concentrate in fewer and fewer sectors till they concentrate in the finance sector till, finally, it concentrates in that handful of banks that gravitate around the creator of the currency.

    The reason this happens is because, in the particular case of the USA, the Prime Dealers are first and third in line to benefit from the creation of the currency and they are last too. So that each unit of currency is progressively devalued as it travels from the Fed, to the Treasury, to the Primary Dealers, to Commercial banks, to corporations, to the individual at which point the unit of currency is then further devalued at each passage from one economic actor to another.

    @ Airstrikes

    Most people get lost in trying to rationalize reasons for war in trying to guess what geo-political advantage one country might need/want.

    Today, geo-politics is not the main driver for war. Today the main driver for war is the break-down in the monetary system. Our monetary system has lost traction. Traditional remedies to kick-start inflation are failing.
    In turn this means that across the West the ranks of the unemployed, homeless, angry and hungry are swelling by the hundreds of thousands every month.
    This is the only reason that will lead our "leaders" to seek a war outside of our borders.

  22. 46Martman December 21, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    RichGB said…

    Unbelievably, Congress is now planning to bail out the Credit Unions as well – see HERE.

    There's an a article in the Guardian about the $2tn debt crisis threatens to bring down 100 US cities

    Here http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/20/debt-crisis-threatens-us-cities

    In the article 'Meredith Whitney, the US research analyst who correctly predicted the global credit crunch, described local and state debt as the biggest problem facing the US economy, and one that could derail its recovery'.

    Is this the reason why the action (taken from your link) listed below is taking place?

    A bill to clarify the National Credit Union Administration authority to make stabilization fund expenditures without borrowing from the Treasury.

  23. RichGB December 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi 46Martman

    As far as I know there is no connection, but I could be wrong: there are all kinds of weird connections showing up in this rapidly degenerating financial jungle. The assets of Credit Unions are tiny compared to the amounts that municipalities deal with.

    HERE is a related article about the municipal revenues.

  24. 24K December 21, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    G and Leni hit the nail on the head.

    'Broad based resistance'.'The enemy within'.

    How to make the NHS protesters for example, step back and change the why they word what they say to not blame the Glegaron but the master of the Glegaron. "Bad Glegaron. Sorry he's not house trained".

    Is this what 2011 means? The evolution of an argument so it becomes a movement? A way of life? If that chestnut can be cracked a lot of other dramas could be flushed from the system. As to get everybody on the same page would inevitably mean a shift in perception.

    I can see why MI5 would be interested.

    Rich, I became your first fan! My link doesn't work but that's fine. I can hold a grudge.

  25. Ben Gabel December 21, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    Has anyone picked up on the bill being proposed by Dennis Kucinich???

    HR 6550, saw it on the tickerforum. There's a copy at http://www.scribd.com/doc/45753797/NEED-ACT

    (Have a look, it is very readable, unlike UK legislation which is usually so badly written you have no idea what it is trying to say.)

    I'm not sure I can even begin to think of all the consequences this would have if passed.

    To consider your cancer metaphor, perhaps this is the chemotherapy required?

  26. Ben Gabel December 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    And as a follow-up, at about the same time that bill was being put together. . . Mervyn King (of all people!) said:

    "Another avenue of reform is some form of functional separation. . . . Another, more fundamental, example would be to divorce the payment system from risky lending activity – that is to prevent fractional reserve banking."

    Just in case his meaning wasn't really clear, he went on to say:

    "And eliminating fractional reserve banking explicitly recognises that the
    pretence that risk-free deposits can be supported by risky assets is alchemy"

    (my emphasis in both cases)

    source: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/speeches/2010/speech455.pdf

  27. Dope Addict December 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    Has anyone picked up on the bill being proposed by Dennis Kucinich???

    Unfortunately this bill's chance of becoming law is somewhere between zero & nil. Kucinich proposes all kinds of sensible legislation, none of which ever becomes law. He's about as liberal as one can be in the US Congress, but as such is ineffectual. He's also not necessarily one to stand on principle, as his vote for the health care "reform" bill illustrates. After much public bleating he shut up & got in line with the rest of them.

    The municipal debt crisis is one engineered specifically to force communities to sell their assets so they can be loaned back to us for a fee — (toll) roads, energy, public buildings, you name it. This problem was addressed, but only very weakly, by the stimulus bill. Those funds have now run out, and the inevitable sellout can proceed apace.

    It's really a beautiful plan, in its own way — well-executed, almost unstoppable, sold to us as an excellent way to fund local government, rather than last, desperate measures to stave off bankruptcy.

    Relief will eventually come to local communities, but only after they've sold everything off, allowing the federal govt to act as savior once the damage is done.

  28. 46Martman December 22, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    Hi RichGB

    Thanks for the link

    Just wondered if there may be a link. Just trying to connect the dots.

    The figures mentioned are mind boggling.
    The Guardian's article talks of a total $2 trillion municipal debt.
    Whilst in your link they say 'A total of nearly 80% of the muni revenue stream is now suspect'.
    With payments for most things already doubled Can't see how the ordinary man/woman on the street can afford to pick any more of slack.

    It just gives me the feeling its all going to end badly.

  29. RichGB December 22, 2010 at 8:11 am #

    Hi 24K
    You're too early! I haven't made the cheesy pineapple thingies yet!

    Your link should work now.

    It will be slow progress at first because I've donated all my computing power to my company; however, home computing is coming back … "home for Christmas". What do you think Mr Rea?

  30. RichGB December 22, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Hi 46Martman

    When I first started seeing Golem's posts to the Guardian CiF it was like Death himself had walked in to the room, the facts were too depressing to comprehend. "I can't hear you. La! La! La!"
    It was easy to imagine that this guy was just having a bad day. But people wised up and came to realise that things were as bad as what Golem was saying, but the mainstream media were not going out there to investigate the truth and provide in-depth analysis.

    The mainstream media are waking up now. We are currently in the transition phase where governments and banks parley like gentlemen officers.
    "You go first."
    "No, I insist. After you."

    But there is growing disquiet amongst the troops. It only takes one loud-mouth to form a posse.

  31. Seanán December 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    You may have to delete this comment after reading it, but can you answer this, would a mass mortgage strike be an effective tool against the banks? I write this as an Irishman. Also how much would it cost to have you speak in Ireland, I may be in a position to organise something like that early into the New Year?

    Thanks

    I can be contacted at seanankerr@gmail.com

  32. Mark Wadsworth December 22, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    That's a fair summary.

    I have spent most of the past couple of years railing against Home-Owner-Ism, but I'm now not sure whether it's the homeowners getting the banks to do what they want (i.e. inflate house prices to unaffordable levels) or whether it's the bankers getting the homeowners to do what they want (to believe this nonsense that nominally high house prices make us wealthier).

    Or perhaps they are as bad as each other?

  33. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 22, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    Mark,

    It has to be both doesn't it? The banks sell the diea of a house as a hecfge against poverty in retirement which makes those on the ladder want house price inflation. They know it makes houses unaffoirdable for their children but tell themselves, better that than having to look after me in my old age.

    The bankers feed off this mixture of fear and greed and use it to get fat themselves.

  34. dave from france December 22, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    I'm in pre-mod around at the G and my links to our sites: Golem , whistleblower and the Village article are apparently being ignored or censored because slightly off-topic, or something.

    The Lisa O'Carroll spot on the G Business page is worth a look … getting at the property developers is the current theme … which IS a bit away from the main objective here, but complementary.

  35. Pat December 23, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    There was no central government in ancient Ireland, there were no prisons nor capital punishment either. Social sanctions was all that was required. It was known as Brehon Law.

    Michael Davitt rediscovered and applied this Brehon Law in the 19th Century in what became known as the “boycott”. We need to rediscover and apply the power of social sanction in the 21st Century, now that our central government has let us down.

    Here’s how it would work:
    1. The people would form a “Mortgage League” similar to the “Land League” of 1879.
    2. The people would pay a “Fair Mortgage” similar to the “Fair Rent” of the Land League.
    3. Local “Mortgage Boards” would determine a fair mortgage payment for each distressed applicant based on current property values and current interest rates in that area.
    4. If a bank foreclosed on such a mortgagee the local community would shun and ostracize whoever might occupy that home either as an owner or as a tenant.

    It is clear that our government has become a captive of the corporations and has ceded our sovereignty to them. It is therefore useless to appeal to that government for redress.

    A "Mortgage League" would break no law but the people would demonstrate their sovereignty.

    The parallel with 1879 is very real: the government of the day existed solely to protect the interests of the landlords by enforcing “rack rents”.

    The people of 1879 could not prevent evictions for non-payment of rent but no power on earth could make them accept a person who occupied land from which a tenant had been evicted.

    The 2010 banks are the new “rack rent” landlords. We can defeat them as surely as our forefathers defeated the landlords , giving us the individual land ownership system Ireland enjoys today.

    Those ownership rights were not handed to us by government. We had to fight for them and will have to fight for them again.

    Type "pat flannery brehon laws" in the YouTube search engine for some videos I did on this subject.

  36. wirplit December 23, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    Resistance is popping up in the strangest places… I found this on the side ads of Amazon of all places…when looking for a digital camera!HERE no idea of the source but its advocating a radical way of controlling banks.

  37. RichGB December 23, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    @wirplit
    Ingenious plan, but the rule would have to apply to all income, otherwise bonuses might be translated in to higher salaries. Also, there should be a similar rule for bosses of large non-financial corporations, to discourage them from making short-term profits out of redundancies.

  38. RichGB December 23, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    HERE is an interesting report about housing affordability in 2010 for the USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia. It clearly shows (Page-3) how the most affordable housing is in the once-great industrialised areas of the USA, where 3-bedroom houses can be on offer for less than $1000. Courtesy of the Viable Opposition blog, HERE is the link to said house. Yes, it's probably riddled with white ants, but could you imagine such a low price in the UK?

    Accompanying declining populations in the industrialised areas are drops in taxation, which affects those municipal bonds we've been talking about. Maybe some US towns will have no choice but to become ghost towns, making the municipal bonds worthless.

  39. andrew December 23, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    GOLEM XIV THOUGHTS christmas card series !!

    amazing pictures @

    http://www.businessinsider.com/pictures-chinese-ghost-cities-2010-12?slop=1#slideshow-start
    "The hottest market in the hottest economy in the world is Chinese real estate. The big question is how vulnerable is this market to a crash.
    One red flag is the vast number of vacant homes spread through China, by some estimates up to 64 million vacant homes.

    We've tracked down satellite photos of these unnerving places, based on a report from Forensic Asia Limited. They call it a clear sign of a bubble: "There’s city after city full of empty streets and vast government buildings, some in the most inhospitable locations. It is the modern equivalent of building pyramids. With 20 new cities being built every year, we hope to be able to expand our list going forward."

    happy christmas everyone !

  40. princesschipchops December 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Golem another brilliant post – a very good, if horrifying, analogy of the situation – horrifying because it is so accurate.

    Mark – I do know some people bought into the property myth and spent their time watching the bloody dire location, location, location. I didn't and most of my friends didn't. We bought because where I live it is actually cheaper than renting. My three bed semi costs me less a month to pay a mortgage on than a two bed flat round the corner would cost to rent. And that is with my rate being over six percent.

    I also don't think this is a homeowners versus savers etc situation. I am sick of reading savers ranting about bailed out home-owners costing them their savings – its divide and rule – homeowners are in effect helping bail the banks out right now as they are paying way over the low base rate in interest.

    The current low base rate is NOT to aid homeowners as the retail banks are not passing that rate on – it is to save the banks and help them re-capitalise. The average variable mortgage is three points higher than the base rate and the fixed mortgage average is four points higher. Many homeowners are paying rates of five and six percent!

    So if rates go up to help savers, without the retail banks being tackled for their usury then millions of homeowners and small businesses will go to the wall.

    This is the difficulty for the central bank and it is reflected in the wider economy. We don't seem to have proper inflation – we have some price bubbles – and they are in the really important stuff like fuel and food, but house prices are deflationary and wages are stagnant and unemployment is rising – so it looks more like stagflation – but it isn't quite that either.

    The nearest thing I have seen to describe it is hyper-stagflation. And it IS as scary as it sounds. But even that doesn't seem right – its strange economic times we live in.

    I think two things are at the root cause of it – the banks and finance sector and there ongoing behaviour and oil prices.

    NOt many people mention the oil situation but I think it is paramount.

  41. 24K December 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Bailoutswindle.com is good, bailingoutthelossesoftherichinafreemarket.com is catchier.

    Rich, that's surreal dude! I promise I won't peep again.

    I went travelling with a friend to Mongolia recently. Check out the gateway of Ernot.

  42. RichGB December 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    @princesschipchops

    … and the price of copper has hit an all-time high: see HERE.
    This is not necessarily a bad thing because all that aluminium we've been putting conscientiously in the recycling bins will gain some new applications as copper becomes too expensive.

    Hi Golem
    I appear to have lost a posting. Is it trapped in your spam folder?

  43. RichGB December 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    HERE is an interesting article about the upward trend in the stock markets at the moment. Bruce Krasting refers to this as a 'head-fake', which is an American term borrowed from sporting that means the illusion of something going in a particular direction, but which suddenly reverses.
    The article points out the lack of positives for 2011, including high unemployment, the failure of ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) to stimulate borrowing, the ending of BABs (Build American Bonds), and the diminishing returns from ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).

  44. RichGB December 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    HERE is an article containing a pie chart that shows that the American bank bail-out, costing $8.5 trillion, exceeds the total amount spent on all wars and major projects since the American Revolution.

  45. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 29, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Rich,

    Did you do something to offend google's spam software in some previous life or something? Why always your posts?

    Hope you had a great Christmas.

  46. RichGB December 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Hi Golem

    It has been quite a good Christmas, probably because I spent very little and will go in to the New Year no poorer than last year.

    I hope your Christmas was a good one too.

    Sorry about the large number of randomly selected off-the-topic postings. I know this is particularly irritating to people trying to continue a thread here, and buries their own contributions. I will soon have my own blog up and running and have a place to run riot with unrestrained excitement with any topic I wish. This should impose more discipline on my future postings to your blog … maybe.

  47. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 29, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Rich,

    RichGB,

    I am confident I speak for everyone here when I say every one of your posts is eagerly followed up. You are a valued and respected source of new ideas and data. We all thank you.

    I will be a keen follower of your blog, but sincerely hope you will still help us here with our thinking and formulating.

    Have a great New Year.

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