Bits and Pieces – 20160115, Wednesday

Commentary: It’s always been a matter of timing. We have a fairly good ability to predict where the next “big one” will hit but few ever get the timing right. The collapse of the housing bubble in the US in 2007 was forecast by many. A habdul of people actually got the timing right and were paid handsomely for their effort. Many say that we are in a stock market bubble in the US, in a bond market bubble, that we have a credit market bubble. The EU is fraught with financial fault lines.

Today I came across a short essay by Howard Kunstler: Made For Each Other. In it, he argues that our financial system is the least well-grounded to survive the coming debt ceiling debate in the US and the geopolitical turmoil from elections in the EU this year. Victor Sperandeo forecast 10 days ago in a KWN interview: ALERT: Former Soros Associate Just Warned We Are About To Witness ‘Absolute F*cking Chaos’ Across The Globe, that the EU elections would cause a major crisis in late March or April.

I like capturing forecasts like this because they have very specific timelines that you can measure their outcome against. I must check back in a month and a half. Beyond this, however, Kunstler outlines some of the systems that may fail leading to an economic nuclear winter.

Very few people are aware that global trade functions on the back of letters of credit and that during the financial crisis of 2007–2008, the distrust in the banking sector had halted inter-bank transactions. No bank had any idea if their counter-party was solvent or not. Trade and the global financial system are understood to have been literally hours away from a total lockup and collapse. Only intervention of the US Federal Reserve forestalled the crisis by providing massive credit guarantees, sacrificing Leyman Brothers in the process.

The Fed will be at the center of any new rescue attempt, but it is a very different Fed with a bloated balance sheet. It may prove ineffectual. The fallback will be the IMF with Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), but SDRs are simply a basket of global currencies and the upcoming financial crisis will be global. There are no currencies these days that look at all healthy when the books of their central banks are examined. And who will accept an SDR as an IOU to back up a credit transaction? Better buy lots of popcorn – it will be one nail-biting show.

I have been toying with the idea of narratives. These are stories, systems of belief, that are closely tied into our psyche and as such draw upon the energy of our emotions. One such narrative is that of the Russian bogeyman. It involves the belief that Russians are our enemies, Russia wants to take over world, and that Russia is actively working to subvert our society. Part of the narrative refers to so-called Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and the Mideast.

A more reasonable and persuasive argument can be made that Russia has actually been defensively responding to aggression by NATO and the American Empire.

A different argument can be made that Russia is not bent on conquering the world: namely that it is in acute economic and internal stress and simply doesn’t have the resources to do much more than act defensively. Here is George Friedman’s analysis: Something Rotten in the State of Russia?

A sudden thought: at the personal level, do we need to believe in a bogeyman?

Civil Unrest: Here’s one take on a question I have asked: Apocalypse Now: What’s Behind the Volatile Mood of Today’s American — and European — Voters. The author of this book review refers to “the psychic and emotional forces propelling illiberalism’s spread across the globe” attributing it to liberalism emerging in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Unfortunately, it didn’t give me any insight into the nature of the energy buiding in this system and how it is propagated.

Trump: Knowing trump’s apparent disdain for global organizations and: “Biggest Case In WTO History”: Europe Prepares Legal Challenge Against Trump Border Tax, the questionh is “so what?”

Climate: Back in 2012 I was looking at the data from the Vostock ice core (read here: What Is Your Carbon Foolprint?). Now this temperature record is remarkable for what it reveals (see the chart in the article). Any grade school math student would immediately recognize the periodicity of the temperature and CO2 readings. We are at the point of coming off an inter-glacial peak. I haven’t seen any mosdern computer model that has modeled this temperature record. The other observable feature (it is more cler if the data is minutely examined) is that CO2 lags temperature. Causation cannot be inferred from the graph but if one were to do so one would infer that temperature drives natural CO2 levels and not the other way around that our AGW community is using to press the panic button of economic redistribution. One notable anomaly is the way CO2 has recently shot up but temperature has not followed. In another post I looked at the more recent Law Dome data that shows a similar disconnect.

All this is leading up to two articles by Martin Armstrong: NOAA Continues to Try to Justify Its Criminal Activity and Is Europe the new Destination for the North Pole?. The NOAA stuff I have recently informed you of. I haven’t sent you links on recent polar movement, however. Armstrong uses ice core data that I have not seen however I assume he has done due diligence on it.

Here’s a new one: Violence From Left Wing Rioters Is “Caused By Global Warming… According to Climate Scientist”. I didn’t read the temperature discussion closely as the topic is somewhat complex and the science is still “open”.

Bits and Pieces: I wonder what the poll results would be in Canada: Chatham House Poll Shows Only 20% of Europeans Disagree to Statement “All Further Migration from Mainly Muslim Countries Should Be Stopped”?

An interesting data set: Bill Clinton & Abraham Lincoln Were Elected with Less of the Popular Vote than Trump.

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