Category Archives: Rogues and Rascals


Robert F. Kennedy Jr on the Collapse of Trust in the Government & Media

“When my uncle left office in 1964, 80% of Americans trusted the government and even more trusted the media…Today 22% of Americans trust the government and those are people who I would say are not paying attention.”

Trust is essential to a functioning economy. Inflation and hyperinflation are symptoms of a loss of trust.


wx propaganda

I Have To Laugh

Inflation numbers, like most economic data, are noisy in the short term and highly dependent on the weighting of the various components. That’s why we have both CPI and PCE, “headline” and “core” and even “supercore”. There are many other measures like “trimmed-mean”, “median”, “sticky” and so forth. The St. Louis Fed’s list of inflation charts – just the headings – runs to 30 pages. But financial commentators cannot resist the temptation to cherry-pick the data that supports their personal thesis and throw out the data that doesn’t (must be “transitory”) and declare imminent victory over inflation. Yes, the economy is quickly rotting from the inside. But there is no historical basis for believing that a recession will bring inflation down, at least without a financial crisis much bigger than the 2008 GFC. This is not to say that such a crisis won’t happen, but that is a separate matter from re-arranging the tea leaves to extract the desired prediction from the current data.

Credit John Hussman to use actual data and observe that the best predictor of inflation is… (drum roll) year over year inflation. But you don’t need to know that. All you need to know is that the Federal deficit for the first six months of FY2023 was $1.1 trillion. Federal revenue for the whole year is budgeted at $4.71 trillion. This means the Federal government is spending roughly 50% more than it takes in. That, ladies and gentlemen, is where inflation comes from. To make matters worse, its partner in crime, the Federal Reserve, is no longer converting that deficit into interest-free cash (QE) but is letting its Treasury portfolio roll off at maturity(QT). Now the Feds have to issue new interest-bearing debt, plus replace the existing debt as it matures. As of Q1, the interest bill alone was $929 billion, up 54% from the same quarter of 2022. Roughly half of all $32 trillion in federal debt matures in five years or less and must be re-issued at then-current rates.

I may laugh at the data manipulators, but this is a picture of a slow-motion train wreck where you and I are the passengers. The train driver sees no problem and is unwilling to even discuss applying the brakes, although brakeman Powell has started to turn the wheel. I am reminded of an incident that happened when I was in high school. I had a summer job working on a maintenance crew for a property developer. One morning I came in and the boss called me over “Grab your lunch and one of those folding chairs and come with me. You’ve got a watch, right?” “Yes,” I said and did as told. We drove out into the countryside and stopped by the side of the road. There was a buried concrete vault with steel doors on top, which we opened to reveal a large pipe and valve with an equally large wheel. You could hear a rushing noise. “This,” said the boss, “is a 36-inch water main. As you can hear, it is in use but we need to shut it down to do some work on it. Your job is to turn that wheel one quarter-turn every 15 minutes. If you turn it too fast that pipe is going to jump right out of the ground. Understood?” I acknowledged and he demonstrated and left, saying he would pick me up for quitting time. (IIRC I was being paid $0.80 an hour. but saved enough to buy my first car, a $1895 Mini Cooper with parental matching funds.)

Back to the subject. Powell is turning his wheel a quarter point at a time. Is he turning it too fast? We’ll only know if the financial system has a heart attack. Is he turning it too slow? According to Bloomberg, Venezuela is raising its interest rate to 97% on Monday. That’s what happens if he is too slow. When is quitting time?


Debt Limit

The US Federal deficit spend was $1.1 trillion for the first half of the 2023 financial year. This means that $1.1 trillion in new money was pumped into the economy, about 10% of GDP for the same period. This is where inflation comes from and why it is not going away, barring a collapse in the private sector where defaults – which destroy money – offset the spend. Debt limits must call a halt to this casual disregard for the consequences of inflation.


I was just reading that Ukraine was now receiving its first Patriot air defense systems. Well of course it just money down a rathole as the recent document leak exposes. But what staggered me is that Patriot missiles cost $4 million each. That is completely insane. Talk about asymmetrical – the enemy can send a $10,000 suicide drone which then costs probably 7 or 8 million to down when manpower, training, launcher, etc. costs are taken into account. This “defense” spending has to stop, it is bankrupting the country.

Of course, this is what happens to empires, Roman, British, etc. Their economic model stops working. Then it’s over.

Foreign Aid

Ron Paul: “Foreign Aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country and giving it to the rich people of a poor country”

The Progressive Path

Just look around and you can see the sameĀ  “progress”.


No Sale

Apparently the FDIC has been unable to find a buyer for Silicon Valley Bank. Even after opening the auction to non-bank bidders. The reason is obvious. No-one wants the customer base that murdered the bank. What goes around comes around.

Go Woke, Go Broke

It is reported that Silicon Valley Bank gave $73,450,000 to “BLM Movement and Related Causes.”

Nailed It

“In five years a number of banks will not be around because of blockchain technology.”

— Joseph DiPaolo, CEO, Signature Bank, 2018