“China Expected To Announce It Has More Than Doubled Its Gold Reserves”, Shanghai Daily | Zero Hedge
“China Expected To Announce It Has More Than Doubled Its Gold Reserves”, Shanghai Daily | Zero Hedge.
The topic of China’s below the radar accumulation of gold is nothing new: first revealed here in September 2011 as part of a Wikileaks intercept, watchers of Chinese gold imports have been stunned by the ravenous pace with which Chinese customers have been gobbling up both domestic and foreign gold production month after month. One needs merely to glance at the net imports of gold just through Hong Kong to get a sense of just how much gold has flowed into the country which has now surpassed India as the largest buyer of gold.
But the biggest question mark since 2009, when China gave its last official gold holdings update, has been how much gold has the People’s Bank of China accumulated. One thing is certain: it is well more than the official number of just ovef 1000 tons.
Recall the confidential memo revealed through Wikileaks:
According to China’s National Foreign Exchanges Administration China ‘s gold reserves have recently increased. Currently, the majority of its gold reserves have been located in the U.S. and European countries. The U.S. and Europe have always suppressed the rising price of gold. They intend to weaken gold’s function as an international reserve currency. They don’t want to see other countries turning to gold reserves instead of the U.S. dollar or Euro. Therefore, suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the U.S. in maintaining the U.S. dollar’s role as the international reserve currency. China’s increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries towards reserving more gold. Large gold reserves are also beneficial in promoting the internationalization of the RMB.
In other words, between 2009 and 2011, China’s gold reserves had increased according to internal data. One can assume they have increased substantially since then, however the PBOC, judiciously, has refused to provide an updated amount of its gold holdings for five years in a row: after all why buy at higher prices (if the world knows that the PBOC is buying at any price), when it can buy cheaply?
However, the period of stealth – and cheap – accumulation may be ending. At least according to the largest English-language portal in East China: Shanghai Daily.
The website, which cites an analysis by Jeffrey Nichols of American Precious Metals Advisors, reports that the Chinese central bank is about to announce its gold holdings have nearly tripled from 1054 tons to 2710 tons.
From Shanghai Daily:
China may soon announce an increase in its official gold reserve from 1,054 tons to 2,710 tons, Jeffrey Nichols, managing director of American Precious Metals Advisors, said.
The People’s Bank of China has not reported any increase in official gold holdings since 2009, when the central bank said the official reserve was at 1,054 tons, which accounted for only about 1 percent of its multi-trillion foreign exchange reserves.
The PBOC has been “surreptitiously” adding to its official gold reserves. It has bought a total of 654 tons in 2009 through 2011, another 388 tons in 2012, and more than 622 tons last year, mostly from domestic mine production and secondary supplies, Nichols said in a commentary posted on NicholsOnGold.com yesterday.
Central bank purchases comprise the smallest fraction of global gold demand — less than 10 percent.
“If China announces an increase in gold reserves, there would be an immediate drag-up force in the gold market,” Albert Cheng, managing director of the industrial association World Gold Council for the Far East, told Shanghai Daily.
China is the biggest gold consumer and producer in the world.
Combined demand in China in the first three quarters amounted to 821 tons and the demand for the whole last year is expected to exceed 1,000 tons, according to the council’s earlier statements.
Oh well: the period of quiet accumulation was fun while it lasted.
That said, we for one would be happy if Nichols is wrong, and if the PBOC were not to announce any time soon it has become the fourth (or third, or second) largest official holder of gold in the world. Because unlike clueless, momentum-chasing traders everywhere, it is always better to buy lower than higher: a concept which the entire Western “developed” markets and the HFT algos and sophisticated “hedge fund” investors that trade them, have either forgotten or never grasped to begin with.
Can We Be Sure The War On Drugs Is Worth Fighting? | Zero Hedge
Can We Be Sure The War On Drugs Is Worth Fighting? | Zero Hedge.
Did you know the war on drugs is founded on racist principles? Prof. Stephen Davies shows the historical thought process behind banning drugs. One of the main reasons drugs were banned initially is because people were concerned drug use would lead to interracial relationships. Can you imagine someone making that argument today? Yet it was a principle reason for some of the laws banning drugs that we still have. Other reasons for banning drugs included fear of conspiracies and the misguided notion that the government somehow has a right to the productivity of its citizens. All three of these reasons are truly absurd, but all three were historically used as arguments that contributed to the war on drugs. If these are the arguments on which the drug war is founded, can we be sure it’s a war worth fighting for?
Bank of America Is Actively Preparing For The Chinese January 31 Trust Default | Zero Hedge
Bank of America Is Actively Preparing For The Chinese January 31 Trust Default | Zero Hedge.
Last week we were the first to raise the very real and imminent threat of a default for a Chinese wealth management product (WMP) default – specifically China Credit Trust’s Credit Equals Gold #1 (CEQ1) – and its potential contagion concerns. It seems BofAML is now beginning to get concerned, noting that over 60% of market participants expects repo rates to rise if a trust product defaults and based on the analysis below, they think there is a high probability for CEQ1 to default on 31 January, i.e. no full redemption of principal and back-coupon on the day. Crucially, with the stratospheric leverage ratios now engaged in such products, BofAML warns trust companies must answer some serious questions: will they stand back behind every trust investment or will they have to default on some or potentially many of them? BofAML believes the question needs an answer because investors and Trusts can’t have their cake and eat it too. The potential first default, even if it’s not CEQ1 on 1/31, would be important based on the experience of what happened to the US and Europe; the market has tended to underestimate the initial event.
For those who have forgotten, below is a quick schematic of what a WMP looks like:
And as we previously noted,
…borrowers are facing rising pressures for loan repayments in an environment of overcapacity and unprofitable investments. Unable to generate cash to service their loans, they have to turn to the shadow-banking sector for credit and avoid default. The result is an explosive growth of the size of the shadow-banking sector (now conservatively estimated to account for 20-30 percent of GDP).
Understandably, the PBOC does not look upon the shadow banking sector favorably. Since shadow-banking sector gets its short-term liquidity mainly through interbanking loans, the PBOC thought that it could put a painful squeeze on this sector through reducing liquidity. Apparently, the PBOC underestimated the effects of its measure. Largely because Chinese borrowers tend to cross-guarantee each other’s debt, squeezing even a relatively small number of borrowers could produce a cascade of default. The reaction in the credit market was thus almost instant and frightening. Borrowers facing imminent default are willing to borrow at any rate while banks with money are unwilling to loan it out no matter how attractive the terms are.
Should this situation continue, China’s real economy would suffer a nasty shock. Chain default would produce a paralyzing effect on economic activities even though there is no run on the banks. Clearly, this is not a prospect the CCP’s top leadership relishes.
So the PBOC’s efforts are merely exacerbating the situation for the worst companies… and as BofAML notes below, this is a major problem…
The 3bn CNY Beast Knocking
via BofAML’s Bin Gao
CNY stands for the currency, and also a beast
CNY represents China’s official currency. It also stands for Chinese New Year, the biggest holiday for the country and the occasion for family reunions and celebration. But less familiar for many, however, the Year (?) itself actually stood for a beast which comes out every 365 days and eats everything along the way from bugs to humans. The holiday tradition started as a way for people to fend off the beast by getting together and lighting up the firecrackers.
At the same time, custom dictated that people also to paid their due to avoid becoming the beast’s target. In particular, it has been a tradition to settle all debt before the New Year. From the perspective of such folk culture, the trust product Credit Equals Gold #1, referred as CEQ1 hereafter, by China Credit Trust planned poorly for having the maturing date on the New Year, leaving a 3bn CNY beast running wild.
High probability for the trust product to default
Though the term default is used quite frequently, there are actually confusions on what constitutes a default in this case when talking to investors and especially onshore investment professionals. To simplify the issue, we define a default as failing to pay the promised contractual amount on time.
The product, CEQ1, is straightforward. It is CNY3.03bn financing with senior tranches of CNY3bn and junior tranche of CNY30mn. In principle, the senior tranches are also equity investment, but the junior tranche holder pledged assets for repurchasing senior investment at a premium. The promised rate was indexed to PBoC’s deposit rate with a floor for three classes of senior tranches at 9.5%, 10% and 11%, paid annually (detailed structure is illustrated below).
In a sense, the product is in technical default already. The last coupon payment in December, with nearly all the money (CNY80mn) left in the trust account, came in at only 2.7%, falling far short of the promised yield. The bigger trouble is the CNY3bn principal payment, along with the delinquent coupon, on 31 January.
We see high probability of default on 31 January
Political or economic consideration: ultimately, given the government’s strong grip on financial institutions, default may be a political decision as much as an economic decision. From that perspective, CEQ1 would be a good candidate for default. The minimum investment in CEQ1 is CNY3mn, much more than the typical amount required for other trust investment and 75 times of per capita GDP in China. If defaults were to be used to send a warning signal to shadow banking investors, this group of rich investors may have been a good target because the government does not need to worry too much of them demonstrating in front of government offices.
Timing: there is never a good timing for deleverage because of risks involved. But the current job market situation provides a solid buffer should defaults and subsequent credit contraction slow down the economy growth. The government planned 9mn jobs last year; instead it has created more than 12mn by November. So the system could withstand a potential shock.
Financial capability: China Credit Trust has a bit over CNY10bn net assets, which some analysts cite as evidence of the trust company’s capability to fully redeem the product first and recover from the collateral asset later. However, the assets might not be liquid enough, so the net asset is not the best measure. Based on its 2012 annual report, the company has liquid asset of CNY3bn and short-term liability of CNY1.35bn, leaving liquid accessible fund of CNY1.65bn at most. ICBC for certain has much deeper pocket, but it has declared that it won’t be taking major responsibility.
Career concern: To certain extent, the timing was unfavorable for another reason, the ongoing anti-corruption campaign. It is reported that there are around 700 investors involved. On CNY3bn senior tranche investment, it averages CNY4.3mn per investor. We do not know the exact identity but with CNY3mn entry point, we know no one is a small-scale investor. Legally unjustified, if either China Credit Trust or ICBC decided to pay 100% with their capital, the decision maker would have to ensure that he does not have any business deals with any of the 700. Because if he does, his career or even his freedom could be in jeopardy in the current environment of ongoing anti-corruption campaign and strict scrutiny of shady deals/personal favors.
Questionable asset quality and uncertain contingent claim: There are cases in the past of near default, but most of them involved collateral of real estate assets, which have at least appreciated over the years. The appreciation of collateral assets makes it easier for the third party to step in by paying back investors and taking over the collateral assets. This particular product involves coal-mining assets whose value has been decreasing over the last couple of years. Moreover, there have been multiple claimants on these assets, as exemplified by the sale of Yangjiagu coal mine. Although the mine was 51% pledged through two levels of ownership structure, only 20% of the sales proceed accrued to trust investors (Exhibit 1 above). Such a low percentage would be a deterrence and concern to whoever contemplating a takeover of the collateral assets.
Other cases less relevant: In the past, one way to deal with the issue was for banks to lend to shareholders of the existing collateral asset owners for them to payback investors, with explicit or implicit local government guarantees. Shangdong Hailong’s potential default on bond was avoided this way last year. However, in the current case, the owner has been arrested for illegal fund raising, making the past precedence less applicable.
Putting all the above reasons together, we think there is a high probability for CEQ1 to default on 31 January, i.e. no full redemption of principal and backcoupon on the day.
Immediate impact would be for China rates curve to flatten
The case has been widely covered in the media. However, many still believe one way or the other the involved parties will find a last minute solution to fully redeem the maturing debt. So if the trust is not paid, we believe it will be a big shock to the market.
China rates market reaction, however, might not be straightforward. On the one hand, default would likely lead to risk-averse behavior, arguing for lower rates. On the other hand, market players would likely hoard cash in such an event, leading to tighter liquidity condition and pushing money rates higher.
We think that both movements are likely to ensue initially, meaning higher repo/SHIBOR rates and lower CGB yield if default were to realize. We suggest positioning likewise by paying 1y IRS and long 5y CGB. On the swap curve itself, we think the immediate reflection will be a bear flattening move.
Interestingly, an informal survey conducted on WeChat among finance professionals suggests the same kind of repo rate reaction (Chart 1). We think this survey is important because we believe these investment professionals will likely behave accordingly because the default event is not priced in and hard to hedge a priori.
Trust company can’t have their cake and eat it too
Of course, we can’t rule out that the involved parties do find a solution to avoid default. However, with a case as clear cut to us as this one favoring default, we believe such outcome would send a strong signal to investors that the best investment is to buy the worst credit.
Thus, we believe the near term market reaction with no default would be for the AA credit to shine brightly since this segment has been under pressure for quite some time. Trust investment would be met with enthusiasm and trust assets would likely expand further.
However, we see a fundamental problem in the industry; the leverage ratio has gone to a level which requires investors and trust companies to answer some serious questions: will trust company stand back behind every trust investment or will trust company have to default on some or potentially many of them? We believe the question needs an answer because the trust companies can’t have their cake and eat it too.
For the industry, the AUM/equity ratio has nearly doubled from 23 to 43 in less than three years during the period of 4Q2010 to 3Q2013 (Chart 2). Some in the industry has argued that one should only count the collective trusts since other trusts are originated by non-trust players like banks. Thus, trust companies have no responsibility for paying investors other than collective trusts.
We see two problems.
Even if we accept the trust companies’ argument, it is still questionable whether trust companies would be able to pay even a reasonable amount of default. The growth of leverage on collective trusts was much more aggressive. Collective trust AUM/equity ratio was 2.7 in 1Q2010 and 4.7 in 4Q2010 (Chart 2). It rose to 10 by 3Q2013, more than doubled in less than three years and more than tripled in less than four years. Along the way, the average provision has dropped from 84bp to 34bp when measured against collective AUM.
As the case of CEQ1 illustrates, as long as full redemption is on the table, no involved party could walk away totally clean. CEQ1 is a case of collective trust, but the ICBC still faces the pressure to pay. If the bank is being pressured to pay in the case of collective trust default, trust companies will likely be pressured to pay as well should some non-collective trusts get into trouble. If trust companies are on the line for the total AUM, their financial condition is even shakier, with average provision covering barely 7bp of total AUM as of 3Q2013.
On longer term market trend
Based on the analysis in the above section, we see a possibility for trust companies to have to let some trust products default with such high leverage and so few provisions. This is especially likely the case given that there will be more and more trust redemption this year and next year as a result of the fast expansion of this industry over the last couple of years and short duration of such products.
The heaviest redemption in collective trusts this year will arrive in the 2Q (Chart 3). Given that the financial system is stretched thin and there were more cases of near defaults on smaller amount of redemption last year (three cases in December alone), we believe some form of default is almost inevitable in the near term.
The potential first default, even if it’s not CEQ1 on 31 JANUARY, would be important based on the experience of what happened to the US and Europe; the market has tended to underestimate the initial event. Over the last year, China appeared to be mirroring what happened in the US during 2007, the spike of money rate (much higher repo/SHIBOR), the steepening of money curve (14d money much more expensive than overnight and 7d), and small accidents here and there (junior tranches of a few wealth management products offered by Haitong Securities losing more than 60%, a few small trusts and now CEQ1’s redemption difficulty).
Theoretically, China’s risk is best expressed using a China related instrument, but we also think the more liquid expression of China goes through the south pacific. The following points list our longer views on China and Australia rates.
- We have liked using Australia rates lower as a way to express our China concern and we continue recommending doing so as a theme.
- We recommend long CGB and underweight credit product. The risk for such positioning in the near term is no CEQ1 default. But we believe any pain suffered due to overt market manipulation to avoid default will be short lived since it has become much harder to keep the debt-heavy system in balance and the credit spread is bound to widen.
- After a brief flattening on CEQ1 default, we see swap curve steepening as being more likely on more default threatening growth leading to easy monetary policy and more issuance going to the bond market.
- We look for higher CCS rates due to the fact that the currency forward will more likely start expressing the risk.
As Michael Pettis, Jim Chanos, Zero Hedge (numerous times), George Soros, Barclays, and now BofAML have explained… Simply put –
“There is an unresolved self-contradiction in China’s current policies: restarting the furnaces also reignites exponential debt growth, which cannot be sustained for much longer than a couple of years.”
The “eerie resemblances” – as Soros previously noted – to the US in 2008 have profound consequences for China and the world – nowhere is that more dangerously exposed (just as in the US) than in the Chinese shadow banking sector.
Activist Post: The Psychology of Being a “Non-Conspiracy Theorist”
Activist Post: The Psychology of Being a “Non-Conspiracy Theorist”.
There is a brand of people amongst us. They have no name but they exist. They are everywhere, at work, at home, at school, and in the streets, stores, and shopping malls. It is highly unlikely to not know someone who belongs in this category. It’s the so called non-conspiracy theorists. You know, the guy who tries to terminate conversations by alleging that you are nothing more than a “conspiracy theorist” and the information you share is false or not believable. Yes, that guy. Let’s meet face to face with your typical non-conspiracy theorist. We all know them, they often are the ones who hold the “conspiracy” verbal accusation as a valid logically defined argument in and of itself. The logic works like this:
Conspiracy theorist says: “You are claiming that fire alone can cause a building to self-implode, descend at freefall speed into its own footprint? That’s physically impossible, what about Newton’s Laws and laws of thermal dynamics and such? “
Non-conspiracy theorist says: “No, you are wrong because you are a conspiracy theorist.”
And with that, often the non-conspiracy theorist will walk away. What’s happening? They had nothing to elaborate on, so the non-conspiracy theorist – whose thinking is engineered and controlled by government, mainstream media and Hollywood entertainment – resorted to a socially engineered answer. For this reason it is fascinating to explore the mindset and psychology of the individuals who take this position in place of a logical stance.
Core defect and twisted meanings
By definition, conspiracy means a group of two or more people secretly plotting (or conspiring) a harmful (or evil) deed against another person(s). This behavior is part of human nature. Humans have been conspiring against each other since the beginning of time. There was a never a time in world history when such an elementary behavior (of conspiring against an enemy) did not exist. Can you find a period in history when a certain human emotional trait or action didn’t exist? Was there a time when the human genome didn’t express jealousy, game playing, free trading, rage, or happiness? As odd or ridiculous as this may sound, non-conspiracists unknowingly subscribe to this logic. If evidence points to a conspired crime, why not treat it as such? Why demonize the very concept of conspiring? This is a core defect in the thought process of non-conspiracy theorists. You can easily identify them by their speech.
What the non-conspiracy theorist doesn’t see is that the battlefield is right before them and they have outsourced all critical thought and action to a government thinking service known as mass media. Like being on the football field while the ball is in play, without realizing what is happening. You see people waving at you in the stands to get out of the way, but you don’t understand what they are saying so you continue walking on the field with your headset on. Likewise, non-conspiracy theorists perceive all logic and reason arguments and warnings made by the conspiracy theorist as noise. They don’t understand the warning and so they continue living and carrying on with what they are doing. Like the person on the field not understanding the warning being communicated by those in the stands, non-conspiracy theorists cannot receive the basic signals of logic and reason.
The headsets adding to the confusion is like the TV and mainstream media news. Since they themselves refuse to look at the evidence, they put their faith in the government and in the mass corporate establishment to safely guide them in their reality. They gain a sense of psychological protection from this overall system. Since the information being believed is almost always artificial they need to hear their own opinions repeated to them by the voices on TV so they can confirm (and re-confirm) their own belief system to themselves to be legitimate. At no point will the non-conspiracy theorist plan a day of research or dedicate a few hours every once in a while to research the topic or put any thought into issues.
Information and world problems are but one category in a shelf of categories that make up their lives. The non-conspiracy theorist ignores that government has always implemented social engineering and mass mind control on the general public. In order for the non-conspiracy theorist to confidently walk away from someone who challenges their belief system with scientific facts, they need to have a sustained comfort and assurance that what government and mainstream media is saying is true.
Maintaining the non-conspiracy delusion
The non-conspiracy theorist is thus profoundly psychologically interconnected with today’s mass mind control paradigm. They are a species representing a full byproduct of 21st-century social engineering. The doctrine of this type of social engineering programs its believers to believe that when government and media accuses someone of “conspiracies” then this accusation is cause for someone being considered diseased. The symptoms being paranoia. But paranoia is based on systematized delusions and delusions are based on false beliefs. A proper exploring of meanings brings us back to proving what is true or false. We come full circle and the spin is over. Non-conspiracy theorists don’t realize they dwell in this circle of misapplied words, never exploring the meanings or doing the work to determine what is true and what is provable.
Non-conspiracy theorists therefore wake up every morning and reach for the mental orientation map known as mainstream media news. Without it they would be disoriented, as they would not know what to believe. They actually believe that if anyone was guilty of wrongdoing at the highest level of government someone would speak out every time and everyone would know about it. They ignore that state secrets are the norm and government operations are conducted in secret. They ignore the consequences each individual at the government and military level faces for blowing the whistle. Despite these consequences many individuals at government level still risk it all and do blow the whistle on government. Despite all this, the idea of maintaining State secrecy is a myth to non-conspiracy theorists. The idea that government would do something immoral, nefarious or criminal is a fiction as well to the non-conspiracy theorist.
The history of war, corruption, tyranny and fascism is incidental, coincidental, insignificant and irrelevant to the non-conspiracy theorist. None of these should be used to gauge the events of our times since history is a thing of the past. Non-conspiracy theorists choose not to connect the historical dots. According to them, there is nothing to learn from the history of tyranny and totalitarianism. Anyone attempting to connect the dots is likely a conspiracy theorist. This goes hand in hand with the logic defect we discussed earlier. As the earlier case of the conspiracy theorist having his scientific arguments debunked by virtue of simply being diseased with the accusation of conspiracy theorist. Note, the non-conspiracy theorists use the name as a loaded, proven concept with power to permanently label someone diseased. In this case, attempting to connect the dots automatically tags you as a conspiracy theorist.
As far as non-conspiracy theorists are concerned, all critical thought is deferred to the authorities. The scientists do their work and then report the facts to the government and mainstream media who carefully announce to the masses what they should know. Any scientists who speak out and claim to have evidence contradicting government claims must first be endorsed and approved by the mainstream media and government. Without this approval the scientists are marginalized no matter how large their numbers are. Without these ridiculous rules the delusion of being a non-conspiracy theorists cannot be maintained. This is the psychology of tyranny. Tyranny and totalitarianism cannot be implemented without mass mind control. This dangerous group-think mentality will ignore all warning signs to help continue advancing the agenda. And so the non-conspiracy theorist is the most important instrument for maintaining control of the masses. Without these non-conspiracy theorist vessels of the global empire, the plan would not be possible.
It is quite possible that years from now the concept of conspiracy will return back to where it belongs right next to other concepts like jealousy, laughter, love, stealing, fighting, friendship, hatred and other human expressions that define who we are. By then perhaps being a friendship theorist, a stealing theorist or a jealousy theorist will be the new propaganda bogey monster term. Or perhaps years from now we will be sick and tired of this vicious cycle of physical and mental slavery. Perhaps people will truly have enough of the control system and will have abolished it by then.
Standing by truth
I am thrilled to be considered a “conspiracy theorist” by those still controlled by the social engineering experiments of the last one hundred or so years. We are proof that humans are able to critically think on their own and prefer to be free. We are the embodiment of the resistance, we never run from challenges and debates, we recreated the media and are responsible for the progressive death of the mainstream media. We choose to give humanity a voice outside of the socially engineered control system. We rely on firsthand accounts, physical evidence consistent with natural laws, factual documents, common sense, high probability, and forensic scientific evidence before jumping to conclusions. We do not rely on name calling to give strength to our position and we stand as a reminder that the human mind will never be completely contained. Unraveling the reality we face became normal for us at some point and the information the non-conspiracy theorists consider scary is common news to those of us name called “conspiracy theorists”.
In order to be considered a conspiracy theorist by the non-conspiracy theorists you must believe that government is corrupt. Believing that others are corrupt does not get you the title automatically. The list of what qualifies someone as a conspiracy theorist has been changing rapidly and today is determined by mainstream media and government in real time. Today, only government and mainstream media gets to decide who qualifies as a conspiracy theorist. The thought process of the non-conspiracy theorist is thus predictable and automated because the agenda being followed by government and mass media is predictable. The mindset is: no research required if Associated Press, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CNN or NPR doesn’t agree to report it, then all other sources must be false. This shines a light into the thought process of non-conspiracy theorists.
Impact on humanity
How creepy does all this sound? We often take for granted the thought process required to make someone believe how they believe and the (mainstream media believing) non-conspiracy theorist mentality is quietly as culpable for the condition of the world today as the individuals who actually carry out the crimes that have put us where we are. Little to no effort is put by non-conspiracy theorists to learn about their own social mindsets, social engineering, group-think, and government propaganda and mind-control history.
The non-conspiracy theorists are thus arguably indirectly ushering in many of the religious and cultural prophesies of the end times and the predictions of the doomsday prophets. They are proving to be key vessels in the events that are to come. They have already carved their mark in history as supporters of the global empire. Everyone who has played a role in supporting the global empire of the U.S. has already left their mark. Let’s all wait and see how this mental defect will play itself out and what role these non-conspiracy theorists will play in ushering in the final pieces of the global government. Will they be rewarded? Will they support the extermination of all critical thinkers? Will it turn out the non-conspiracy theorists were expressing an alternate DNA or is this idea too far out? Will it turn out they were all part of a larger experiment? Will the final waking up process or critical mass be stomped out by this core of non-conspiracy theorists who blindly believe government-programmed lies? Or will they be responsible for delaying critical mass by a certain amount of time.
These and many other questions will be answered in the next few years/decades. Let us not forget the layers of defective logic and blind faith in government required to be considered a non-conspiracy theorist. It sounds bizarre but it’s true. It’s been said that in times of mass deceit that telling the truth is a revolutionary act; this has never been more apparent. Want to make an impact on others? Want to be a giant among men? Then tell the truth and watch the sheep run. There is so much deceit in today’s world that if you blindly reverse everything government and mainstream media says, just by default you would be closer to truth than if you believed even some of what they say.
Remember the non-conspiracy theorist who says “someone would have spoken out”? We’ve all heard this excuse. Of course, someone always does speak out; only they call those who speak out, no matter how high in government they are, conspiracy theorists, instead of someone who is speaking out or blowing the whistle. It’s time to memorialize the web of non-logic that qualifies a non-conspiracy theorist and not take for granted what these individuals mean to our battle for freedom and what key role they will play in the final lockdown of what was once a beacon for freedom throughout the world. Even as each of us carries on every day it’s difficult to fathom how the average person you come across who is a non-conspiracy theorist is having such a massive impact on millions of people globally and the direction of humanity as a whole including the overall survival of the human race.
Bernie Suarez is an activist, critical thinker, radio host, musician, M.D, Veteran, lover of freedom and the Constitution, and creator of the Truth and Art TV project. He also has a background in psychology and highly recommends that everyone watch a documentary titled The Century of the Self. Bernie has concluded that the way to defeat the New World Order is to truly be the change that you want to see. Manifesting the solution and putting truth into action is the very thing that will defeat the globalists.
Washington’s Blog | MLK ASSASSINATED BY US GOVT: King Family civil trial verdict
MLK ASSASSINATED BY US GOVT: King Family civil trial verdict
Coretta Scott King: “We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience.” – King Family Press Conference, Dec. 9, 1999.
The assassination of Dr. King is just one OBVIOUS crime from among ~100 of the US “1% oligarchy” of crucial importance. The crimes center in wars, money, and media; and call for arrests of obvious “leaders” orchestrating these crimes, or a Truth & Reconciliation process.
Dr. Martin Luther King’s family and personal friend/attorney, William F. Pepper, won a civil trial that found US government agencies guilty in the wrongful death of Martin Luther King. The 1999 trial, King Family versus Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators, is the only trial ever conducted on the assassination of Dr. King. The King Center fully documents the case, with full trial transcript.
The King family’s attempts for a criminal trial were denied, as suspect James Ray’s recant of a guilty plea were denied. Mr. Ray said that his government-appointed attorney told him to sign a guilty plea to prevent the death penalty for his part in delivering the murder weapon for Dr. King’s assassination, and to prevent arrests of his father and brother as probable co-conspirators. Mr. Ray produced a letterfrom his attorney stating the promise that Mr. Ray would receive a trial. When Mr. Ray discovered that he was solely blamed for Dr. King’s assassination and would never receive a trial, the King family’s and Mr. Ray’s subsequent requests for a trial were denied.
The US government also denied the King family’s requests for independent investigation of the assassination.
Therefore, and importantly, the US government has never presented any evidence subject to challenge that substantiates their claim that Mr. Ray assassinated Dr. King.
US corporate media did not cover the trial, interview the King family, and textbooks omit this information. Journalist and author, James Douglass:
“I can hardly believe the fact that, apart from the courtroom participants, only Memphis TV reporter Wendell Stacy and I attended from beginning to end this historic three-and-one-half week trial. Because of journalistic neglect scarcely anyone else in this land of ours even knows what went on in it. After critical testimony was given in the trial’s second week before an almost empty gallery, Barbara Reis, U.S. correspondent for the Lisbon daily Publico who was there several days, turned to me and said, “Everything in the U.S. is the trial of the century. O.J. Simpson’s trial was the trial of the century. Clinton’s trial was the trial of the century. But this is the trial of the century, and who’s here?” ”
For comparison, please consider the media coverage of O.J. Simpson’s trials:
“Media coverage of the Simpson trial, which began in January 1995, was unlike any other. Over two thousand reporters covered the trial, and 80 miles of cable was required to allow nineteen television stations to cover the trial live to 91 percent of the American viewing audience. When the verdict was finally read on October 3, 1995, some 142 million people listened or watched. It seemed the nation stood still, divided along racial lines as to the defendant’s guilt or innocence. During and after the trial, over eighty books were published about the event by most everyone involved in the Simpson case.”
The overwhelming evidence of government complicity introduced and agreed as comprehensively valid by the jury includes:
- US 111th Military Intelligence Group were at Dr. King’s location during the assassination.
- 20th Special Forces Group had an 8-man sniper team at the assassination location on that day.
- Usual Memphis Police special body guards were advised they “weren’t needed” on the day of the assassination.
- Regular and constant police protection for Dr. King was removed from protecting Dr. King an hour before the assassination.
- Military Intelligence set-up photographers on a roof of a fire station with a clear view to Dr. King’s balcony.
- Dr. King’s room was changed from a secure 1st-floor room to an exposed balcony room.
- Memphis police ordered the scene where multiple witnesses reported as the source of shooting cut down of their bushes that would have hid a sniper.
- Along with sanitizing a crime scene, police abandoned investigative procedure to interview witnesses who lived by the scene of the shooting.
- The rifle Mr. Ray delivered was not matched to the bullet that killed Dr. King, and was not sighted to accurately shoot
The King family believes the government’s motivation to murder Dr. King was to prevent his imminent camp-in/Occupy at Washington, D.C. until the Vietnam War was ended and those resources directed to end poverty and invest in US hard and soft infrastructure.
This conclusion is consistent with US history, past and recent, for US “leaders” to lie and kill for wars of choice. These lies are then “covered” by corporate media in news and history texts.
Please watch this six-minute video of the evidence from the trial, and this eight-minute video on the FBI’s disclosures of covert operations against Dr. King, including confirmation from his closest friends and advisors.
Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s wife, is certain of the evidence after 30 years of consideration from the 1968 assassination to the 1999 trial:
“For a quarter of a century, Bill Pepper conducted an independent investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He opened his files to our family, encouraged us to speak with the witnesses, and represented our family in the civil trial against the conspirators. The jury affirmed his findings, providing our family with a long-sought sense of closure and peace, which had been denied by official disinformation and cover-ups. Now the findings of his exhaustive investigation and additional revelations from the trial are presented in the pages of this important book. We recommend it highly to everyone who seeks the truth about Dr. King’s assassination.” — Coretta Scott King.
The US Department of Justice issued a report in 2000 that explains their investigation into their own possible guilt in the assassination found no evidence to warrant further investigation. Dr. King’s son issued the following statement rebuking a “self-study” rather than the independent investigation the King family assert the evidence demands:
“We learned only hours before the Justice Department press conference that they were releasing the report of their results of their “limited investigation,” which covered only two areas of new evidence concerning the assassination of Dr. King. We had requested that we be given a copy of the report a few days in advance so that we might have had the opportunity to review it in detail. Since that courtesy was not extended to us, we are only able at this time to state the following:
1. We initially requested that a comprehensive investigation be conducted by a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, independent of the government, because we do not believe that, in such a politically-sensitive matter, the government is capable of investigating itself.
2. The type of independent investigation we sought was denied by the federal government. But in our view, it was carried out, in a Memphis courtroom, during a month-long trial by a jury of 12 American citizens who had no interest other than ascertaining the truth. (Kings v. Jowers)
3. After hearing and reviewing the extensive testimony and evidence, which had never before been tested under oath in a court of law, it took the Memphis jury only one (1) hour to find that a conspiracy to kill Dr. King did exist. Most significantly, this conspiracy involved agents of the governments of the City of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and the United States of America. The overwhelming weight of the evidence also indicated that James Earl Ray was not the triggerman and, in fact, was an unknowing patsy.
4. We stand by that verdict and have no doubt that the truth about this terrible event has finally been revealed.
5. We urge all interested Americans to read the transcript of the trial on the King Center website and consider the evidence, so they can form their own unbiased conclusions.
Although we cooperated fully with this limited investigation, we never really expected that the government report would be any more objective than that which has resulted from any previous official investigation.”
Let’s summarize: Under US Civil Law, covert US government agencies were found guilty of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and widely recognized as one of the world’s greatest speakers for what it means to be human. The family’s conclusion as to motive was to prevent Dr. King from ending the Vietnam War because the government wanted to continue its ongoing covert and overt military operations to control foreign governments and their resources.
It is therefore a factual statement that under US Civil Law, the US government assassinated Dr. King.
People of sufficient intellectual integrity and moral courage to apply critical thinking skills will embrace the trial evidence and testimony, jury conclusion, and King family analysis as appropriate and helpful information in seeking the facts.
People who at least temporarily reject challenging information out of fear might say something like, “The government killed Dr. King? That’s a crazy conspiracy theory!”
Let’s consider that statement.
When someone says that a body of evidence is “crazy,” or a “conspiracy theory” (meaning an irrational claim easily refuted by the evidence) that’s a claim. With a claim comes a burden of proof. In this case, the person would have to demonstrate command of the facts to explain and prove why the evidence from the civil trial is somehow “crazy” and refute the evidence.
If the person can do this, it would be tremendously helpful in understanding the facts. However, we know from our experience that such statements almost always have zero factual support, and that the person making such a claim literally doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
We also know from our experience, a person making such a statement is really voicing an emotional reaction something closer to the spirit of, “The government killed Dr. King? Ok, I read and understood the paragraphs about the trial and evidence. I read Mrs. King’s and her son’s statement. I haven’t invested the time to verify how valid that information is. I’m not stupid, but because the implications of what that means is so disturbing, I’m going to deny anything about it could possibly be true as my first response. If I’m going to continue being in denial and refuse to discuss the evidence, I’ll attack the messenger.”
We also need to consider the lack of coverage by US corporate media of this compelling evidence, trial verdict, and King family testimony from over 30 years’ analysis of the facts. Recall the evidence of US corporate media reporting being infiltrated by CIA agents to propagandize Americans’ access to information. This included the Director of the CIA’s admission to Congress that they have over 400 agents working in corporate media to make the US public believe what the CIA wants them to believe.
In 2006, George Washington University used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the US military’s “Information Operations Roadmap.” This formerly secret and approved document details present US government strategies to generate propaganda, and then attack Internet alternative media that provides dangerous facts and discussion. The military promoted the term, “Fight the net.”
Although I won’t enter the burden of proof here, you may know that there are similar and related bodies of evidence that the US government assassinated other American leaders. The 1975 Senate Church Committee disclosed that the US government initiated and helped assassination attempts on multiple foreign heads of state.
If we were discussing how the population of some other nation could employ critical thinking skills to understand current events from anytime in history, we would certainly understand the importance to anticipate disinformation from government, danger of controlled media, and assassination as a political weapon.
Failure to do so would appropriately elicit the label attributed to the first dictator of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin. Such people who believe what their government tells them when the history and present have overwhelming objective evidence to explain, document, and prove that the government is typical of so many other historical self-serving oligarchies are:
To the extent the United States today is any different from all other nations and all other times is up to your exercise of critical thinking skills.
And that said, think and choose carefully: choices have consequences, especially our most important ones.
China Building Second Aircraft Carrier, Two More In The Pipeline | Zero Hedge
China Building Second Aircraft Carrier, Two More In The Pipeline | Zero Hedge.
For months, rumors have been floating that China is building a second aircrafit carrier. It is not a fact. Reuters cites Chinese and Hong Kong media reports that China is building its second aircraft carrier, which is expected to take six years. While it is constructing this one, China plans to build at least two more, as it aims to have four aircraft carriers in the near future.
As a reminder, the country’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning – a Soviet-era ship bought from Ukraine in 1998 and re-fitted in a Chinese shipyard – has long been a symbol of China’s naval build-up, and recently saw its maiden voyage in the South China Sea when in a clear demonstration of naval force, it crossed through the Taiwan straits. The Liaoning successfully executed more than 100 tests, including those of its combat systems, during drills in the disputed South China Sea last month. The exercises off the coast of Hainan Island marked not only the first time China had sent a carrier into the South China Sea but the first time it had maneuvered with the kind of strike group of escort ships U.S. carriers deploy, according to regional military officers and analysts.
However, since the Lioning was a retrofit and not China’s own creation, the country’s navy has been scrambling to get beyond the ridicule it can only “reverse engineer” its crowning ship. Hence the push for a second one.
After two decades of double-digit increases in the military budget, China’s admirals plan to develop a full blue-water navy capable of defending growing economic interests as well as disputed territory in the South and East China Seas.
Successfully operating the 60,000-tonne Liaoning is the first step in what state media and some military experts believe will be the deployment of locally built carriers by 2020.
In comments carried on Chinese news websites, Wang Min, the Communist Party boss of the northeastern province of Liaoning, where the first carrier is based, said the second carrier was being built in the port city of Dalian.
Its construction would take about six years, and in future China would have a fleet of at least four carriers, Wang told members of the province’s legislature on Saturday, the reports added.
Dalian is the port where the existing carrier was re-fitted for use by the Chinese navy.
Of course, the parallels to the cold war build up of nuclear weapons between the US and the USSR are quite obvious making one wonder if the same strategy is in play once more, especially when one considers that the US itself is also building three Ford-class supercarriers, the CVN-78, 79 and 80.
Finally, as we showed before, here are leaked photos of the second aircraft carrier in construction from China Defense.
Finally for those curious about more than just China’s nascent aircraft carrier fleet, here are some additional maps from the most recent Congressional report on Chinese military developments:
Urban sprawl is sickening, as well as ugly: Editorial | Toronto Star
Urban sprawl is sickening, as well as ugly: Editorial | Toronto Star.
Our suburban lifestyle is making us sick, say researchers at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital
Urban sprawl is ugly, inefficient and bad for the environment. It’s also – quite literally – sickening. The unhealthiness of spread-out, car-dependant neighbourhoods is clearly spelled out in a new study by St. Michael’s Hospital researchers. Urban planners, municipal leaders and city residents would be wise to pay close attention.
Scientists from the hospital’s Centre for Research on Inner City Health found risk of obesity and diabetes was elevatedby as much as 33 per cent in suburban areas of Toronto with poor “walkability.” Simply put, the layout of a neighbourhood has a big impact on the health of the people who live in it.
The findings were published this past week in the online journal PLOS One.
Older, downtown areas are more walking-friendly because they’re divided into shorter city blocks. There’s a higher population density, so residents aren’t as spread out. And there are more places to go (such as stores and services) within walking distance. In contrast, many outlying Toronto neighbourhoods don’t even have sidewalks.
Furthermore, in contrast to sedentary suburbanites, people in walkable communities don’t just stroll more often, they also cycle and use public transit more frequently and are significantly less likely to drive. All that translates into solid health benefits.
It’s important to note that other factors, beyond walkable neighbourhoods, do affect risk of obesity. Affluence and ethic origin play a big role too. And it’s possible that walking-friendly neighbourhoods don’t so much inspire residents to use their legs as attract people who were walkers in the first place.
None of that should deter city planners and urban activists from pushing to cut sprawl and create walkable communities. Canada is facing an obesity epidemic. And rather than throw up their hands and lament that there’s not much that can be done, policy-makers can play an active role by promoting neighbourhoods specifically designed as healthier places to live.
An emphasis on creating fewer single-family homes, and more multi-unit residential buildings, is fundamental. So are zoning initiatives aimed at developing more easy-to-walk-to mixed use areas, expanded public transit lines, and bicycle paths. Sidewalks would be nice, too.
Discouraging driving and broadening opportunities for strolling, cycling, and using public transit don’t constitute a “war against the car,” as Mayor Rob Ford calls it, but part of a battle for better health. Urban sprawl is the real foe. And a determined effort is required in order to defeat it.
Over-financialisation – the Casino Metaphor
Over-financialisation – the Casino Metaphor.
The casino metaphor has been widely used as a part-description of the phenomenon of over-financialisation. It’s a handy pejorative tag but can it give us any real insights? This article pursues the metaphor to extremes so that we can file & forget/get back to the football or possibly graduate to next level thinking.
What is the Financialised Economy (FE) and how big is it?
The FE can be loosely described as ‘making money out of money’ as opposed to making money out of something; or ‘profiting without producing’ . Its primacy derives largely from two sources – the ability of the commercial banks to create credit out of thin air and then lend it and charge and retain interest; and their ability to direct the first use of capital created in this fashion to friends of the casino as opposed to investing it in real economy (RE) businesses. So the FE has the ability to create money and direct where it is used. Given those powers it is perhaps unsurprising that it chooses to feed itself before it feeds the RE. The FE’s key legitimate roles – in insurance and banking services – have morphed into a self-serving parasite. The tail is wagging the dog.
The FE’s power over the allocation of capital has been re-exposed, for those who were perhaps unaware of it, as we see the massive liquidity injected by the central banks via QE disappearing into the depths of bank balance sheets and inflated asset values leaving mid/small RE businesses gasping for liquidity.
By giving preferential access to any capital allocated to the RE to its big business buddies the FE enables those companies to take out better run smaller competitors via leveraged buy outs. By ‘investing’ in regulators and politicians via revolving doors and backhanders, it captures the legislative process and effectively writes its own rule book.
Five years after the 2008 crisis hit, as carefully catalogued by FinanceWatch , economies are more financialised than ever. If the politicians and regulators ever had any balls they have been amputated by the casino managers, under the anaesthesis of perceived self-interest. They have become the casino eunuchs. An apparent early consensus on the systemic problems of over financialisation has melted away into a misconceived search for ‘business as usual’.
Derivatives are one of the most popular games in the casino.
Over the counter derivatives, which are essentially bets on the performance of asset prices, stocks, indices or interest rates, have a nominal value (as of December 2012 ) of USD 632 trillion – 6% up from 2007 levels – and 9 times world GDP. If the world decided to stop living and buy back derivatives instead of food, energy, shelter and all the stuff we currently consume, it would take nine years to spend this amount.
OK – it’s a nominal value. Many observers believe (even hope) that its real value is a minute fraction of this, but the only way we will ever find out is if the derivative contracts unwind. That is, prompted presumably by some form of crisis, parties progressively withdraw from the contracts or fold. The regulators (and the FE itself of course) will do everything they can to prevent this from happening, including grinding the population into the dust via austerity, because while no-one knows who precisely holds the unwound risk, most will certainly belong to the FE’s top tier.
Many of these derivatives started life as sensible financial products. Businesses need to insure against an uncertain harvest, or hedge against uncertain currency movements. But only a small proportion of current holders now have an insurable risk. So whereas in the past you could say we insured against our own house burning down, now they bet on their neighbour’s house burning; whereas in the past we bet on our own life expectancy, they now bet on the deaths of others; whereas in the past we insured against currency losses we experienced in our own business transactions, now they bet on currency movements in general. What might be expected when there are incentives to burn your neighbour’s house down? Organisations have even purposely set up junk asset classes, had them AAA rated, sold them to outsiders and then bet on their failure.
Government & Politicians
Politics operates as a debating society in a rented corner of the casino. The rent is high but largely invisible to the populace. The debaters are themselves well off, at least in the U.S. they are .
Now the strange thing is that the government actually owns the casino, but they have forgotten this. For the last 40 years or so, they have asked the casino managers to issue all the chips. The government use the same chips to spend on public services, and require us all to pay taxes in those chips. Mostly they don’t have enough chips for all the services they provide, so they ask the casino managers for loans. The casino managers are happy with this, provided the government pay interest on the loan of chips. This hidden subsidy effectively funds the casino. It’s perverse because the government pays interest on money they could issue themselves debt-free.
It’s not entirely clear why the government thinks the casino managers are better at managing chips than they would be. Arguably the government is elected to carry out a programme and they should be the arbiters of the country’s strategic priorities, so there should be some strategic guidance over the way the chips are spent.
But the government is only here for five years, and the casino managers are here permanently. So perhaps they think it’s safer just to trust the casino managers to get on with it. When asked, the casino managers explain that they allocate chips according to ‘what the market needs’ and no-one quite understands why that doesn’t seem to include much real investment. In any case the government have forgotten that they could issue the chips themselves, and although prompted (e.g. ), have failed to show any interest in reclaiming that power. Occasionally they create a whole new batch of chips themselves (QE) – if they think the tables are quiet – but give them straight back to the casino managers. Maybe it’s too complicated for politicians. Many of them haven’t had proper jobs. There are a few civil servants who understand what’s happening, but most of them don’t want to rock the boat – they are here permanently too and have good pensions. They research for the debaters and have lunch with the casino managers. That keeps them quite busy enough, thank you.
The Real Economy
The Real Economy also operates from a corner of the casino. It’s hard to put an exact figure on it, but perhaps 3-5% of the overall floor space depending how you measure.
It’s a very important corner of the casino, but not for the reasons it should be. It should be important because it’s the place where food is grown, houses are built, energy for warmth and work is created and so on. But these precious things are taken for granted by the casino managers. They have always had enough chips to buy whatever they need – they issue them for God’s sake – and they think food, shelter and energy will always be available to them. Crucially though, they have also managed to financialise this remaining RE corner, and this ‘support’ is trotted out as a continuing justification for the FE’s central importance .
The RE corner has always included important social and cultural, non-GDP activities. The enormous real value of these activities is now being properly articulated and is spawning citizen-led initiatives (e.g. sharing economy approaches, basic unconditional income) but they are often presented as beggars who annoyingly keep petitioning for their ‘entitlements’ and generally clutter up this remote corner of the casino.
On the finance side, individuals and businesses are exploring ways of funding their future activity without going cap-in-hand to the casino managers. They are exploring peer-to-peer finance, crowdfunding, prepayment instruments and so on. What these initiatives have in common is the disintermediation of the casino. They provide ways for people to invest more directly and take more control over their savings and investments. Of course a new breed of intermediary is surfacing to broker and risk-insure these new models, and these new intermediaries can also be captured.
With transparency and short-circuit communication via social media though, there is definitely scope to do things differently. We must hope for progress because the casino managers have little interest in what’s going on outside.
The Planet – outside the casino
The planet outside is used by the casino in two ways – as a source of materials and as a dumping ground for waste.
The materials are not essential to the core FE which is all about making money out of money and needs nothing but ideas, a few arcane mathematical models to give spurious gravitas, and credulous or naive investors. But RE activity performs a valuable role for the casino managers – it provides them with an endless stream of innovative ways of using chips. The shale gas bonanza for example is apparently grounded in the real world need for energy, and is presented as such. Its significance to the FE is as another bubble based partly at least on land-lease ‘flipping’ .
Without an RE-related rationale/narrative, the FE might disappear up its own waste pipe as it re-invested/sliced-and-diced/marketised its own products to itself. So materials from outside the casino are important for the managers’ big corporate proxies in the RE.
FE-favoured RE activities also create lots of waste, some of which is toxic, and may eventually prove terminal, as it builds up. This fact is of little interest to the casino managers. There is a minor interest in waste-related financialised vehicles – carbon markets for example are a relatively new casino game – and in the slight impact on some of the FE’s RE-friends like big energy companies. But mostly the casino managers are too busy with their games and their chips. Occasionally a manager will wake up to the dangers and defect to the real world where they, somewhat perversely, carry more credibility because of their casino experience. A small minority of managers stay within the casino and try to gently modify its behaviour. This is portrayed as a healthy sign of openness; the casino is secure in the knowledge that their ways cannot easily be re-engineered.
Combating the casino’s influence
Essentially there would appear to be three possible lines of response for those who believe there should be more to life than casino capitalism. Marginalise, convert or destroy……
These approaches map on to the three ‘broad strategies of emancipatory transformation’ suggested by sociologist Erik Olin Wright  – interstitial, symbiotic and ruptural. I have a fourth suggestion/ variation of which more in a moment.
The challenge for interstitial initiatives is the sheer pervasiveness of the FE. There are few spaces left where the effects of the FE can be ignored. They may not be well understood, but whenever we pursue dreams, they pop up in front of us, usually as obstacles. Developments that are most heavily attacked by the FE establishment perhaps merit the most attention – community scale renewable energy, crypto currencies, co-ops, the sharing economy, and so on. The more these alternative directions are attacked as utopian or uneconomic the more we can be sure they offer promising interstitial opportunities.
Symbiotic opportunities may represent the triumph of hope over experience. Armed with the power of ideas, we back our ability to persuade policy makers and business leaders to change the game. The main challenges here are the arrogance of the powerful and the danger of being captured by supping with the devil. Vested interests generally feel secure enough that they don’t need to negotiate or even to spend brain power on listening and evaluating alternatives. If enough interest is manifested that symbiotic trial projects are begun, their champions can be captured by being made comfortable.
Ruptural alternatives come in a spectrum from those that would destroy business models to those that would destroy societies. They probably share the above analysis but differ in their degree of radicalism and disconnection from the main. The impact of FE-driven globalisation is beyond the scope of this article, save to note that its effects have unnecessarily radicalised whole populations making more measured responses more difficult to promote than they might have been.
The role of the internet and social media in progressing both interstitial and ruptural initiatives is significant. Most of the space to develop and assemble communities of interest and mission-partners is here, explaining why both are likely to experience increasingly determined attempts to capture.
The nature of one’s chosen response will be a matter of personal choice. We should not be judgemental of those who don’t have the will, energy or resourcefulness to play a more active role. We all suffer from our subservience to a dysfunctional system, some much more than others. The fourth response? Perhaps there’s some mileage in judo principles .
: http://rikowski.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/profiting-without-producing-how-finance-exploits-u s-all/
: “It seems fairly clear at this time that the land is the play, and not the gas. The extremely high prices for land in all of these plays has produced a commodity market more attractive than the natural gas produced.” Art Berman quoted athttp://theautomaticearth.blogspot.ie/2011/07/july-8-2011-get-ready-for-north.html
Featured image: Luxor, Las Vegas. Author: David Marshall jr. Source: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=90604