Saturday, October 24, 2020

Must Watch! “Rental Eviction Tsunami Coming; Housing Crisis Unavoidable; Historic Wealth Transfer; Debt Kills”

Jeremiah Babe,
“Rental Eviction Tsunami Coming; Housing Crisis Unavoidable;
 Historic Wealth Transfer; Debt Kills”

"BofA: Fed Will Use Digital Dollars To Unleash Inflation, Universal Basic Income And Debt Forgiveness"

"BofA: Fed Will Use Digital Dollars To Unleash Inflation, 
Universal Basic Income And Debt Forgiveness"
by Epic Economist

"The Fed is about to issue free digital dollars for every American, but don't be mistaken - that will come with a price. In an attempt to conceal their massive inflation targets defending the plan would solely provide further support for unemployment households, the Federal Reserve is now unleashing its Helicopter Money 2.0. However, the creation of digital money may arrive at the expense of the total devastation of the currency, staggering hyperinflation, and the forgiveness of the colossal national debt. 

That's why today, we gathered numerous experts' insights that outline the real implications of this measure to the fragile US economy, and explain how the shift to a digital currency might allow the institution to surveil every transaction ever made using their app. So stay tuned, and don't forget to give this video a thumbs up, share it with friends, and subscribe to our channel not to miss the next unfoldings of the US economic collapse. 

Recently, the Fed has accepted that its favorite stimulus pathway has failed to boost the broader economy, but instead of reviewing its current money-printing policy, Fed officials decided to put the blame on how it is intermediated, particularly the way it creates excess reserves that ultimately end at commercial banks instead tracking its path down to consumer level. That is to say, even though the institution doesn't admit, since it introduced QE and NIRP, the Fed has only worsened the situation it has been trying to fix, while continued to expand the biggest asset price bubble in history.

Right after the start of the widespread shutdowns and the huge spike in unemployment, the Fed has tried to short-circuit this process, and hand in hand with the Treasury it has issued its first round of "helicopter money", which provided the direct transference of funds to US corporations via PPP loans, and also to aid consumers via the emergency $600 weekly unemployment benefits. But the trillion-dollar stimulus relief wore off at an extremely fast pace, even before millions of workers had the chance to file claims to receive some help. 

Despite the economy increasing needs for a massive liquidity tsunami, the funds created by the Fed and Treasury still never managed to reach those who need them the most - the end consumers. Now, with the alleged goal of reaching consumers who have been traditionally underserved by financial institutions, the Cleveland Fed website has disclosed that "legislation has proposed that each American have an account at the Fed in which digital dollars could be deposited, as liabilities of the Federal Reserve Banks, which could be used for emergency payments."

Although the measure might look like a form of assistance to the American people, analysts have been warning that this is the perfect opportunity for them to raise surveillance on the public's transactions. 

At some point, the Fed could also obliterate such digital currency and wipe out people's accounts. But as experts have been pointing out, for the time being, their aim is to successfully disintermediate commercial banks, since it would both offer loans to US consumers and directly deposit funds into their accounts, in that way, the agency would have the power to actually make the entire traditional banking system obsolete.

And before you think this is some type of "tin-foil theory" Fed opposers are trying to propagate in order to discredit the agency, the institution itself admitted its intentions in a recent statement transmitted on their website. Here goes what they said word-by-word: "Other proposals would create a new payment instrument, digital cash, which would be just like the physical currency issued by central banks today, but in a digital form and, potentially, without the anonymity of physical currency. Depending on how these currencies are designed, central banks could support them without the need for commercial bank involvement via direct issuance into the end-users’ digital wallets combined with central-bank-facilitated transfer and redemption services." 

With that said, their plan to deposit "digital dollars" to "each American" essentially bypasses Congress and gives the agency targeted "fiscal stimulus" capabilities. In that sense, it could trigger a substantial reflationary spike since the marginal price setters for economic goods and services is the lower-income segment of the American society. 

What we still don't understand in why the media isn't reporting this news just yet. Where are the reputable economists acknowledging the undeniable fact that China has just become the most powerful economy of the world? What we can surely say is that this signals the end of an era for the U.S. economy and the beginning of a whole new level of economic suffering." 

Musical Interlude: Chuck Wild, "Liquid Mind, Dream Ten”

Chuck Wild, "Liquid Mind, Dream Ten”
"Liquid Mind" (aka Chuck Wild) originally wrote this music to deal with the anxiety and stress of overwork and the serious illness of friends. The gentle ebb and flow of the music has an immediate "slowing down" effect, providing a serene escape from tension-filled days. Ideal for stress relief, falling asleep at night and to enhance meditative and therapeutic practices. There are few composers with as much love for slowness in their music as Wild. Chuck draws from classical and pop influences as varying as Beethoven and Brian Eno, Bartok and Rachmaninoff, Bach, Chopin and Fauré, Duruflé and Brahms."

"A Look to the Heavens"

“The constellation of Orion holds much more than three stars in a row. A deep exposure shows everything from dark nebula to star clusters, all embedded in an extended patch of gaseous wisps in the greater Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The brightest three stars on the far left are indeed the famous three stars that make up the belt of Orion. Just below Alnitak, the lowest of the three belt stars, is the Flame Nebula, glowing with excited hydrogen gas and immersed in filaments of dark brown dust. 

Below the frame center and just to the right of Alnitak lies the Horsehead Nebula, a dark indentation of dense dust that has perhaps the most recognized nebular shapes on the sky. On the upper right lies M42, the Orion Nebula, an energetic caldron of tumultuous gas, visible to the unaided eye, that is giving birth to a new open cluster of stars. Immediately to the left of M42 is a prominent bluish reflection nebula sometimes called the Running Man that houses many bright blue stars. The above image, a digitally stitched composite taken over several nights, covers an area with objects that are roughly 1,500 light years away and spans about 75 light years.”

"Feeling Fed Up with Humanity, In the World and in Ourselves"

"Feeling Fed Up with Humanity, In the World and in Ourselves"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"We are all capable of the best and the worst that humanity has to offer and knowing this allows us to find compassion. From time to time, we may all feel fed up with humanity, whether it’s from learning about what’s going on around the world, or what’s going on next door. There are always situations that leave us feeling as if people are simply not capable of behaving in a way that is coming from a place of awareness. Often it seems as if people are actually geared to handle things in the worst possible way, repeatedly. At the same time, none of us wants to linger in a judgmental mood about our own species. As a result, we might tend to repress the feelings coming up as we take in the news from the world and the neighborhood.

It is natural to feel let down and disappointed when we see our fellow humans behaving in ways that are greedy, selfish, violent, or uncaring, but there are also ways to process that disappointment without sinking into despondency. As with any emotional response, we honor our feelings by feeling them fully, without judging or acting on them. Once we’ve done that—and we may need to do it every day, as part of our daily self-care—we can begin to consider ways that we might help the situation in which humanity finds itself.

As always, we start with ourselves, utilizing our awareness of the failings of others to renew our own commitment to be more conscious human beings. We are all capable of the best and the worst that humanity has to offer, and remembering this keeps us in check, as well as allowing us to find compassion for others. We may find ourselves feeling compelled to serve people who are suffering injustices at the hands of other people, or we may begin to speak out when we see something that we don’t think is right. Whatever the case, the only thing we can do is pledge to serve the best, rather than the worst, of what humanity has to offer, both in the world, and in ourselves."
"What can we know? What are we all?
Poor silly half-brained things peering out at the infinite,
with the aspirations of angels and the instincts of beasts."
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Paulo Coelho, "The Water Pitcher"

"The Water Pitcher"
by Paulo Coelho 

"A legend tells of a man who used to carry water every day to his village, using two large pitchers tied on either end of a piece of wood, which he placed across his shoulders. One of the pitchers was older than the other and was full of small cracks; every time the man came back along the path to his house, half of the water was lost. For two years, the man made the same journey. The younger pitcher was always very proud of the way it did its work and was sure that it was up to the task for which it had been created, while the other pitcher was mortally ashamed that it could carry out only half its task, even though it knew that the cracks were the result of long years of work.

So ashamed was the old pitcher that, one day, while the man was preparing to fill it up with water from the well, it decided to speak to him. "I wish to apologize because, due to my age, you only manage to take home half the water you fill me with, and thus quench only half the thirst awaiting you in your house."

The man smiled and said: "When we go back, be sure to take a careful look at the path." The pitcher did as the man asked and noticed many flowers and plants growing along one side of the path. "Do you see how much more beautiful nature is on your side of the road?" the man remarked. "I knew you had cracks, but I decided to take advantage of them. I sowed vegetables and flowers there, and you always watered them. I've picked dozens of roses to decorate my house, and my children have had lettuce, cabbage and onions to eat. If you were not the way you are, I could never have done this. We all, at some point, grow old and acquire other qualities, and these can always be turned to good advantage."


"Life is not what you see, but what you've projected.
It's not what you've felt, but what you've decided.
It's not what you've experienced, but how you've remembered it. 
It's not what you've forged, but what you've allowed.
And it's not who's appeared, but who you've summoned.
And this should serve you well until you find what you already have."
- The Universe

The Poet: Theodore Roethke, “The Return”

“The Return”

“Suddenly the window will open
and Mother will call,
it's time to come in.
The wall will part,
I will enter heaven in muddy shoes.
I will come to the table
and answer questions rudely.
I am all right, leave me
alone. Head in hand I
sit and sit. How can I tell them
about that long
and tangled way?
Here in heaven mothers
knit green scarves;
flies buzz.
Father dozes by the stove
after six days' labor.
No - surely I can't tell them
that people are at each
other's throats.”

- Theodore Roethke

The Daily "Near You?"

Port-of-spain, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Thanks for stopping by!


"Acceptance is a crucial step forward for those who prefer the idea of living this life over simply existing within it. Accept all that you've said and what you've done, because you cannot change your past. Accept the idea of the unknown, because the future is the unknown waiting patiently to reveal itself. Accept the person you have become thus far in your journey, because you are the only person who will be there with you when you finish it. Do all of this so that you may never find yourself having to accept regret that haunts you at two a.m., leaving you sweaty and broken hearted. All you have is this minute; not this hour, or this day, or this year. Live in this minute so that you won't get stuck simply existing with your guilty past, or with nothing but anxiety for the future."
- Margaret E. Rise

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 10/24/20"

Oct 24, 2020, 2:01 PM ET:
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 42,428,700 
people, according to official counts, including 8,580,940 Americans.

      Oct 24, 2020 2:01 PM ET: 
Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count
Updated 10/24/20, 11:24 AM ET
Click image for larger size.

"Yes to Life, in Spite of Everything: Viktor Frankl’s Lost Lectures on Moving Beyond Optimism and Pessimism to Find the Deepest Source of Meaning"

"Yes to Life, in Spite of Everything: Viktor Frankl’s 
Lost Lectures on Moving Beyond Optimism and 
Pessimism to Find the Deepest Source of Meaning"
by Maria Popova

“To decide whether life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question of philosophy,” Albert Camus wrote in his classic 119-page essay "The Myth of Sisyphus" in 1942. “Everything else… is child’s play; we must first of all answer the question.” Sometimes, life asks this question not as a thought experiment but as a gauntlet hurled with the raw brutality of living.

That selfsame year, the young Viennese neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl (March 26, 1905–September 2, 1997) was taken to Auschwitz along with more than a million human beings robbed of the basic right to answer this question for themselves, instead deemed unworthy of living. Some survived by reading. Some through humor. Some by pure chance. Most did not. Frankl lost his mother, his father, and his brother to the mass murder in the concentration camps. His own life was spared by the tightly braided lifeline of chance, choice, and character.

A mere eleven months after surviving the unsurvivable, Frankl took up the elemental question at the heart of Camus’s philosophical parable in a set of lectures, which he himself edited into a slim, potent book published in Germany in 1946, just as he was completing "Man’s Search for Meaning."

As our collective memory always tends toward amnesia and erasure - especially of periods scarred by civilizational shame - these existential infusions of sanity and lucid buoyancy fell out of print and were soon forgotten. Eventually rediscovered - as is also the tendency of our collective memory when the present fails us and we must lean for succor on the life-tested wisdom of the past - they are now published in English for the first time as "Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything" (public library).

Frankl begins by considering the question of whether life is worth living through the central fact of human dignity. Noting how gravely the Holocaust disillusioned humanity with itself, he cautions against the defeatist “end-of-the-world” mindset with which many responded to this disillusionment, but cautions equally against the “blithe optimism” of previous, more naïve eras that had not yet faced this gruesome civilizational mirror reflecting what human beings are capable of doing to one another. Both dispositions, he argues, stem from nihilism. In consonance with his colleague and contemporary Erich Fromm’s insistence that we can only transcend the shared laziness of optimism and pessimism through rational faith in the human spirit, Frankl writes: "We cannot move toward any spiritual reconstruction with a sense of fatalism such as this."

Generations and myriad cultural upheavals before Zadie Smith observed that “progress is never permanent, will always be threatened, must be redoubled, restated and reimagined if it is to survive,” Frankl considers what “progress” even means, emphasizing the centrality of our individual choices in its constant revision: "Today every impulse for action is generated by the knowledge that there is no form of progress on which we can trustingly rely. If today we cannot sit idly by, it is precisely because each and every one of us determines what and how far something “progresses.” In this, we are aware that inner progress is only actually possible for each individual, while mass progress at most consists of technical progress, which only impresses us because we live in a technical age."

Insisting that it takes a measure of moral strength not to succumb to nihilism, be it that of the pessimist or of the optimist, he exclaims: "Give me a sober activism anytime, rather than that rose-tinted fatalism! How steadfast would a person’s belief in the meaningfulness of life have to be, so as not to be shattered by such skepticism. How unconditionally do we have to believe in the meaning and value of human existence, if this belief is able to take up and bear this skepticism and pessimism?
Through this nihilism, through the pessimism and skepticism, through the soberness of a “new objectivity” that is no longer that “new” but has grown old, we must strive toward a new humanity."

Sophie Scholl, upon whom chance did not smile as favorably as it did upon Frankl, affirmed this notion with her insistence that living with integrity and belief in human goodness is the wellspring of courage as she courageously faced her own untimely death in the hands of the Nazis. But while the Holocaust indisputably disenchanted humanity, Frankl argues, it also indisputably demonstrated “that what is human is still valid… that it is all a question of the individual human being.” Looking back on the brutality of the camps, he reflects:

"What remained was the individual person, the human being - and nothing else. Everything had fallen away from him during those years: money, power, fame; nothing was certain for him anymore: not life, not health, not happiness; all had been called into question for him: vanity, ambition, relationships. Everything was reduced to bare existence. Burnt through with pain, everything that was not essential was melted down - the human being reduced to what he was in the last analysis: either a member of the masses, therefore no one real, so really no one - the anonymous one, a nameless thing (!), that “he” had now become, just a prisoner number; or else he melted right down to his essential self."

In a sentiment that bellows from the hallways of history into the great vaulted temple of timeless truth, he adds: "Everything depends on the individual human being, regardless of how small a number of like-minded people there is, and everything depends on each person, through action and not mere words, creatively making the meaning of life a reality in his or her own being."

Frankl then turns to the question of finding a sense of meaning when the world gives us ample reasons to view life as meaningless - the question of “continuing to live despite persistent world-weariness.” Writing in the post-war pre-dawn of the golden age of consumerism, which has built a global economy by continually robbing us of the sense of meaning and selling it back to us at the price of the product, Frankl first dismantles the notion that meaning is to be found in the pursuit and acquisition of various pleasures:

"Let us imagine a man who has been sentenced to death and, a few hours before his execution, has been told he is free to decide on the menu for his last meal. The guard comes into his cell and asks him what he wants to eat, offers him all kinds of delicacies; but the man rejects all his suggestions. He thinks to himself that it is quite irrelevant whether he stuffs good food into the stomach of his organism or not, as in a few hours it will be a corpse. And even the feelings of pleasure that could still be felt in the organism’s cerebral ganglia seem pointless in view of the fact that in two hours they will be destroyed forever. But the whole of life stands in the face of death, and if this man had been right, then our whole lives would also be meaningless, were we only to strive for pleasure and nothing else — preferably the most pleasure and the highest degree of pleasure possible. Pleasure in itself cannot give our existence meaning; thus the lack of pleasure cannot take away meaning from life, which now seems obvious to us."

He quotes a short verse by the great Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore - the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize, Einstein’s onetime conversation partner in contemplating science and spirituality, and a man who thought deeply about human nature:

"I slept and dreamt
that life was joy.
I awoke and saw
that life was duty.
I worked - and behold,
duty was joy."

In consonance with Camus’s view of happiness as a moral obligation - an outcome to be attained not through direct pursuit but as a byproduct of living with authenticity and integrity - Frankl reflects on Tagore’s poetic point: "So, life is somehow duty, a single, huge obligation. And there is certainly joy in life too, but it cannot be pursued, cannot be “willed into being” as joy; rather, it must arise spontaneously, and in fact, it does arise spontaneously, just as an outcome may arise: Happiness should not, must not, and can never be a goal, but only an outcome; the outcome of the fulfillment of that which in Tagore’s poem is called duty… All human striving for happiness, in this sense, is doomed to failure as luck can only fall into one’s lap but can never be hunted down."

In a sentiment James Baldwin would echo two decades later in his superb forgotten essay on the antidote to the hour of despair and life as a moral obligation to the universe, Frankl turns the question unto itself: "At this point it would be helpful [to perform] a conceptual turn through 180 degrees, after which the question can no longer be “What can I expect from life?” but can now only be “What does life expect of me?” What task in life is waiting for me?"

Now we also understand how, in the final analysis, the question of the meaning of life is not asked in the right way, if asked in the way it is generally asked: it is not we who are permitted to ask about the meaning of life - it is life that asks the questions, directs questions at us… We are the ones who must answer, must give answers to the constant, hourly question of life, to the essential “life questions.” Living itself means nothing other than being questioned; our whole act of being is nothing more than responding to - of being responsible toward - life. With this mental standpoint nothing can scare us anymore, no future, no apparent lack of a future. Because now the present is everything as it holds the eternally new question of life for us.

Frankl adds a caveat of tremendous importance - triply so in our present culture of self-appointed gurus, self-help demagogues, and endless podcast feeds of interviews with accomplished individuals attempting to distill a universal recipe for self-actualization: "The question life asks us, and in answering which we can realize the meaning of the present moment, does not only change from hour to hour but also changes from person to person: the question is entirely different in each moment for every individual.

We can, therefore, see how the question as to the meaning of life is posed too simply, unless it is posed with complete specificity, in the concreteness of the here and now. To ask about “the meaning of life” in this way seems just as naive to us as the question of a reporter interviewing a world chess champion and asking, “And now, Master, please tell me: which chess move do you think is the best?” Is there a move, a particular move, that could be good, or even the best, beyond a very specific, concrete game situation, a specific configuration of the pieces?"

What emerges from Frankl’s inversion of the question is the sense that, just as learning to die is learning to meet the universe on its own terms, learning to live is learning to meet the universe on its own terms - terms that change daily, hourly, by the moment:

"One way or another, there can only be one alternative at a time to give meaning to life, meaning to the moment — so at any time we only need to make one decision about how we must answer, but, each time, a very specific question is being asked of us by life. From all this follows that life always offers us a possibility for the fulfillment of meaning, therefore there is always the option that it has a meaning. One could also say that our human existence can be made meaningful “to the very last breath”; as long as we have breath, as long as we are still conscious, we are each responsible for answering life’s questions."

With this symphonic prelude, Frankl arrives at the essence of what he discovered about the meaning of life in his confrontation with death - a central fact of being at which a great many of humanity’s deepest seers have arrived via one path or another: from Rilke, who so passionately insisted that “death is our friend precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love,” to physicist Brian Greene, who so poetically nested our search for meaning into our mortality into the most elemental fact of the universe. Frankl writes:

"The fact, and only the fact, that we are mortal, that our lives are finite, that our time is restricted and our possibilities are limited, this fact is what makes it meaningful to do something, to exploit a possibility and make it become a reality, to fulfill it, to use our time and occupy it. Death gives us a compulsion to do so. Therefore, death forms the background against which our act of being becomes a responsibility.
Death is a meaningful part of life, just like human suffering. Both do not rob the existence of human beings of meaning but make it meaningful in the first place. Thus, it is precisely the uniqueness of our existence in the world, the irretrievability of our lifetime, the irrevocability of everything with which we fill it - or leave unfulfilled - that gives our existence significance. But it is not only the uniqueness of an individual life as a whole that gives it importance, it is also the uniqueness of every day, every hour, every moment that represents something that loads our existence with the weight of a terrible and yet so beautiful responsibility! Any hour whose demands we do not fulfill, or fulfill halfheartedly, this hour is forfeited, forfeited “for all eternity.” Conversely, what we achieve by seizing the moment is, once and for all, rescued into reality, into a reality in which it is only apparently “canceled out” by becoming the past. In truth, it has actually been preserved, in the sense of being kept safe. Having been is in this sense perhaps even the safest form of being. The “being,” the reality that we have rescued into the past in this way, can no longer be harmed by transitoriness."

In the remainder of the slender and splendid "Yes to Life", Frankl goes on to explore how the imperfections of human nature add to, rather than subtract from, the meaningfulness of our lives and what it means for us to be responsible for our own existence. Complement it with Mary Shelley, writing two centuries ago about a pandemic-savaged world, on what makes life worth living, Walt Whitman contemplating this question after surviving a paralytic stroke, and a vitalizing cosmic antidote to the fear of death from astrophysicist and poet Rebecca Elson, then revisit Frankl on humor as lifeline to sanity and survival."

Musical Interlude: Genesis, "Land of Confusion"

Genesis, "Land of Confusion"

"How It Really Is"

Friday, October 23, 2020

“Wall St. Ticking Time Bomb; Bubbles Bursting Soon; Reality Coming To Markets; Economic Illusion”

Jeremiah Babe,
“Wall St. Ticking Time Bomb; Bubbles Bursting Soon; 
Reality Coming To Markets; Economic Illusion”

"Believe Them..."

"When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as important, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you."
- Maria Popova

"Deutsche Bank Creating A Destructive Domino Effect That Will Result In Apocalyptic Economic Collapse"

"Deutsche Bank Creating A Destructive Domino Effect 
That Will Result In Apocalyptic Economic Collapse"
by Epic Economist

"Deutsche Bank, the second most prominent bank in Europe, the greatest bank in Germany, one of the ten largest banks by assets in the whole world and, evidently, the leading authority for derivatives trading, is caught up in a huge chaos. The International Monetary Fund was the first to warn about it being the biggest net contributor to systemic risks for the global financial system, undoubtedly, the bank's situation is decisive for the world's economy. The banking system simply cannot allow Deutsche Bank to fall, otherwise, it will drag along the whole financial system with it, creating a destructive domino effect that will result in a catastrophic economic collapse.

However, recent developments don't seem favorable for its reputation. In fact, many now believe that the end is near for the bank, and its downfall may be closer than imagined. That's why today, we decided to expose the many layers of Deutsche Bank's inevitable decay and how its meltdown will likely resonate in our already severely disrupted economy. So stay with us, and please don't forget to give this video a thumbs up, share it with friends, and subscribe to our channel to keep updated with future videos.

When it comes to banking issues a simple rule can be applied: The louder some authority shouts on the media reassuring everything is just fine, surely, the bigger the trouble really is. So when government officials are repeatedly insisting that nothing is going on and things will be handled smoothly, we have confirmation of their despair. Just by the fact that they bother to say anything at all, we can already ascertain that there's something much more dangerous hiding behind the covers. And by the end of this video, you'll understand that's the case.

Deutsche Bank could be a contrarian’s dream. But it's not because something is cheap - in exact numbers: down 84% - that it will necessarily be a good purchase. Falling share prices is a major red flag for a company, especially when the company is the institution that ties several other institutions together. It could be an alert sign for many looming problems, but the most visible one is that a stock market crash is right on the horizon. 

So one can ask "what is going wrong with Deutsche Bank?" - and, well, basically everything. Starting with the foundations in which its system was created. For a while now, the bank is facing hardships to adapt to a changed competitive situation where its business model and cost structure are no longer sustainable. Needless to say that tightened regulations have made the banking industry a bureaucracy horror show.

Just as many bankrupt businesses trying to stay afloat, the German giant announced that it will lay off over 18,000 employees, which configures nearly one-fifth of its global workforce. The bank also disclosed to have plans to pursue a vast restructuring on its functioning, which will include shutting down its global equities trading business. Such measures may help to delay Deutsche Bank’s inexorable march into oblivion, but not for long. And when the weight becomes too heavy to bear, it will trigger a massive collapse taking down a whole lot of others with it at the same time.

The newsletter Wall Street On Parade noted that the bank has 49 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives as of the end of last year, meaning it is in the same group as the U.S. titans JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs, which registered $48 trillion, $47 trillion and $42 trillion, respectively. And even though the bank's actual credit risk is significantly lower than the notional value of its derivatives contracts, there is still a scandalous amount of exposure that can be very well illustrated when we consider the state of Deutsche Bank’s balance sheet.

Furthermore, there are many other aggravating issues at stake for Deutsche Bank right now. According to the Financial Times, the German institution is coping with a shocking number of regulatory actions and lawsuits - 7,000 to be more precise. And you can imagine when such an important piece at the European's shaky financial system is risking to fall and spark a disastrous domino effect, investor confidence can disappear from the charts in a matter of hours. Once it's gone, there will be no way back other than a huge bailout. But considering the track record of the bank, it doesn't seem like a feasible option, particularly because its situation will act as an explosive destroying everything in sight in the stock market." 

Gregory Mannarino, PM 10/23/20: "The Economic Collapse Is Accelerating Rapidly, And The Worst Is Yet To Come"

Gregory Mannarino, PM 10/23/20
"The Economic Collapse Is Accelerating Rapidly, 
And The Worst Is Yet To Come"
Related, highest recommendation:

Musical Interlude: Deuter, “Black Velvet Flirt”

Deuter, “Black Velvet Flirt”

Full screen mode recommended.

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Stars are sometimes born in the midst of chaos. About 3 million years ago in the nearby galaxy M33, a large cloud of gas spawned dense internal knots which gravitationally collapsed to form stars. NGC 604 was so large, however, it could form enough stars to make a globular cluster. 

Many young stars from this cloud are visible in the above image from the Hubble Space Telescope, along with what is left of the initial gas cloud. Some stars were so massive they have already evolved and exploded in a supernova. The brightest stars that are left emit light so energetic that they create one of the largest clouds of ionized hydrogen gas known, comparable to the Tarantula Nebula in our Milky Way's close neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud.”

"Ah, You Miserable Creatures!"

"Ah, You Miserable Creatures!"

"Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! 
You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! 
Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough." 
- Frederic Bastiat
Any questions?

"The Sometimes Hidden Beauty of ‘This Too Shall Pass’

"It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent a sentence to be ever on view and which would be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, 'And this, too, shall pass away.'"

"The Sometimes Hidden Beauty of ‘This Too Shall Pass’
By Richard Haddad

"“This too shall pass.” This proverb has no doubt been repeated millions of times in many different languages since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The sentiment may be difficult to accept amidst so many hardships from lost jobs, lost businesses and lost lives.

This adage grew from the roots of a Persian fable and became known in the Western world primarily through a 19th-century retelling by the English poet Edward FitzGerald, who crafted the fable “Solomon’s Seal” in 1852 illustrating how the adage had the power to make a sad man happy but, conversely, a happy man sad. The fable was reportedly also employed in a speech by Abraham Lincoln before he became the sixteenth President of the United States.

But the version I want to share today that I think is most beautiful and powerful was written in 1867 by American newspaper editor and abolitionist Theodore Tilton. He reworked the fable into a poem called “The King’s Ring.” Here again, the retooled adage wields a double-edged sword. It can help us endure the passage of difficult times, or keep our perspective and humility during good times. Here is the Tilton poem:

"The King’s Ring"

Once in Persia reigned a King,
Who upon his signet-ring
Graved a maxim true and wise,
Which, if held before his eyes,
Gave him counsel, at a glance,
Fit for every change or chance;
Solemn words, and these are they:
“Even this shall pass away.”

Trains of camels through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarcand;
Fleets of galleys through the seas
Brought him pearls to rival these.
But he counted little gain
Treasures of the mine or main.
“What is wealth?” the King would say;
“Even this shall pass away.”

In the revels of his court,
At the zenith of the sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests,
He, amid his figs and wine,
Cried, “O loving friends of mine!
Pleasures come, but do not stay:
Even this shall pass away.”

Lady fairest ever seen
Was the bride he crowned the queen.
Pillowed on his marriage-bed,
Whispering to his soul, he said,
“Though no bridegroom never pressed
Dearer bosom to his breast,
Mortal flesh must come to clay:
Even this shall pass away.”

Fighting on a furious field,
Once a javelin pierced his shield.
Soldiers with a loud lament
Bore him bleeding to his tent.
Groaning from his tortured side,
“Pain is hard to bear,” he cried,
“But with patience day by day,
Even this shall pass away.”

Towering in the public square
Twenty cubits in the air,
Rose his statue carved in stone.
Then the King, disguised, unknown,
Gazing at his sculptured name,
Asked himself, “And what is fame?
Fame is but a slow decay:
Even this shall pass away.”

Struck with palsy, sere and old,
Waiting at the Gates of Gold,
Spake he with his dying breath,
“Life is done, but what is Death?”
Then, in answer to the King,
Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
Showing by a heavenly ray -
“Even this shall pass away.”

I believe enduring well is an essential part of the test we must pass while on this Earth together. I am still taking this test. We all are. I also believe we must have a certain amount of faith and hope as we do all in our power to make things right in this world while also accepting that we don’t have the power to control all outcomes. I’ve been learning these truths and striving to apply them more in my own life. In the past I have sometimes hearkened to gloomy voices in the world. Many a time I entertained unnecessary doubt and worry. But I am learning that worry works against faith and hope. My mother once shared this other saying with me that I have tried to apply in my older years - “Worry is interest paid on money never borrowed.”

May we all strive to endure, live and love well, for this too shall pass."

"Everything We Assume Is Permanent Is Actually Fragile"

"Everything We Assume Is Permanent Is Actually Fragile"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"The great irony of the past 75 years of expanding consumption is the belief that all these decades of success prove the system is rock-solid and future success is thus guaranteed. The irony lies in the systemic fragility that's built into the large-scale industrial production that generates endless surpluses of energy, food, fresh water, etc. and the global financial system that delivers endless surpluses of capital and credit to be distributed by public authorities and private owners of capital.

The key driver of increasing efficiencies has been scaling up production by concentrating ownership and capacity into a few quasi-monopolies/cartels. In industry after industry, where there were once dozens of companies, there are now only a handful of behemoths with outsized market and political power which they wield to retain their dominance.

For example, where there were dozens of large regional banks in the U.S. not that long ago, relentless consolidation has led to a handful of supergiant too big to fail banks which can take extraordinary risks (and undertake criminal skims) knowing that the federal government will always bail them out and leave the banks' corporate criminals untouched.

Two of these too big to fail banks recently paid fines in the billions of dollars, yet no one went to prison or even faced criminal charges. This highlights the systemic problem with concentrating capital and power in the hands of the few: too big to fail means corporate wrongdoers have a permanent get out of jail free card while the small-fry white-collar criminal will get a fiver (five-year prison sentence) for skimming a tiny fraction of the billions routinely pillaged by the too big to fail banks.

The net result is a two-tier judicial/law enforcement system: the too big to fail "essential" companies get a free hand and the citizenry get whatever "justice" they can afford, i.e. very little.

This concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few corporations is of course state-cartel socialism in which the public good has become subservient to the profits of corporate owners and insiders, and the skims paid to the state's insiders. The state enables and enforces this concentration of private wealth and power in a number of ways: regulatory capture, the polite bribery of lobbying, the revolving door between government and private industry, and so on.

The public good would best be served by competition and transparent markets and regulations, but these are precisely what's been eliminated by relentless consolidation and the paring down of the economic ecosystem to a handful of too big to fail nodes which work tirelessly to eliminate competition, transparency and meaningful public oversight.

This ruthless pursuit of efficiencies and profits has stripped the economy of redundancies and buffers. Production supply chains have been engineered to function in a narrow envelope of quality, quantity and time. Any disruption quickly leads to shortages, something that became visible when meatpacking plants were closed in the pandemic.

Supply chains are long and fragile, but this fragility is not visible as long as everything stays within the narrow envelope that's been optimized. Once the envelope is broken, the supply chain breaks down. Since redundancies and buffers have been stripped away, there are no alternatives available. Shortages mount and the entire system starts breaking down.

Quality has been stripped out as well. When markets become captive to cartels and monopolies, customers have to take what's available: if it's poor quality goods and services, tough luck, pal, there are no alternatives. There are only one or two service providers, healthcare insurers, etc., and they all provide the same minimal level of quality and service.

The moral rot in our social, political and economic orders is another source of hidden fragility. I'm constantly told by readers that corruption has been around forever, so therefore nothing has changed, but these readers are indulging in magical nostalgia: things have changed profoundly, and for the worse, as the moral rot has seeped into every nook and cranny of American life, from the top down.

There is no "public good," there is only a rapacious, obsessive self-interest that claims the mantle of "public good" as a key mechanism of the con.

As I discussed in "Everything is Staged", everyone and everything in America is now nothing more than a means to a self-interested end, and so the the entirety of American life is nothing but 100% marketing of various cons designed to enrich the few at the expense of the many. That America was a better place without endless marketing of Big Pharma meds and colleges hyping their insanely costly "product" (a worthless diploma) has been largely forgotten by those indulging in magical nostalgia.

What few seem to realize is all the supposedly rock-solid permanent foundations of life are nothing more than fragile social constructs based on trust and legitimacy. Once trust and legitimacy have been lost, these constructs melt into the sands of time.

A great many things we take for granted are fragile constructs that could unravel with surprising speed: law enforcement, the courts, elections, the value of our currency -- these are all social constructs. Once legitimacy is lost, people abandon these constructs and they melt away.

It's clear to anyone who isn't indulging in magical nostalgia that trust in institutions is in a steep decline as the legitimacy of these institutions, public and private, have been eroded by incompetence, corruption, dysfunction and the rapacious self-interest of insiders.

What we've gotten very good at is masking the rot and fragility. Masking the rot and fragility is not the same thing as strength or permanence. The nation is about to discover the difference in the years ahead."

"I Promise You This..."

"One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards."
- Edward Abbey

"The Beginning Of A New Day..."

"This is the beginning of a new day.
You have been given this day to use as you will.
You can waste it or use it for good.
What you do today is important because 
you are exchanging a day of your life for it.
When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever;
in its place is something that you have left behind...
let it be something good."
- Author Unknown

The Daily "Near You?"

Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, United Kingdom.
Thanks for stopping by!

"US Moral Compass"

"Moral compass?!

 Surely you jest... This is 'Murica!

"Down in a Blaze of Glory"

"Down in a Blaze of Glory"
By Bill Bonner

SAN MARTIN, ARGENTINA – "The river that was so wide and deep, we couldn’t cross when we got here in March, is down to a small stream… as if a fire hydrant had been opened upstream. And every drop of it needs to be shunted off to water the onions or the alfalfa. The alfalfa is ready to cut and bale. We begin at the northern field… and keep going… day and (sometimes) night – leaving round bales in the fields, spaced out as if they were practicing some kind of social distancing of their own.

Then, we start at the top again. This continues, almost without interruption, for about six months – cutting, raking, baling… until we have ricked up some 3,000 bales. Or until the water gives out. We make sure no water is wasted by carefully shoveling out the canal – by hand. A crew of 13 paleadores starts at one end… and keeps going for the next four days – digging a total of about two miles’ worth of trench. Then, the river is blocked off, forcing the water into our two major irrigation ditches, one on each side. The water flows for a week at a time. After seven days, we break up our dike so people downriver will get some of the precious liquid.

Argentina Lockdown: It’s mid-spring. And we’re still here – in Northwest Argentina – with a quarantine tighter than ever. The Argentines have used the toughest “lockdown” approach in the world. We are in an extremely rural area – much like Nevada or Montana. But even on our dirt road, there are police roadblocks every 20 miles or so.

The lockdown approach seems to be able to delay the disease, but not stop it. Every time the door is opened, in it comes. Then, a “spike” in cases causes the authorities to slam the door shut again. How long this can go on is anyone’s guess. Thanks to government policies over the last 70 years, the gauchos are far from rich. Many are sinking into extreme poverty.

Back in the early part of the 20th century, the Argentines were about even with Western Europeans, in terms of income per capita. Now, the country is number 68 on the list, below Russia and Romania. And now, Argentina’s economy is in a depression, with the peso falling like a stone in a well. It was on par with the U.S. dollar when we first came to the country 20 years ago. Yesterday, on the black market – which is where most of the money gets exchanged – it was at 181 pesos to one single dollar.

It would be a marvelous time to go out to a fine restaurant. A thick, delicious Argentine steak… a bottle of the best wine on the menu – the meal would cost barely more than a visit to McDonald’s in Baltimore. That is a curious and surprising consequence of an economic catastrophe; it has its advantages.

Alas… the restaurants nearby are all closed… What a marvelous place to be quarantined! Always beautiful… always interesting… and always on edge. And we feel as though we are getting a preview of things to come in the USA, too. But back to our U.S. election preview…

Two Poor Candidates: The two surest ways to wreck a great nation are war and inflation. Donald Trump failed to stop the former (though he had promised to do so and, as Commander in Chief, had the power to do so). Instead, he actually increased funding for the warmakers. In domestic matters, too, Trump did nothing to bring spending under control (he didn’t veto a single spending bill).

Au contraire, he brought spending, deficits, and “inflation” – the money-printing necessary to cover budget shortfalls – to a level never before seen in the U.S. In 2020, the budget deficit hit a sh*thole country record – at 18% of GDP.

Trump did one other calamitous thing worth mentioning. In response to a health challenge – the coronavirus – he allowed his bureaucrats to put the country on a war footing… taking on extraordinary powers that are normally limited to matters of national survival. But as unsuccessful as he was, we’ve also seen that his opponent is unlikely to be any better.

As far as we can tell, Joe Biden never met a boondoggle that he didn’t like. He is likely to back scams and bamboozles – green programs, universal basic income, expanded free medical care – far beyond those of Mr. Trump. If Biden has his way, the feds’ printing presses will probably run hotter than ever. So what will happen?

Trump Fatigue: First, who will win? Most likely, Biden will win. But not because his policies are better. Nor even because he is the overwhelming favorite of the Deep Staters. Both candidates are socialists. Both are committed to a large role for the government in the economy. Both will continue in the Bush/Obama/Trump tradition… less freedom, more control, less prosperity, more inequality, more fake money.

But our guess – and it is only a guess – is that the marginal voter is a little tired of the Big Man. Trump has dominated the news cycle for the last five years, beginning even before he was elected. He captured the headlines largely because he was willing to say “outrageous” things – many of which were true.

Back in 2016, for example, he said “all lives matter.” And of course, they do. But now, you’re not allowed to say so without being branded a “racist.” Then, hardly a month ago, he urged Americans not to let the coronavirus “dominate your life.” The core of the message was little different from the advice of the Harvard Medical School in March – “Don’t let coronavirus anxiety take over.” But coming from Trump’s mouth, it was deemed too dangerous for public consumption. The press went wild with indignation. Health “experts” branded it “irresponsible.”

A few months earlier, an interviewer, hoping to lure the Big Man into another sensational headline, touched on the California forest fires. The Donald was invited to opine on whether or not the fires were caused by man-made climate change. “I don’t think science knows,” the president responded. This, too, was right on the money. Of course, “science” doesn’t know. It has hypotheses that, in the fullness of time, are sure to be amended and updated. As of today, nobody knows for certain which way it will go… nor what really is the cause.

But while this maverick approach was welcomed… and captivated the media and the public for 60 months… now, the lumpen electorate seems to have gotten weary of it. The voters yearn for a return to normal.

Trump’s unkind epithet for “Sleepy Joe” Biden, may have backfired. Sleepy is what the public wants. People want an anaesthetic president… a dreamtime leader… who will put the bitter conflicts and sour dramas behind us.

Reality is now tough enough. The recovery is stalling. The rich are getting much richer; the poor much poorer. And the coronavirus shows no sign of going away, suggesting that we have gotten ourselves into another unending, unwinnable war. Many people blame the president – even for things that aren’t his fault.

But if they pull the lever for Mr. Biden, what difference will it make? Can they nod off… and make yesterday’s mistakes and today’s challenges… disappear? The deficits? The jackass programs? The deepening Swamp? The growing debt? The widening gap between rich and poor? The 76 million baby boomers in need of pensions and medical care? The crisp new bills – albeit in electronic form – flying off the printing presses?

Nope. Things – at least the things that matter most, war and inflation – will go on, much as they have for the last 20 years.

Appreciate What We Lost: But let us, uncharacteristically, depart from our usual doom and gloom. Yes, of course, the American empire is on the downslide. And no… there’s nothing we can do to stop it. But between the dimming light of today and the crack of doom tomorrow is at least a little time…

Like the once-rich families on the pampas, there will be time to light candles… time to enjoy the dusky scenes… to reach into our once-bulging liquor cabinet and pour out the last drops from a bottle of Highland Malt that we bought when we were flush…and time to sit at an ancient table… as the last rays of the southern sun steal through the cracked windowpanes… the old wallpaper peeling down…

And finally, at peace after so many guerras inutiles… so many battles fought trying to hold the line against waste and foolishness… so many fights lost against lunatic enemies…there, finally, there will be time to appreciate the fruits of a civilization that is no more.

Sordid Spectacle: Yes, enantiodromia works both ways. It casts down… but it raises up, too. Sleepy Joe might win… but the “conservatives” might reawaken. When in power, people become proud and practical, eager to take advantage of their opportunity to punish their enemies, reward their friends, and steal whatever they can. It is usually a sordid spectacle. That is why winning a war… or an election… is often one of the worst things that can happen to a people.

The Romans had won so many battles for so many years that they began to believe their armies – although composed largely of barbarians – were invincible. In the 5th century, rather than protect the homeland… their armies remained deployed at the fringes of the empire – often fighting each other…until the Barbarians marched into Rome… raped the women… slaughtered the men… burned down the city… and carried off anything of value.

The Germans handily defeated the French in 1870… and took away the idea that they could so again. (The French learned nothing.) In the next war, Germany – following essentially the same strategy – was ruined… bankrupted… with 2 million of her young men dead.

And wouldn’t the U.S. have been better off if it had had its butt kicked a little harder by the Vietnamese? Instead, its military considered that the withdrawal was a “political” decision. And then, eager to regain its pride, led by Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf, it attacked Iraq in 1991. Wouldn’t it have been better if it had lost there, too? Most likely. Then, it never would have thought it could pull off a Second Gulf War.

Our point is that you learn more from failure than from success… You think more clearly, too, when the boot is at your neck. Failure, especially if it is indisputable, excites the brain. And the first thing you realize is that war is not always a paying proposition. Minding your own business becomes a virtue, not a sign of cowardice. Conservatism – learning from the past, sticking with the traditional rules of an honest, open society – pays.

As for the warmongers… the world improvers… the activists and empire builders – you begin to see them in a different light… as the clowns and numbskulls they really are. And you realize that these morons who are ruining the empire are actually doing us all a favor.

Bright Side: And so, Dear Reader, looking on the bright side, as usual, we see a blaze of glory at the end of the tunnel… Defeated, we will be a smarter, nicer race. Humbled, we will be less inclined to try to boss others around. Broke, we will spend our money more carefully.

And out of power, following a Biden win, our erstwhile “conservatives” might suddenly come to their senses and eschew war, deficit spending, grandiose scams, fake money, giveaways, tariffs, phony interest rates, meddling in the economy, restricting, confining, controlling… and all the flimflams and swindles of both parties over the last 50 years. The born-again conservatives might even regain the clarity and courage to prevent the Biden administration from doing more harm!

Yes, we see much better things ahead. After the crack-up… of course."