financialization

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Off The Cuff: The Root Cause Of Much Of Today's Strife

The decision to go off the gold standard in 1971
Thursday, August 24, 2017, 3:18 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • The Root Cause Of Much Of Today's Strive
    • Going off the gold standard in 1971
  • Financialization Has Led To Polarization
    • It has allowed for a very unfair distribution of wealth
  • Our Polarization Makes Us Susceptible To Fear
    • Which the media and special interests stoke
  • Stay Focused, Don't Act Out Of Fear
    • Intentional resilience is the antidote to today's chaos

Longtime Off The Cuff listeners are really going to enjoy this week's discussion, in which Chris and John dig into the more existential questions of "how did we get here?" and "how do we regain a hopeful future?" when looking at the increasingly extreme social rift occurring in today's society. Interestingly, they trace the root cause for a lot of today's strife back to the US' decision to take the world off the gold standard (i.e. sound money) in 1971. This removed a very important control, in the absence which the power players in government and the corporate world were able to increasingly warp the system to their own advantage through racketeering. Over time, the wealth has concentrated at the very top, leaving everyone else a thinner and thinner slice of the pie.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today.
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Off The Cuff: The Folly Of Financialization

Its cures are worse than the diseases it tries to fix
Thursday, April 14, 2016, 12:22 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • The Future Of Oil
    • Much more volatile prices lie ahead
  • The Folly Of Financialization
    • Central planners are creating cures worse than the diseases they're trying to fix
  • The Dollar Dilemma
    • The direction of dollar now hurts as many player as it helps
  • Return Of 'Race To The Bottom'
    • We risk a global currency war like that seen in the 1930's
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Off The Cuff: The Deathtrap of Over-Financialization

How its metastasis has killed the global economy
Thursday, May 14, 2015, 5:00 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Brian Pretti discuss:

  • The Over-Financialization Of The World
    • It's the cancer that's killing the global economy
  • The Fed's Failure Is Becoming More Apparent
    • Deteriorating data and bubble-prices
  • Chicago Blue
    • What it pension woes mean for the city, and the rest of America
  • Trouble Brewing In The Bond Market
    • This is where the real carnage will happen
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Our Era’s Definitive Dynamic: Diminishing Returns

Doing more of what doesn't work
Monday, November 4, 2013, 3:37 PM

We all intuitively grasp the meaning of diminishing returns: Either it takes more effort to maintain a project’s payoff, or the payoff declines even though the effort invested remains constant.

This dynamic leads to the final phase of doing more of what has failed spectacularly. » Read more

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Let's Stop Fooling Ourselves: Americans Can't Afford the Future

Unemployment, taxes & unfunded retirements are squeezing us
Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 11:24 AM

The truth is: The three adult generations in the U.S. are suffering, and their burdens are likely to increase with time. Each is experiencing a squeeze that is making it harder to create value, save capital, and pursue happiness than at any point since WWII. At that point, we were a creditor nation with an economy exploding into dominance on the world stage. Now, however, the U.S. is the largest debtor nation and our economic hegemony is increasingly at seige across a number of fronts.

A continuation of the status quo is a decision to sleepwalk face-first into the constraints hurtling towards us.

Instead, shouldn't we stop fooling ourselves and ask: What should we be doing differently? » Read more

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Middle Class? Here's What's Destroying Your Future

Why it's harder than ever to build wealth
Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 8:36 PM

According to the conventional account, the Great American Middle Class has been eroded by rising energy costs, globalization, and the declining purchasing power of the U.S. dollar in the four decades since 1973. While these trends have certainly undermined middle-class wealth and income, there are five other less politically acceptable dynamics at work:

  1. The divergence of State/private vested interests and the interests of the middle class
  2. The emergence of financialization as the key driver of profits and political power
  3. The neofeudal “colonization” of the “home market” by ascendant financial Elites
  4. The increasing burden of indirect “taxes” as productive enterprises and people involuntarily subsidize unproductive, parasitic, corrupt, but politically dominant vested interests
  5. The emergence of crony capitalism as the lowest-risk, highest-profit business model in the U.S. economy
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The Middle-Class Survival Guide

Learn how to fight back
Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 8:31 PM

Executive Summary

  • Recognize the signs of serfdom
  • Calculate your income's vulnerability to the system
  • Don't count on high inflation to inflate away your debt obligations
  • 10 strategies you can start implementing right now to defend against the forces trying to sap your quality of life

If you have not yet read Part I: Middle Class? Here's What's Destroying Your Future, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part I, we surveyed the key dynamics that have eroded middle-class wealth and income over the past 30 years.  Some of these were conventional (higher energy costs) and some were unconventional/politically unacceptable (financialization; neofeudalism).

Regardless of what you identify as the primary cause, that the middle class (and labor in general) has lost ground since the early 1980s is undeniable, as is the ultimate failure of debt-dependent “growth.”

What can we do about it? It seems to me there are two responses:

  1. Avoid becoming a serf in the new financialized feudalism
  2. Avoid becoming dependent on the Status Quo and avoid collaborating/supporting those elements of the Status Quo that subsidize and protect the parasitic, inefficient, and unproductive sectors of the economy.

Getting Real About Serfdom

I am going to cut to the chase here, and I expect many of you to disagree. Debt is serfdom, period.

I often illustrate this point by asking two simple questions... » Read more