trust

Podcast

Dan Ariely: Why The Next Market Downturn May Quickly Become A Full-Blown Panic

The human factor has become extremely skittish
Sunday, May 17, 2015, 11:37 AM

Behavioral science shows we are our own worst enemies in this story. In a realm where everything is so quantifiable, measurable and trackable, one would expect exceptionally good decision-making. But it's our human wiring, our proclivity for seeing things as we want them to be rather than as they truly are, that makes us vulnerable to influences we often aren't even conscious of. And the bad decisions -- and bad outcomes -- ensue. » Read more

Insider

kwest/Shutterstock

How Life Will Change

Logistics and values in the post-industrial future
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 5:16 AM

Executive Summary

  • In a future defined by diminished economy, due to depleting resources, what can we expect?
  • A return to "old-style" cultural norms looks inevitable for:
    • Spirituality
    • Trust & Reputation
    • Values & Virtues
    • Leadership & Order
    • Education
    • Commerce
    • Jobs & Work

If you have not yet read Are You Crazy To Continue Believing In Collapse? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The journey to where we’re going, the transition to the next economy and the society that comes with it, is liable to be harsh and disruptive. Network breakdown will be the order of the day. Money and goods will stop moving. People will lose a lot. They’ll lose property, imagined wealth, comfortable routines, faith in institutions and authorities. In some places they may lose personal security or freedom. Depending on how disorderly politics gets, we may lose family, loved ones, and friends. People will be very unsure of who or what they can depend on. We might expect pervasive desperation, anger, and despair.

One thing I fully expect is... » Read more

Insider

Off the Cuff: The Social Contract Is Fraying

It favors the government over the governed
Thursday, September 26, 2013, 2:20 PM

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

  • Our Social Contract is Broken
    • Has been re-written to benefit those in power
  • Trust is Eroding
    • Faith in institutions like our justice & money systems is waning
  • New Models are Needed
    • Starting with education
Blog

Bankers Own the World

And are ultimately destroying it
Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 1:41 PM

Today, some of the most celebrated individuals and institutions are ensconced within the financial industry; in banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms. Which is odd because none of these firms or individuals actually make anything, which society might point to as additive to our living standards. Instead, these financial magicians harvest value from the rest of society that has to work hard to produce real things of real value. » Read more

Insider

The Indicators of Instability to Watch For

How to know when the banks' control is failing
Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 1:29 PM

Executive Summary

  • The inequality of the current system is becoming more and more visible, despite efforts to conceal it
  • History shows that control will break as those running the system are forced to compete more directly for a shrinking pie
  • The 3 essential indicators of instability to watch
  • The high price of a collapse of the status quo (and why developing resilience now is your best investment)

If you have not yet read Part I: Bankers Own the World, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

More Equal than Others

Like the pigs in Orwell's Animal Farm, those running the current system are quick to convince us they are doing it out of service, not self-interest (many remember the testimony of Goldman Sachs head Lloyd Blankfein that he sees the bank's efforts as "doing God's work"). The media (most of which is owned by the top 147 companies discussed in Part I) reinforces the perception that the status quo is all that stands between us and economic ruin. 

Of course, there's a much darker side to the story. It requires some digging by the curious mind, but the data is there to be found. As previous mentioned, such a parasitical system inevitably concentrates wealth over time into the hands of fewer and fewer of the most privileged and most powerful. Here's an excellent visualization of how that has already happened in the U.S.:

Note that the actual degree of wealth inequality is much worse than Americans perceive it to be. That's not surprising given the absence of light shined on this in the mass media... » Read more

Podcast

Bill Black: Our System is So Flawed That Fraud is Mathematically Guaranteed

How did we allow things to get this bad?
Saturday, May 25, 2013, 1:06 PM

[Chris lost his voice this week due to illness, so we were unable to record a new podcast. So while Chris recuperates, enjoy this excellent discussion from the archives will Bill Black, recorded a year ago, on the pervasive control fraud within our current financial system. ~ Adam]

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."  ~ Frederic Bastiat

Bill Black is a former bank regulator who played a central role in prosecuting the corruption responsible for the S&L crisis of the late 1980s. He is one of America's top experts on financial fraud. And he laments that the U.S. has descended into a type of crony capitalism that makes continued fraud a virtual certainty while increasingly neutering the safeguards intended to prevent and punish such abuse.

In this extensive interview, Bill explains why financial fraud is the most damaging type of fraud and also the hardest to prosecute. He also details how, through crony capitalism, it has become much more prevalent in our markets and political system. 

A warning: There's much revealed in this interview that will make your blood boil. For example, the Office of Thrift Supervision. In the aftermath of the S&L crisis, this office brought 3,000 administration enforcement actions (a.k.a. lawsuits) against identified perpetrators. In a number of cases, they clawed back the funds and profits that the convicted parties had fraudulently obtained.

Flash forward to the 2008 credit crisis, in which just the related household sector losses alone were over 70 times greater than those seen during the entire S&L debacle. So how many criminal referrals did the same agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, make?

Zero. » Read more