Federal Reserve Chairman Appears on 60 Minutes – Why Now?

One of the most famous, and prescient, financial cartoons in American history is the above depiction of the Federal Reserve Bank as a giant octopus that would come to parasitically suck the life out of all U.S. institutions as well as free markets.

The image is taken from Alfred Owen Crozier’s U.S. Money Vs Corporation Currency, “Aldrich Plan,” Wall Street Confessions! Great Bank Combine, published in 1912, just a year before the creation of the Federal Reserve. 

Last night, the current high priest of money printing, asset bubbles and inequality, Jerome Powell, appeared on 60 Minutes. Interviewer Scott Pelley mentioned the fact that such discussions are rare and noted the last time a Fed head appeared for such a chat was Ben Bernanke back in 2010.

As such, what I find most interesting about this event wasn’t Powell’s boilerplate, bureaucratic propaganda about how the economy’s doing fine and how much central bankers love average Americans, but why he and the institution he heads felt a need to do this now.

There’s no doubt something has the Fed spooked otherwise Powell never would have done this. One factor is they know the economic ground’s starting to shift beneath them, and they need to push a particular narrative ahead of time so central bankers can once again do as they please when “the time to act” arrives.

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Liberty Links 3/10/19

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Amazon Is Flooding D.C. With Money and Muscle: The Influence Game (Extremely sleazy company, Bloomberg)

Elizabeth Warren’s New Plan: Break up Amazon, Google and Facebook (Slowly but surely politics is turning against the tech giants, CNN)

SEC Commissioner’s Report Reveals a ‘Very Troubling’ Pattern in Stock Buybacks and Insider Selling (Massive scam hiding in plain sight, Yahoo)

Trump Scraps Requirement to Report Some Air Strikes (Trump’s conversion to neoconism is almost complete, Politico)

ECB Surprises Dovishly: Announces New TLTRO, Changes Rate Guidance (Total central bank panic going on, Zerohedge

New York Considers Taxing Non-Resident Owners of Luxury Apartments (Every large city globally will eventually do something similar, Bloomberg)

ACA Premiums Rising Beyond Reach of Older, Middle-Class Consumers (The Washington Post)

Facebook Plans to Become World’s Biggest Central Bank? (One of the most dishonest and devious companies in the world plans to launch its own currency, Medium)

Google Employees Uncover Ongoing Work on Censored China Search (The Intercept)

U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked (Check out the date on this article, AP)

U.S. News/Politics 

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Don’t Believe the Hype – Expect a Worsening of U.S.-China Relations

If you receive your news via Donald Trump tweet, or courtesy of proclamations by Larry Kudlow, you’d be forgiven for eagerly anticipating a groundbreaking U.S.-China trade deal to be announced imminently, and thinking such a deal will save the global economy from rolling over into a serious downturn as well as pacify geopolitical tensions between the number one and number two economies in the world. However, if you expect these things, I don’t think you’re paying attention.

Before we get a little into the weeds, let me be clear that I have no idea what Trump and Xi will, or will not, announce regarding trade. Trump seems fanatically obsessed with the stock market, and Xi’s been dealing with an economy in a tailspin. It’s certainly possible they come up with some sort of agreement they think will restore confidence in the global economy and convince people the last few months were nothing more than a “glitch.” It’s also important to understand this positive outcome appears to be assumed by the stock market and investors generally. Anything less might be seen as a colossal disappointment.

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Liberty Links 3/3/19

Liberty Links will only remain publicly available for two more weeks. If you’ve supported my work over the past year, I’ll continue to provide links via email blast.

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Top Links

Modern Monetary Theory Isn’t Helping (Really worth your time if you’ve been wondering about MMT, Jacobin)

Trump Says Dollar Too Strong in Renewed Criticism of Powell (Bloomberg)

The Right May Finally Get Its War on Iran (Very disturbing, TruthDig)

Netanyahu to Stand Trial for Bribery, Fraud and Breach of Trust, Pending Hearing (The Times of Israel)

Powell Delivers a Subtle Message to Markets (Utterly pathetic, Bloomberg)

If Central Banks Are the Only Game in Town, We’ve Lost (Bloomberg)

Boeing Nominates Former Trump UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to Board (CNBC)


Toll Brothers Orders Plunge as California Buyers Vanish (National Mortgage News)

Fintechs Help Boost U.S. Personal Loan Surge to a Record $138 Billion (CNBC)

Greener Childhood Associated With Happier Adulthood (NPR)

The Monster Pell Has Been Caged At Last (Sickening personal story about Catholic Church pedophilia by Caitlin Johnstone, Medium)

U.S. News/Politics

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You Can’t Stop the Cycle

2018’s valuation records are astounding in that they show the S&P 500 to be more fundamentally over-valued than it was at the prior two historic stock market valuation peaks in 1929 and 2000, bona fide speculative manias.

– From Crescat Capital’s recent investor letter

Cycles are perhaps the most natural and common occurrence in the universe. The planets orbit the sun, seasons change, day turns to night and night back to day, humans are born, grow old and die.

Some of these cycles are more pleasant to think about than others, but their consistent occurrence remains factually unassailable. Indeed, it could be said that a human life itself consists of an endless series of encounters with various cycles. Cycles of the natural world and cycles created by humans themselves. Human created cycles are the focal point of today’s piece.

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Liberty Links 2/24/19

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America’s 1% Hasn’t Had This Much Wealth Since Just Before the Great Depression (MarketWatch)

Americans Want a Less Aggressive Foreign Policy. It’s Time Lawmakers Listened to Them (Time)

Consumer Debt Hits $4 Trillion (CNBC)

House Launches Probe of U.S. Nuclear Plan in Saudi Arabia (Saudis with nukes — sounds like a great idea, BBC)

Supreme Court Delivers Unanimous Victory for Asset Forfeiture Challenge (Some good news for once, Reason)

Nest Secure Had a Secret Microphone, Can Now Be a Google Assistant (Google had a hidden mic in one of its products, CSO)

How CNN Led Facebook to Censor Pages of Russia-Backed Video Company and Manufactured News Story (Excellent read, ShadowProof)

USAID Mulls Proposal to Train Aid Workers as Special Forces (They aren’t even pretending anymore, Devex)

Under the Boot (A U.S. veteran’s critique of endless war, empire and Max Boot, The Baffler)

U.S. News/Politics

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Important Changes at Liberty Blitzkrieg

From time to time, I think it’s necessary and healthy to take a step back and reflect on what you’re doing and why. I recently did that with regard to my work and website.

When I quit my job on Wall Street nearly a decade ago, I had no idea how life would unfold. I walked away from a highly paid position to pursue some unknown future, a simultaneously exciting and terrifying decision. I was a single guy living in NYC back then, with no pressing obligations to anyone other than myself. I’m now married with three kids in Colorado.

I decided to leave financial services upon becoming disgusted by industry practices and the unconscionable public betrayal perpetrated by the U.S. government and Federal Reserve via its massive bailout of the few at the expense of the many. In short, the most powerful players in our society sacrificed the long-term health of the U.S economy and the nation’s overall social cohesion to save a corrupt and unethical industry and reward the very people responsible for the calamity. We don’t have a meritocracy or competitive free markets, we have a rigged system based on corruption and cronyism where the most dangerous and destructive amongst us consistently fail upward.

The Wall Street bailout, including the failure to prosecute bank executives for the extreme fraud of the pre-crisis period and subsequent economic catastrophe, was the most formative event of my life. It forced me to confront the reality of the sort of country and economy I was living in, and what I saw wasn’t pretty. Since I could never look at the world the same way again, I couldn’t live my life the same way either.

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Liberty Links 2/17/19

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Top Links

Do You Believe in the Deep State Now? (The American Conservative)

Senate Has Uncovered No Direct Evidence of Conspiracy Between Trump Campaign and Russia (You don’t say…NBC)

U.S. National Debt Soars to a Record $22 Trillion (Bloomberg)

U.S. Student Debt in ‘Serious Delinquency’ Tops $166 Billion (Bloomberg)

Auto-Loan Delinquencies Are the Highest Since 2012 (Bloomberg)

Apple and Google Accused of Helping ‘Enforce Gender Apartheid’ by Hosting Saudi Government App That Tracks Women and Stops Them Leaving the Country (Business Insider)

Fed to Finalize Plans to End Balance Sheet Runoff ‘at Coming Meetings’: Mester (They are panicking, Reuters)

Trump Shouldn’t Take the Easy Way Out Over China (Bloomberg)

Yes, Moscow Boosts Western Anti-Imperialist Voices. So What? (Caitlin Johnstone, Medium)

U.S. News/Politics

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YouTube Will Determine What ‘Conspiracy’ Is and Stop Recommending Such Videos

While the evolution of Google’s YouTube from a free expression platform into something entirely different has been underway for a while, it just took another step in a very short-sighted and restrictive direction. NBC News reports:

YouTube has announced that it will no longer recommend videos that “come close to” violating its community guidelines, such as conspiracy or medically inaccurate videos…Chaslot said that YouTube’s fix to its recommendations AI will have to include getting people to videos with truthful information and overhauling the current system it uses to recommend videos.

There’s a lot to unpack here so let’s get started. First, it appears YouTube has announced the creation of a new bucket when it comes to content uploaded to the site. It’s no longer just videos consistent with company guidelines and those that aren’t, but there’s now a category for “conspiracy or medically inaccurate videos.” This is a massive responsibility, which neither YouTube or anyone else seems fit to be judge and jury. In other words, YouTube is saying it’s comfortable deciding what is “conspiracy” and what isn’t. Which brings up a really important question.

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Liberty Links 2/10/19

If you appreciate my work and want to support independent content creators, consider becoming a monthly Patron, or visit the Support Page.

Top Links

Western Media Fall in Lockstep for Cheap Trump/Rubio Venezuela Aid PR Stunt (The lies and propaganda coming from the Trump admin on Venezuela is off the charts, FAIR)

Saudi Arabia and Its Coalition Partners Have Transferred American-Made Weapons to Al Qaeda-Linked Fighters (Everything the government tells you about war is a lie, CNN)

Inside the UAE’s Secret Hacking Team (Very disturbing on multiple levels, Reuters)

Hundreds of Bounty Hunters Had Access to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint Customer Location Data for Years (Motherboard)

Jeff Bezos Protests the Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds a Sprawling Surveillance State for Everyone Else (The Intercept)

France’s Yellow Vest Movement Comes of Age (Excellent read, The Nation)

Yellow Vest Protester Has Hand Partially Blown off as Clashes Break out Again in Paris (The Telegraph)

Congress’s Vote To Keep War In Afghanistan Sells Out American Soldiers (The Federalist)

The Great Middle East Head-Fake (Matt Taibbi writing at Rolling Stone)

Amazon Forced to Pull Products in India as New Rules Bite (India understands the dangers of how Amazon operates, BBC)

How to Stop Facebook’s Dangerous App Integration Ploy (The New York Times)

U.S. News/Politics

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