American Farmers Just Love Their GMOs and You Should Too

Biotech CornThe U.S. Department of Agriculture has
released its latest data
on farmers planting of crops
genetically enhanced to tolerate herbicides (HT) crops and to
resist insect pests (Bt).

HT soybeans went from 17 percent of U.S. soybean acreage to 94
percent in 2014. Plantings of HT cotton expanded from about 10
percent of U.S. acreage in 1997 to 91 percent in 2014. The adoption
of HT corn reached 89 percent of U.S. corn acreage in 2014.

Plantings of Bt corn grew from about 8 percent of U.S. corn
acreage in 1997 to 80 percent in 2014. Plantings of Bt cotton also
expanded rapidly, from 15 percent of U.S. cotton acreage in 1997 to
84 percent in 2014.

See the chart below for the trends.

USDA

Why are modern biotech crops so popular with farmers?

Earlier this year, U.S. News
reported
the views of Illinois farmer Katie Pratt:

According to Pratt, her family uses GMO crops because of the
clear value they bring to their family business. They have
greatly reduced the amount of insecticide that needs to be sprayed,
and they only need to treat the weeds at one point, not several
times over a growing season. Her soil has now improved, because she
and her family don’t have to tromp through the fields as often. The
family also uses less fuel, because they spend less time in the
tractor. “No one is more aware than the farmer of the impact
we have on the environment, in addition to the urgency to feed and
fuel a growing population, while
reducing our footprint on the planet,” she maintains.

And remember folks, biotech crops are not only good for the
environment, eating them as caused not so much as a cough, sniffle,
sneeze or bellyache. For example, a statement issued by the Board
of Directors of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science
, the largest
scientific organization in the United States, on October 20, 2012
point blank asserted that “contrary to popular misconceptions, GM
[genetically modified] crops are the most extensively tested crops
ever added to our food supply. There are occasional claims that
feeding GM foods to animals causes aberrations ranging from
digestive disorders, to sterility, tumors and premature death.
Although such claims are often sensationalized and receive a great
deal of media attention, none have stood up to rigorous scientific
scrutiny.” The AAAS Board concluded, “Indeed, the science is quite
clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of
biotechnology is safe.”

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Benjamin Netanyahu Had to Tell John Kerry “This is Not Vietnam”

well, there isn't a literal connection, dudeThe New Republic has
a longish piece
on how John Kerry got the latest iteration of
the Israeli-Palestinian peace process restarted and how it fell
apart around him. It involved a lot of talking and self-importance
on all sides. The article includes a lot of reporting on the
details of conversations between John Kerry and Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abba,
and other Israeli and Palestinian officials. Among the reported
conversations is this one that started about Palestinian
incitement:

Kerry pressed on: “When I fought in Vietnam, I used to look at
the faces of the local population and the looks they gave us. I’ll
never forget it. It gave me clarity that we saw the situation in
completely different ways.”

“This isn’t Vietnam!” Netanyahu shouted. “No one understands
Israel but Israel.”

Kerry tried explaining himself again: “No one is saying it’s
Vietnam. But I’ve been coming here for thirty years, and I’m
telling you, what’s building up in the Palestinians has only gotten
worse. I’ve seen it. It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong; it
just is. It can’t be solved if you can’t see it how they see
it.”

Read the rest of the rather unsurprising way Kerry’s peace
process unfolded
here
.

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The Illogical Basis of That $23 Billion Award Against R.J. Reynolds

On Friday a jury in Escambia County, Florida,

decided
 that R.J. Reynolds should pay $23 billion in
punitive damages to Cynthia Robinson, the widow of a smoker who
died of lung cancer in 1996. It is not the largest award ever in a
case involving a single smoker, but it’s close. And like a
California jury’s 2002
award
of $28 billion to a smoker who sued Philip Morris (a sum
that the judge later reduced by
a factor of 1,000), the case illustrates both the arbitrariness of
punitive damages and the implausibility of claiming that tobacco
companies managed to conceal the hazards of their products.

Although the main purpose of tort litigation is supposed to be
making victims whole, so-called punitive damages explicitly aim to
punish wrongdoers. That is usually the function of the criminal
justice system, which therefore provides additional
protections for defendants, including a higher standard of proof,
stricter evidence rules, and penalties prescribed by statute.
Attorneys seeking punitive damages do not have to contend with any
of those safeguards.

The very concept of punitive damages is oxymoronic, since
actual damages (a.k.a. compensatory damages) are a measure of the
harm caused by a tort. Punitive damages, by contrast, express a
jury’s outrage at the defendant’s conduct and may be completely
unmoored from the injury suffered by the plaintiff (who
nevertheless gets the money). In this case, the punitive damages
are about
1,400 times the actual damages,
which the jury put at $16 million. That huge mutiple seems to
violate

Florida law
, which caps the ratio of punitive to
compensatory damages at three or four unless “the defendant had a
specific intent to harm the claimant”—a description that clearly
does not apply to a tobacco company with millions of customers,
even if it prevented them from making informed decisions by hiding
the dangers posed by its products. 

The latter claim, which is central to this sort of
lawsuit, is hard to credit. The jury evidently was swayed by
evidence indicating that R.J. Reynolds executives questioned the
hazards and addictiveness of cigarettes in public while
acknowledging them in private. There surely is nothing to admire in
that sort of duplicity, but did it actually fool anyone? The first
surgeon general’s report linking smoking to deadly diseases came
out in 1964, and the subject received a great deal of attention
during the ensuing decade. By the time Cynthia Robinson’s husband
began smoking (around the age of 13, according to her testimony,
which would have been 1973), every pack of cigarettes carried a
warning stating that “The Surgeon General Has Determined That
Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health.” In 1985 that
statement was replaced by rotating warnings referring to specific
risks such as lung cancer, heart disease, and ephysema. As for the
addictive potential of tobacco, it has been widely acknowledged for
centuries, as I show in my
book
on the anti-smoking movement.

Anyone who began smoking in the 1970s and continued smoking for
the next two decades voluntarily assumed the well-known risks
associated with the habit. Nothing R.J. Reynolds said or failed to
say changes that reality, because it is impossible to conceal
common knowledge, no matter how much the tobacco companies might
have wished otherwise.

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Your TSA Security Fees Just Doubled, But Security Won’t Improve

As if flying weren’t costly enough, your
next plane ticket is going to be more expensive, thanks to the
federal government. Today the Transportation Security
Administration’s (TSA) security fee rose by more than double.

CNN reports:

Until Monday, a passenger was charged $2.50 for each leg of a
journey. For a nonstop round trip, the cost
was $5. For a round trip with a connection each way, the cost was
$10.

The fee was capped at two flights each way. That means you
couldn’t get charged more than $5 each way or $10 round trip, even
if you took three flights to get your destination.

Now, passengers must pay a flat fee of $5.60 in each direction,
no matter how many plane transfers are made to get from one city to
another.

For passengers flying a nonstop round trip, that means the fee
will increase from $5 to $11.20.

Passengers flying round-trip with a connection each way will see
their fees increase $1.20 to $11.20 per round trip, versus $10
before the fee increase.

Domestic flyers will also get hit with an additional $5.60 if
you have a layover that’s four hours or longer.

“Business travelers who fly non-stop routes, and travelers in
secondary markets requiring connections,”
suggests
Fox News, “will see the biggest impact.”

“Due to new TSA fee hike, travelers will pay a
billion dollars more per year in added taxes/fees,” tweeted Nick Calio, the
president and CEO of Airlines for America, an industry advocacy
group.

The securirty agency, which operates with an annual budget of
over $7 billion, gets a lot of flak.
More than half
of Americans believe all those pat-downs and
invasive body scans are mere security theater that have no real
deterrent on hijackings.  And those skeptics are right.
Research on the 13-year-old agency shows it so far
hasn’t
had a measurable effect on air travel safety.  

The “TSA estimates the hike will generate $16.9 billion more
than current collections,”
explains
USA Today. The heftier fee won’t actually do
much (if anything) to improve security, though. “Congress agreed to
the increase in December to raise $12.6 billion to cut the
deficit,” and nothing will go to security improvement until that’s
paid. 

Airlines for America
criticizes
that the government treating “airlines and their
passengers as its own personal ATM,” though some members of
Congress say they never intended for the TSA to charge this much.
Senate Budget Committee chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) has
contested
that the TSA changed how defines a “round trip”
flight in order to work around the cap Congress placed on the
agency’s fees.

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Peter Suderman on Dodd-Frank and the Age of Endless Regulation

Four
years after the passage of Dodd-Frank, the sweeping financial
legislation championed by President Obama and passed by
congressional Democrats in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis,
just half of its rules and regulations are finished. 

According to law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP,
which tracks implementation of the law, only 52 percent of its
nearly 400 rulemaking requirements are complete. At the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is chiefly responsible for
implementation of the law, just 44 percent of the
required rules are finalized or close.

Welcome to the age of endless regulation, writes Reason
Senior Editor Peter Suderman. 

View this article.

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Key Piece of Video “Evidence” for Russian Responsibility for Malaysian Plane Shootdown Debunked

Mish is a highly-respected financial blogger.   His Global Economic Analysis site routinely wins awards such as:

One of Mish’s trademarks is to speak with knowledgeable people in various subject areas, and report on what they said.

Today, Mish debunked one of the main pieces of video “evidence” claimed by the mainstream media to prove that Russia was behind the shootdown of the Malaysian plane over Ukraine:

Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks Russian and reads Ukrainian provided this update three hours ago.

Hello Mish,

 

On Friday, the Daily Mail, one of the major UK tabloids carried photos and video of what was alleged to be a rebel “Buk” launcher heading back to Russia.  The article carried a claim from some Ukrainian source that the launcher was missing several missiles after having shot them at the Malaysian 777.  The article was prominently linked to the Drudge Report, and so was probably viewed by several million people.

 

Today, this meme made it into Uncle Sam’s official narrative, as per the following New York Times excerpt:

 

On the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Mr. Kerry referred to a video that the Ukrainians have made public showing an SA-11 unit heading back to Russia after the downing of the plane with “a missing missile or so.”

 

The video referenced by the New York Times was, in fact, posted on the Facebook account of the Ukrainian Interior Minister. The allegation was that the launcher was crossing the border with Russia.

 

However, going by the billboard and other features of the scenery, Russian bloggers and news sources claim to have identified the road in the video as having been taken in or near the town of Krasnoarmeisk (“Krasnoarmiysk” in Ukrainian), which has been under Kiev’s control since May.

 

In fact, the billboard is supposedly advertising a Krasnoarmeisk car dealership.  Also, one of the structures in the background is said to be a construction materials store on Gorkii Street, Krasnoarmeisk.

 

Please note that this town is (very roughly) 120 kilometers from the Russian border and 80 kilometers from where the Malaysian 777 went down.  And again, it has been under Kiev’s control since May.

 

At least one other clip of the “Russian Buk” that has been made available also suggests that the Ukrainians are showing their own equipment. I’m still working on researching that one for you.

 

Jacob

Video in Question

 

It is beyond incredibly sloppy for Ukraine to release such a video with a clear billboard of something in Ukraine-held territory, purportedly showing a Buk missile launcher headed back to Russia.

 

And we are supposed to believe Kiev? Kerry?

 

Please be serious. If you are really interested in the truth, you do not resort to such easily disproved and sloppy bullsheet.

This is – of course, not the first piece of video “evidence” trumpeted by the MSM which has been debunked.




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With ISIS Now Controlling 35% Of Syria And Most Of Its Oil Fields, Iraq Issues An Ultimatum To The US

Remember when the extremist Al Qaeda spinoff ISIS (or, now known as Islamic State following the formation of its own caliphate in the middle of Iraq and Syria) was still a “thing” two weeks ago? In this case out of sight does not mean out of mind, and while the world has found a new story line to follow in the middle east with the war between Israel and Gaza, now in its 14th day – whenever it is not busy responding to emotional appeals about the MH 17 crash – ISIS has continued to expand and as Al Arabiya reports it “is now in control of 35 percent of the Syrian territory following a string of victories, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.

What’s more troubling is that ISIS holdings now include nearly all of Syria’s oil and gas fields. While these are hardly significant on a global scale, they certainly allow ISIS to preserve its self-sustaining and self-funding status.

One of the latest gains of the self-proclaimed “caliphate” was the seizure of the country’s biggest oil fields, in Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria, earlier in the week.

 

Deir Ezzor borders Homs province as well as Iraq, where the jihadist group has spearheaded a major Sunni militant offensive that has seen large swathes of territory fall out of the Baghdad government’s control.

 

Meanwhile, jihadists have killed 270 Syrian regime fighters, civilian security guards and employees since seizing a gas field in Homs province, the Observatory added, according to Agence France-Presse.

 

The London-based group described Thursday’s takeover of the Shaar field as “the biggest” anti-regime operation by the ISIS since it emerged in the Syrian conflict a year ago.

 

“Eleven of the dead were civilian employees, while the rest were security guards and National Defence Forces members,” he added.

 

A counter-attack by Bashar al-Assad’s forces on Friday left 40 ISIS militants dead, Abdel Rahman said.

 

The Syrian government did not officially confirm the deaths, but supporters of Assad posted photographs of the dead, and described their killings as a “massacre”.

Ironically, it only took ISIS a little over a month to take over Syria’s energy infrastructure and cripple the Assad regime, something the US forces were unable to do last summer.  Perhaps it is time for the Pentagon to retain them as mercenaries?

As for ISIS in Iraq, things continue to escalate and as the Institute for the Study of War reports, ISIS has placed IEDs in places such as Mada’in, Yusifiyah, and Mahmudiyah in the southern belts of Baghdad. Iraqi Shi’a militia executions inside Baghdad may increase in response to the VBIED wave in Shi’a neighborhoods on July 19. The deployment of volunteers from southern Iraq to Kirkuk province signifies the spread of their role to protect shrines in areas where ISIS is making advances. The reallocation of Iraqi security forces from Baghdad to Dhuluiya signals the real challenge that ISIS poses there.

ISW’s conclusion is that ISIS may try to draw the ISF out of Baghdad in advance of more robust attackes there.

Visually, here are the latest areas of conflict in Iraq.

Perhaps sensing the fact that the tide of war may be shifting for the worse, Iraq has become increasingly more vocal in demanding US assistance and a few hours ago went as far as to issue an ultimatum on the US – help us now or we will find another bigger borther, one who will actually help us.

Bloomberg reports that earlier today, speaking at the Atlantic Council, the Iraqi Ambassador to U.S. Lukman Faily called for US air strikes warning that Iraqis are skeptical about U.S. intent to support Iraq in its fight against Sunni terrorist groups, and implicitly threatening that “other countries will step in to fill the vacuum if greater American support isn’t forthcoming.”

Faily calls for U.S. air strikes to stop influx of terrorists from Syria, to target “terrorist camps,” and precision air strikes in urban areas “occupied by ISIL terrorists”

He also said that Iraq has chosen the U.S. as its preferred strategic partner, has bought >$10b in U.S. military equipment and plans “to buy billions more.”

“If Iraqis do not believe meaningful U.S. assistance is forthcoming, they will not have enough incentives to adopt political reforms. Now more than ever the United States needs to be careful not to send mixed signals about its intentions. These mixed signals will create vacuum that will be filled by others.”

Such as Russia?

As for Iraq, in the future pick better “preferred strategic partners.




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Krugman: CBO Doesn’t Know How To Read Its Own Report

Submitted by Robert Murphy via Mises Canada blog,

Paul Krugman reads the latest long-term forecast from the US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and he likes what he sees. Even though the nearby graph is the CBO’s projections for the growth of federal debt, Krugman nonetheless offers this rosy commentary:

Nick Bunker notes an important point about the CBO’s new long-term fiscal projections (pdf): The budget office has marked down its estimate of long-term interest rates…

 

This markdown has the effect of making the budget outlook — which was already a lot less dire than conventional wisdom has it — look even less dire. But there’s a further point worth emphasizing: the CBO has just declared an end to the debt spiral.

 

You’ve heard the story: the more debt we have, the more we pay in interest, so the bigger the deficit, and the faster debt grows, until boom, we’ve turned into Greece, Greece I tell you.

 

…So we turn to Table A-1 on page 104 of the CBO report, and we learn that for the next 25 years CBO projects an average interest rate on federal debt of 4.1 percent and an average growth rate of nominal GDP of 4.3 percent. And this means no debt spiral at all.

 

Now, wait a second, you may say: higher debt will mean higher borrowing rates, because people will fear that we’re about to turn into Greece, Greece I tell you. That was the theme of quite a few analyses…

 

As many of us pointed out, however, such results were driven almost entirely by the euro crisis; high-debt countries that borrow in their own currencies haven’t seemed to face anything like the same costs…

 

I don’t want to say that debt doesn’t matter at all. But it clearly matters a lot less than the fearmongers tried to tell us.

Huh, even though that graph–which I took from the cover of the CBO report–looks pretty scary, apparently the report actually shows that the budget outlook “is even less dire.” I mean, Krugman tells us that the CBO has declared “an end to the debt spiral,” and some of the numbers on page 104 of the report apparently mean that the fearmongers are full of it–we don’t need to worry about the debt getting out of control.

In contrast to Krugman’s optimistic assessment of what the CBO report says, here’s a decidedly different take:

The gap between federal spending and revenues would widen after 2015 under the assumptions of the extended baseline, CBO projects. By 2039, the deficit would equal 6.5 percent of GDP, larger than in any year between 1947 and 2008, and federal debt held by the public would reach 106 percent of GDP, more than in any year except 1946—even without factoring in the economic effects of growing debt.

 

Beyond the next 25 years, the pressures caused by rising budget deficits and debt would become even greater unless laws governing taxes and spending were changed. With deficits as big as the ones that CBO projects, federal debt would be growing faster than GDP, a path that would ultimately be unsustainable.

 

How long the nation could sustain such growth in federal debt is impossible to predict with any confidence. At some point, investors would begin to doubt the government’s willingness or ability to pay its debt obligations, which would require the government to pay much higher interest costs to borrow money. Such a fiscal crisis would present policymakers with extremely difficult choices and would probably have a substantial negative impact on the country.

 

Even before that point was reached, the high and rising amount of federal debt that CBO projects under the extended baseline would have significant negative consequences for both the economy and the federal budget…

Well gee whiz, what kind of fearmonger wrote this shoddy analysis? As Krugman gets sick and tired of pointing out, talking about the debt leading to a “fiscal crisis” and spiking interest rates just shows how ignorant the analyst is, because everybody knows this type of thing can’t happen to the United States. You would think that someone describing the CBO analysis would finally get it, since–Krugman has just assured us–the new CBO report shows that there will be no debt spiral and that the fearmongers are full of it.

So where did I grab the above analysis? The Heritage Foundation? The Wall Street Journal? John Cochrane’s blog?

Nope, I quoted the above from the Executive Summary of the new CBO report itself. But it doesn’t appear until page 3 of the report, so I’m guessing most of Krugman’s readers won’t see it.




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The Fed’s Cancerous Actions Are Killing the Patient

Many commentators consider what the Fed has done to be akin to providing stimulus, morphine, juice to an ailing economy.

 

We believe Fed’s actions would be more appropriately described as permitted cancerous beliefs to spread throughout the financial system, thereby killing Democratic Capitalism which is the basis of the capital markets.

 

Today we’re going to explain what the “final outcome” for this process will be. The short version is what happens to a cancer patient who allows the disease to spread unchecked (death).

 

In the case of the Fed’s actions we will see a similar “death” of Democratic Capitalism and the subsequent death of the capital markets.

 

We are, of course, talking in metaphors here: the world will not end, and commerce and business will continue, but the form of capital markets and Capitalism we are experiencing today will cease to exist as the Fed’s policies result in the market and economy eventually collapsing in such a fashion that what follows will bear little resemblance to that which we are experiencing now.

 

The focus of this “death” will not be stocks, but bonds, particularly sovereign bonds: the asset class against which all monetary policy and investment theory has been based for the last 80+ years.

 

Indeed, basic financial theory has proposed that sovereign bonds are essentially the only true “risk-free” investment in the world. While history shows this theory to be false (sovereign defaults have occurred throughout the 20th century) this has been the basic tenant for all investment models and indeed the financial system at large going back for 80 some odd years.

 

The reason for this is that the Treasury (US sovereign bond) market is the basis of the entire monetary system in the US and the Global financial system in general. Indeed, US Treasuries are the senior most assets on the Primary Dealers’ (world’s largest banks) balance sheets. To understand why this is as well as why the Fed’s policies will ultimately destroy this system, you first need to understand the Primary Dealer system that is the basis for the US banking system at large.

 

If you’re unfamiliar with the Primary Dealers, these are the 18 banks at the top of the US private banking system. They’re in charge of handling US Treasury Debt auctions and as such they have unprecedented access to US debt both in terms of pricing and monetary control.

 

The Primary Dealers are:

 

  1. Bank of America
  2. Barclays Capital Inc.
  3. BNP Paribas Securities Corp.
  4. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
  5. Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
  6. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
  7. Daiwa Securities America Inc.
  8. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
  9. Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  10. HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
  11. J. P. Morgan Securities Inc.
  12. Jefferies & Company Inc.
  13. Mizuho Securities USA Inc.
  14. Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated
  15. Nomura Securities International Inc.
  16. RBC Capital Markets
  17. RBS Securities Inc.
  18. UBS Securities LLC.

 

You’re bound to recognize these names by the mere fact that they are the exact banks that the Fed focused on “saving” thereby removing their “risk of failure” during the Financial Crisis.

 

These banks are also the largest beneficiaries of the Fed’s largest monetary policies: QE 1, QE lite, QE 2, QE 3, QE 4, etc. Indeed, we now know that QE 2 was in fact was meant to benefit those Primary Dealers in Europe, not the US housing market. The same goes for QE 3 and QE 4.

 

The Primary Dealers are the firms that buy US Treasuries during debt auctions. Once the Treasury debt is acquired by the Primary Dealer, it’s parked on their balance sheet as an asset. The Primary Dealer can then leverage up that asset and also fractionally lend on it, i.e. create more debt and issue more loans, mortgages, corporate bonds, or what have you.

 

Put another way, Treasuries are not only the primary asset on the large banks’ balance sheets, they are in fact the asset against which these banks lend/ extend additional debt into the monetary system, thereby controlling the amount of money in circulation in the economy.

 

When the Financial Crisis hit in 2007-2008, the Fed responded in several ways, but the most important for the point of today’s discussion is the Fed removing the “risk of failure” for the Primary Dealers by spreading these firms’ toxic debts onto the public’s balance sheet and funneling trillions of dollars into them via various lending windows.

 

In simple terms, the Fed took what was killing the Primary Dealers (toxic debts) and then spread it onto the US’s balance sheet (which was already sickly due to our excessive debt levels). This again ties in with my “cancer” metaphor, much as cancer spreads by infecting healthy cells.

 

When the Fed did this it did not save capitalism or the Capital Markets. What it did was allow the “cancer” of excessive leverage, toxic debts, and moral hazard to spread to the very basis of the US, indeed the entire world’s, financial system: the US balance sheet/ Sovereign Bond market.

 

These actions have already resulted in the US losing its AAA credit rating. But that is just the beginning. Indeed, few if any understand the real risk of what the Fed has done.

 

The reality is that the Fed has done the following:

 

1)   Set itself up for a collapse: at $4+ trillion, the Fed’s balance sheet is now larger that the economies of Brazil, the UK, or France. And with capital of only $54 billion, the Fed is leveraged at over 50 to 1 (Lehman was at 30 to 1 when it failed).

 

2)   Called the risk profile of US sovereign debt into question: foreign investors, now fully aware that the US’s balance sheet is suspect (the US has lost its AAA credit rating), are dumping Treasuries (see China and Russia). This has resulted in the Fed now being responsible for the purchase of up to 91% of all new long-term (20+ years) US debt issuance.

 

3)   Put the entire Financial System (not just the private banks) at risk.

 

The Financial System requires trust to operate. Having changed the risk profile of US sovereign debt, the Fed has undermined the very basis of the US banking system (remember Treasuries are the senior most asset against which all banks lend).

 

Moreover, the Fed has undermined investor confidence in the capital markets as most now perceive the markets to be a “rigged game” in which certain participants, namely the large banks, are favored, while the rest of us (including even smaller banks) are still subject to the basic tenants of Democratic Capitalism: risk of failure.

 

This has resulted in retail investors fleeing the markets while institutional investors and those forced to participate in the markets for professional reasons now invest based on either the hope of more intervention from the Fed or simply front-running those Fed policies that have already been announced.

 

Put another way, the financial system and capital markets are no longer a healthy, thriving system of Democratic Capitalism in which a multitude of participants pursue different strategies. Instead they are an environment fraught with risk in which there is essentially “one trade,” and that trade is based on cancerous policies and beliefs that undermine the very basis of Democratic Capitalism, which in the end, is the foundation of the capital markets.

 

In simple terms, by damaging trust and permitting Wall Street to dump its toxic debts on the public’s balance sheet, the Fed has taken the Financial System from a status of extremely unhealthy to terminal.

 

The end result will be a Crisis that makes 2008 look like a joke. It will be a Crisis in which the US Treasury market and sovereign bonds in general implode, taking down much of the US banking system with it (remember, Treasuries are the senior most assets on US bank balance sheets).

 

We cannot say when this will happen. But it will happen. It might be next week, next month, or several years from now. But we’ve crossed the point of no return. The Treasury market is almost entirely dependent on the Fed to continue to function. That alone should make it clear that we are heading for a period of systemic risk that is far greater than anything we’ve seen in 80+ years (including 2008).

 

The Fed is not a “dealer” giving “hits” of monetary morphine to an “addict”… the Fed has permitted cancerous beliefs to spread throughout the financial system. And the end result is going to be the same as that of a patient who ignores cancer and simply acts as though everything is fine.

 

That patient is now past the point of no return. There can be no return to health. Instead the system will eventually collapse and then be replaced by a new one.

 

This concludes this article. If you’re looking for the means of protecting your portfolio from the coming collapse, you can pick up a FREE investment report titled Protect Your Portfolio at http://ift.tt/170oFLH.

 

This report outlines a number of strategies you can implement to prepare yourself and your loved ones from the coming market carnage.

 

Best Regards

 

Phoenix Capital Research

 

 




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