Thursday, March 9, 2017

Alastair Crooke — Steve Bannon’s Apocalyptic ‘Unravelling’

Steve Bannon is accustomed to start many of his talks to activists and Tea Party gatherings in the following way: “At 11 o’clock on 18 September 2008, Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke told the U.S. President that they had already stove-piped $500 billions of liquidity into the financial system during the previous 24 hours – but needed a further one Trillion dollars, that same day.

“The pair said that if they did not get it immediately, the U.S. financial system would implode within 72 hours; the world’s financial system, within three weeks; and that social unrest and political chaos could ensue within the month.” (In the end, Bannon notes, it was more like $5 trillion that was required, though no one really knows how much, as there has been no accounting for all these trillions).

We (the U.S.) have”, he continues, “in the wake of the bailouts that ensued, liabilities of $200 trillions, but net assets – including everything – of some $50-60 trillion.” (Recall that Bannon is himself a former Goldman Sachs banker).

“We are upside down; the industrial democracies today have a problem we have never had before; we are over-leveraged (we have to go through a massive de-leveraging); and we have built a welfare state which is completely and totally unsupportable.

“And why this is a crisis … the problem … is that the numbers have become so esoteric that even the guys on Wall Street, at Goldman Sachs, the guys I work with, and the Treasury guys … It’s so tough to get this together … Trillion dollar deficits … etcetera.”

But, Bannon says — in spite of all these esoteric, unimaginable numbers wafting about — the Tea Party women (and it is mainly led by women, he points out) get it. They know a different reality: they know what groceries now cost, they know their kids have $50,000 in college debt, are still living at home, and see no jobs in prospect: “The reason I called the film Generation Zero is because this generation, the guys in their 20s and 30s: We’ve wiped them out.”...
Is Bannonomics reflective of Trumponomics?

Consortium News
Steve Bannon’s Apocalyptic ‘Unravelling’
Alastair Crooke | founder and director of the Conflicts Forum and former British diplomat and senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy

36 comments:

Six said...

Bannon's a we're-out-of-money guy?

John said...

"...liabilities of $200 trillions, but net assets – including everything – of some $50-60 trillion..."

This stupid bastard is the pussy-grabber's closest adviser?

Guns, gold and canned goods don't seem such a bad idea...

Matthew Franko said...

They are ALLLLLLL "we're out of money!" guys...

Of course you guys can go on keep thinking its all one big "neoliberal conspiracy!"...

John said...

Matt, those are two different things. What, you think that everyone woke up tomorrow knowing what you know that the neoliberal conspiracy would come to an end? That may just be the start of it! The conspirators would be even more efficient in ripping everybody off. Would calling the conspiracy something else be more to your liking? Surely you don't deny that there exists neoliberal economic policy? That neoliberalism exists? And in any case, the "we're out of money" dunces have been saying that since time immemorial, before neoliberalism and when we were never richer and had lots of money. Whether its the post-Depression years, post-2008 crisis bailouts, post-1989 Japan, all evidence to the contrary is considered irrelevant. We're ALWAYS "out of money", no matter what economic system in place and even if we're swimming in the stuff. Either it's a term of propaganda to redirect the money into the pockets of the rich, or these people will not be satisfied until we all embrace the "libertarian paradise" of anarcho-capitalism. Since propaganda is by far the more likely, the two things - being "out of money" and neoliberalism - are not linked.

Most of us go one step further and accept the reality and the historical basis of neoliberalism as a conspiracy: elites (economists, policy makers in state institutions and politicians) in the seventies knowingly lied to their respective publics to remould the economies from a broadly Keynesian and liberal (in the US) or social democratic (in Europe) to a financialized and more privatized political economy. Part of the conspiracy was to destroy trade unions: many declassified papers and memoirs of the conspirators attest to the conspiracy to destroy unions.

Whether it's the EU, neoliberalism, wars, tax cuts for the rich are good for the poor, social security, etc the public is always lied to. There are the "patriots" who have got it into their heads that their country (whatever that means) never lies to them, even as they're waiting for an artificial limb to replace the one they left half way around the world. Countries don't and can't lie. Governments can and do lie. In fact, that's all they do. Whether they do it knowingly (a conspiracy) or unknowingly (well-meaning stupidity) is pretty moot to the poor bastard who can't get decent healthcare.

Matthew Franko said...

I think all of you guys are still closeted libertarians...

Matthew Franko said...

You come up with this whole "neo-liberal conspiracy!" canard to cover up your libertarianism...

Tom Hickey said...

Well, the flip side of libertarianism is authoritarianism.

There are libertarians of the left and right, and authoritarians of the left and right.

That's the matrix of the Political Compass.

Noah Way said...

@Matt

Straw man. Try again.

Matthew Franko said...

"poor bastard who can't get decent healthcare"

If Trump can fastball this $14k USD credit for an uninsured household making less than $150,000 thru there is going to be much less of that...

They send door to door sales people all over the place here trying to sign people up for solar panels and there is an order of magnitude less USD balances of tax credit at play there...

It may be like sharks feeding on a floating dead whale carcass...

Noah Way said...

@Matt: once again, for the hard of hearing, a tax credit doesn't mean anything to the 47% of American citizens who don't earn enough to pay federal taxes. Your outrage should be reserved for the the fact that half your fellow countrymen are living in or near poverty.

lastgreek said...

I think all of you guys are still closeted libertarians...

That goes double for CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Wait...!

;)

John said...

Libertarian? Guilty as charged. Leftwing libertarianism is a world away from rightwing libertarianism. As Tom says, libertarianism is the opposite of authoritarianism. And since the right has always been wrong about everything, all sensible people are leftwing libertarians :)

As for Trump getting through a healthcare plan that is receptive to the GOPhers without it being the status quo ante, don't hold your breath. I hear these town hall meetings are a real bitch for the congressional GOPhers. The rightwing base is piling on the pressure. After decades of being brainwashed and told that the GOP could work "free market" wonders if only they controlled all branches of government, the brainwashed base has decided to hold the GOPs feet to the fire. After all, the GOP demanded that their feet be held to the fire. Revenge of the delusional rightwing base...

I suppose Trump could repeal Obamacare and replace it with the ACA. That could work.

John said...

Noah: "Your outrage should be reserved for the the fact that half your fellow countrymen are living in or near poverty."

That's the most incredible and depressing statistic I've ever come across about an industrialised country, let alone the wealthiest country in history. Dysfunctional doesn't begin to cover it.

lastgreek said...

Is there an example of a private-for-profit healthcare system in the world where it's a success?

Or, other than the United States, is there a country in the world where it has only a private-for-profit healthcare system?

Matthew Franko said...

Noah,

It's a refundable tax credit here:

"A refundable tax credit is a type of tax credit that is treated as a payment. ... By contrast, a nonrefundable tax credit can reduce a person's federal income tax liability to at most zero, and any remaining or unused tax credits are not refunded back to the taxpayer."

https://www.thebalance.com/refundable-tax-credits-3193462

In the language they are terming it a "monthly" tax credit meaning they will put a monthly USD amount in a persons MSA if they dont have other insurance ... $1200/mo for a household earning less than $150k...

Why do you think the human garbage aka libertarians are opposing it?

I'm going to run this $14k past my broker next week to see what she thinks ... dont want to bother her this week she is probably fielding too many calls already... I think this $14k might be pretty substantial...

Matthew Franko said...

85% of healthcare in the US is provided by NON PROFIT institutions....

lastgreek said...

I want to see which dumbass eventually owns it :)

Will it be ...

Trump: #Trumpcare

Ryan: #Ryancare

GOP: #GOPcare

Abominable Snowman: #Abominacare

Me, I got my money on the last guy :)

Matthew Franko said...

"half your fellow countrymen are living in or near poverty."

See what happens to that % when they kick the illegals out...

Tom Hickey said...

See what happens to that % when they kick the illegals out...

Picking strawberries?

Matthew Franko said...

Noah its like our EITC:

"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earned_income_tax_credit

"The maximum EITC with one qualifying child is $3,250, with two children, it is $5,372, and with three or more qualifying children, it is $6,044.[3][4][5] These amounts are indexed annually for inflation."


Here is an interesting phrasing:

On December 4, 2014, The Atlantic reported that the EITC will reduce revenue to the federal government by about $70 billion in 2015.[6]"

so you can see here with their whacky Modified Accrual methodology, they treat a refundable credit of USDs to the non-govt as "reduced revenue!" so this is how Trump is getting this past the "deficit!" morons...

their Modified Accrual is so f-ed up that they see a govt credit of non-govt of USD balances as a revenue reduction... pretty f-ed up but whatever works...

the GOP has taken no flak from the "deficit!" morons so far just the disgraced, human pieces of garbage, sub-human scum aka libertarians...

Matthew Franko said...

They are going to have to raise wages Tom... perhaps substantially...

Mike's potential of stagflation is in view here...

Or they are going to have to get better at getting the foreign worker people legitimate...

Matthew Franko said...

Tom remember Bannon: "we're going to throw some stuff up on the wall..."

They are cowboy keynesians... not ideal ...

Matthew Franko said...

"they see a govt credit of non-govt of USD balances as a revenue reduction"

With their Modified Accrual its like they use Accrual for the right side and treat the left side as Cash Basis... so they are stymied by the concept of a 'refundable tax credit' ... to them its on the left side (revenue reduction with the word "tax" used which means revenue) and they cant accrue it so they cant use a projection and their projected "deficit!" looks smaller as the right side is not afffected by a tax credit so there is nothing to accrue...

Foiled by their own moronism....

Just have to get it by the libertarian scum on ideological grounds...

Bill said...

The flip side of authoritarianism is not libertarianism, despite the apparent linguistic opposition. Consider the libertarian goddess, Ayn Rand. An authoritarian if there ever was one.

Matthew Franko said...

"The flip side of authoritarianism is not libertarianism"

Oh yes it is....

Noah Way said...

@Matt: nowhere does it say "refundable". Bait and switch. Try again.

Help Americans access affordable, quality health care by providing a monthly tax credit—between $2,000 and $14,000 a year—for low- and middle-income individuals and families who don’t receive insurance through work or a government program.

https://housegop.leadpages.co/healthcare/

It also repeals the Net Investment Income Tax, reduces Medicare payments, eliminates coverage for abortion, etc., etc., etc. This is essentially another step towards dismantling any form of public health care (er ... "insurance", not to be confused with any particular medical practice or procedure).

Greg said...

The fact that most healthcare is provided by "non profit" institutions is not a refutation of the fact that most healthcare is privatized.

Non profit institutions are ones which have no stockholders, that it. But they still have a way too top heavy structure which means fewer dollars paying for actual nurses, doctors etc which means less going to actual patient care. They run their businesses just like a privatized one and most are still not public entities.

Matthew Franko said...

"But they still have a way too top heavy structure which means fewer dollars paying for actual nurses, doctors etc which means less going to actual patient care."

Then perhaps sounds like they should be privatized or PPPed so investors can demand efficiency leading to a return...

Single payer does nothing to stop what you are talking about... it just feeds it...

Matthew Franko said...

Its refundable this is the whole point:

"SEC. 15. REFUNDABLE TAX CREDIT FOR HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE."

"‘(b) MONTHLY CREDIT AMOUNTS.— 4 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The monthly credit amount 5 with respect to any taxpayer for any calendar month 6 is the lesser of— 7 ‘‘(A) the sum of the monthly limitation 8 amounts determined under subsection (c) with 9 respect to the taxpayer and the taxpayer’s 10 qualifying family members for such month, or 11 ‘‘(B) the amount paid for eligible health 12 insurance for the taxpayer and the taxpayer’s 13 qualifying family members for such month. "

Here is the link to the pdf of the bill go to page 89 of 123:

http://bit.ly/2mAsBiT


They are going to put a USD credit into a households MSA for about $1200 every month... I think this option might be the most substantial...

Matthew Franko said...

It may be really good for people who are "gigging" rather than "workin' for the man..."

Matthew Franko said...

I would think that the USD credit will show up in the right column of the Cash Basis DTS which is what you always want with a numismatic system ... but the "deficit!" morons dont use the Cash Basis DTS...

Six said...

The doctors at the non-profit hospital I go to don't work for the non-profit hospital.

Matthew Franko said...

Six maybe we should bring back slavery and make the doctors be slaves????

Might work....

Greg said...

"Single payer does nothing to stop what you are talking about... it just feeds it..."


Depends. The current model has hospital entities and physicians vying for a pool of insurance money from multiple insurers and the govt. Each entity strikes deals for reimbursement and then sets its budgets from there. The insurers are constantly screaming that they dont have enough money to pay out for medical care (while insurance executives, who add NOTHING to the process) walk away with billions between them If there is only one insurance company there is only one executive who can walk away with millions. At hospitals its the same model, the CEO gets his and cuts everywhere else form the pie, even needed services. If we treated much of healthcare like we do defense, we just pay a fair amount for what we need. Most people want their doctor happy and well compensated and dont begrudge them , same with nurses. Its all the non patient care people that are overpaid, in the minds of most patients and certainly ALL healthcare workers. I can tell you that there is not ONE single patient care deliverer at our institution that does not think that the overpaid ones are the ones who 1) dont touch a patient 2) dont take call 3) dont catch hell when there is a bad outcome.

If the payment model was skewed more towards compensating those who do actual health care work and get rid of or sharply curtail salaries, of those who never touch a sick person, then we could get more care happier providers and way less overhead

Tom Hickey said...

There are NO solutions that are applicable to healthcare in the developed world that would simultaneously reduce cost through markets and achieve what the society demands, whether it be universal access or health care that is affordable to all. NONE, ZERO, NADA. The sooner that this is admitted the faster the fix.

Cost limitation is based on the error of lack of affordability. Single payer nominal cost is zero when funded by a currency sovereign that issues its currency. Those chits are just bookkeeping.

The only question is distribution of real resources that are available to the society. Medical investments are not in serious competition with other vital needs of the society, and medical investments add to useful goods and services. Medical investment is a poster child for public investment. It's win-win all around. There is no crowd out.

Now much of the increase in cost in provision is due to constantly improving technology that improves outcomes, including pharma. The result is increased life-span and quality of life.

One of the objections is that healthcare is too dominant in GDP. That's nonsense. The dominant factors in GDP should be providing necessities such as clean air and water, nutritious food, education, a legal system, security, etc. Health care is one of those necessities.

As others have said, its not the providers that are extracting rent. The old model of single providers competing with each other is long-gone. It turned out to be way too inefficient given the admin expenses as well as technology. It's much more efficient for providers to join institutions that take care of the admin and share technology. That adds the expense of management and top level managers get paid on the level of other sectors. As ever, determine where the rent is being extracted and eliminate that through law and regulation that prevents it or tax it away.

The arguments over health care are so stupid as to be beyond belief. It's possible now to provide just everyone on the planet high quality heath care by increasing public investment education, training, and technology. At zero cost of capital for currency sovereigns that issue not only the principal but also the interest if securities are also issued.


Jeff65 said...

Matt said:

"Single payer does nothing to stop what you are talking about... it just feeds it..."

NOPE. You haven't the slightest clue what you're talking about here, Matt.