GOOD NEWS! – King's Ransom? – Never Again! – Potholes – Awful April – Smart Panic – Homes at Risk – Geriatric Tyrants – HMG Black Ops – Zero Not - Letter from Great Britain [04-01-23]
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” [Bob Marley]. Take note Hancock et al!
GOOD NEWS! At last I can report some encouraging NEWS: The BBC reported from Switzerland a while ago where the combination of a mild winter and the virtual disappearance of pests, like the spaghetti weevil, have resulted in a bumper spaghetti crop.
CORRECTION: I said last week: "AT1 investors usually take priority in distribution of residual funds in insolvency ahead of shareholders." Which is true but now, thanks to BOOM, I discover that the Credit Suisse AT1 (CoCo) bonds contained a hidden condition in the small print which is rare and never before seen involving a bank the size of Credit Suisse .
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APRIL NEWS FLASH: It's April Fools week and it seems we have plenty of them in Parliament! Here are some of the piglets feeding at the trough caught in a honey trap:
Two of the prime goofs were the former chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, and former health secretary, Matt Hancock, who agreed to 'work' for £10,000 a day. Their brief was to further the interests of a fake South Korean firm by using their illicit insider networks after apparently being duped by a campaign group appropriately named 'Led by Donkeys'.
Kwarteng attended a preliminary meeting at his parliamentary office and agreed in principle to be paid his daily rate after saying he did not require a “king’s ransom”. When Hancock was asked his daily rate, he responded: “It’s 10,000 sterling.”
Well, I don't know about you, but to me this certainly is more than a 'king's ransom' and is so emblematic of the corruption at the heart of the British government. At a time when countless millions of Brits are fighting to stay out of the gutter, these fat cats carry on regardless of the chaos they have caused with NO ACCOUNTABILITY.
They should be in jail but we all know that 'they make the rules, break the rules and walk away with the loot, none the worse, blinded by their hubris and greed'. And how do 'the bought and paid-for' Establishment deal with these crimes of moral decadence? They set up an 'Inquiry' which will persist for decades by which time it's all buried in the mist and the felons walk free.
Watch the 'Covid Inquiry' progress – it's only taken 3 years to set up! I bet you a 'king's ransom' to a cheese sandwich that we hear no more until our geriatric leaders have long departed and many more engineered crises have arrived to smother any recollection in the public's mind. So what else have they got planned for our sinking island home? Neil Oliver as always is over the target:
THE LOCKDOWN FILES three years on: NEVER AGAIN: There were no fewer than 14 drinks parties in and around Whitehall and No.10 during the 12 month period of lockdowns in 2020/21. Some completely escaped Sue Gray's report and others were not investigated by the police. Here is a detailed list of them. I've asked on several occasions: "what did these jolly bureaucrats know that the common people didn't?" Three years later now we know that heads must roll; don't let them get away with it!
Readers may be aware that I have zero regard for the cunning BoJo; notwithstanding his brilliant mind, he has demonstrated to me, not only a total lack of self -awareness, but I also believe he might have serious deficiencies of character verging on Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD), which is a classic narcissistic personality. I must emphasise that this is my own considered opinion as a trained counsellor (I am not a psychiatrist). Check out these standard personality traits associated with HPD and see if they fit:
Feeling very uncomfortable if you are not the centre of attention
Feeling you have to entertain people (a no-brainer)
Constantly seeking and feeling dependent on the approval of others
Making rash decisions (say no more – too many to list)
Flirting or behave/dress provocatively as the centre of attention (QED)
Having a reputation for being dramatic and over-emotional (2020+)
Easily influenced (Lord Sumption mentioned this and we all suffered)
Believes special reasons making you different, better or more deserving
Having fragile self-esteem, looking to others for self-worth and needs
Feeling upset when ignored; not getting the attention you feel you deserve
Resenting other people's successes (Sunak challenge?)
Putting your own needs above others and demanding they attend to yours
Seen as selfish and dismissive or unaware of other people's needs.
SO, how did BoJo perform at his grilling recently? Some will say he did well enough but I think maybe he lacked a degree of humility when pushing his concept of "motivating workers in difficult Covid conditions" as opposed to an appearance of 'partying'. For me this doesn't carry much weight. From what I have seen and read; if it sounds like a party, looks like a party, and presents as a party – it's probably is a party!
As in this type of conflict there are pluses and minuses on both sides. Are we to diminish BoJo's success as London Mayor and getting Brexit half-done against the odds, or should he be hung out to dry for his proclivity for partying and being a good jolly fellow?
Even if this were true – is BoJo good material for a presiding statesman and leader of his country? I leave the answer to my good readers who are welcome to add their views in the comments.
THUS I return to the consequences of Covid lockdowns, now the narrative is in retreat, to which BoJo reluctantly acceded, crumbling upon the onslaught of his 'advisers' (aka Deep State). His plans for a Cincinnatus-style comeback have the feel of the last days of Rome.
As Andrew Lowenthal puts it, rather than highlight safety signals to protect the public, the censorship-industrial complex “ran cover to protect Big Pharma, smearing and censoring critics. The moral depravity is astounding and quite possibly criminal”. This misuse of government power is a genuine threat to democracy, not a confected one.
FUN TIDBIT: There's something rotten in the heart of France . AND – a message from the President of 'The Empire of Lies': (Hat Tip to my dedicated reader Nostradamus):
Not only are the French revolting it looks as if this is the beginning of a global rebellion with Dutch farmers scoring a win and leading the pack.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Is the early sign of a country's decline when its roads fall into disrepair? With 190,000 miles of road across Britain, and the Government’s allocation of £700 million, accounts for 5% of the amount desperately needed. The AIA found a drop of 4% from last year on roads classified as “good”, nearly 8,000 fewer miles,18% of the local roads network has been classified being in a “poor condition”, nearly 37,000 miles.
HMG must cough up an eye-watering £30 billion if it is to rid Britain of its pothole infested roads, according to a leading campaigner. It comes after a survey suggested 2.7 million cars last year have been forced off the road as a result of pothole damage.
Speaking to GB News, the campaigner known as ‘Mr Pothole’ said the Government must focus on fixing Britain’s roads rather than undertaking the more laborious task of filling-in each individual pothole. He told GB News, Patrick Christys: “Repairing our potholes is a waste of money and time". We need to REPAIR our roads.
BREAKING NEWS: The squeeze on household budgets will increase from this weekend when a raft of price and bill hikes take effect for Q2. It has been described as “national price-hike day” with increases in the next few weeks leading to “Awful April”.
But this year things are different as some of these latest increases are the biggest in decades:
Energy is up due to the removal of £67/mth HMG support for fuel bills.
Cell phone increases of up to 17.3%
NHS dental charges (if you can find one) increase by 8.5%
NHS prescription charges will rise to £9.65 for each medicinal item
Council Tax – up 5%. A typical average Band D will rise to £2,149 pa
The BoE rate increases have caused £250/mth rise on a typical mortgage
Rents up across the board by 10% - 60% according to agents' reports.
Water bills often track council tax
Car tax, insurance, MOT and repairs will all increase no less than 10%.
Food prices soared to a record high 17.5%, with bills averaging £5,617 pa.
Cigarettes hit in the March Budget to £14.39/pack, an increase of £1.55
Overall everyday essentials rose by £3,500 over 3 years reported by ONS
Partially off-setting some of these costs are the HMG £900 cash boost for more than 8 million eligible means-tested claimants over the next 12 months and 10.1% increase in benefits and pensions. Also the national minimum wage is typically going up by 9.7% to £10.42/hr.
However this is a gross average of £21,673 pa, which after tax and NIC is net £18,500 or £1540/mth exacerbated by stealth tax-free allowances frozen for 5 years from 2023. Those with incomes of £12,570 pa will see their HMG deductions increase by a minimum of £29/mth (£348 pa). Households with an income of £50,270 are facing a £684 pa tax rise.
BUT income rises will be more than absorbed by all these increases so before we know it – IT'S GONE. However while we're distracted by obsessing about the economy and money, society continues its unravelling; Charles Hugh Smith explains what is really going on.
SILICON VALLEY BANK (SVB) 'SMART PANIC' postmortem: On March 8, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank were both, according to public disclosures, “well capitalized,” the optimal level of health by federal regulatory standards. Days later, both failed. “The question we were all asking ourselves over that first week was; how did this happen?" Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week. If the Fed & team don't know, let's help them out!
I have already noted that one of the main reasons these banks are failing is their insane dedication to the UN 2030 Agenda item known as ESG. But what none of the regulators or bankers anticipated was how fast depositors could flee, which appears to be a new reality in the age of smartphone apps and social media. “The speed of the run is very different from what we’ve seen in the past,” Mr. Powell said; “and it does kind of suggest that there’s a need for possible regulatory and supervisory changes, just because supervision and regulation need to keep up with what’s happening in the world.”
This is yet another admission that the Fed & FDIC officials are behind the curve, caught off-balance, and even now struggling on how to manage public confidence as social media expands to "electronically panic." The idea that the economy changed (it's always changing), and smart phones and social media are largely responsible for the failure of Silicon Valley Bank is a bunch of scapegoat nonsense.
In the Fed Q&A Jerome Powell wondered: "How do bank failures happen?" But the question I'm asking is how did it all happen? There is no need for a study. I outline below reasons for these bank failures, none of which had anything to do with smart phones or the changing economy.
The Fed held interest rates too low for too long yet again
The Fed compensated for low inflation; welcoming the pick-up of inflation
The Fed failed to understand how $9 trillion in QE would fan asset bubbles
The Fed failed to see multiples of 'fiscal stimulus' would fan inflation
The Fed believed in failed economic models like inflation expectations
When inflation rose, the Fed kept insisting that inflation was 'transitory'
When the Fed finally noted inflation was not transitory, it kept QE going
The San Francisco Fed should have monitored SVB but slept at the wheel
The Fed considers treasuries are a risk-free asset, ignoring duration risk
The Fed ignored long-term bonds & MBS at SVB despite the rate risk
The Fed's forward guidance was a disaster. It encouraged hyper-speculation
The Fed reduced reserve requirements on deposits to ZERO
The Federal Reserve reduced reserve requirement ratios to Zero effective on March 26, 2020. This is not 'Fractional Reserve Banking'; it's 'Zero Reserve Banking'. All SVB or any bank had to do to maintain 100% liquidity was park deposits at the Fed or in extremely short duration US Treasuries.
Because SVB did not apply this prudent treasury management they created unrealised losses on their books which crystallised into impossible losses when depositors fled. This was a failure of not only SVB, but the Fed QE policies, and the Regulators.
What do I expect in future? The Fed and their regulators will probably carry on doing the same thing and expecting different results – why should they change now after 100 years of unchanging incompetence?
INFLATION WATCH: Homes at risk as millions face increases. The interest rate rise last week has sparked fears over mortgage costs, as well as other financial strains that will exacerbate the ever-challenging cost-of-living squeeze. Greg Marsh, founder of Nous.co, has urged people on mortgage plans to set about looking into their finances in order to cope with possible surprises in the coming months.
SURVIVAL MONITOR: The dangers of a geriatric tyrant going through a late-life crisis might not be quite as high as a nuclear holocaust. While people of any age can act recklessly in the pursuit of personal power, the old ones are especially dangerous because, with each step closer to the grave, they have less and less left to lose.
The geriatric goblins that have been steering the American ship into an iceberg for five decades, give or take, are apparently never going away of their own volition:
Mitch McConnell; sitting Senate Minority Leader, age 80
Nancy Pelosi; 'retired' Speaker of the House but still in office, age 82
Joe Biden; sitting president, age 80
Donald Trump; ex-president, potential candidate in 2024, age 76
Chuck Schumer; Senate Majority Leader, age 72
Sen. Dianne Feinstein; age 89
The overlords of the multinational technocracy are even more dinosaur-like:
Bill Gates; age 67
Klaus Schwab; age 84
George Soros; age 92!
Soros is old enough to have had the “happiest year of my life” rounding up fellow Jews in Hungary during WWII with his adopted Nazi daddy! When are these criminal despots going to die and let Gen X take the tiller – it can't be any worse! Here are ‘Boomer Congress Members’ muddling their way through a hearing with the Google CEO. Lesson: Stay vigilant, they aren't coming to save you:
THE NARRATIVE BATTLE: British Covert Operations during the Covid scamdemic and the Who's Who of HMG's Black Ops. As more information is coming to light these days you can be sure that HMG will be fighting back in preparation for the next scamdemic which could be more than an illusion this time.
The government’s long-held position was that propaganda operations by the British Military are never waged domestically. But less than a year after this was publicly affirmed in August 2019 the policy suddenly changed. https://declassifieduk.org/uk-information-operations-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/
So, who are these spooks hiding in the depths of the British Establishment with virtually no public profile? Let's have a look: https://declassifieduk.org/partygate-referees-why-are-they-so-spooky/
AND if you think this is going away. Here's what HMG affirmed on March 8 2022: "Medical and ethical opinion is divided on immunisation policies that involve some degree of coercion. Some countries, such as Italy and France, have mandatory vaccination policies in place. In response to falling vaccination rates, some have extended existing mandatory vaccination programmes, or introduced them for the first time, such as in Germany. Such policies may, for instance, fine parents who refuse vaccination for their children, or exclude unvaccinated children from state-run schools."
FINALLY: IS NET ZERO being quietly dropped? On the back of the EU moderating on ICE vehicle targets, Larry Fink at BlackRock (the inventor of 'Going Direct' to save the world) observes in his annual letter to investors: “We need leaders today who will give people reasons to be hopeful, who can articulate a vision for a brighter future.” No mention of 'Net Zero' this year!
Do I detect fresh shoots of common sense bursting into the 'Masters of the Financial Universe' playground? Perhaps wokerism will die on the vine too with the ending of talk about existential crises to be addressed with extraordinarily costly measures that make people poorer, weaken national and economic security and, instead, turn attention to tackling soluble problems with positive solutions.
UNTIL NEXT WEEK:
For more, read: “The Financial Jigsaw”: Scroll: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/358117070_THE_FINANCIAL_JIGSAW_-_PART_1_-_4th_Edition_2020 including regular updates. For a free PDF copy e-Books, Parts 1 & 2, email; firstname.lastname@example.org
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As I noted some time ago BlackRock joined Vanguard in backing away from ESG. The guys at the top have changed course, but the guys in the middle and ends haven't fully embraced the changes.
Stupid banks really ought to fail and a few ought to suffer a bit getting skimmed by a 15% hit. But the Fed clearly wants to avoid a hint of a haircut. Don't know if that can be sustained. Meanwhile inflation (devaluation) hits the public with much more than a 15% haircut over time. It's the only way to amortize the debt, sadly. Those with decent investments won't be as badly hurt as pensioners with a fixed dole that won't follow the devaluation as closely. OTOH, a lot of zombie companies will fade away.
Don't know about the next pandemic, but the mandatory stuff will face huge public opposition. We were lied to and many are much more aware of the lies and the harms they saw for themselves. It has reached the 60% almost and we know that some 30% remain stuck in the nominal 1/3 ratios we always find. The point is that we passed the 50% mark of public opinion.
Geriatric leaders or HPD leaders? They need to be allowed to retire on their winnings. Wonder if they will?
The difference between the old WASP oligarchy and this new one is the former never exhibited this kind of mass depravity or promoted degeneracy on this scale. We are in uncharted territory--a society with a predatory elite that normalizes every kind of depravity and attacks our society at its roots. It's not gonna end well.