A People’s History of Stock Market Crashes 1946-2016: The View from Below

First four sections: Abstract. Introductions. Inspiration. Operationalization, and first two chapters of history here today. Next three sections to follow next week.

Timeline of market incidents from 1928 to 2016

It is difficult to “get ahead,” as in “accumulate assets,” in today’s radically uncertain investment markets. Nevertheless, it is received opinion in the US that if one “plays by the rules” one can “succeed.” This kind of success is defined narrowly as being able to save up enough money to buy a home, raise children, send them to college, and then retire without being a “burden on society.” These rules, although strict,  included legal protections for workers and consumers. More people prospered under these regulatory regimes.

Now, the regulatory regimes have been attenuated, weakened, maligned, and captured. As a result, corporations have been allowed to legally plunder the people that they are meant to serve. Their avarice knows no bounds. These financial actors are cannibalizing their hosts, we the people and the planet we depend upon for life, without even a thank you. In the corporate jubilation that followed every deregulation and privatization, our savings and home equity were plundered without apology or punishment of the perpetrators. I aim to show the levers and gears of these financial meltdowns, their causes, the failures that follow, and the effects of those failures on the typical nuclear family. I intend to demonstrate that a paradigm shift is occurring right now about how the USA might right its financial ship and get back in touch with its inhabitants. Young people are saying we have to figure out how to reward ourselves in ways that take into consideration equity, equality and fundamental fairness. We have to figure out how to invest in ways that create happy communities and happy families. How can investors protect their assets in a world gone mad?

Table of Contents

1)     Abstract 3

2)     Introduction. 5

3)     Inspiration. 6

5)     The WWII Postwar Period 1946-1960. 7

  1. a) How war profiteering led to the Marshall Plan. 7
  2. b) Erosion of Labor Law @Taft-Harley & Demobilization of female workforce after WWII. 8
  3. c) Remobilization of armament industry (Red Scare) 8
  4. d) The Bracero Program.. 9
  5. e) Steel Industry Strikes. 9

6)     The Last Decade of Dominance 1960-1969. 10

  1. a) The Pill 10
  2. b) The Stock Market seeks growth opportunities – Equity Funding. 11
  3. c) Studebaker Pension Fund failure. 11
  4. d) The conquest of cool 14

7)     The Seventies Changed Everything 1970-1979. 17

  1. a) The fiscalization of national product 17
  2. b) Oil embargo. 18
  3. c) Wage and price controls. 19
  4. d) Interest rate climb. 19
  5. e) War on Inflation. 19

8)     The Eighties – Business is Cool 19

  1. a) Deregulation and privatization. 19
  2. b) The fiscalization of national product 20
  3. c) The Savings and Loan crisis. 20
  4. d) Early 1980s recession. 22
  5. e) Black Monday 1987. 23

9)     The Nineties. 24

  1. a) Early 1990s recession. 24

10)        The 2000s. 25

  1. a) Early 2000s recession – dot com bust 25
  2. b) The collapse of Enron 2001-2002. 26
  3. c) WorldCom accounting scandal 27
  4. d) Subprime mortgage crisis. 27
  5. e) Real estate market cratered, stock market crashed AGAIN.. 28
  6. f) The Housing Bust, the Repo scams, and Middle class hollowing out 29

11)        The – “20teens” – A decade of crises in only 6 years. 30

  1. a) Irish and Icelandic banking crises. 30
  2. b) Student debt crisis. 31
  3. c) 2014 Russian financial crisis. 31
  4. d) 2015 Chinese Stock Market Crash. 31

12)        Increasing inequality without fundamental fairness brings new dynamics. 31

  1. a) Arab Spring & Libya & Occupy. 32
  2. b) The rise of Bernie Sanders and the return of class analysis. 32

13)        Conclusion. 32

1)      Abstract

It is difficult to “get ahead,” meaning “accumulate assets.” However, it is received opinion in the US that if one “plays by the rules” one can “succeed.” This kind of success is defined narrowly as being able to save up enough money to buy a home, raise children, send them to college, and then retire without being a “burden on society.” These rules included legal protections for workers and consumers. A broader range of society prospered under these regulatory regimes.

Now, the regulatory regimes have been attenuated, weakened, maligned, and captured. As a result, corporations have been allowed to legally plunder the people that they are meant to serve. Their avarice knows no bounds. These financial actors are cannibalizing their hosts, we the people and the planet we depend upon for life, without even a thank you. In the corporate jubilation that followed every deregulation and privatization, our savings and home equity were plundered without apology or punishment of the perpetrators. I aim to show the levers and gears of these financial meltdowns, their causes, the failures that follow, and the effects of those failures on the typical nuclear family. I intend to demonstrate that a paradigm shift is occurring right now about how the USA might right its financial ship and get back in touch with its inhabitants. Young people are saying we have to figure out how to reward ourselves in ways that take into consideration equity, equality and fundamental fairness. We have to figure out how to invest in ways that create happy communities and happy families. How can investors protect their assets in a world gone mad?

2)      Introduction

In 2015, Japan’s sovereign debt offerings went into “negative” territory. This means that Japan is offering its bonds on the market and expecting investors to pay for the privilege of holding its debt rather than paying interest.

Japan can expect to sell its debt instruments, even with that premium cost to the holder, because sovereign debt of big rich nations like Japan and the USA is considered a safe and stable place to park investor funds when other markets are deemed too risky for investment. In other words, people do not want to purchase the debt of countries like Greece (an extreme example to illustrate the argument) because there is no assurance that their funds will be safe.

Why do nations have to sell bonds to finance their operations? Because their current accounts do not have enough money to fund all the services the nation provides. Why is it that nations do not have enough money to fund their services? There’s a two part answer: first, nations must invest in capital-intensive projects like maintaining roads and schools that cannot always be financed with current tax revenues and second, individuals and corporations avoid or evade their tax obligations using a combination of legal and illegal means. There’s a third reason that most students of economics are reluctant to raise: the economic system itself, prone to booms, bubbles and busts, makes it difficult to accumulate and retain capital. There are winners and losers in monopoly capitalist systems and the losers are more likely to be small investors and governments. The system has been rigged for the rich. Movements of large sums are artificially influenced by the basic view that capital has to earn income. Transnational corporations have near complete control over movements of capital in the 21st century; thus governments are starved and people are starved, enslaved, made ill, injured or killed.

The preceding views spring from a background in the Critical Law and Economics discipline. Nothing happening today in the world economy gives us cause to celebrate. Not just Japan, but many European countries have been running negative interest rates since 2015.

Complaints across the political spectrum about continually increasing amounts of regulation to control money flows and dampen capital flight may make it mandatory for us to look at ways to “take it off the top” rather than spend billions chasing the money after it has flown. The Financial Transaction Tax in its various forms, also known as a Tobin Tax, presents itself as a rational method for governments to collect enough taxes to take care of their people’s needs.

3)      Inspiration

This work springs from research conducted in support of a thesis, a risk/benefit analysis on using a Financial Transaction Tax rather than FATCA and international tax treaties to raise funds to satisfy the tax needs of nations on a global basis. The unfathomable size and scope of the colossal government and private institutional bureaucracies needed to enforce FATCA and tax treaties could make the discussion in favor of an FTT with global reach fruitful to analyze.

Holding up a new analysis of the risk/benefits of FTT alongside the ever-increasing need for global Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) laws, regulations, policies and operationalization may make the case for an FTT impossible to ignore.

  1. I bolster my argument by providing an historic excursion through a few decades worth of misguided-at-best, war-crime-bad at worst, geopolitical financial actions. For many observers, it is clear that trusting the invisible hand of the market makes cash disappear like magic into the unaccountable maw of vertical integration, offshore banking and underground economies.
  • Operationalization
    1. This paper will provide a “people’s history” rather than a close financial analysis of each of the events listed herein. There will be plenty of room for quibbling with each of my analyses but the arc of history will demonstrate that emphasizing faith in a rigged system is a ludicrous fantasy.

5)      The WWII Postwar Period 1946-1960

a)      How war profiteering led to the Marshall Plan

To remedy the unspeakable devastation wrought on Europe and Asia by WWII, American policymakers devised The Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan aimed to provide the means for European nations to rebuild their infrastructure and economies. Our high school history books present the Marshall Plan as an altruistic outpouring of love on our devastated allies. In fact, the Plan was necessary to provide new markets for the massive production capabilities America developed during the war. Our war profiteers needed market growth to maintain and increase their earnings. Capitalism’s basis tenet is that it must grow, or die. In the infinite world we perceived before the Industrial Revolution, that fantasy could be maintained. Today, we live in a finite world shrunken by 21st century-style globalization and communicate instantly across the globe by means of the Internet. We know that our seas are the last home for incalculable amounts of land-based toxins and our water and air are the last frontiers for corporate control.

b)      Erosion of Labor Law @Taft-Harley & Demobilization of female workforce after WWII

American workers who sacrificed economic benefits of their labor during WWII were told that they were patriots. Thus, they accepted that wages were artificially held down by anti-strike provisions and wage freezes. When the war ended, workers expected to reap the fruits of their labor. The period directly after WWII saw huge increases in labor activities as rank and file members sought to make good on their deferred hopes. When we began to repatriate our veterans as the World War wound down, we had to make sure that they had jobs to return to. Thus, management pressure and government policies acted to take away jobs from women, who had constituted a high percentage of the labor force during the war. Strikes, work-to-rule, and secondary boycott actions increased dramatically. Legislators took action: the Taft-Hartley Act, passed in 1948, began the long process that has decimated the union movement in the US. Workers were “protected” from union “abuses” under the Act.[1] [2]

Next week:

     Remobilization of armament industry (Red Scare); The Bracero Program; Steel Industry Strikes

###

Timeline of market incidents from 1928 to 2016

A People’s History of Stock Market Crashes 1946-2016: The View from Below
Timeline Before Study– Notable events
1929 Market Collapse into Great Depression
1936 Wagner Act passed
1937-38 Recession within Depression

Timeline of Study
Postwar Period
1946 Repatriation of solders
1946 Women frozen out of jobs
1946 Marshall Plan
1948 Taft-Hartley Act
1948 Red Scare & Permanent War Footing of US Economy..
1950 s
Cold War (until 1988)
1955 Bracero Program
1959 Steel Industry Strikes
Space Race – Piddling away our commonwealth into orbit
1960s The Conquest of Cool
1960 “Mad” Men
1960 The Pill
1962 Kennedy Slide aka Flash Crash of 1962
1963 Studebaker Motors Pension Fund Failure
1963 Kennedy Assassination
1964 Equity Funding Mutual Funds Failure
1968 Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated
1968 Robert F. Kennedy Assassinated

1968 Nixon President by fluke
1971 US dollar now backed by oil
1973-1974 stock market crash due to high oil prices
1973 OPEC Oil Embargo on US
1973 Inflation at 3.6%
1974 ERISA passed to cover bad private pension debts like Studebaker
1974 Inflation at 9.4%
1975 Privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pays for part of VietNam War.
1977 Inflation at 5.2%
1980 Inflation at 13.9%
1980 Reagan selected
1980 Business is cool
1980 Deregulation, privatization, destruction of unions
1980 Fiscalization of national product, Phillips Curve invoked
1981 Savings and Loans deregulation, speculation allowed
1981 Deep recession begins; the worst since Depression
1985 Savings and Loan Crisis; Big bailouts needed. No one went to prison but Charles Keating. The Bush’s sure didn’t and they were involved. Greatest bank collapse since the Great Depression. (Remember this phrase. It occurs all too often.)
1987 Black Monday: largest stock market drop since the 1929 crash.
1989 Rio De Janeiro stock exchange crash
1989 Friday the 13th mini-crash
1990-1991 Recession; largest since early 1980s.
1991 Japanese asset price bubble
1992 UK forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after the UK could no longer keep sterling above its agreed lower limit.

1997 Asian financial crisis
1997 Global stock market crash caused by Asian Financial Crisis
1998 Russian financial crisis
1999-2000 dot-com bubble
2000-2002 Recession from dot-com bubble caused loss of 8 Trillion of wealth
2001-2002 Collapse of Enron
2001 September 11 attacks caused global markets to drop sharply
2002 Uruguay banking crisis
2002 WorldCom accounting scandal; G.W. Bush promotes “ownership” society.
2003 Bush actors weaken state regulations so lender can make loans without regard
for buyer ability to pay.
2003 Myanmar banking crisis
2007 Chinese stock bubble
2007 US subprime and collateral markets collapse
2007 Collapse of Irish and Icelandic economies.
2007-2009 Bear market in US
2008 Russian stock market collapse
2008-2009 Belgian financial crisis
2008-2012 Icelandic Financial crisis
2008-2009 Ukrainian financial crisis
2008-2011 Irish banking crisis
2008-2012 Spanish Financial crisis
2008 UK Bank rescue package
2009 UK Bank rescue package
2009-2010 Venezuelan banking crisis

2009 Dubai debt standstill
2010 European sovereign debt crisis
2010 Student debt crisis
2010 Arab Spring
2011 Stock markets around the world plummet and remain volatile for rest of year
2011 Occupy
2011 Panama Free Trade Agreement
2013 Voting Rights Act destroyed by Supreme Court
2014 Russian financial crisis
2015 Chinese stock market crash
2016 US Presidential election mashup
2016 The Panama Papers

98 market adjustments to date
Creative Commons 4 BY License

References and Resources

[1] National Labor Relations Board, Taft-Harley Act, major provisions. https://www.nlrb.gov/who-we-are/our-history/1947-taft-hartley-substantive-provisions. Accessed 2-15-2016

[2] National Labor Relations Act, aka Wagner Act, was enacted in 1935 as a measure “just to labor,” whose grievances became ever more obvious during the Depression. It was imperative, to boost the economy, that people had income to spend and goods to consume. https://www.nlrb.gov/who-we-are/our-history/1935-passage-wagner-act Accessed 2/15/2016

[3] Various social problems in the US have been identified as “wars” for similar reasons. One example is the “War on Drugs,” the US’s most expensive and longest war, going on four decades now.

[4] Duncan Lyall Burns. The Steel Industry, 1939-1959: A Study in Competition and Planning. Cambridge University Press. P. 167, 132 US dominated industry Table 6.

[5] Chicago Tribune Archives, German Steel Workers Call Strike April 9. April 1, 1958. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/04/01/page/22/article/german-steel-workers-call-strike-april-9. Accessed March 1, 2016

[6] John F. Kennedy. JFK Library. Remarks by Senator John F. Kennedy at a Democratic Party reception in Pueblo, Colorado. http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKCAMP1960-1031-004.aspx

[7] L.J. Seidler, F. Andrews, M.J. Epstein. M.J. Equity Funding Papers: The Anatomy of a Fraud. (1977) https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=57732

“The fraud at Equity Funding Corporation of America was essentially a securities fraud. While much attention has been focused on the insurance aspects, especially the manufacture of bogus policies, that activity was merely one part of a much larger stock fraud that began at or before the time Equity Funding’s first public offering in 1964. The perpetrators of the fraud, who were major holders of the company’s stock, intended to inflate and keep the market price of the company’s common stock for the purposes of personal enrichment and ego enhancement. They wanted to be known as the management force behind a company believed to phenomenally successful. The fraud was implemented principally by inflating the company’s reported earnings largely through recording nonexistent commission income. This practice appears to have begun at least as early as 1964 in anticipation of the company’s first offering of common stock…”

[8] American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. (1975). Report of the Special Committee on Equity Funding: The adequacy of auditing standards and procedures currently applied in the examination of financial statements. New York: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

[9] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation http://www.pbgc.gov/about/who-we-are/pg/history-of-pbgc.html Accessed March 31, 2016.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974: The First Decade. http://www.aging.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/reports/rpt884.pdf

[14] Emily Brandon, The Ten Biggest Failed Pension Funds. US News and World Report. Aug. 23, 2010.

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2010/08/23/the-10-biggest-failed-pension-plans

[15] Roger Lowenstein, The Long Sorry Tale of Pension Promises. Wall Street Journal.  updated October 1, 2013.

[16] Mary Williams Walsh. Failed Pensions: A Painful Lesson in Assumptions. The New York Times. November 12, 2013.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/12/business/failed-pensions-a-painful-lesson-in-assumptions.html?pagewanted=all

[17] American Heritage Dictionary definition:

co-optation. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Accessed March 22, 2016  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/co-optation

[18] Thomas F. Frank, (2000). “The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism.” Relevant excerpt: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/259919.html  Accessed March 3, 2016

[19] Zinn Education Project. Howard Zinn is the author of the groundbreaking book The People’s History of the United States.

Black Panther Ten-Point Platform.

  1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black and oppressed communities.
  2. We want full employment for our people.
  3. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our Black and oppressed communities
  4. We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings.
  5. We want decent education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society
  6. We want completely free health care for all Black and oppressed people.
  7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of Black people, other people of color, and all oppressed people inside the United States.
  8. We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression.
  9. We want freedom for all Black and oppressed people now held in U.S. federal, state, county, city and military prisons and jails. We want trials by a jury of peers for all persons charged with so-called crimes under the laws of this country.
  10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, peace, and people’s community control of modern technology.

http://zinnedproject.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/blackpanthers_10pointprogram.pdf Acc. 3-22-2016

[20] Adam Liptak. June 25, 2013. Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act. NYT Permalink http://nyti.ms/1FUpwx5 Acc. March 21, 2016

[21] Thomas F. Frank (2000). The Conquest of Cool (abstract) 03-22-2016.

[22] Frank, Ibid.

[23] Bernays, Edward L. (1928) Propaganda. http://igpub.com/propaganda/ Reissued pamphlet & full text at

https://archive.org/stream/Propaganda1928ByEdwardL.Bernays/Propaganda(1928)%20by%20Edward%20L.%20Bernays_djvu.txt Acc. 03/22/2016

[24] Bernays. Propaganda. Page 9. First paragraph in first chapter of book, titled “Organizing Chaos.”

[25] J.P. Forrester. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Uniform Mortgage Instruments: The Forgotten Benefit to Homeowners. Missouri Law Review, Vol. 72, Iss. 4 [2007]. Art. 5

[26] J.P. Forrester.. Art. 5, Page 1

[27] Carlos Murphy. The Petrodollar System Explained. 1/26, 2012. Alternative Economics Blog.

The Petrodollar System Explained

[28] The U.S. Military and Oil. Union of Concerned Scientists. http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/smart-transportation-solutions/us-military-oil-use.html#.VvLfFKcrJkg Accessed. 3-23-2016

[29] Middlebury University http://cr.middlebury.edu/es/altenergylife/70’s.htm Accessed. 3-23-2016

[30] Historical Inflation Rates: 1914-2016. US Inflation Calculator site. Accessed. 3-23-2016 http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-inflation-rates/ Acc. 3-12-2016

[31] Global Nonviolent Action Database. American air-traffic controllers strike for benefits and pay, 1981. https://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/american-air-traffic-controllers-strike-benefits-and-pay-1981

[32] Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, Andrei Scleifer, Robert W. Vishny. Privatization in the United States. The Rand Journal of Economics. Vol. 28, No. 3, Autumn 1997 pp. 447-471 http://scholar.harvard.edu/shleifer/files/privatization_us.pdf

[33] Lopez-de-Silanes, Ibid.

[34] Evans, Greg (August 1989). “The Desert Fox”. Cincinnati Magazine.

[35] Miller, Judith (1979-07-03). “S.E.C. Charges American Financial” (fee required). The New York Times.

[36] The Lincoln Savings and Loan Investigation: Who Is Involved? New York Times, 11-22-1989 http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/22/business/the-lincoln-savings-and-loan-investigation-who-is-involved.html

[37] Martin Tolchin (1990-09-27). “Legal Scholars Clash Over Neil Bush Actions”. New York Times.

[38] T. Sablik. Recession of 1981-1982. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. http://www.federalreservehistory.org/Events/DetailView/44

[39] Sablik, Ibid.

[40] Sablik, Ibid.

[41] Phillips Curve, Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/phillipscurve.asp

[42] Sablik, Op.Cit.

[43] D. Bernhard, M. Eckblad. Black Monday, the Stock Market Crash of 1987. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. http://www.federalreservehistory.org/Events/DetailView/48

[44] Bernhard. Ibid.

[45]Savings and Loans Crisis: Causes, Cost: How Congress Created the Biggest Bank Collapse Since the Depression http://useconomy.about.com/od/grossdomesticproduct/p/89_Bank_Crisis.htm

[46] 1990-92 Early 1990s Recession. Slaying the Dragon of Debt: Fiscal Politics and Policy from the 1970s to the Present. http://vm136.lib.berkeley.edu/BANC/ROHO/projects/debt/1990srecession.html

[47] 1990-92 Early 1990s Recession, ibid.

[48] On the Issues. http://www.ontheissues.org/Celeb/Dick_Cheney_Budget_+_Economy.htm

[49] Amazon.com listing for Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market.

http://www.amazon.com/Dow-36-000-Strategy-Profiting/dp/0609806998

[50] A. Beattie. Market Crashes: The Dotcom Crash. Investopedia.

http://www.investopedia.com/features/crashes/crashes8.asp

[51] Beattie. Ibid.

[52] T. DeGrace. The Dot Com Bubble Burst That Caused the 2000 Stock Market Crash.

http://www.stockpickssystem.com/2000-stock-market-crash/

[53] Money Crashers. Factors that led to the Dot-Com Bubble Burst.

History of the Dot-Com Bubble Burst and How to Avoid Another

[54] Money Crashers, ibid.

[55] Money Crashers, ibid.

[56] http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2003/may/18/society

[57] Called to Account. Time Magazine. A special package.

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/0,28757,2021097,00.html

[58] B. Lyke, M. Jickling. WorldCom: The Accounting Scandal. CRS Report for Congress. University of Maryland.

[59] Lyke, ibid.

[60] Jo Becker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Stephen Labaton. Bush drive for home ownership fueled housing bubble. New York Times. Dec. 21, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/business/worldbusiness/21iht-admin.4.18853088.html?_r=0

[61] Becker ibid.

[62] Eliot Spitzer. Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime. Washington Post. February 14, 2008

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/13/AR2008021302783.html

[63] Spitzer. Ibid.

[64] D. Baker. The Housing Crash Recession: How Did We Get Here? PBS. NOW. 3-21-2008

http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/412/housing-recession.html

[65] Caja Whitehouse, JPMorgan forks over $50M in ‘robo-signing’ Pact with DOJ. USA Today. March 4, 2015.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/03/03/jpmorgan-robo-signing-department-justice/24332863/

[66] G. Connor. IMF Post-Program Monitoring Report on Ireland notes the unusual risk profile of the Irish banking sector. Irisheconomy.ie. January 20, 2016.

[67] Connor. Ibid.

[68] Connor. Ibid.

[69] M. O’Brien. The miraculous story of Iceland. The Washington Post. June 17, 2005. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/17/the-miraculous-story-of-iceland/

[70] O’Brien. Ibid.

[71] O’Brien. Ibid.

[72] O’Brien. Ibid.

 

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Bernie Sanders wins the Interwebs! Four reasons Bernie can become our President.

Bernie Sanders calls us to account.
Bernie Sanders calls us to account.

The New York Times frets that Hillary’s campaign suffers from “a lack of enthusiasm.” Well yeah, duh! People keep saying that Hillary is “the one,” yet the public keeps demonstrating how reluctant they are to support a chameleon candidate whose views shift according to polls. This enthusiasm gap is handily demonstrated in a major social media platform. I am not a political naif. I started my education in 1969 as a political science major. During these years I shifted my alliances from the right of the Republican Party to the left of the Democratic Party based on the tractor-trailer truckloads of evidence that counters the GOP worldview I was raised on. So here are the four reasons of the day!

First, Bernie is totally electable. He has a statistically significant lead among Facebook followers.

I was just mucking around on the Internet, reading my email, when I found myself at Bernie Sanders’s Facebook page. I was pleased, as a Bernie supporter, to see that he had nearly 2,000,000 that’s TWO MILLION followers. 

by Olivia LaRosa, November 22, 2015

Then I thought I should go see how many followers the other Democratic candidates had. Hillary Clinton has FEWER Facebook followers than Bernie Sanders. That’s right. She has been in politics for 40 years, has nearly limitless money, a lock on the corporate media, and she still has fewer followers than Bernie.

Bernie Sanders for President 1,984,719

Hillary Clinton 1,811,982

So, you are thinking that 170,000 likes aren’t all much of a spread in a nation with 330,000,000 people, and you are right.

OK, let’s go on…

Let’s step back a bit and look at both candidates’ related sites to see how those numbers look:

Senator Bernie Sanders  2,473,389 members

Hillary in 2016 201,257

Hillary Clinton 2016 2,932 members — no, I did not forget to type any numbers here

Let’s figure this:                                     2,473,389

–    201,257

                                                               –        2,932

Bernie’s lead:                                         2,269,200

Going on, we see another

Bernie Sanders for President                     92,393

Unofficial Bernie Sanders for President 115,447

adds up to another 184,706 for Bernie*

Most people in the US have not been offered the opportunity to learn more about Bernie’s ideals and plans. His lead can only grow.

*math approximate. I did not count all the Bernie and Hillary FB pages, only the most prominent

2. Bernie will be able to work with Congress because he will carry Democrats into offices across the nation. 

Many people lament the gridlock in Washington and most of our state capitols. They cannot see how the President can make a difference.

My theory is that the ENTIRE US House of Representatives and a full 1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election. If Bernie’s following continues to grow at these astonishing rates, he will have long electoral coattails. In other words, people who vote for Bernie are not likely to put up with posturing triangulators and fear mongers in other offices. The Republicans and a good many DINOs will be tossed out of office.

Even if they aren’t tossed out, Bernie knows how to work across the aisle without compromising his principles.

BerniePitching018

3. Bernie’s brand of social democracy builds strong families and strong countries. 

Forget Denmark! Germany’s is a nation of more than 80,000,000. Their social democracy features a form of universal health care. Labor unions share the seats on corporate boards 50/50 with company management. This country is the economic engine of Europe.

Germany’s per capita wealth among the highest in the world, say those crazy loony libs at the CIA.

The benefits that Germans receive, such as health care, at least a month of vacation time, shorter work days and scads of other perks more than make up for the $10K difference in annual income between the USA and Germany per capita. It also allows German families family time to build those family values. Pensions are generous.

Colleges in Germany are FREE for people from all over the world.  Germans enjoy superior elementary education and well-maintained infrastructure. Germans are allergic to waging wars. The cost has been too high. Let’s get our peace dividend and let someone else police the world.

BernieVeteransWar

 

4. Bernie’s Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) Proposal can solve forever our broken taxation system. 

I think that taxes are the price I pay for civilization. Our corporations and our billionaires do not agree. They pay an army of accountants and lawyers to rig the system in their favor.

A Financial Transaction Tax on Wall Street trades would fund free public college for anyone who works hard and gets good grades.

Only the mouthpieces of billionaires like Forbes and Bloomberg see a problem with it. If we take a tiny amount off the top, like .005%, then they cannot hide it in tax “havens.” People who earn great benefits from American workers and consumers should pay it forward, not squirrel it away. If you don’t have it, you can’t hide it!

We could get rid of volumes of tax law that are littered with loopholes. All of those lawyers and accountants could be helping people instead of trying to figure out how to steal “honestly” and cheat our country.

In conclusion, it seems to me that the only obstacles standing in the way of a Sanders Presidency are those without a vision of a peaceful future. You cannot wage war to gain peace. Everybody knows THAT!

Posted in 99%, Bernie Sanders for President, Economics 101, Education, Everything We Know is Total BS, Job Creation, Labor Law and Policy, practical economics, Tax Policy, Working People's Rights | Comments Off on Bernie Sanders wins the Interwebs! Four reasons Bernie can become our President.

Panama Papers Update Vol 1 Issue 1

I always like to start out at Wikipedia. Why, you ask? Well, because Wikipedia is an all-volunteer organization composed of scholars and students from all over the world. When I say volunteer, I mean that they are paid nothing for their work. Ever.

Say you didn’t like something you read in a Wikipedia article. You can research your side of the argument and share your own conclusions. The scholar community reviews your work and tries to verify your answer, for good or ill. This is the scientific method; the cornerstone of democratic scientific research.

So far I have not paid as much attention to the Panama Papers embezzlement as I should have. I will rectify that omission today.

Posted in 14 signs of fascism, 1percent, Corporate Crimes, Corporate-Congressional Complex, Economics 101, Evil Capitalism101, Moral Compass, Republican Dirty Tricks | Leave a comment

It’s a Trumpster Fire of a Convention

I am rendered speechless by the overt hate shown at the Republican Convention. But I can still type.

I started out as a Republican at age 16. I was told that Republicans held the moral high ground. That lasted until Watergate, more or less. I have never looked back. But, so help me goddess, I could never imagine what we have seen in Cleveland this week. This is at last, sadly, undeniably, an orange Hitler at the head of the party of Lincoln, who is transforming normal citizens into a mob, complete with pitchforks, tar, and feathers.

Earlier tonight, someone asked if Trump knew there was an audience outside the Convention Hall.

Today, Trump made sure that the world knew that: you thought blacks were lazy, and that you would restore order the day after your (gulp) inauguration, save us Jesus. There’s your anti-Christ. Lucifer II, Donald Trump. According to Boehner’s thinking, Ted Cruz IS Lucifer. Hon. Boehner did not know just how bad it could get. Lucifer II one step away from the nuclear codes. Let’s just go for it already and send the asteroid…OR

Go get Trump and hold him to account for the pain and hate he has stirred worldwide. One of his surrogates said it would be OK to do X to Hillary. FBI now investigating.

Not too late for Republicans to nominate Bernie. Just sayin’

Posted in 14 signs of fascism, Authoritarianism, Can't make this stuff up, Corporate-Congressional Complex, Decline and Fall, Fascism, Moral Compass, Patriarchy, Republican Dirty Tricks | Leave a comment

Jaysus hallelujah on a crutch in the balkans with a goat, Saudi Arabia complicit in 911

In 911 document, view of http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/16/us/28-pages-saudi-arabia-september-11.html?emc=edit_na_20160715&nlid=72389203&ref=cta

The government released documents that show Saudi Arabia might be complicit in 911. Well, just slap me up side the head. I am astonished. I had no idea that there was any Saudi link to 911. Except for that the Bin Ladin family was flown out of USA when all planes were grounded, and everybody knew that within days. And all the hijackers were Saudi Arabian. Except that.

So after 15 years of el toro poopoo, the government tells us something we already knew for like ever, and now we do our job by acting surprised? I don’t think so. I am furious.

Posted in 14 signs of fascism, right-wing violence | Comments Off on Jaysus hallelujah on a crutch in the balkans with a goat, Saudi Arabia complicit in 911

Notes of Note – July 2016

Iranian city hits 154 degrees. Let’s get those people out of there! Until I read this article, I did not understand that the weather in the Middle East was humid. OMG. 91% dewpoint. Horrifying.

Sanders supporters take legal action against Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

“She will say anything and change nothing.” – Barack Obama, speaking of Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Clinton climate change plan avoids carbon tax.

Bernie may have won Californiahttp://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/07/02/lump-him-trump-zakaria-lies-about-sanders-brexit

WARNING: Stay away from “Bernie’s Dank Meme Stash.” The owner is making people pay to post. Horrid.

Bernie Sanders supporters ask Manhattan judge to invalidate Gov. Cuomo as chair of NY state convention delegation

In court papers, a group of supporters said that Cuomo’s election to the post on at a party meeting on June 21 violated the state election law because Michael Reich, counsel to the state party, “bulldozed” Cuomo’s nomination and election by calling for a vote by acclimation instead of counting ballots.

Their attorney, Arthur Schwartz, said the room was full of non-delegates and the state committee members running the meeting who were afraid that Cuomo would lose a vote count.

He said the vote would have been just symbolic because supporters of Sanders and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton agreed before the meeting that Cuomo would have no opposition.

Posted in Bernie Sanders for President | Tagged | Comments Off on Notes of Note – July 2016

Please donate to my stipend fund

Were I as healthy as I was 10 years ago, I could have written for 12 hours a day. I cannot do that any more. I can only work while reclining on an air mattress. It lowers my production time by 2/3rds.

I ask your help in providing a stipend because I cannot bring in new clients and write at the same time.

Friends are establishing a nonprofit organization so that your contributions may be tax deductible.You may go back three years to use your charitable donation as a deduction on Schedule A. Every dollar donated encourages me to press on.

Project 1: A People’s History of Stock Market Crashes &c – 1946-2016: The View from Below… at the legal system no longer able to control financial institution larceny on a global scale, how we got here, and where next?

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Posted in A Peoples' History of Stock Market Crashes | Comments Off on Please donate to my stipend fund

The Structure and Meaning of Negative Interest Rate Sovereign Debt

A familiar item, the humble US Savings Bond, will serve as my concept model to explain sovereign debt, also known as government debt.There is a difference; not important to discuss right now.

A US Savings Bond can be purchased at any bank in the United States, on the spot. The investor pays, say, $17.50 for a bond with $25 face value. When the bond matures, n years later, it can be cashed in for the full face value. This is known as the discount for buying the bond and holding it, and it is the sum total of your return at maturity. (1)

Because the US Savings Bond is backed by the full faith and credit of the US Treasury, it is considered a top-flight storehouse for cash assets. (2) Government-backed securities like the US Savings Bond are also known as sovereign debt(3); debt issued by a national government. Other US government-backed securities aka sovereign debt are Treasury Bonds.

The global economy is running on empty. Interest rates cannot be raised. If governments raise prime interest rates, it will trigger an upward adjustment in all credit markets. The upward adjustment will tighten credit markets and further stifle already weak consumer demand. Therefore, a severe global depression looms within the next year.

It’s easy to see why. Countries like Japan are now charging people more than the face value of the sovereign debt instrument. So you pay $17.50, + a 1.75 interest fee on top of that. The nation is not paying you a premium to buy and hold their bonds, you are paying the nation a premium. Thus, to you, it is negative cash flow, therefore a negative interest rate.(4) Those bonds, held to maturity, will not yield the face value.

Other large national economies have offered negative interest rate bonds within the last year.

“With other options to stimulate the economy limited, more policy makers are willing to test sub-zero rates, while accepting that they can lead banks to take additional risks in search of profit.

“The ECB has charged banks 0.3 percent to hold their cash overnight since December. Sweden also has negative rates, Denmark is using them to protect its currency’s peg to the euro and last year Switzerland moved its deposit rate below zero for the first time since the 1970s.

“Janet Yellen, the U.S. Federal Reserve chair, said in November that a change in economic circumstances could put negative rates “on the table” in the U.S. Since central banks provide a benchmark for all borrowing costs, negative rates spread to a range of fixed-income securities. By the end of 2015, about a third of the debt issued by euro zone governments had negative yields, and by February more than $7 trillion of government bonds worldwide offered yields below zero.” (5)

Conclusion: there’s really big money looking for very safe places for storage of fungible liquid assets like cash. Big rich countries are the storehouses for wealth in bad times and they intend to profit from that status.

 

CC BY 4.0 2016 Deborah Lagutaris

Just tonight, news arrives that New Zealand it cutting sovereign debt rates.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/zealand-cuts-interest-rates-record-low-225-percent-37531067

By Deborah Lagutaris, March 9, 2016

Informal discussion post written for the course Chartered Portfolio Manager and Investment Management ITX 646 Winter 2016, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, George Mentz, Professor.

Posted in Economics 101, Federal Reserve | Comments Off on The Structure and Meaning of Negative Interest Rate Sovereign Debt

GOP says overhaul, wants to cut taxes more because that has worked so well during the last 50 years

Reeling From 2016 Chaos, G.O.P. Mulls Overhaul of Primaries Guess what kind of overhaul they think they want? Keep more people from voting. That is their sole political strategy. I wouldn’t mind if they were only willing to pay their fair share. None of us should ever pay more than a dime extra in taxes, but we should pay what we owe.

My father used to say, “Deb, I hope you have to pay a million in taxes.” I thought that was a fair exchange. After all, a million in taxes means you grossed $15 million damn dollars in long term capital gain tax rate. Sheesh. No one works harder to stay alive than the unemployed and disabled among us.

Cry me a river about your tax free $14,000,000 annual income.

Posted in 14 signs of fascism, 1percent, Authoritarianism, Bernie Sanders for President, Black Swan, Cities and Urban Planning, Economics 101, Evil Capitalism101, Fascism, Free Market Paradigm, Patriarchy, Tax for Disabled Families, Tax Policy, The Invisible Hand, The Powell Memorandum, We need shelter, Worker's News | Comments Off on GOP says overhaul, wants to cut taxes more because that has worked so well during the last 50 years

Dem Minions’ Heads Roll: Dems Discussing Dropping Debbie

<SNIP>This is the beginning of the end for the Clinton campaign. They think that if they get rid of the incompetent and unpleasant Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Hillary’s lackluster campaign will get a bump.

Are you ready to rock?

Are you ready to rock?

For months now, poll after poll has shown Bernie winning over Trump by 10% or more. This is far outside the margin of error, which means that in all cases, right now, Bernie demolishes Trump in a landslide… </SNIP>

Go to Original at DearBernie.com

http://www.dearbernie.com/2016/05/25/minions-heads-begin-to-roll/

Posted in Bernie Sanders for President, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dem Minions’ Heads Roll: Dems Discussing Dropping Debbie

The Electoral Follies: A running stream of clips from my daily work battling hillarybots, trolls, and other pod people

April 26, 2016 https://pivotamerica.com/milliondollartrolls-trending-twitter-hillarys-paid-trolls-get-6-bernie-groups-removed-facebook-200000-subscribers/

HITLER, STALIN, AND ALL OTHER DICTATORS WOULD BE PROUD OF THE CENSORSHIP HERE IN AMERICA.

Patrick Curl | April 25, 2016 | Bernie Sanders, Featured, Hillary Clinton | 9 Comments
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In a move that eerily hearkens out of the depths of 1984 so far reportedly at least 7 pro-Bernie Facebook groups with over 200,000 members have mysteriously vanished.

May 15, 2016 Nevada Democrats are reeling after Clinton operatives took over the meeting Saturday May 14. The chair was running a roll call vote. A motion was made to change it to voice acclamation. Prepare to be shocked when the chair ignores the majority of the duly chosen delegates and electors to declare that Clinton won.

http://www.salon.com/2016/05/16/what_the_hell_just_happened_in_nevada_sanders_supporters_are_fed_up_and_rightfully_so/?source=newsletter

May 16, 2016 Evening
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/05/13/some_democrats_increase_pressure_on_sanders_to_exit_130555.html

We are sick of you corporate cruise-missile 5-house-owning million-dollar-wedding-haver Democrats.

“It’s actually harmful because she can’t make that general-election pivot the way she should,” Feinstein said. “Trump has made that pivot.”

Bernie is not harming Hillary. He isn’t even able to force her to be honest. Truth is: Hillary is harming Hillary.

Along with millions of other Americans, I was neutral about Hillary’s candidacy. I preferred Sen. Sanders and his positions but I would not have been disturbed by her election as President. Then the debates began.
I was shocked when Hillary started misrepresenting Bernie’s record during the second Democratic Debate. Her demeanor was anything but Presidential.

Posted in 1percent, Everything We Know is Total BS, Hillary Clinton, Systematic Looting and other Privatization Schemes, This is bad., Trolls | Comments Off on The Electoral Follies: A running stream of clips from my daily work battling hillarybots, trolls, and other pod people