Soaring Debt Precedes Financial Crises…

Things don’t look so good for China:

Screen-shot-2013-01-23-at-5.25.43-AM

Will we see a Chinese financial meltdown in 2013? Or 2014? Or 2015? With global GDP growth on a definite trend downward, with such a tepid Western recovery, and with global geopolitical tensions still high, the last thing the global economy needs is a financial crisis at the heart of the BRIC growth engine. But the data implies that that may just be what we get.

To those who believe that China is immune to such a thing, recall that America suffered the Great Depression immediately previous to becoming a global superpower. China’s economy has undergone a rapid transformation in recent years:

china-economy-12-4

Such a transformation is sure to necessitate some dislocation and fallout — just as America’s transformation from an agricultural to a manufacturing economy did. America ended that process as the global superpower. It remains to be seen if the same will happen for China, but controlling the world’s largest productive industrial base certainly suggests so. The other factor, of course, that presaged America’s rise was a global war

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106 thoughts on “Soaring Debt Precedes Financial Crises…

  1. Economist Domingo Felipe “Mingo” Cavallo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domingo_Cavallo) was born in 1946 and has a long history of service known for implementing the Convertibilidad plan fixing the dollar-peso exchange rate at 1:1 between 1991 and 2001 which brought the Argentine inflation rate down from over 1,300% in 1990 to less than 20% in 1992 and nearly zero during the rest of the 1990s. “Mingo” is friends with Steve Hanke (http://www.cato.org/people/steve-hanke) who wrote:

    Toward Growth: A Blueprint for Economic rebirth in the Area Of Israel.

    • Alister, can you prove that you can add anything to the post topic. I am getting the feeling you are a Spam robot? Prove me wrong :).

      But I do admit the wide ranging topics would bring new traffic to the site.

  2. The U.S. pre-WWll was a whole different animal than is China today. The U.S. had small government, sound[er] money, little debt [relatively speaking], massive food production potential, cheap energy, abundant resources, and a two century tradition of freedom with a population that believed in fighting for such as a matter of principle.

    China has too many people, a totalitarian government, a combination of chrony-capitalism/state planning/God knows what else economy, an over-production crisis that has re-written the books, is decades behind in the areas of technology/education/food production/infrastructure, etc.

    Look for China to emerge in the later half of the 21st century unless a global war seriously changes the United States’ advantages [which are everything, at the moment].

    • I’ve never really seen over-production or over-population as real problems… In both instances there are potential benefits (productivity! output!) that outweigh any transitory negatives. I reject most Malthusian ideas, mainly because reality has shown them to be wrong over and again (human ingenuity continues to surpass so-called resource constraints).

      I agree China has a centrally planned system to some degree, but the USA actually had a fairly centralised system under Roosevelt in the 1930s. In terms of actual government outlays as a percentage of GDP, the USA today is far ahead of China today. China may claim to be “communist”, but its system may in fact be less centrally planned than many Western nations who claim to be “capitalist:

      http://azizonomics.com/2012/01/29/whos-the-communist-now/

      • Speaking of malthusian ideas, Aziz, I just googled “conflagration” & read this, which I think could perhaps be a potential key to energy that is a bit cheaper:

        “the central column of rising heated air induces strong inward winds, which supply oxygen to the fire”

        I’ll ask the Melb Uni Chemistry Professor this week. Don Guier on the last page said that:

        “heat is energy…we’ve learned that mass is convertible to energy” … but Don you mentioned that though the natural function (of this so called “mass”) works in one direction for “energy” it cannot possible work in the opposite direction according to the same, or at least similar principles for a like-minded outcome, even though you stated that…

        “maybe another law like entropy is reversed in the cosmic big picture, as new stars are formed from old debris”

      • China is a mess. There are so many problems facing that country that it would difficult to get into the particulars in this forum, but for starters, you have 1.3B people. How exactly does that work? Not so well, thus far. Bigger is not so helpful, especially when it comes to providing basic services, food, transportation, education, health care, etc.

        You have massive waste everywhere you look, a bubble that makes the Japanese bubble of the 80’s look like child’s play. Cities built with virtually no inhabitants. Their debt crisis will obviously be socialized, as well, but this will put an enormous drag on future growth, especially as they begin to compete with other cheap labor markets, viz., Africa.

        But, this will all work itself out with time and China will most likely ascend into its role as world leader, but maybe not. If the U.S. does get its act together in any reasonable fashion, who could possible challenge this country? Imagine what would be the case at this point in time if the U.S. financial interests had been responsible? The U.S. would be an literal economic juggernaut.

        For the meantime, China is a mess.

  3. Alvin Rabushka wrote a flat tax plan. Fits perfectly, from a scientific/math point of view vis a vis the global glitch holding back World Peace global governance revolving around the principle(s) of private property through the E1 solution to backstop the Treasury Market for another 3-6 years. Maybe even 20. Who knows. Flat tax? Why? Say it is fair, they think. Certainly less complex. UK/US/ISRAEL introduce flat tax overnight @ 20% and nothing else.

    • I think the biggest impediment to flat taxes is public opinion. People want to tax the rich heavily.

      On the other hand, Russia has a flat tax system, and is enjoying very strong growth. Maybe public opinion will turn around.

  4. Self-Titled (“Banksters”) User On ZH States

    The UK is the New France, France is the new Spain, Spain is the new Greece, Greece is the new normal & Germany’s the new Riech. Problem with is, despite the blatantly obvious moral conflagration of giving in to such thinking, Riech’s are not even profitable – nobody will want to do business with any Riech in the medium-long turn as weak hands are shaken out.

  5. Rorty in his last recorded comment speaking to Posner asked IF we are, in fact, smarter than all the animals around us, and all the while ZH, a smart blog, points out that sophisticated investors have recently been frequently confusing the means with the end while new, global magazines for the young produce sets of photographs titled:

    “More than Human”

    http://urbantimes.co/2013/01/more-than-human-by-tim-flach/

    Success boils down to enabling a nice culture or social environment to flourish around your business. What exactly would the economic consequence be if the US consumed the same amount of energy this year as it did last year but with a price that is 1% cheaper? I’d try answer but like I said I cannot really work with numbers that well.

  6. A crime against journalism? What, exactly, is this supposed to mean? Harvard’s Law School did recently release a paper written up by a couple of scholars dealing with

    “The Constraining, Liberating, and Informational Effects of Non-Binding Law”

    http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/LEO/LEO_Stephenson.pdf

    Is this “Non-Binding Law” the new global carry trade? Dear me.

    Business Insider may have published the dumbest article of the year

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/28/henry_blodgets_kind_of_awful_plane_ride/

  7. The empirical work of economists Steve Keen and Alan Blinder has shown the idealized models of competition that appear in textbooks are misleading. The empirics and mathematical proofs showing this are technical, but is well worth reading through if you’re interested in this subject. The problem with static models is that they show competition as an end-state, rather than clarifying how it got to that particular state (e.g. process). The assertion that perfect competition yields P=MC=MR has been invalidated, but mainstream economists continue to teach this regardless of the real-world data. Every participant has to be able to influence prices, though on an very small scale depending on the level of competition.

  8. Taleb just stated “fragility requires absence of certainty” but apparently uncertainty is the only certain thing about the Universe which refuses to stay static, as evidenced by not just human communication but also the wider Universe as a whole.

    Points to spontaneity, once more.

    Simplicity Is Sublime

  9. “Crises” is not a issue. The issue is how not to waste it to make the change. So far it seems only the EU is doing it right. Or not. Who knows? It’s been very confusing.

    You are right to doubt it China will collapse.

    Chinese government is actually the banks they always can print as long as they can back up with what they printed. So far they do. China’s plenty productive mechanism to back up what they printed. China’s main supports are mainly their investments into their manufactures infrastructures and the educated efficient obedient slave work force.. If they owe you money, don’t worry they’ll pay you back by making stuffs you need relatively cheap and good. They don’t borrow from foreigners but now they are starting because they can’t print too much due to high inflation. Still not to worry because they have the powerful manufacture to pay you back.

    Unless if China have internal political social crisis which destabilizing the country then all bets will be off. It may really well happen soon since now China’s the poor and rich gap is the biggest in the world. The red princelings government officials of small as flies bit as tigers, stuffed most of the money into their pockets while the environment is trashed, while the new generations are not interested to be the obedient slaves workers anymore, while corruptions ramping in every village, town, city and persons from top to bottom, political social unknown or known unknown everywhere and you never know. There will be some big change for the better or worse.

    Those who already made it moved are moving their wealth out of the country. Those remain are happy about it because they are rubbing their hand can’t wait the opportunity to fall on their laps and grabbing their share of a big chunk of pie and then run away.

  10. It’s all related to the MATH. No wonder nobody can understand it.

    James K. Galbraith, to demonstrate how amazingly off-targe these crazy equations can send otherwise well meaning and highly intelligent people, well James has just written that:

    Public opinion is turning on those who seek to cut our social safety net, when said net was being cut in 2000.

    He is 13 years late, in other words. What’s weirder; he’s probably not even dumb.

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/galbraith-end-deficit-drones

  11. Holy fuck I think I seriously have helped to save the US Treasury Market. If proved correct, I want a private jet and 2 huge farms; 1 in Australia, 1 in New Zealand & 1 in France. Make it 3, actually. And I big jet, please, for all my friends.

    In March 2008 Galbraith used the 25th Annual Milton Friedman Distinguished Lecture to launch a sweeping attack on the Washington Consensus on free market policies, especially the monetarist version.[3] He argued strongly that Keynesian economics offered a solution to the financial crisis that started in 2007 whereas monetarist polices would deepen the recession. Towards the end of 2008 policy makers around the world began acting in line with Galbraith’s recommendations, as part of the Keynesian resurgence described by the Financial Times as “a stunning reversal of the orthodoxy of the past several decades”

    The Collapse of Monetarism and the Irrelevance of the New Monetary Consensus

    http://utip.gov.utexas.edu/papers/CollapseofMonetarismdelivered.pdf

  12. Meanwhile people US edu is facing some “problem” while this young scholar has just scored 1 million YT followers for explaining cool (math?) stuff that’s probably really beneficial for society, particularly young kinds learning new ideas to build better communities for the future.

    Now all you need to do is introduce her to Tom Friedman

    • This is a very interesting vid make me think….. If applying the logic from the video to the financial market and products, I’m getting the message as below:

      That since the bond market is such a giant it becomes an immovable object. In comparison to gold/silver, commodity, stock market etc. Those are all small and they are all movable objects. The few People (investment bankers, traders, brokers, or money managers) who attempt to use the moveable object to push to move the immoveable object the bond market will be doom to fail at the end. All that noises (the news headlines) we get from the media such as CNBC Blloomberg and the emails newsletters from my inbox very day are from the moving objects moving around the immoveable object screaming bond market crush’s coming.

      Still the bond market remain standing at where it is because people going into the bonds are not for large gain but safety. As long as the political social system is safe, people won’t go panic and bonds are safe.

      Please correct me if I’m wrong.

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  14. TARP Pay Czar Patricia Geoghegan Permitted Excessive Executive Pay At Bailed-Out Companies: reports HUFFPO

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/28/tarp-pay-czar-executive-pay_n_2569328.html

    ***

    Patricia Geoghegan, the Treasury official who approved the raises, disputed the findings of the report.

    In a letter to Romero, Geoghegan said it’s unfair to call the pay excessive. She said Treasury must strike a balance between limiting compensation and approving pay packages that are consistent with executives in similar jobs.

    Geoghegan called the 50th percentile “a benchmark.” She noted that some pay packages at the three companies exceeded that level in 2012. But she said more than half at AIG were at or below that level, while nearly half at GM and Ally were below it.

    ***

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/report-treasury-okd-raises-bailed-out-firms

  15. As I see it the idea that China will become a super power is ridiculous. I see the comparison to U.S. in 30’s but I think it’s mostly coincidental.

    Their manufacturing consists mostly of knick knacks and toys. I don’t think they do much high precision stuff, and I’ve been told in this area the Chinese are highly unreliable and not trusted. We’ve also seen them build bridges that immediately collapse.

    And even these knick knacks…take the Iphone for example. The tech stuff is done outside of China–chinese laborers simply put it together. It’s the Japanese that innovate in this area, particularly Samsung.

    Most innovation, and correct me if I’m wrong, is done in U.S. and Europe. China leads the way in espionage to steal tech and secrets from corp.s and governments, since they are unable to develop it themselves.

    The population is also a problem. Slave laborers might rebel instead. And all those billions have to be fed and clothed during wartime, if we’re talking about an eventual war. China could suit them all up and send them to fight…and? 21 century war tech will only result in billions of deaths, instead of millions in the 20th. Being bigger is not necessarily an advantage. An example is Nazi Germany vs Russia, which is apt in that Germany was technologically superior while Russia had the numerical advantage. Russia far outnumbered the Nazis in soldiers, in tanks , in aircraft. And yet they were being destroyed even while Germany was battling on western fronts. If not for the U.S. supplying the Russians through Murmansk and the Caucasus, and thus making it a war of attrition through that brutal winter, the Germans probably would have prevailed…

    Which brings me to my other point–if we get to this point of all out war, who will ally with China, and what will Russia do? Russia once again will be in a position to be courted by both sides, and Russia when the time comes will once again side with the Anglo-Saxon led West imo.

    If these wars are to be fought on other continents–Africa for example seems to be a flashpoint–the Chinese have no experience here. China cannot project her power worldwide.

    Basically I think the part about China’s industrial base is overrated, and it’s the U.S. that has gotten the better end of the deal in this. All these years the U.S. got free stuff and the Chinese have green colored paper and knick knack builders to show for it.

    I hope for comments and rebuttals. I could be completely wrong :)

    • The winner of the war has always been the one with the bigger pre-existing industrial base. Innovation in technology — particularly in the age of global information, which has somewhat flattened the playing field — may no longer be so important. And it may be arrogant to assume that we are so very far ahead of our “toy-making” competitors.

      This does not mean I am predicting China will win. I am not necessarily even predicting a war (although just how China will get a meaningful return on all those green pieces of paper without some serious coercion is a ponderous question).

      The “war” may be a soft one. It may come down to trade sanctions. blockades, or the gradual takeover of other continents (as is happening in Africa). But many roads, in my honest opinion, seem to lead to something much bigger than that, as is often the case in matters of global imperial dominion and reserve currency status.

      • Yes that was rather simplistic on my part to label them just toy makers and such, but I do think US and EU manufacturing is a notch above China’s.

        Interesting about the soft war because I was also wondering how an all-out war would happen when both sides have the firepower to destroy life on Earth. Are they going to have a gentlemen’s war–no nukes but everything else is allowed?!

        Proxy wars are more likely. But who knows, things may change greatly in 5 or 10 years.

      • War(s)

        China and Japan are talking now, there won’t be any war in short terms as I had always said because their interests and future are mixed. Asiatic countries are said to be so inspired by the EU. They may want an SAPU(S.Asia Pacific Union) for themselves with iron triangle countries: China, Japan, and S. Korea at the center. It may be the solution because unlike the US, China is bordering with so many countries and it’s almost impossible to draw a clear borderline in the S. Pacific ocean. Whether that will happen only after experiencing some brutal wars like the Europeans did, or learning from history without the experiences only time will tell. However, you can bet that most people won’t learn or change until they suffer from it. And even the suffering will soon be forgotten so they’ll make the same mistake again and again and again.

        But the SAPU rosy dream seemed abruptly interrupted by… guess who – the Americans. The US is forming it’s own group call the TPA? (trans – Pacific – Asia , or something like that.) which including almost all pacific countries except China.) ha ha ha.

    • I am telling you so much of the supply chain is in China now, a protracted War with China would see a collapse of US manufacturing and the ability to supply itself.

      The Chinese have the world in their hands now.

      • BR, I completely disagree with you here. War is less and less about making enormous amount planes, ships, etc. As horrible as it is to discuss, imagine the U.S. and China engaging in a hot war.

        The U.S. war machine is unbelievable, not only in terms of weapons technology, but in terms of placement of weapons, weapons systems, land, sea, sky, and space-based. The U.S. outspends the entire world in military stuff not to mention all the off budget stuff.

        If the U.S. chose, it could cripple any country quickly. I believe that a single aircraft carrier could do in a medium sized country [along with taking-out their communications]. Again, the U.S. doesn’t do what it does [with impunity] around the world for no reason.

        At some point China will pose a threat, but who could possible threaten the U.S. right now?

        • Imp.

          I am mechanically minded and I am telling you so many critical parts for everyday machines are supplied by China now.

          If there was a War, the local manufacturers would have to tool up and the supply bottlenecks would be catastrophic.

        • But that’s in a WWll ground war scenario. A war between the U.S. and China would not be about occupation, but instead, about crippling China’s ability to project power.

          Seriously, though, what could China do? Other than lobbing ICBM’s which would be MAD, China doesn’t really have the ability to do much of anything. A single antique aircraft carrier picked up at the downtown Moscow Army&Navy store isn’t going to do too much.

          Plus, let’s say China did win a war, then what? They can’t even run their own country worth a damn. How are they going to run the entire world? Nobody is going to buy into their crap.

          I do believe that China will come into its own,** but only when they gain the economic and political power necessary. They have to be able to offer the world something other than won-ton soup and a Mal-wart full of cheap trinkets.

          **The Tang Dynasty [approx. 600-950CE] was one of the greatest eras for humanity on many, many levels.

      • Question: Wouldn’t that work the other way around, as well?

        I wonder there must be certain things that China doesn’t make and the U.S. does that can cause the same type of problem. It’s not like the U.S. is Greece, it still is #1 or #2 in the world.

        Also, what about raw materials? Let’s say a war breaks out, right away Australia stops supplying them. Supply lines will be attacked. Which way Russia swing would be key, I assume.

        • The USA is getting beaten in Afghanistan, and only holds some territory due to technological superiority. You will find that critical components such as bearings are made in China. I know. I tried sourcing and found very little is made in Western countries these days. In a war, you need to retool, and retool fast.

          Machines need bearings! The Germans made the best machines in WW2 but were beaten by numerical superiority. The Russians had machines that were so inferior, but they worked, and they could be produced in mass numbers.

    • Anyone thinks China’s just a toy shoe maker should check out China’s accomplishments on their Defense and Space Technology! Thanks to the Americans for not selling anything of that sort to them so China must make their own by themselves.

      The difference between China and India is that while India is able to buy high defense/offense from France, Russia, and the U.S, China is able to develop and make their own some most advance, cleaver, effective, and precise defense/offense in the world.

      Besides exporting all shorts consumer goods such as toys and shoes, China’s also exporting infrastructure urbanization and system building around the world. A mere toy shoe maker could not have built a dirt poor nation to #2 economic powerhouse in a space of 30 years time.

      China’s high speed bullet trains make America look like the 3rd world country.

      Plus China now is exporting their cheap but efficient fighters jets to developing countries. China’s had built their own commercial big airplane called C-20. And of course they can build cargo ships too.

      • ricecake – “A mere toy shoe maker could not have built a dirt poor nation to #2 economic powerhouse in a space of 30 years time.”

        No, that’s why they needed help, and lots of it, from the U.S. Without their help, China would still be building a wall. China has been a dirt cheap/non-environmental manufacturing base for American companies.

        China is a great country, but let’s face it, they’ve come to the table at a time when so much has already been discovered and laid out for them. Not like they had to develop all of this technology; it was already done.

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  18. US agriculture is the obvious pick but, are the best of them privately run off the S&P now & if so, particularly if these little-chicks are small to medium in size, how can one capitalise? I only ask because the seismic system to “public” stock exchanges during the early 70s seems to be reversing back into the private domain, thankfully.

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  20. A private domain collaborating with global, open source research departments; there’s a thought.

    Is Azizonomics.com the new GloomBoomDoom Report?

      • YouTube to switch on paid-for video – think you’re about to enjoy a rather meaningful rise in your donations, John. Do keep us updated vis a vis BJ’s run for PM!

      • Alister has an idea. Perhaps get onto You Tube. You can easily do comments there and you can get ad revenue.

        For example I plan to go to the Pilbara in Australia for a fishing holiday and watch the Iron Ore shipments from the biggest ports. Someone can compare Iron Ore Imports, and subsequent stockpiles. We’ll then have real time micro reporting.

        Impermanence can be the “Truth Adjudicator”

  21. You are your reflection?

    ***********^*^*^*********

    This section of your profile describes your interactions with other people. The ways we communicate our feelings, beliefs and ideas to others are influenced by our cultural backgrounds, the way we were raised, and sometimes which side of the bed we got up on this morning. Some of us are very mindful of others making decisions we hope will be in their best interests, even if it means sometimes neglecting our own interests. Others of us believe each person should be responsible for themselves, taking deep pride in our own character and independence with a firm belief that others are best served by doing the same. The following describes how you engage with others; illustrating the dimension of your personality that determines your independence or your desire to reach out and touch others in meaningful ways.

    You Are Best Described As:

    TAKING CARE OF OTHERS AND TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF

    Words That Describe You:

    Fair
    Considered
    Collaborative
    Responsive
    Sensible
    Diplomatic
    Contemplative
    Indulgent
    Rational

    A General Description of How You Interact with Others

    You are important. So are other people, especially if they are in trouble. You have a tender heart, but you know how to establish and keep personal boundaries. You are empathetic and compassionate, but you also believe that it’s best if people solve their own problems and learn to take care of themselves, if they are able.

    You are deeply moved by the needs of others, but you know that if you don’t take good care of yourself, you’ll wind up being of no use to anyone. So yours is a thoughtful compassion. You strive to be fair and sensible, taking care of others while also taking care of yourself.

    When someone really is in trouble, you like to collaborate with them toward a solution; they do their part, you do yours. You consider carefully, and respond in a sensible way; they do their part, and together you move through the difficulty.

    You seldom act impulsively; rather, when a problem arises, you take your time to think through the situation. This contemplative quality usually means that you’ll arrive at a diplomatic solution, one that’s fair for the other person and also fair to you. It’s frequently a win/win situation!

    Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward You

    For people who are ruled by tender-hearted compassion, your more diplomatic response to problems might seem too cool, too focused on fairness and not filled enough with sympathy and selflessness.

    For them, when someone’s life is on fire, what is needed is not collaboration but rescue. And the person who experiences their life on fire may resent the time you take to contemplate. “I need you, and I need you NOW! This isn’t about fairness, it’s about the fire.” “All deliberate speed” may seem too deliberate and not fast enough, either to the more compassionate or to people in genuine trouble.

    At the other end of the spectrum of compassion, those who believe people should take care of themselves may find even your thoughtful sympathies too soft. They expect people, themselves included, to work their own way out of trouble. They are convinced that the helping hand you lend just fosters dependence and is not good for the development of character, either in you or in the person you assist.

    Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You

    Many people, perhaps the majority, will come to appreciate your balance as a compassionate person. The more they get to know you, the more they will admire your thoughtful compassion for others and its compliment in the sensible ways you take good care of yourself.

    Those whom you help will appreciate the way you leave them with their dignity by expecting them to collaborate in their own rescue. Those who are more tender-hearted will find in you a balance they lack; when they’ve run out of energy because they fail to take good care of themselves, you will still have enough compassion left to lift others out of trouble.

    Even the tough-hearted, those who believe people should solve their own problems, might come to admire your tenderness which they don’t find in themselves. So the people you help will be grateful, and the people who see your balance between self and others will admire you. Certainly, balanced is not bad at all as a way to be known among your friends.

    Introduction to Openness!

    How firmly committed are you to the ideas and beliefs that govern your thinking and guide your behaviour? Some people trust their current ideas and beliefs the way a climber trusts the mountain; whichever way they move, whether the climb is on a familiar trail or over new ground, there is something solid beneath them, something they count on.

    For others, new ideas, new solutions to old problems, new beliefs that replace tired convictions are like welcome wind in their sails. They can hardly wait to tack in a new direction and ride a new idea through uncharted waters. If it’s new, it’s interesting, and they’re ready to explore.

    The following paragraphs describe your responses to new ways of thinking and believing. How do you handle new information? Are you more like the climber on a familiar mountain or a sailor with a tiller in hand and a fresh breeze to propel you? How you integrate and process new information about the world and about others is a core aspect of your personality.

    On the Openness Dimension you are:

    SOMETIMES CURIOUS, SOMETIMES CONTENT

    Words That Describe You:

    Accepting
    Flexible
    Educated
    Self-aware
    Middle-of-the-road
    Proper
    Distinctive
    Indecisive
    Adaptable

    A General Description of How You Approach New Information and Experiences

    Like someone who can sleep comfortably on either side of the bed, you are equally at home with ideas and beliefs that you have held for a long time and with new ways of thinking and believing that grow out of your intellectual curiosity.

    Your sense of who you are and what your place is in the world around you rests on values and principles that are the solid ground you walk upon. You’ve tested them, they work for you, and much of the time you are content to trust them, that is, until some provocative new idea slips in from a conversation, book or some flight of your active imagination. “Hmmmm. What’s this. Never thought of it before.” And off you go, exploring.

    Since you love to learn, you’ve always been teachable; you absorb new information, which means you are well-educated in things that matter to you. Sometimes your intellectual exploring will lead you back to where you started; the “next new thing” proves too shallow or impractical to you. But once in a while a new idea or belief will dislodge you from the ground you’ve stood upon; it is so compelling and persuasive that you step away from the tried-and-true and embrace this notion that is brand new to you.

    Because you hold both solid beliefs and are open to new ideas, you are accepting of other people and other ways of thinking and believing. You are flexible enough to listen to something new and different, or something outside of your comfort zone; if it works for you, you’ll take it in, and if not, you’ll let it go. In this sense, you know who you are: you are neither closed-minded nor wildly open-minded, but walk somewhere near the middle of the intellectual road.

    Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward Your Style of Thinking

    Not everyone will be thrilled by your flexible, middle-of-the-road ways of thinking and believing. A few people are so taken with flights of imagination into whatever is new that they might find your commitment to long-standing values and beliefs too confining, if not too boring. Oh well; so be it. They’ll just have to be in free-flight without you.

    Others are content with the ideas that have served them and their culture well; they’re not excited by the prospect of moving on. And some people are afraid of new ways of thinking because they are somewhat fragile; they have trouble maintaining their current worlds and don’t want someone like you, for instance pushing out the edges of their intellectual cosmos. So don’t be surprised if your solid values sometimes make people distrust you as an explorer, or if your flexible and open mind sometimes gets you criticised by people who walk away from the very same explorations that you find refreshing.

    Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You

    Many others will find you trustworthy and therefore an attractive companion on the intellectual journey. They will appreciate the combination in you of open-mindedness and a commitment to the tried-and-true. In an intellectual climate sometimes dominated by the extremes of either wild innovation or dug-in traditionalism, your moderate views and your proper acceptance of a wide range of possibilities will be a distinctive and refreshing quality. Because you join your curiosity to strong foundational ideas and beliefs and practical solutions to problems, people will trust your occasional explorations into new territories to be reliable, and not “something new for newness sake”.

    You are accepting of others, flexible in your own intellectual commitments, well-informed in areas that matter to you, and comfortably aware of who you are and where you stand. This combination will make you a desirable companion on the intellectual journey for many, many people!

  22. ZH States:

    “The enemy is an idea – a faceless government that is not embodied in a single individual or group” – i.e. the idea of “public property” is scientifically insane. A (private) property exists in each person, all (human) societies are made up of said persons.

    Privatize E1 to produce World Peace

    http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680512/honduras-is-creating-privately-run-cities-to-combat-government-corruption-and-weakness

    Read the URL: “fastcoexist”; it’s just a glitch.

  23. Technology (produced by the Sun) is enabling us to now see our mistakes more quickly which, evidently, seems to produce the optical illusion, perhaps real, who knows, that time is speeding up, when really it probably is not speeding up at all, we are just now much more smart as a Planet:

    It took John Kerry 25 years to become Massachusetts’ senior senator. It took Elizabeth Warren 3 weeks.

  24. Technology…enabled..by the Sun, I should say…why, you say?

    No Sun = No Growth = No Food = No Humans = No Human Invented Technology

    Only scientifically insane people think you can “conquer” Nature.

    We can learn from Nature but are forever in her shadow.

    • Fracking in North Dakota: Whatever, if any, truth here (effect & cause) is readily dealt with by civil and/or criminal law and/or regulatory action.

    • Apartheid and pipelines: If people like this and their groupies would only respect a little basic truth and common sense! Apartheid is bad; cheaper energy is good. Unremediated/uncompensated environmental damage is bad; energy for a better human condition is good. They have propaganda and political skills — ambitious; they know and care nothing of human needs and comforts — amoral. When concerns for minnows and fish outweigh human welfare, it’s obvious that the inmates are in charge. Honest climate science* and repeated environmental impact studies** are ignored for votes, dollars and publicity, it’s obvious that the citizenry have been duped. Wake up!

      * China, India, and other countries giving priority to feeding and warming their people have rejected all the carbon fraud.

      ** Of course, the Keystone pipeline was approved the day after the election!

    • Per your link: “Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should press banks for more information on how they use the more than $200 billion the government has pumped into U.S. financial institutions, Barofsky said in a separate report.”

      Perhaps they bought cheap equities and are now selling back to retail?

      I would welcome an investigation and audit.

  25. the idea that people will buy into China just because a few people there own some vaulted gold, even if there are massive riots, might be a tiny bit too simplistic. let’s hope that china does not endure anything like that because, frankly, it really is not in anybody’s medium-long term interest..

  26. “‘I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.’”

    Louis CK —>

    Not as stupid as some might jump to think, it seems:

    More detail

  27. Hugo Chavez purchased Gold recently; that’s a good enough reason for me to now personally switch on over into Silver. At least Silver is really useful.

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