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Forum Post: Feedback please: "Do Stock Markets Make Sustainability Impossible?"

Posted 3 months ago on Feb. 18, 2017, 2:28 p.m. EST by Alternatives2WallSt (25)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Feedback needed for: "Do Stock Markets Make Sustainability Impossible?" http://Stocknectar.Org/sustainability

Subheadings:

  1. Unless stocks are deemphasized and bonds emphasized, it is ludicrous to assume that solar energy—or anything else—can create sustainability.
  2. Protesting stock markets is as important as protesting air pollution—but nobody is doing so.
  3. The New York Stock Exchange is not an original or necessary institution for capitalism, democracy, Christianity, America or free enterprise.
  4. There is no magical law that requires stock markets to have happy endings.
  5. Overpopulation is not mandated by religion so much as by stock markets.
  6. No movement is making the essential moves against Wall Street to make sustainability possible.

Anyone please reply here with your agreements, disagreements, comments, questions, suggestions, etc. Thank you. This is needed for this new perspective. Apparently--in spite of much random ire against "Wall Street" and "unsustainable growth-reliance"--the stock market, obvious elephant of growth-reliance, seems never to have been precisely fingered before. And it seems next-to-impossible to get any hearing from major progressive figures, environmental groups and news outlets.

Exerpts which mention OWS:

2. Protesting stock markets is as important as protesting air pollution—but nobody is doing so.

Of course, there has been an "Occupy Wall Street" movement. However, the Wikipedia article on OWS mainly lists protests against some of the inevitable consequences of overemphasis on stock markets: "wealth inequality, political corruption, corporate influence of government." There seems to be no clear suggestion to deemphasize stock market investing.

6. No movement is making the essential moves against Wall Street to make sustainability possible.

  • There is what I call the “High Plains Drifter” initiative. This means firstly, for one reputable economist to write one book arguing that capitalism has a future if and only if stock markets are deemphasized. Secondly, for the leaders of one underdeveloped or “outsider” nation to read said book...

  • Or, a “Newman Age” could be upon us if some new promotional strategy somehow enabled stock market corporations in every sphere to be eclipsed by for-charity corporations à la Newman’s Own—with a similar ferocity as My Space was eclipsed by Facebook...

  • Or, a “Fight Fire With Fire” initiative might mean for some nonprofit foundation to manage “socially responsible” brokerages, autotrading systems, trust funds and mutual funds. If 1/3 of the foundation’s resulting income were used to finance pro-environmental politicians and organizations—while 2/3 were hoarded and reinvested—this eventually might build up a war chest with which to enable environmentalists to cross swords with billionaires and corporations. Currently however, environmentalists must forever act like the Dutch boy with a finger in a dyke.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been a vital first step. Just as it is often vital for the victims of child abuse to meet in group therapy. Thus to nurture the courage to vocalize violations by people who they were taught to awe and revere.

However, group therapy cannot fully be successful until the abusers are meaningfully confronted. Occupy Wall Street has produced little attempt to blueprint a non-abusive financial system.

Ebay, Google and Facebook all had humble beginnings—and yet, soon eclipsed stock market giants, even before joining the stock market. For the first time in history, it is no longer necessary to own steel mills in order to challenge the likes of Carnegie and Mellon. What is lacking today is only the will, not the capability. Each of the above “non-Wall Street initiatives” obviously could be accomplished within fewer than a dozen years by fewer than a dozen inspired individuals. This is probably a narrow window of opportunity and to which almost nobody is yet responding.

24 Comments

24 Comments


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[-] 2 points by agkaiser (1670) from Fredericksburg, TX 1 month ago

"Michael Hudson: Hayek turned classical economics on its head. Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and the other classical economists who are supposed to be icons of the free market meant a market free from land rent, monopoly rent and financial interest. But for Hayek, a free market meant one free for these rentiers. Free for landlords, bankers and monopolists. That’s why his group, the Von Misians in Austria, spent their time fighting against public spending and the “threat” of socialism. He said that socialism leads to fascism. But actually it’s his Chicago school that does this. It’s the “free market” Chicago Boys who led to fascism in Chile by overthrowing the government.

"So Hayek called freedom fascism, and he called fascism freedom. The first thing that the Chicago boys did in Chile was to close every economics department. Because they realized that you can’t have a Hayek-style free market unless you’re willing to kill everybody who disagrees with you. They had to kill labor leaders and tens of thousands of intellectuals. They closed every economics department in the country except for the Catholic University where they taught. There was mass murder. If you’re not wiling to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek’s free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom."

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/03/michael-hudson-democracy-collaborative.html

To answer the sustainability question: In the end, everything is a zero sum game. The FIRE sector parasitises everything and produces nothing. It takes from US and us every day in every way. They have it all or the paper on it. We borrow back what they've taken from us, at interest compounding, which makes things worse each day. What can blood sucking parasites do in the end but kill the host, ending the sustainability question once and for all.

It's not about opinion. It's about the facts on the ground, where we live at the bottom of the Wall St. pyramid.

[-] 2 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

I like using the analogy of driving and riding in an automobile for discussing the relations of sustainability and other qualities to the stock market and other markets.

The suspension system should be very stiff for a racing car to transmit every bump, swerve, and texture of the road to the driver so as to have them handled as quickly and accurately as possible.

It should be very mushy for a luxury sedan to give the driver or rider a very soft and gentle cushiony ride. While this ride is very comfortable, it can lull the driver or rider into complacency until the suspension system fails to damp the bumps and swerves.

I prefer a rather stiff racing-car feel while driving our economy because being too comfortable lulls us into a sleep that can only end in a very rude awakening.

Alan Greenspan preferred the luxury sedan feel. Everything seemed hunky-dory until an unavoidable disaster hit(but not under the maestro's watch, how impressive a maelstrom!)

The car's suspension system is analogous to our federal reserve and banking system.

Currently, sustainability is filtered out completely by the proposed budget to cut the EPA's funding greatly. We are riding in the luxury sedan with "No feelings! No feelings!" until we encounter the terrible unavoidable disaster. Figuratively speaking, I'd love to drink many piña coladas before hitting the roads. Rum, rum, Nick, isn't it impressive for the Maestro to drive blindfolded or inebriated? See! Mom, NO hands! I'm a little airplane, neow!

[-] 1 points by Alternatives2WallSt (25) 1 month ago

To Grapes:

Thank you for the excellent points. If I understand your second reply correctly--this might be applied to my view of Dodd-Frank and the FDIC. As you know, the Obama-era Dodd-Frank bill is our primary protection against a repeat of the 2008 crash. Repealing Dodd-Frank is inane. However, Dodd-Frank is flawed.

Firstly, Dodd-Frank makes it illegal for banks to use depositors' money to speculate in derivatives. But, last I heard, Dodd-Frank was not enforced (thenation.com/article/how-wall-street-defanged-dodd-frank 2013).

Secondly, Dodd-Frank makes it illegal to repeat the bailouts of banks. Thirdly, Dodd-Frank does nothing about too-big-to-fail banks.

In effect, we have a "mushy" false security that 2008 will not happen again. And, when 2008 does happen again, millions of people risk losing all their so-called FDIC-insured savings accounts and CD's (seekingalpha.com/article/1306931-it-can-happen-here-the-confiscation-scheme-planned-for-u-s-and-u-k-depositors 2013).

From Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders, right-wing and left-wing idealists alike are against bank bailouts. I agree that bank bailouts are like "emergency room medical care." Also, the bankers responsible should get a life sentence. However, the fact is, nobody really "knows" what would have happened if we did not bail out Goldman-Sachs in 2008. To refuse the bailout was to gamble with the life-savings life-line of millions of people. How is that less immoral than the banks gambling with derivatives?

And yet, Bernie Sanders was so much against the bank-bailout that he refused to sign the GM-bailout. It was politically impossible to pass them in separate bills.

I think Bernie Sanders is the one person who would put the 2008 bankers in prison. Nonetheless, Bernie is wrong about refusing to do bailouts. Similarly, Dodd-Frank, in making both bailouts and speculations illegal, is sort of like reducing speed limits and then removing safety belts. The speed limits will not stop people from speeding. Removing the safety belts just makes sure that more people die from speeding.

However, I do not see how this might be related to Trump's gutting of the EPA. We all know that Trump comes from the Bizarro dimension. His way of confessing sins is to say, "Bless me Father for I have sinned--that Hillary is such a liar!" Similarly, when Trump says, "I am to a very large extent an environmentalist"--we all know what this really means. "Look out Mother Nature, I am about to stomp on your head."

[-] 1 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

The barometer to watch is the credibility of the U.S. dollar around the world. When it collapses, hard times will come to the U.S. because we can no longer counterfeit more U.S. dollars and import so many cars, television sets, iPhones, computers, computer cables and connectors, toothbrushes, crude oil, coffee, cacao, cocoanuts, rum, pineapples, tomatoes, bananas, kiwi fruits, avocados, etc. at the cost of just printing some dollar bills. Of course, a strong military is absolutely required to block any unreasonable foreign takeovers of U.S. domestic real assets with these as-good-as-real counterfeit U.S. dollars that foreigners have earned. We must destroy ALL other U.S. dollar counterfeiters without U.S. blessing.

》Dumme, sei mein Freund

 Geh mir nicht voran, ich könnte dir nicht folgen.
 Geh mir nicht hinter, ich könnte dir nicht leiten.
 Geh nur an meiner Seite und sei mein Freund!

Ist das Freundschaft? Ist das wahr? Ja, Freundschaft und Spiel. Das ist doch klar!

[-] 1 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

Regarding U.S. U.K. bank deposit confiscation plan(aka voluntary deposit surrendering plan), it's really pretty obvious to anyone who has looked into the ratio between the amount of U.S. bank deposits and the amount that the FDIC has on hand to insure against a run on them. Insurance is grossly inadequate but there's an implicit alleged promise that the U.S. government will step in at the critical juncture with the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, and outsourced U.S. dollar printers to stem the bank run. It worked the last time, eventually running the tab up by the tune of $4trillions+. Credit creation and full speed ahead 24/7 of money printing can outrun any bank run as long as the confidence in the currency printed remains intact.

That means Trust in the value of the dollar. Last I checked, it was still intact and unquestioned during the Q4 '07 to Q1 '09 extended punctuated crash(a major home builder company famously [probably inadvertantly] blurted out in its financial guidance conference call that 2008 would be terrible the Entire year for the real estate industry - that's how I dated the start of the crash[Robert Schiller saw the divergence between wages and mortgage debt servicing requirement and predicted a crash much earlier]; then the selling of a major stake of the collapsing Morgan Stanley investment bank as the first domino to fall [investment banks have all since gone Extinct!] to the Chinese in December 2007 and unsucessfully offered by U.S. Teasury Secretary to merge it with JP Morgan Chase with Federal Reserve backstopping to the tune exceeding $10billions confirmed the linkage between housing and investment banking that produced the eventual systemic collapse delayed by the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury long enough for the much stricter bankruptcy law passed by Congress to take effect).

Instead of the bailout-fatigued Germans bailing out yet again the weaker members of the EU, Angela Merkel wanted a haircut for the Russian oligarchs' squirreled away money in Cyprus' banks which offered high interest rates so the EU tried bail-in and it worked. As I had said before, confiscation of private properties always worked. It'll work in the U.S. and U.K., too.

It's not that the U.S. does not have private property confiscations already. The DEA, the CBP all have the authority to seize and confiscate any "large" amount of cash and properties deemed to be of suspect origin as ungodly gains(no different from Russian oligarchs' Cyprus' bank deposits that suffered Merkel's haircut). Hence, we already have Non-suspect citizenship for a long time. Some Trump Team members acquired Suspect citizenships due to the ungodly(there's no god but Allah[God in Arabic], correct?) "large" amounts and contacts. Flip was correct that he was lucky to be considered white because it gave him a better Non-suspect citizenship than let's say darker-skinned people.

As long as a sufficient number of people still believe in the financial system, it cannot collapse because the printing press is quite effective. The underpinning of all of these is, of course, the power of the U.S. Military which is still unquestionably number one. As long as the bond-market interest rates do not spike up too fast or to a vastly higher level, we should all be just fine. A U.S. currency collapse is what we must watch out for. The U.S. 330 million people with about 150 million human batteries must generate sufficient power to service the interests on $4.5trillions+ owed to the Federal Reserve(which cost it nearly nothing to produce initially) and another $15.5trillions to investors. That comes to about $60k per U.S. person. A typical family of four owes about $240k. At historical interest rates of 3% over inflation of 2%, This national debt requires $12k a year of interests to service. The debt to GDP ratio has started to slip out of hand exceeding 100% because the U.S. GDP is less than $20T a year. Look up the PIGS R US countries' debt to GDP ratios. PIGS R US countries are Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Rome(for Italy), and the USA. The PIGS R ran into troubles with debt servicing earlier than the US so they are like car crashes on the roadside warning us helpfully to be careful. Once the interests on this amount owed crowd out the other expenditures required by the U.S. Federal Government, the collapse of the U.S. will begin in earnest.

For most of our rich people, owing a lot of money is the best way to get even richer as long as they can service or roll over the debts(the meltdown in 2008 was due to the not-so-well-off folks having emulated the rich and failed in servicing or rolling over their mortgages["To thine own selves be true and know thy selves."]) because tax writeoffs and systemically produced inflation(the nefarious Legal counterfeiting printing press of checks and money states 2% inflation as the target so it's confiscating 5% of the human batteries' accumulated charge every year with the nearly zero interest rates to the savers[here's why the suckers of China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, U.K., Netherlands, etc. are so important]) will discharge the debts eventually. Having the world's strongest U.S. Military protecting us(learn from our Continental Congress and the never-paid-off Revolutionary War bonds) the deadbeats can render all of our debts null-and-void, as all unsustainable debts eventually become.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

Trump came from how the DNC having played dirty in the election against Bernie Sanders. Russia was just a rather convenient fall guy. It's not that I don't cheer its getting badmouthed. Russia did many bad things in the Baltics so if Germany plays the role of a stranded maiden rather than a Teutonic warrior, I'll welcome the Swedes and the true Nord taking Russia's aggressive intentions seriously.

Trump is God's Will. Maybe God lives in the Bizarro dimension. As I've heard times before, "God works in mysterious ways." Even Satan was created by God as Lucifer(with direct access[no lobbyists involved] to God as in the Book of Job) and for God.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

Clean coal believers are idiots. Now we have certainly covered some protubérances, haven't we? I know that without coal we'll be worse off but it doesn't mean that more coal is good. There are clean alternatives to coal that we should be pushing for at full speed ahead while executing an orderly retreat from using coal.

Coal burning is like cigarette smoking. We Must kick the habit but we want to avoid the withdrawal symptoms by reducing the bad behavior gradually. Clean coal cannot be scaled up and that dooms its future. We have Scott Pruitt in charge at the Environmental Protection Agency. We certainly need tons of toilet paper for the unicorn's copremesis(to wipe up the feces he spews out @1:43 orally). He needs to learn the Germanic obsession(from too much 》Semmel und Brezel《) with the Non-obstruction of life's flow to 》der After《, punctually and with kid gloves.

Setting and adhering to high automobile gas mileage standards in the 1980's could have made the U.S. auto industry much stronger competitively in the long run but we had the Demented-Senility-in-Chief and the Coprolites then, colluding with Wall Street. Apple almost died an untimely death under the Wall Street profit drive at the hands of the former Pepsico(notorious for producing pissy slugs which had slimed onto Apple and United Airlines) CEO. Imagine how bad following the profit motive alone would have been - the company with the world's greatest market capitalization would not exist! U.S. auto-industry profits were good for a while until U.S. customers turned to buying Japanese cars and found them highly reliable and yielded great gas mileages. Corporatocracy nearly killed off the U.S. automobile industry.

High expectations are often required for long-term success because aiming high and failing some(launching pad for the next-round improvements) can still be much better than aiming at average and achieving that.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

I was also for the GM-bailout because GM knew how to build tanks for battles so it had to be bailed out if the U.S. still wanted to have a chance to defend Europe. The Baltic situation is extremely precarious and dire but at least we may yet be able to manufacture enough tanks to give the aggressor pause. The U.S. may not be fast enough to react to a Baltic annexation but we are so obese with potential productive capacities that we can crush them with our sheer weight when we roll over. Using nuclear weapons is probably the quickest way to drive off the aggressor in the Baltics but who knows to where it may lead? I like eating mushrooms but Cs-137 concentrators are no-no's to me.

The GM-bailout saved many workers' jobs so it was a success in more than one way: international security and domestic economic security.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

I was for the bailouts, not because they were moral but because they minimized the damage to the innocents. I took it like having a recalcitrant daughter return home pregnant after she had thrown a temper tantrum and run away with that trashy assault weapon: deliver the son of a gun first!

Goldman-Sachs was greatly negligent when a hedge fund manager brought the news to it that it was digging a big hole for itself. Goldman-Sachs didn't care so the guy went with the flow and asked for the creation of customized swaps that eventually earned him many $billions. Goldman-Sachs stuffed much of that junk to AIG which was truly a never-allowed-to-go-under entity because it insured so much of the world's economy. Imagine most airline flights being canceled for who knows how long!

Some people at Goldman-Sachs should have been locked up for good. 0 ba ma had 0 financial world experience and was cowed to letting AIG executive get gargantuan bonuses even after the U.S. government had majority share ownership and could have easily vetoed the bonuses. Timid people like 0 ba ma and Bernie Sanders, though well-intentioned, didn't have the rich man's spirit like Herr Drumpf did, so they failed. Of course, it's premature to judge the new regime so it may yet fare no better or even much worse. As an American citizen, I certainly want it to succeed but I feel that we are squirming across the bed.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

Dodd-Frank is obviously flawed but our Idiocracy, even in its great leap forward after the AIG (which had boasted of its "innovations" in glossy advertisements before the $4-trillion+ economy-train wreck) insurance debacle, can only manage to land in the pig sty's open-air drainage so we must live with the Retard-I-Can'ts' effluent. Consider it a baptism with Mammon's hogwash.

Abolishing Dodd-Frank in the current political-power distribution is irresponsible because of the Retard-I-Can'ts being in power and these retarded hogs' catering to the banksters.

[-] 2 points by agkaiser (1670) from Fredericksburg, TX 3 months ago

The profits of the FIRE sector are the losses of the rest of the human race. The FIRE sector is technically parasitic. It makes no real product. It adds value to nothing and cost to everything. It extracts wealth from real economic activities of producers and consumers. When the money that represents the wealth appropriated by the banksters, billionaires and the rest of the FIRE that's ravaging the human race and enslaving us with debt becomes too concentrated with the parasites that own everything or hold the paper on it, they loan it back to us at interest that compounds the problem. If the banks run out of money [they've stolen by usury] they create more on their ledgers or the government loans [at near zero interest] or gives it to them out of your tax money. Of course they loan that to us or the [wholly owned and in their pocket] government at more profitable interest that, again, compounds the problem.

Only a moron could believe the pyramid scam that is capitalism can be sustained forever.

[-] 2 points by ImNotMe (1488) 3 months ago

Wall Street exists only for the benefit of Wall Street! Modern Banks are Institutions that ''Hoover Up'' NOT ''Trickle Down'', anything other than shit!! The World Bank & IMF are organisations set up after WW2 to reconstruct Europe but after inception of Cold war they have become part of the tug of war between Capitalism and Communism and are now part of ... The Global Banksterocracy!!! However, digressing here now,so I'll try to come back to make a more thoughtful reply later.'Til then,consider Automated Algorithmic High Frequency Trading is a massive problem! And I'll append the following:

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33058) from Coon Rapids, MN 3 months ago

"Do Stock Markets Make Sustainability Impossible?"

In a word = YES

The stock market promotes corruption to get the most out of nothing and shaft the investor that bought into your scam!

The more faces a broker rips off of investors the more millions in bonuses that broker will recieve!

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22714) 3 months ago

Richard Wolff, economist, touches on these ideas and the chaos our economic system, focused on profit alone, produces.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeylp9UPeNk (especially at 40:00 minutes in)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz4YLH-bQlo (Markets Schmarkets)

Yanis Varoufakis on the unsustainability of the markets:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-qe-varoufakis-idUSKBN0MA0H120150314

Max Keiser on the unsustainability of the markets:

http://www.maxkeiser.com/tag/stock-market-crash/

Gar Alperovitz on the need for a new economic system:

http://www.garalperovitz.com/2015/05/need-new-economic-system/

Gar Alperovitz, "Some Requirements of a Steady-State Economy":

http://www.humansandnature.org/economy-gar-alperovltz

From the Alperovitz link above:

"On Corporate Growth and Corporate Power

So long as large private corporations must meet stock market demands for ever-greater (often quarterly) profit increases, they must “grow or die.” This dynamic is diametrically opposed to the need to slow or halt overall growth and resource use in general. And it also runs directly contrary to the need to control carbon emissions in particular. Additionally, corporate political power commonly acts as a powerful obstacle to progress on other vital ecological issues—as we have seen in the United States with the failed climate change legislation and continued efforts to discredit climate change science."

[-] 2 points by Alternatives2WallSt (25) 1 month ago

Thank you all for the invaluable comments and references.

However, I must confess that this is my third internet discussion--and I am becoming slightly disheartened.

Unlike in my previous discussions, you folks largely agree with me. Nonetheless, in a way, those who disagree more seem to have a more clear idea that I am first and foremost condemning the stock market. Not "capitalism" in general. Not "greedy people" in general. I am saying that, first and foremost, before we can hope to reduce greed or injustice or global warming, we must reduce the stock market. I do not say that reducing the stock market is likely to happen. I just say that the need to do so is an obvious fact.

Also--even though my message is utterly simple--it often seems as if, to be understood, I must present a different explanation to each person. And, in attempting to do so, I risk losing the simplicity of my message.

Therefore--I have decided to try a different tack. I will list each "savant" or organization which people have told me either agree with my message or disprove my message. I will briefly explain that they do neither.

Please note that, not having time to study each savant in-depth, my interpretations may be incorrect. If so, I welcome corrections. Overall however, if any of them believe as I do that the stock market is the core problem of the world--I believe they would make this crystal clear. Which they do not.

1.) Albert Bartlett. The core of my thinking seems identical to his. Unfortunately, he died in 2013. I have no chance to ask him if his thinking applies foremost to the stock market? He seems rather to have focused on overpopulation. Quoting from a 2013 article: "Albert Bartlett might have been another obscure physics professor had he not put together a now famous lecture... "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." The logic is surprisingly simple and irrefutable. Exponential growth, which is simply consistent growth at some percentage rate each year (or other time period), cannot proceed indefinitely within a finite system, for example, planet Earth... Actual world population growth is about 1.2 percent per year today, which seems benign; but, it implies the next doubling within 58 years to 14 billion."

In comparison, from about 1920 to 2010, inflation has averaged 3.2% annually, US corporate bonds 5-5.8% and the US stock market 7-11.8%. In addition to experiencing the greatest growth, the stock market is the one component which is unable to stop growing without causing global collapse. Furthermore, the stock market also uniquely REQUIRES inflation and population growth. Conversely, if and only if we disconnect the economy from the stock market, then we can survive with extremely low inflation and low or negative population growth. Also, consequently, we remove the pressure on everyone to invest in any growth. Currently--in contrast--anyone who fails to invest is certain to lose more than 1/2 the value of all earned income to inflation.

2.) "The Limits to Growth" of 1972 and follow-up reports by the Club of Rome, especially the 2016 summary currently posted at ClubOfRome.org: "A Finer Future is Possible." The Club of Rome clearly agrees with the "limits to growth" thesis of Bartlett. However, The Club of Rome fails to focus on stock markets as the most obvious engine of unstainable growth--also fails to suggest bonds as an obvious alernative to stocks--meanwhile suggesting a vague and utopian idea of "alternative investment methods." To top this off, they improperly blame "humanity." Even though "humanity" has absolutely no choice except to grow-or-collapse so long as the economy is tied to stock markets. This is certainly not the same as my own focus against stock markets.

3.) Gold enthusiasts--and "The Four Horsemen" documentary--and the Peak Prosperity organization--and presumably many other groups with somewhat survivalist and right-leaning tendencies. I am somewhat improperly combining many disparate groups into the category of those who often recognize the need to stop growth-dependence--but who somehow decide that the way to do so is to return to the "gold standard" or to "non-fiat currency" or to reduce the level of debt. After lively discussions with a gold enthusiast at SeekingAlpha.com and with several members of the Peak Prosperity forum, neither I nor they seem able to understand each other. Clearly however, they somehow reject my notion that the stock market is a center of growth-dependence.

4.) "Mother Caring for 7 Billion" documentary and "Hooked On Growth" documentary. These are both very educational documentaries about the need to overcome growth-dependence. However, they both somewhat fail to make clear suggestions about doing so or to focus against the stock market. I emailed them both. I received a reply from Dave Gardner of GrowthBusters and "Hooked on Growth." He said that he liked my thinking, had never heard such ideas, and would discuss them with his associates. He has not replied further. Hopefully he is still thinking it over...

(Continued below.)

[-] 2 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

The bond markets Vastly outstrip the stock markets in the total financial size. I observed that the bond markets' threatened collapses had precipitated the most Drastic regime-sourced interventions. The Q1 2007 stretched to Q1 2009 extended collapse was the most recent example. The 0 ba ma regime even took stock ownership of some collapsing corporations. In other stock market collapses, usually having the Federal Reserve cut interest rates aggressively sufficed to halt them.

I think the main reason that the bond markets are so much more important than the stock markets to the rich and powerful people is that they can issue nearly UNLIMITED amount of bonds on the one hand and creating inflation on the other hand to make the debts easily dischargeable. They Never ever want to lose that opportunity market for picking the pockets of every saver and working-stiff.

Stock market is definitely a problem but the bond market is a vastly bigger one. Stocks can be inflated worthless, too, by the corporations offering more shares of stocks. However, the stockholders tend to defend against the dilution of their ownership stakes far more vigorously than the bondholders.

The crux of the matter is how we can preserve over time the homomorphism between the real world and our financial representation of its ownership as the real world changes. However much I despise the violent class struggles which had grown out of the purported realizations of the ideology of Karl Marx, I think that he got it exactly correct that it was the Alienation of Labor that Capitalism depended upon that would precipitate Capitalism's fatal demise. Of course, FDR used Socialism to ameliorate and Stalin used Statism/Authoritarianism to hijack Labor's discontents so the Communist Society idealized by Karl Marx had Never existed nor ever would exist anywhere on Earth. Karl Marx didn't know human nature well.

The Mondragon Movement seemed to have found a better way to share ownership with Labor. Perhaps you can look into it.

[-] 1 points by Alternatives2WallSt (25) 1 month ago

"Grapes" makes an important point that bond markets are larger than stock markets--and that a bond crash is worse than a stock crash. This was also brought up in my Peak Prosperity discussion (peakprosperity.com/comment/204716#comment-204716). Perhaps I should discuss this in the main body of my article.

Bonds are analogous to fire escapes. No matter how bad a fire is, there is still hope of getting out alive--so long as the fire escapes are not on fire. This is not because fire escapes are dangerous. On the contrary. This is because fire escapes are safe havens.

Similarly, bonds, CD's and savings accounts are safe havens. This is why there is much more held money in them than in stocks. This is also why the situation is much worse when the bond market crashes. However, just as a fire escape never catches fire unless the house is totally ablaze--bond markets do not collapse unless the stock market has triggered a series of blue-chip bankruptcies.

In 1929, when the stock market crashed, the situation did not seem completely hopeless. It was in 1931, when the bond markets crashed, that things got really bad. Then in 1933, savings accounts crashed. Is this because bonds and savings accounts are more risky than stocks? Did bonds and savings accounts cause the disaster? I hope everyone can see that the situation is quite the opposite.

Quoting from my article:

"""Of course, stock and bond markets both have ups-and-downs. However, when blue-chip stocks fall, we sell. When individually-held investment-grade bonds fall, we hold to maturity. Thus--in addition to stocks requiring infinite and impossible growth--stocks inevitably magnify instability while bonds generally regenerate stability...

"""However, we saw numerous bankruptcies and near-bankruptcies of US blue-chip corporations, insurers and regional governments in 2008: California, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, etc., etc. This has proven that corporate and municipal bonds are now like wooden fire escapes: only safe just so long as there is no great need to be safe...

"""Investment-grade corporate bonds should be safe. If not for our over-emphasis on stock markets, most bonds would be safe. Currently however--so long as the stock market has the power to trigger a cascade of blue-chip bankruptcies--then allocating anything for corporate or municipal bonds primarily means that you can allocate less for maximum-safety gold or US Treasury TIPS."""

Of course, there are basically three types of bonds. US Treasuries (aka US Treasury products, aka Federal government bonds), investment-grade corporate and municipal bonds, junk bonds. Junk bonds are somewhat like stocks: high risk with high reward, no guarantees. If properly diversified, investment-grade corporate and municipal bonds are safe so long as there is no major stock market crash. US Treasuries are safer still. Just so long as we do not experience a global apocalypse--the only weakness of US Treasuries is that you lose -20% of actual value if the US dollar drops -20%. This problem is partly, although not entirely, mitigated with US Treasury TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities).

Please note that any money in annuities or so-called FDIC-insured CD's or savings accounts are no safer than non-diversified corporate bonds. They are unsecured loans. In a 2008-level financial crash, if the federal government is unwilling or unable to bail out the banks, then the FDIC will run out of money. The "fine print" states that the FDIC will then compensate depositors with then-worthless stock market shares of their bankrupt banks (seekingalpha.com/article/1306931-it-can-happen-here-the-confiscation-scheme-planned-for-u-s-and-u-k-depositors 2013).

TIPS are totally different. TIPS are "backed by the full faith and credit of the US government." Of course, the US goverment may declare bankruptcy. Or (more likely) it may "reschedule its debts" (delay payment). However, the federal government is legally required to pay for TIPS. Nobody is legally required to bail out the FDIC.

In my opinion, nobody should hold significant amounts in CD's, savings accounts or checking accounts. Instead, set up a brokerage account at Vanguard, TD Ameritrade or other reputable online broker. Set up free electronic transfers from any local bank or credit union. After transferring the money to the broker, invest it in a "short term US Treasury TIPS ETF." Most online brokers offer one free trade per month in one TIPS ETF. Please note that a TIPS ETF is a mutual fund--therefore you cannot "hold to maturity"--therefore vulnerable to a collapse of popularity. However, also note that when S&P lowered the credit rating of the USA in 2011, US Treasuries became MORE popular. Not because people had more faith in them. But because US stocks and corporate bonds were more severely affected. Similarly, the numbers of people who sell short-term TIPS is always likely to be miniscule compared the numbers of people buying short-term TIPS because they are the "least risky" alternative to anything. Gold bullion is even safer in some ways--but in some ways not. Suffice to say that shares of short-term TIPS ETFs are extremely easy to buy and sell and are far safer than any savings account, annuity or CD.

If you invest in short-term TIPS ETFs, you must be prepared sometimes to lose -2% and on rare occasion -4% annually. On average however, TIPS ETFs usually average about +2% annually. Also, the worse the stock market is doing, the better TIPS are doing. Therefore, the far greater security is well worth the occasional slight loss.

Also note that, if the US government runs out of money, firstly it can refuse to bail out the FDIC. Secondly it can allow inflation to demolish the value of non-TIPS US Treasuries. All of these wiggle-out possibilities makes it all the more likely that it will be able to pay off TIPS. This in turn makes it likely that TIPS in general--and short-term TIPS in particular--might never significantly lose their high relative trading popularity.

The Mondragon Movement sounds interesting. I will look into it.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

I think that Dodd-Frank favored the National Banks over the other banks also trapped by Dodd-Frank. The Big Ones dragged out the regulations' implementation for many years and used them for hampering their competitors such as the regional and community banks through their size advantage. The Big Ones must be brought to heel. Not so much for the smaller ones which did not cause the crash.

In fact, Dodd-Frank's dragged out implementation and its imposition on the innocent banks slowed the economic recovery greatly. We'd have been much better off by breaking up the Big Ones.

However much we "think" that Dodd-Frank is protecting us, the rigged nature of our economic system has not been fixed so it's guaranteed that there will be more collapses, bigger, worse, and more terrible! Not supporting FDIC in a collapse will be a most important option on the table. Dishonoring implied obligation always worked.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4855) 1 month ago

Bond market's fire escape has 2% of it melted down every year as a stated target of the Federal Reserve. After a while, the fire escape collapses killing the ones still on it. It's why our elderly people eat petfood in their retirements even after working hard for their entire lives. Monetary growth rates year after year outrun wage growth rates. The Federal Reserve pledges that it will help the National Banks confiscate 2% of all your financial wealth year after year. This doesn't just mean your next paycheck if you don't spend it all. This means EVERY single paycheck that you have EVER earned that has not been spent completely had 2% transferred to the National Banks as a matter of the policy that they say is in your BEST interest!

Bonds are the means by which the rich and powerful borrow money and credit to gain control of real assets and then whittle away the debt repayments through the institutionalized Theft called inflation, also known as the "lubricant" for the economy.

I don't known about you but my body tenses up when Scott Pruitt, the tissue-paper unicorn, whips out a big tube of K-Y Jelly and says, "I'm in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency. Bend over -- relax... As your duly-appointed agent, I'll clean up your internal environment better than you've ever had."

We're just human batteries in "The Matrix".

[-] 2 points by Alternatives2WallSt (25) 1 month ago

(Continued from above.)

5.) Richard Wolff's basic perspective seems potentially compatible with mine. I must attempt to contact him. Wolff is a self-avowed "Marxist," with which I do not agree. However, according to a Bill Maher interview, Wolff seems to claim a brand of Marxism that is not opposed to capitalism, so much as a method of simply removing the errors of capitalism. Wolff routinely denounces greed and the fragility of the stock market. However, I can not find anywhere that Wolff pinpoints the basic existence of the stock market as the main error to remove. Wolff's net message seems the same as from most "democratic socialists." We are not told to protest the fact that our economy is intertwined with risky and unsustainable stock markets. Instead, we are told to be less greedy and maybe elect politicians who are less greedy. Also that the collapse of capitalism is always around the corner. Obviously, someday this will prove correct. Meanwhile however, Wolff does not seem to be denouncing the existence of stock markets.

6.) Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis seems to be a sincere and practical man who desires social justice. I should attempt to contact him. Varoufakis seems equally willing to use Marxist and capitalist economic theory, as well as to criticize them both. (theguardian.com/news/2015/feb/18/yanis-varoufakis-how-i-became-an-erratic-marxist) However, in my brief readings about Varoufakis, so far I can find no evidence of anything like my idea that capitalism can be made sustainable by deemphasizing stock markets. Even though, in my opinon, Greece is one of the most obvious cases of a nation which should deemphasize stock markets and emphasize corporate bonds. Greece clearly has no hope of winning the global stock market game.

7.) The website of Max Keiser seems to claim that current debt levels are dangerous for the stock market. This may be true. In any case, however, this is about standard short-term economics. This has no relationship to my criticizing the basic long-term unsustainability of the stock market. Indeed, in my view, the stock market itself inevitably causes increasingly excessive debt levels. A long-term solution can not be achieved by harping against debt levels. Sustainability might only be achieved by harping against the stock market itself.

8.) Gar Alperovitz calls to "democratize the ownership of our economy"--such as with a "public option" in health care--and that "worker ownership, including worker cooperatives, can and should be encouraged through federal policy initiatives." These are not new ideas but typical socialist ideas similar to those of Bernie Sanders. I like most of these ideas. However, how can we possibly "democratize the economy" if we do not greatly reduce the size and influence of stock markets? Conversely, if we do reduce the size of stock markets, then sustainability can be achieved without convincing Americans to become socialists. I admit that it may be equally improbable to convince Americans to reduce stock markets as to become socialists. However, my opinion is that reducing stock markets--or at least reducing the tax incentives to invest in stock markets--is clearly the more logical priority.

On the other hand, I must attempt to contact Alperovitz. Because I am delighted by the following quote provided by BeautifulWorld. This seems almost identical to some of my own writings, except being better-written:

"""So long as large private corporations must meet stock market demands for ever-greater (often quarterly) profit increases, they must “grow or die.” This dynamic is diametrically opposed to the need to slow or halt overall growth and resource use in general. And it also runs directly contrary to the need to control carbon emissions in particular. Additionally, corporate political power commonly acts as a powerful obstacle to progress on other vital ecological issues—as we have seen in the United States with the failed climate change legislation and continued efforts to discredit climate change science."""

Nonetheless, I feel rather befuddled by the following incongruities:

• A "stock market corporation" is officially labeled a "public corporation" but Alperovitz calls them "private." I suspect his use of "private" means "not government-owned"? If so, this is probably insignificant. But if not, I might be misunderstanding the paragraph?

• Much more importantly--Alperovitz apparently fails to go on to say that, therefore, we must phase-out stock markets!

My article--"Do Stock Markets Make Sustainability Impossible?--begins with a brief mention of the classic tale, "The Emperor's New Clothes." Everyone plainly sees a naked emperor. They are looking at him. And yet, somehow, nobody dares to see a naked emperor.

Similarly, in section 2 of my article, I discuss several progressive savants and institutions and documentaries that aggressively promote the phase-out of growth-dependence. Meanwhile, I ask, what is "the elephant in the room" for anyone who understands growth-dependence? What is the largest, most powerful, most obvious, most growth-reliant, most relentless and most basic engine of growth-dependence? What is furthermore by law and rule utterly required to remain growth-dependent? The stock market!

And yet, not one of those progressive savants and institutions and documentaries says, "Ahem. Obviously, phasing-out growth-dependence is impossible unless we phase-out the stock market."

In sum, this most-delightful quotation from Alperovitz simultaneously ends up as the most-depressing. Because here he is--saying precisly what I am saying--seeing what I am seeing--and equally understanding how things work. And yet, somehow failing to utter the obvious conclusion:

"Just say no to stock markets."

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (1670) from Fredericksburg, TX 1 month ago

There's been no sustainable economy on Earth since Adam and Eve committed the Original Sin of cultural devolution from hunting and gathering. The devolvement continued to be documented through Genesis until completed by the financial tyranny implemented by Joseph in Egypt 4000 years ago.

Making something from nothing, the perpetual motion of money, has been the greatest threat to human survival from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to the absolute domination of the world by Wall St banksters, billionaires, hedge fund managers, CEOs and the rest of the ruling elite criminals that centrally plan our economy and own our government today.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4855) 4 weeks ago

"perpetual motion of money" isn't quite correct. The root of all evils is the institutionalized perpetual theft from labor, "serving the best interest of labor." The stated goal is 2%(just about enough to confiscate all of a human battery's labor after a lifetime of working 40-50 years to make it drained and useless) confiscation of hitherto accumulated labor every year. National health care has become a government subsidy scheme for the medical insurance industry needing a bailout. The costs haven't come under control just because the government had put more money into the human batteries' pockets and forced them to patronize the medical insurance industry.

For the borrowers, there will be tax deductions, credits, depreciations, offsets, allowances, loan guarantees, federal backstopping, etc. Is it any wonder that the most productive country has been reduced to the most indebted country in the history of the world? The Liberals kept on muttering, "the U.S. is the wealthiest country in the world." It may be true but as with the Parable of the Prodigal Son, unwilling to reach into the pocket made the son live poorly. Due to our inbred polyticks, the bankruptcy of the U.S.A. will be remembered forever.

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 1 month ago

''What a State-Owned Bank Can Do for New Jersey'', by Ellen Brown:

multum on parvo ...

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 1 month ago

''Propaganda works by sanctifying a single value, such as faith, or patriotism. Anyone who questions it puts themselves outside the circle of respectable opinion. The sacred value is used to obscure the intentions of those who champion it. Today, the value is freedom. Freedom is a word that powerful people use to shut down thought.

''When think tanks and the billionaire press call for freedom, they are careful not to specify whose freedoms they mean. Freedom for some, they suggest, means freedom for all. In certain cases, this is true. You can exercise freedom of thought, for instance, without harming others. In other cases, one person's freedom is another's captivity.

''When corporations free themselves from trade unions, they curtail the freedoms of their workers. When the very rich free themselves from tax, other people suffer through failing public services. When financiers are free to design exotic financial instruments, the rest of us pay for the crises they cause.

''Above all, billionaires and the organizations they run demand freedom from something they call "red tape". What they mean by red tape is public protection.'' - from ...

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...