Other • Dancing Shoes
By James Howard Kunstler
on May 20, 2012
So many shoes are dropping out there that reality is starting to look and sound like the tap-line in a Busby Berkeley production number. The meme-scape, too, is humming with viral transmissions of dire doings. Is JP Morgan unwinding like a 1911 knitted woolen Yale varsity sweater? Did it booby-trap the credit default swap universe in the process, and is that getting ready to blow? The whole world is hanging by its fingernails, refusing to be dragged into the future.
That future is all about contraction. We could navigate our way into it but we don’t want to. We want to stay right where we are with all our stuff and no need to make new arrangements and we are trying every last trick to do that. Can you not sense a terrible tidal surge of implacable forces under the headlines’ placid surface? I do offer Mark Zuckerberg best wishes on his nuptials, but I think he set himself up for one of fate’s great pranks as FB stock goes to 99 cents while he’s still on his honeymoon (playing Frogger in a super deluxe hotel suite).
Does anybody really believe that the European money problem has any other ending except massive repudiation of obligations and epic political realignment? Or that the USA isn’t caught in the undertow. The only real question now is how the civilized world might remain civilized while it rebuilds its money system. Money, after all, is a representative of reality and the representations by nations and person and institutions have been so false for so long that, for practical purposes, there is no consensual reality anymore.
By the way, it was a nice gag at the time, but Karl Rove was wrong. We are not creating our own reality.
Reality’s theme going forward is changing from liquidity to liquidation. The European LTRO was a nice fairy tail, and the mild buzz lasted a few months, but its flimsy spell is broken. An awful lot of parties may be liquidating gold and silver, too, this week but under the circumstances I’ve got to think there will be plenty of counterparties looking to buy, since uncertainty is crushing all other media of exchange. The process begins to look like a mass metamorphic conversion of winners to losers and vice-versa. In a giant unwinding of paper assets the result may be that precious metals go sideways while all other assets tank – and then once everything’s in the tank, PMs tank, too, because nobody is left standing with that kind of cash. Of course, in the event just a little bitty bit of gold will still buy a lot of stuff. The other possibility is that the rumored global coordinated central bank QE doomsday machine goes off destroying the meaning of cash money altogether. Surely that sort or stunt will not cast the same spell as the LTRO, a more measured act of desperation, but will call into question the very meaning of dollars, euros, yen, and pounds sterling. That’s when you’ll be paying $25,000 for a Little Debbie snack cake.
Let me be first of the non-right-wing in the blogster corps to venture the somewhat un-PC idea that Barack Obama turned out to be the first black schmuck elected President of the US. He didn’t do the one thing that would have mattered most: put an end to government sponsored control fraud. Control fraud at that level is so pernicious because it destroys the legitimacy of institutions. It can only make a nation cynical, by which I don’t mean given to malicious humor, which is different, but just always thinking the worst of your fellow man and the very idea that the human race ever produced anything fine and durable.
And on top of that malfeasance, to try to suspend due process of law in Section 1021 of the NDAA bill – smacked down by federal judge Katherine Forrest last week – was an amazing transgression that the mainstream press greeted four months ago with barely a shrug. Can’t we just start a movement to go down to Charlotte, NC, this summer and levitate the convention center into outer space? It nearly worked with the Pentagon forty odd years ago.
What do you suppose Obama and the other feckless schmucks of the G-8 were telling each other this weekend at Camp David between weenie roasts and ping-pong round robins? It must have been the emptiest dumb show of mere protocol; an exchange of tie-tacks in the national colors, the playing of many anthems and flying of flags, issuance of bland assurances and platitudes. Nobody believes any of them anymore, even poor Mr. Hollandaise, who has been on the job a few days. Angela Merkel must be good and goddam sick of even showing up at the office.
Well, perhaps its best that the world will go where it has to go without leadership. After all, human history is emergent and improvisation suits us. Forceful leaders often only leave a big mess behind. But imagine a world where nobody gets paid. That might be our world by the end of the week.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun May 20, 2012 8:26 pm
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