Matt Taibbi: Bailing Out the Bailout

This is bare bones, basic info that everyone should already know, but that doesn’t mean people know it, so, here it is…

Rise Up Times

It will take years to sort through the details, but Trump’s $2 trillion COVID-19 response looks like a double-down on the last disaster   

New York Stock Exchange building. (photo: Tayfun Coskun/Getty)New York Stock Exchange building. (photo: Tayfun Coskun/Getty)  

By Matt Taibbi  Rolling Stone  Reader Supported News  April 2, 2020  

’ve never signed anything with a ‘T’ before,” Donald Trump quipped at the signing of the $2 trillion CARES Act. He reportedly wants his signature on coronavirus relief checks, as if they were Trump Plaza casino chips. This might be a fitting metaphor for America’s post-virus economic future.

The new bailout bill, which combined with a series of Federal Reserve interventions is more like a $6 trillion rescue, is a massive double-down on the 2008 rescue efforts. This bailout of the last bailout sets the stage for permanent state sponsorship of America’s overheated financial markets.

Like 2008, only more so, the new…

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Beyond the Economic Chaos of Coronavirus Is a Global War Economy,

Rise Up Times

The rise of the digital economy and the blurring of the boundaries between military and civilian sectors fuse several fractions of capital — especially finance, military-industrial and tech companies — around a combined process of financial speculation and militarized accumulation. The market for new social control systems made possible by digital technology runs into the hundreds of billions.   

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The Corporate Debt Bubble Is A Train Wreck In Slow Motion

Desultory Heroics

By Brandon Smith

Source: Alt-Market.com

There are two subjects that the mainstream media seems specifically determined to avoid discussing these days when it comes to the economy – the first is the problem of falling global demand for goods and services; they absolutely refuse to acknowledge the fact that demand is going stagnant and will conjure all kinds of rationalizations to distract from the issue. The other subject is the debt bubble, the corporate debt bubble in particular.

These two factors alone guarantee a massive shock to the global economy and the US economy are built into the system, but I believe corporate debt is the key pillar of the false economy.  It has been utilized time and time again to keep the Everything Bubble from completely deflating, however, the fundamentals are starting to catch up to the fantasy.

For example, in terms of stock markets, which are now meaningless…

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Karl Ove Knausgård Interview: The Other Side of Edvard Munch [Video]

I’ve never read anything by Knausgard, but this does make me a little more curious to read him. When the cabbage painting came on the screen, my first thought was, death is always out there, waiting. I was a bit surprised when Knausgard then mentioned it and saw the same thing. I guess when you get to middle age and beyond, some things become impossible not to see.

I was lucky enough to see a Munch exhibition in Paris in the late ’90’s. I was transfixed and moved. Munch might as well have been standing there talking to me. The canvases were much larger than I was expecting and they had what I can only describe as an aura. I’ve experienced this a few times with great works of art. It is a kind of magic. Unfortunately, there is no way to experience this kind of work without being in its presence. Fortunately, the same is not true of all art forms, including writing. When writing is magic, it can be reproduced for anyone and everyone to experience – as long as you can read the language in which it was written that is (and sometimes the magic is so powerful it even comes through in translation). In a world where the people in power are fighting against the humanities, it’s important to remember that kind of magic is always around us. We are going to have to fight if we want that to continue to be true.

Union density: yet another low

LBO News from Doug Henwood

Preparing to write up the 2019 union density statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I looked at last year’s and was tempted just to copy–paste. Here’s the lede, as we say in journalism:

Union density—the share of employed workers belonging to unions—fell to 10.5% in 2018, the lowest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting the data in its modern form in 1964, down from 2017’s 10.7%.

The only edit I’d have to make in this bit is to change “10.5% in 2018” to “10.3% in 2019.” Similar things could be said for subsequent sentences. Union membership for private sector workers fell 0.2 point to 6.2% and 0.3 for the public sector, to 33.6%. (See graph below.) The private-sector number is an all-time low, and down almost 30 points from its 1953 peak, and below the level in 1900 (though that number must be taken with several grains…

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“All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.” – I.F. Stone

All governments – and the politicians that make up those governments…
Yes, it’s true, there are honest, non-corrupt politicians – they just don’t have any power.

21st Century Theater

richandpooropiumsmokers

“All governments lie,

but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials

smoke the same hashish they give out.” – I.F. Stone

from “In a Time of Torment, 1961-1967” (1967), p. 317

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