FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Recovery: Phase Two

Now that the grease in the wheels of the American money machine is working its way, the next phase of the recovery is afoot — proper attention to what Bob Rubin calls “the yields”, the place where creationists and monetarists converge in one simple notion of human nature: man’s fundamental motivational need for profit.  Lots of it.

Make no mistake: Arch-incrementalists, like Obama  and his soul mates, the “Nudgites” at U. of Chicago, division of behaviorist economics, practice good old-fashioned trickle-down economics.  And the pump from which the trickle flows is not primed until the yields are up.  Have faith.   “We are seeing evidence now that clients are looking to take on more risk to earn a higher return,” said Larry Fink in Business Week last month.  Fink’s fund, BlackRock, has $2.7 trillion under management. The pent up demand for profit is paying off:  Economists at UBS estimate that net worth is on track to increase by $3 trillion this quarter.  Trickle, trickle.

Pumps are calibrated in billions.  In all fairness to former Treasury Secretary (FTS) Rubin, his former colleague at Goldman Sachs, FTS Paulson, and top Obama economist FTS Summers, none has achieved billionaire status, although Rubin and Paulson are close.  Summers is way behind, but if past performance is predictive, the one-day-a-week gig at the hedge fund in 2008 at $5 million a year has potential.   (FTS Summers can leak: he is faulted for losing $1 billion of  Harvard Endowment money as a result of some poorly chosen interest rate swaps.  But that wasn’t his money.  Besides, he had a lot on his plate, including de-linking women and science.  Honestly, what does it take to be kept out of Barach Obama’s White House?)

If you’re going to talk money you have to talk Bill Gates.  He was said to have made 70 per cent per annum on his software, year after year.  That’s serious money.  Too bad he’s never figured out the relationship between gouging for essential info technology (used in the making of medicines) and the appalling conditions (especially lack of medicine) in Africa today, the very continent Gates is saving.

Gates shared more than a fanatic enthusiasm for bridge with the bosses at Bear Stearns. They too appreciated sky-high returns… at one point in the subprime run up, Bear was making 40 per cent every two months turning around collateralized debt obligations.  Bear CEO Jimmy Cayne was over the billion mark at one point, taking choppers to golf dates and otherwise providing content for Architectural Digest.   But selling subprime, high-interest mortgages to people with declining wages had some built-in limitations.

One outstanding profit leader, billionaire George Soros, is a man with very few limitations—author, educator, civil libertarian, lecturer, speculator.    This leading Democrat is a billionaire many times over — although we can only guess as to that fortune because he operates mostly outside the US where all-important privacy etiquette is still practiced.

Soros and other leading pump primers, including Larry Fink and BlackRock, are putting money where the mouths are: food.  This exciting new profit center is experiencing huge demand and rising prices— this amidst much deflation in other sectors.  Soros himself bought a piece of Argentine agribusiness, Adecoagro, which owns 650,000 acres of farmland in South America. Ted Turner owns lots of land down there too, though you wouldn’t know that watching CNN.  Again, privacy uber alles.   One wealthy American bought a piece of farmland in southern Sudan the size of Rhode Island.   These men practice what President Obama preaches (everyday): Free Markets.

You may recall some nasty riots in dozens of countries in spring 2008 as food prices spiked and people who don’t understand democracies took to the streets.   By the end of that year prices had fallen 50 per cent — as the credit squeeze affected staples.  Now they are up and the broad trend is solid: today, grain prices are above their 20-year average and food stocks around the world are near 40-year lows.   Says Fortune, “The fundamentals are in place for a long-term boom in the prices of everything ag-related.”  You heard it here.

For the non-Nudgites, those who don’t understand how a 40-year low in food stocks will build a better world, you have to remember that human creativity – especially in today’s White House – works in strange ways.   Big profits on speculation in rising costs of food helps us all.   And Bill Gates is saving Africa.

CARL GINSBURG is a tv producer and journalist based in New York. He can be reached at carlginsburg@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

CARL GINSBURG is a tv producer and journalist based in New York. He can be reached at carlginsburg@gmail.com

November 20, 2018
John Davis
Geographies of Violence in Southern California
Anthony Pahnke
Abolishing ICE Means Defunding it
Maximilian Werner
Why (Mostly) Men Trophy Hunt: a Biocultural Explanation
Masturah Alatas
Undercutting Female Circumcision
Jack Rasmus
Global Oil Price Deflation 2018 and Beyond
Geoff Dutton
Why High Technology’s Double-Edged Sword is So Hard to Swallow
Binoy Kampmark
Charges Under Seal: US Prosecutors Get Busy With Julian Assange
Rev. William Alberts
America Fiddles While California Burns
Forrest Hylton, Aaron Tauss and Juan Felipe Duque Agudelo
Remaking the Common Good: the Crisis of Public Higher Education in Colombia
Patrick Cockburn
What Can We Learn From a Headmaster Who Refused to Allow His Students to Celebrate Armistice Day?
Clark T. Scott
Our Most Stalwart Company
Tom H. Hastings
Look to the Right for Corruption
Edward Hunt
With Nearly 400,000 Dead in South Sudan, Will the US Finally Change Its Policy?
Thomas Knapp
Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago
November 19, 2018
David Rosen
Amazon Deal: New York Taxpayers Fund World Biggest Sex-Toy Retailer
Sheldon Richman
Art of the Smear: the Israel Lobby Busted
Chad Hanson
Why Trump is Wrong About the California Wildfires
Dean Baker
Will Progressives Ever Think About How We Structure Markets, Instead of Accepting them as Given?
Robert Fisk
We Remember the Great War, While Palestinians Live It
Dave Lindorff
Pelosi’s Deceptive Plan: Blocking any Tax Rise Could Rule Out Medicare-for-All and Bolstering Social Security
Rick Baum
What Can We Expect From the Democrat “Alternative” Given Their Record in California?
Thomas Scott Tucker
Trump, World War I and the Lessons of Poetry
John W. Whitehead
Red Flag Gun Laws
Newton Finn
On Earth, as in Heaven: the Utopianism of Edward Bellamy
Robert Fantina
Shithole Countries: Made in the USA
René Voss
Have Your Say about Ranching in Our Point Reyes National Seashore
Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail