• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

We are inching along, but not as quickly as we (or you) would like. If you have already donated, thank you so much. If you haven’t had a chance, consider skipping the coffee this week and drop CounterPunch $5 or more. We provide our content for free, but it costs us a lot to do so. Every dollar counts.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 22, 2019
Gary Leupp
The Kurds as U.S. Sacrificial Lambs
Robert Fisk
Trump and the Retreat of the American Empire
John Feffer
Trump’s Endless Wars
Marshall Auerback
Will the GOP Become the Party of Blue-Collar Conservatism?
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Trump’s Fake Withdrawal From Endless War
Dean Baker
Trump Declares Victory in China Trade War
Patrick Bond
Bretton Woods Institutions’ Neoliberal Over-Reach Leaves Global Governance in the Gutter
Robert Hunziker
XR Co-Founder Discusses Climate Emergency
John W. Whitehead
Terrorized, Traumatized and Killed: The Police State’s Deadly Toll on America’s Children
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A World Partnership for Ecopolitical Health and Security
Binoy Kampmark
The Decent Protester: a Down Under Creation
Frances Madeson
Pro-Democracy Movement in Haiti Swells Despite Police Violence
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Challenges Logging and Burning Project in Methow Valley
Chelli Stanley
Change the Nation You Live In
Elliot Sperber
Humane War 
October 21, 2019
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Wolf at the Door: Adventures in Fundraising With Cockburn
Rev. William Alberts
Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Sheldon Richman
Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain
Horace G. Campbell
Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
Jim Kavanagh
The Empire Steps Back
Ralph Nader
Where are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Poll Projection: Left-Leaning Jagmeet Singh to Share Power with Trudeau in Canada
Thomas Knapp
Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates
Brian Terrell
The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”
Paul Bentley
A Plea for More Cynicism, Not Less: Election Day in Canada
Walter Clemens
No Limits to Evil?
Robert Koehler
The Collusion of Church and State
Kathy Kelly
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Charlie Simmons
How the Tax System Rewards Polluters
Chuck Collins
Who is Buying Seattle? The Perils of the Luxury Real Estate Boom
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
Paul Street
Bernie in the Deep Shit: Dismal Dem Debate Reflections
Andrew Levine
What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?
T.J. Coles
Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face
Joseph Natoli
Trump on the March
Ashley Smith
Stop the Normalization of Concentration Camps
Pete Dolack
The Fight to Overturn the Latest Corporate Coup at Pacifica Has Only Begun
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate
Chris Gilbert
Forward! A Week of Protest in Catalonia
Daniel Beaumont
Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”
Daniel Warner
Greta the Disturber
M. G. Piety
“Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography
John Kendall Hawkins
Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail