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
August 20, 2019
James Bovard
America’s Forgotten Bullshit Bombing of Serbia
Peter Bolton
Biden’s Complicity in Obama’s Toxic Legacy
James Phillips
Calm and Conflict: a Dispatch From Nicaragua
Karl Grossman
Einstein’s Atomic Regrets
Colter Louwerse
Kushner’s Threat to Palestine: An Interview with Norman Finkelstein
Nyla Ali Khan
Jammu and Kashmir: the Legitimacy of Article 370
Dean Baker
The Mythology of the Stock Market
Daniel Warner
Is Hong Kong Important? For Whom?
Frederick B. Mills
Monroeism is the Other Side of Jim Crow, the Side Facing South
Binoy Kampmark
God, Guns and Video Games
John Kendall Hawkins
Toni Morrison: Beloved or Belovéd?
Martin Billheimer
A Clerk’s Guide to the Unspectacular, 1914
Elliot Sperber
On the 10-Year Treasury Bonds 
August 19, 2019
John Davis
The Isle of White: a Tale of the Have-Lots Versus the Have-Nots
John O'Kane
Supreme Nihilism: the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto
Robert Fisk
If Chinese Tanks Take Hong Kong, Who’ll be Surprised?
Ipek S. Burnett
White Terror: Toni Morrison on the Construct of Racism
Arshad Khan
India’s Mangled Economy
Howard Lisnoff
The Proud Boys Take Over the Streets of Portland, Oregon
Steven Krichbaum
Put an End to the Endless War Inflicted Upon Our National Forests
Cal Winslow
A Brief History of Harlan County, USA
Jim Goodman
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is Just Part of a Loathsome Administration
Brian Horejsi
Bears’ Lives Undervalued
Thomas Knapp
Lung Disease Outbreak: First Casualties of the War on Vaping?
Susie Day
Dear Guys Who Got Arrested for Throwing Water on NYPD Cops
Weekend Edition
August 16, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Uncle Sam was Born Lethal
Jennifer Matsui
La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein
Rob Urie
Neoliberalism and Environmental Calamity
Stuart A. Newman
The Biotech-Industrial Complex Gets Ready to Define What is Human
Nick Alexandrov
Prevention Through Deterrence: The Strategy Shared by the El Paso Shooter and the U.S. Border Patrol
Jeffrey St. Clair
The First Dambuster: a Coyote Tale
Eric Draitser
“Bernie is Trump” (and other Corporate Media Bullsh*t)
Nick Pemberton
Is White Supremacism a Mental Illness?
Jim Kavanagh
Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit
Andrew Levine
Have They No Decency?
David Yearsley
Kind of Blue at 60
Ramzy Baroud
Manifestos of Hate: What White Terrorists Have in Common
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The War on Nature
Martha Rosenberg
Catch and Hang Live Chickens for Slaughter: $11 an Hour Possible!
Yoav Litvin
Israel Fears a Visit by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
Neve Gordon
It’s No Wonder the Military likes Violent Video Games, They Can Help Train Civilians to Become Warriors
Susan Miller
That Debacle at the Border is Genocide
Ralph Nader
With the Boeing 737 MAX Grounded, Top Boeing Bosses Must Testify Before Congress Now
Victor Grossman
Warnings, Ancient and Modern
Meena Miriam Yust - Arshad Khan
The Microplastic Threat
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail