Bailout Nation – The Same Old Con and Dance (with Updated Commentary)

The following was posted directly to the legacy posting site on four days ago (Saturday, March 11). As always, it needs to be posted here for longer term documentation:

On what seems to be the slowest Saturday in memory around here, you really should have taken note of one particular post. It is not hard to see what is coming. If you were wise enough to take note but feel that you need to better wrap your mind around the Big Con that is coming, I recommend a recounting of the last time it was played to perfection: The Auto Bailout and the Rule of Law by Todd Zywicki (National Affairs, Spring 2011). I know, the situation is “completely different” and yada, yada, yada…but the playbook will be the same. Properly prepared, you will see it all coming. (I hope to come back to this in an update or two after I take the time to reread my well-worn, highlighted hard copy later tonight or tomorrow.)

In order to fill the rest of this post with interesting material, I will crosspost below an offering that continued a series (The Worst Economy in Eighty Years and The Worst Economy in 80 Years: The ‘Inflationary Wave’ Edition) started before I moved to my own lonely outpost and which ties in well with yet another farsighted post from last May (Let Us Now Praise Hollow-Credentialed Buffoons and Kleptocrats Alike). 

As you start into all of this assigned reading, as I’m sure you will, remember the basics among the known-knowns to all willing to see: the hard times ahead have been baked into the cake for over two years now and the “elites” from both sides of the aisle have spent the better part of the last decade and a half setting the stage for exactly this. And, as we are told, more than 80 million of your fellow citizens enthusiastically went to the polls “voted” for it too. Enjoy:

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The Worst Economy in Eighty Years – Lords of Finance Vol 2? (October 1, 2022)

Author Liaquat Ahamed started the last paragraph of Lords of Finance – The Bankers Who Broke the World (2009) with:

More than anything else, therefore, the Great Depression was caused by a failure of intellectual will, a lack of understanding about how the economy operated. …

There will be no such excuse this time around. That paragraph in Volume 2 of the series as written at some future date about our current economic downturn will need to reference a lack of intellectual seriousness in our credentialed class and an intentional disregard for how the economy operated. That future tome will record the true beginnings of the Great Biden Recession (or Depression, time will tell) as the necessary results of a decade and a half of unserious central banking in reaction to (or cynically under the cover of) the 2008 housing bubble crisis. (And that, of course, was the economic reckoning made necessary by two decades of intellectual unseriousness from our elected class and an intentional disregard for how the mortgage banking system operated. But I digress.)  There will be many main characters to cover and many primary faces on the cover – don’t forget the many faces of TARP, the auto bailout, PPACA, QE 1-4 (and then forever), etc. – but one face must be quite prominent:

It seems it may be about time to start putting some of the details into her chapters:

Scoop: White House mulling potential Yellen departure after midterms

White House officials are quietly preparing for the potential departure of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen after the midterms, the first and most consequential exit in what could be a broad reorganization of President Biden’s economic team …

The world’s presidents, central bankers and finance ministers are deeply concerned about the state of the global economy, giving it an ominous feeling with parallels to 2007…

One might think that an orchestrated exit is simply a matter of acknowledging the growing impossibility of hiding the poor performance of a hollow-credentialed buffoon. But that would be wrong. It turns out she also doesn’t do overt politics that well:

Yellen, an economist by trade and at heart, has been reluctant to make overly political arguments when they violate her core academic beliefs.

Note that “reluctant to” does not mean she didn’t try…and, in the end, flush those “sterling credentials” down the toilet anyway. As wholly deserved, history will not be kind.

Unfortunately, the source material for the future writing of history is growing darker all the time:


Famed investor Michael Burry delivered arguably his most dire warning about the current US economy to date late Thursday – suggesting he is concerned the ongoing downturn could be worse than the Great Recession. …

“Today I wondered aloud if this could be worse than 2008,” Burry said in a now-deleted tweet. “What interest rates are doing, exchange rates globally, central banks seem reactionary and in [cover your a–] mode.” …

Earlier this week, ex-Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a frequent critic of the Fed’s delayed response to inflation, warned that global economic risk levels are similar to those seen in 2007 ahead of the Great Recession.

Like Burry, Summers noted that there is widespread uncertainty about the policy actions of central banks as they attempt to stabilize economies.

The Bank of England was forced to intervene this week after the value of the British pound crashed to an all-time low. Investors were rattled after the UK government backed sweeping unfunded tax cuts and increased spending — a plan that sparked fears of even worse inflation.

I must repeat a line that I quoted back in April: “…Joe Biden and his team are in total denial about economic reality and have no plans that will address the inflationary wave in any direction except to make it worse.” That is just as true today. Shuffling the deck chairs and rearranging the members of the band are hollow gestures and just part of this larger presidential charade.

Somewhere I have a quote from Orwell about the flattening of history…I will have to find it…but following that thought, the perspective required for the proper writing of the history of our times will force the focus onto the enormity of the coming Biden economic disruption and render the marketing of 2008 as a “Great Recession” to the same level of import we now view the Depression of 1920-1921. Unfortunately, that gives little comfort to those of us about to struggle through it. Hold on tight.

Into the abyss…

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UPDATE: As reported here by the good Mr. Easton yesterday referencing this February 14, 2023 Forbes publication:

It seems that someone was onto these folks already:  The Gilded Age of Modern Media Whoredom, Volume II…The Continued Self-Abasement of the Forbes Brand (November 19, 2022). Please note the reference to a post here at good ol’ Ricochet regarding the overly conspicuous virtue signaling by these fluffers during those fevered days of maximum Anti-Trump hysteria immediately following J6. I repeat the important part here for your convenience: 

EXHIBIT C: DISPATCHES FROM FORBES’ ‘CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER AND EDITOR’: Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.

(SIDE NOTE: It should be shocking to you that the chest thumping threats from Forbes above are not already their standard practice in doing their job. Maybe that touted “brand” is just a bunch of fluff.  From this point on, I guess I am forced to consider Forbes nothing but a bunch of fluffers. But I digress.)

[Emphasis added]

It is hard not to see that credibility and integrity at the “world’s biggest business media brand” are not really a top priority…I sure hope they are getting paid well for the job they actually perform. 

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