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It’s Our Money – Folks in the Field – 03.22.17

Anthropologist Margaret Mead is famously quoted as giving credit for most social and cultural change to small groups of individuals who pioneer new priorities and establish new systems. That certainly describes many individuals around the country who are working on the American public banking frontier with multi-year commitments of time, talent and energy, going through the hoops, chicanes, reversals and exhilarations required for creating entirely new banking institutions dedicated to democratizing control of public money for public benefit. We talk with several of these pioneers about their motivations, process, challenges and concerns – snapshots of 21st Century American democracy – as the movement for public banking picks up speed from coast to coast.

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Trends This Week – False faith, not hard data, boosting markets. Can it last? – 02.17.16

Trend forecaster Gerald Celente lays it on the table, dissecting why the bounce back in markets the last few days is bunk. After equity markets worldwide suffered one of the worst starts of a new year in history, stocks suddenly rebounded. For example, the Nikkei closed out last week at its lowest level since October 2014. But what economic fundamentals spiked prices higher this week? Was it the dismal news that Japan’s economy contracted 1.4 percent in the last quarter? No. What boosted stocks prices was the twisted rationale that despite the Bank of Japan firing two rounds of blanks from its “monetary bazooka,” the lousy Gross Domestic Product number was cause to launch yet another round of stimulus. Before Chinese markets opened Monday after being closed for a week, the Shanghai Index had fallen 47 percent since its peak in June. Was it on the rotten news that China’s exports fell 11.2 percent in January and imports plunged 18.8 percent that markets rallied? No. As with Japan, the dismal data was taken as a positive sign that the People’s Bank of China would take bold measures to boost sluggish growth. “Confidence,” trust the effectiveness of the rigged market game, not economic fundamentals, was the rationale for stocks suddenly moving higher. Tuesday’s New York Times headline summed it up: “Global Shares Buoyed by Investor Faith.” Yes, faith in more failed central-bank stimulus and stock and bond buyback sideshows… not faith in true price discovery and robust Gross Domestic product growth.

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Paul Craig Roberts – Are Americans Too Insouciant To Survive?

When one looks at the deplorable state of the world, one cannot help but wonder at the insouciance of the American people. Where are they? Do they exist or are they a myth? Have they been put to sleep by an evil demon? Are they so lost in The Matrix that they cannot get out? Ever since Clinton’s second term …