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Kunstler: Great Expectations (Not)

Public Policy

Halloween’s coming super-early this year and it will be a shocking surprise to those currently busy looking for Russians behind every potted plant in Washington DC. First, accept the premise that your country has lost its mind.

This is what happens when societies (and individuals) can’t face the true quandaries of a particular moment in their history. All of their attention gets channeled into fantasy: spooks, sexual freakery, conspiracies, persecution narratives, savior fairy tales. It’s been quite a cavalcade of unreality for the past six months, with great entertainment value for connoisseurs of the bizarre — until you’re reminded that the fate of the nation is at stake.

The questions Americans might more profitably ask ourselves: can we continue living the way we do? And by what means? These matters of home economics have been sequestered in some forgotten storage unit of the collective mind for at least a year while a clock ticks in the time-bomb that sits on the national welcome mat. That bomb is made of financial plutonium and it’s getting ready to blow. When it does, all the distracting spookery and freakery will vaporize and the shell-shocked citizens will have a clear view of the bleak, toxic, devastated landscape they actually inhabit.

March 15 is when the temporary suspension of the national debt ceiling — engineered in a 2015 deal between Barack Obama and then House Speaker John Boehner — finally expires, meaning the government loses its authority to continue borrowing money. The chance that congress can pass a bill raising the debt ceiling to enable further borrowing is about the same as the chance that Xi Jinping will send every American household a dim sum breakfast next Sunday morning by FedEx. The US treasury will then be left with around $200 billion in walking-around money, at a burn rate of about $90 billion a month — meaning that that around June sometime the country won’t be able to pay invoices, issue salaries, send out entitlement checks, or do anything, really. It means pure government paralysis. It means no infrastructure spending jamboree, no “great” wall, no military shopping spree, none of the Great Expectations sewn into the golden fleece of Trumptopia.

Meanwhile, over the next few weeks, Janet Yellen and her crew of economic astrologasters at the Federal Reserve will have to put up or shut up vis-à-vis raising the interest rate on the basic overnight lending rate. The Las Vegas odds of it being raised currently stand at around 95 percent. So, they will be running that play around the time that the debt ceiling issue materializes into a live-action event. Of course, the Fed could welsh on its carefully-scripted previous hints and utterances and do nothing. But that option would probably extinguish the last remaining shreds of the Fed’s credibility, since they’ve been jive-talking about raising rates since they began “tapering” the QE bond-buying spree in the spring of 2013, i.e., a long time ago. The Fed’s credibility is synonymous with the dollar’s credibility. Look out below.

If those 95 percent odds are correct, the end of all that lovely cheap money will be the death of the Trumphoria stock market zoom as all algo hell breaks loose in Wall Street’s server farms and the trend is no longer anyone’s friend. Enter, stage left, the unintended consequences and diminishing returns of computer technology ripping apart the financial expectations of every banking official from Shanghai to 20th Street and Constitution Avenue. The American public will be left out in the parking lot with its head spinning.

So, enjoy the last few weeks of artificial Russia hysteria and LBGTQ bathroom neurosis. You’ll have other things to think about as the daffodils come peeping through the garden loam — like what to use for money to buy stuff if, perchance, the ATM machines go to lockdown, and anyway, after three days of that there won’t even be anything to buy (or steal)  at the local supermarket, given the fragility of our supply chains. I know this sounds a little extreme, like Zombie Apocalypse, but you won’t actually see any zombies around. They were just part of the perpetual freak show of the mind that is being shoved aside for the starker theatrics of reality.


51 Comments on "Kunstler: Great Expectations (Not)"

  1. Revi on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 2:04 pm 

    Wow! It could get nasty. Great…

  2. BobInget on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 2:07 pm 

    The last time Republicans shut down the government
    there was a Democratic President. The Right was attempting to show the Obama Administration could not govern. Now that its time to demonstrate Republicans can indeed run the country, is no time
    to prove it can’t.

    Kunstler is going off like raw milk in the sun.
    All he does now-a-days is make crazy predictions.
    Not offer solutions of any sort.

    Republicans will indeed pass the debt extension with only minor complaining. After-all, isn’t that governing?

    By now almost every Republican knows. DJT is not just a loose cannon but a loose screw.
    The next time you see VP Pence and Trump together watch how Mike Pence smiles, knowing full well, it’s only a matter of days or weeks before DJT implodes.

    Wise politicians are getting it even if Kunstler doesn’t,
    break with Loony Tunes before their names are tied forever with Trump’s.

  3. BobInget on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 2:15 pm 

    At last, President Trump Can Buy Guns.

    On a near daily basis, regulated industries are now sending in specific requests to the Trump administration for more rollbacks, including recent appeals from 17 automakers to rescind an agreement to increase mileage standards for their fleets, and another from pharmaceutical industry figures to reverse a new rule that tightens scrutiny over the marketing of prescription drugs for unapproved uses. As of late Friday, word had leaked that the automakers’ request for a rollback was about to be granted, too.

    “After a relentless, eight-year regulatory onslaught that loaded unprecedented burdens on businesses and the economy, relief is finally on the way,” Thomas J. Donohue, the president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, wrote in a memo last week.

    But dozens of public interest groups — environmentalists, labor unions, consumer watchdogs — have weighed in on the potential threat to Americans’ well-being. “Americans did not vote to be exposed to more health, safety, environmental and financial dangers,” said one letter, signed by leaders of 137 nonprofit groups to the White House last week.

    In other cases, the Obama-era rules under attack have drawn objections even from some liberal groups that called them examples of overreach, like the American Civil Liberties Union’s protest of a system to block mentally ill people from buying guns.


  4. Sissyfuss on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 2:24 pm 

    Wow Kuntski. And I thought I was a doomer.I’m not denying the prognostications, I’m just struggling intensely with my cognitive dissonance.

  5. Cloggie on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 3:11 pm

    According to Alex Jones is the US military about to announce their loyalty to Trump.

  6. penury on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 3:17 pm 

    Complaining that JFK does not offer solutions? i do not see any you posted.There are o answers to these predicaments. Just remember 90 % of the things predicted never happen. So what are your predictions?

  7. joe on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 3:44 pm 

    The debt will be raised and America will begin to realise that globalism is a trap, a one way street, that they are mixing up the races and religions to achieve one world government, the tower of babylon rebuilt, paganism refounded in hopes that the apocalypse will begin and Jesus Christ will come and put things to rights.

  8. paulo1 on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 4:20 pm 


    The debt ceiling vote will need 60 senate votes as well. Plus, the debt hawks will have to also vote for it which would be against everything they have ran on in past elections.

    My question is: will the Debt Ceiling shut down Govt before desperate politicians shut down and remove Trump from office, one way or another?

    Comrade Trump is looking absolutely batshit crazy/ignorant with his weekend tweets about Obama and the Terminator.

    Look for a strike/action against N Korea to divert attention.

  9. Hawkcreek on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 5:07 pm 

    Anybody can play what-if, like what happens if the debt ceiling is not raised, and come up with some logical consequences. Kunstler’s view is not too illogical, in my view.
    But I’m not totally in agreement with the what-if premise. Letting the government shut down will probably imperil their place on the public teat.
    When have politicians not bailed themselves out, even if it meant screwing the country?

  10. makati1 on Mon, 6th Mar 2017 9:34 pm 

    The circus only gets better and better.

    Anything can happen and should. Let the government shut down. Crash the Stock Market Casino. Destroy what is left of the dollar. Invade another innocent country. U$ insanity is about to peak, I think. Chaos everywhere.

    Fun to watch from the other side of the Pacific though. lol

  11. Cloud9 on Tue, 7th Mar 2017 8:28 am 

    The FSA is living just a few blocks over from the centers of power. That is why the deep state moved to Utah. Given an option between naysaying from the end the debt crowd and actually having your own blood spilt in the streets it is an easy choice. Mouse click a few more trillion into existence. The sheeple will bitch about the packages getting smaller and the prices going up but in the meantime, life will go on. This may however give Trump the opportunity to triage the government. The loyal support continues to get a pay check while the opposition gets and IOU.

  12. Cloggie on Tue, 7th Mar 2017 9:58 am 

    In Hungary the Iron Curtain is back, but this time not running North-South, but East-West.

    So-called refugees are now locked-up in internment camps. In addition Hungary now has build a second line of defense, that is a second fence to keep invaders out, with a road in the middle. That should keep them out.

    Orban is a hero. Everybody in Eastern Europe acts like that and refuses to cooperate with the Obama vassals in Brussels, who apparently missed that Obama is no longer president. That’s why it is too early to write Europe off. Hope comes from Eastern Europe and Russia. Downfall Hollande and Merkel next.

  13. Cloggie on Wed, 8th Mar 2017 2:05 am 

    Islam incompatible with western liberalism.

    Who said that? Donald Trump? Steve Bannon? Richard Spencer? Marine le Pen?

    No Frits Bolkestein said this during a conference in Cambridge. Bolkestein, the liberal grand old man of Dutch politics, who should have been PM, but instead chose to become heavy-weight Euro-commissioner in Brussels.

  14. dooma on Wed, 8th Mar 2017 2:08 am 

    Kunstler is getting a little bit too manic. Maybe he is close to doing a Mike Ruppert?

    The show will and HAS to go on. More funny money will be printed. Expect a manufactured distraction to steal the average bozo’s attention away. Naked pics of Smiley Virus?

    There is still some stretch left in this balloon but, when it does finally blow, it will make Krakatoa sound like a fart and will rip TWAWKI into shreds.

  15. dooma on Wed, 8th Mar 2017 2:10 am 

    Pass the radioactive-proof popcorn Mak.

  16. makati1 on Wed, 8th Mar 2017 2:36 am 

    Good one, dooma. Yes, no one can escape the radiation effects if there is a nuclear exchange. Rich or poor. 1st or 3rd world. We can only hope that saner minds will prevail.

    As for the collapse of the Western economy in the near future, that too will be felt by the whole world to one extent or another. I suspect that those who have climbed the ladder the highest will have the hardest fall and the most pain at the bottom. Some here disagree because they don’t want to see the truth, but there it is. There is some popcorn planted on the farm. I don’t want to run out of snacks before the show is over. lol

  17. JuanP on Wed, 8th Mar 2017 6:17 am 

    A financial crisis now is preferable to a financial collapse later. A debt jubilee is inevitable at this point. When TPTB run out of options to keep growing debt bubbles they will pop them. Whatever happens the future looks terrifying and keeps getting worse every day. Iceberg ahead!

  18. makati1 on Wed, 8th Mar 2017 6:39 am 

    JuanP, I think that ice burg is really the Antarctic shelf that broke away recently. When the good ship U$$ Debt hits it, the crunching sound will be heard round the world. Man the life boats! I did.

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