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Kunstler: What Could Go Wrong?

Kunstler: What Could Go Wrong? thumbnail

Everybody and his uncle, and his uncle’s mother’s uncle, believes that the stock markets will be zooming to new record highs this week, and probably so, because it is the time of year to fatten up, just as the Thanksgiving turkeys are happily fattening up — prior to their mass slaughter.

President Trump’s new Federal Reserve chair, Jerome “Jay” Powell, “a low interest-rate kind of guy,” was obviously picked because he is Janet Yellen minus testicles, the grayest of gray go-along Fed go-fers, going about his life-long errand-boy duties in the thickets of financial lawyerdom like a bustling little rodent girdling the trunks of every living shrub on behalf of the asset-stripping business that is private equity (eight years with the Deep State-ish Carlyle Group) while subsisting on the rich insect life in the leaf litter below his busy little paws.

Powell’s contribution to the discourse of finance was his famous utterance that the lack of inflation is “kind of a mystery.” Oh, yes, indeed, a riddle wrapped in an enigma inside a mystery dropped in a doggie bag with half a pastrami sandwich. Unless you consider that all the “money” pumped out of the Fed and the world’s other central banks flows through a hose to only two destinations: the bond and stock markets, where this hot-air-like “money” inflates zeppelin-sized bubbles that have no relation to on-the-ground economies where real people have to make things and trade things.

Powell might have gone a bit further and declared contemporary finance itself “a mystery,” because it has been engineered deliberately so by the equivalent of stage magicians devising ever more astounding ruses, deceptions, and mis-directions as they enjoy sure-thing revenue streams their magic tricks generate. This is vulgarly known as “the rich getting richer.” The catch is, they’re getting richer on revenue streams of pure air, and there is a lot of perilous distance between the air they’re suspended in and the hard ground below.

Powell noted that the economy is growing robustly and unemployment is supernaturally low. Like his colleagues and auditors in the investment banking community, he’s just making this shit up. As the late Joseph Goebbels used to say describing his misinformation technique, if you’re going to lie, make sure it’s a whopper.

The economy isn’t growing and can’t grow. The economy is a revenant of something that used to exist, an industrial economy that has rolled over and died and come back as a moldy ghoul feeding on the ghostly memories of itself. Stocks go up because the unprecedented low interest rates established by the Fed allow company CEOs to “lever-up” issuing bonds (i.e. borrow “money” from, cough cough, “investors”) and then use the borrowed “money” to buy back their own stock to raise the share value, so they can justify their companies’ boards-of-directors jacking up their salaries and bonuses — based on the ghost of the idea that higher stock prices represent the creation of more actual things of value (front-end-loaders, pepperoni sticks, oil drilling rigs).

The economy is actually contracting because we can’t afford the energy it takes to run the things we do — mostly just driving around — and unemployment is not historically low, it’s simply mis-represented by not including the tens of millions of people who have dropped out of the work force. And an epic wickedness combined with cowardice drives the old legacy news business to look the other way and concoct its good times “narrative.” If any of the reporters at The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal really understand the legerdemain at work in these “mysteries” of finance, they’re afraid to say. The companies they work for are dying, like so many other enterprises in the non-financial realm of the used-to-be economy, and they don’t want to be out of paycheck until the lights finally go out.

The “narrative” is firmest before it its falseness is proved by the turn of events, and there are an awful lot of events out there waiting to present, like debutantes dressing for a winter ball. The debt ceiling… North Korea… Mueller… Hillarygate….the state pension funds….That so many agree the USA has entered a permanent plateau of exquisite prosperity is a sure sign of its imminent implosion. What could go wrong?

New Paintings by JHK 2016 — 2017


34 Comments on "Kunstler: What Could Go Wrong?"

  1. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 10:12 am 

    LOL like Janet Yellen, but without the testacles.
    Brings back memories of that big man Janet Reno.

    So when’s the stock market gonna crash. Somebody
    tell me.

    What’s happening is society has changed. The rich 1%
    are now so rich, they got no place to put their money.
    So it’s piled up into buying overpriced stock.

    When middle class bought stock, they looked for
    fundamentals. Rich people don’t do that, so the
    richer they get, the higher goes the stocks.

    It will still crash eventually.

  2. Plantagenet on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 10:24 am 

    Most money in the stock today is coming in through ETFs that are run by simple AI programs. In the past the market would occasionally crash when human investors panicked and sold out. But it’s not clear that AI money managers will ever panic and sell.


  3. Cloggie on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 12:26 pm 

    Hey Plant, long time no see. Welcome back!

  4. dave thompson on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 2:22 pm 

    To boost my local economy I bought a used wood chipper. I use it to shred old sofas and tires that way they burn much cleaner in my back yard furnace/incinerator. A real boost to economic growth because I can clean up the area roadside flydumpers.

  5. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 4:55 pm 

    Dave check out this one, about the
    environmentally correct way to dispose
    of a big screen TV.
    This method produces clean cheap
    renewable energy forever.

    It’s interesting he screwed up and got scared
    this is because he should have done this
    at night when the electric grid needs more
    energy and the smoke isn’t visible.

    Also he should have a pack of hot dogs
    handy so if the authorities are complaining
    he can say it’s just an evening cookout.

  6. Apneaman on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 6:31 pm 

    Many older Americans are living a desperate, nomadic life

    They live in RVs and drive from one low-wage job to another

    “In her powerful new book, “Nomadland,” award-winning journalist Jessica Bruder reveals the dark, depressing and sometimes physically painful life of a tribe of men and women in their 50s and 60s who are — as the subtitle says — “surviving America in the twenty-first century.” Not quite homeless, they are “houseless,” living in secondhand RVs, trailers and vans and driving from one location to another to pick up seasonal low-wage jobs, if they can get them, with little or no benefits.”

    Yabut the DOW N stuff.

  7. Apneaman on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 6:41 pm 

    Homeless explosion on West Coast pushing cities to the brink

    “In a park in the middle of a leafy, bohemian neighborhood where homes list for close to $1 million, a tractor’s massive claw scooped up the refuse of the homeless — mattresses, tents, wooden frames, a wicker chair, an outdoor propane heater. Workers in masks and steel-shanked boots plucked used needles and mounds of waste from the underbrush.”

  8. makati1 on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 6:52 pm 

    JHK paints a very real picture of America today. Since I have no ‘investment’ in any stocks, anywhere, I await the day it all crashes. It went down 80% in the 29′ crash. Maybe it will beat that this time and go to zero? We shall see.

    BTW: Even the President of the US was saying that the US was “on a permanent plateau of prosperity” just months before the crash. You should watch a few vids on UTube about the Great Depression, and you will see the almost same comments and prognostications you hear and read today. I hope the crash is a big one, at least 50%. The “shot heard round the world” kind.

    “BBC2 Documentary 1929 The Great Crash 1929”

  9. Davy on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 6:57 pm 

    We are doing fine Mad Kat. We are no worse than Asia. In fact we are honest about are condition and you lie and hide from them. We are real and you are fake. Sorry for the bad news.

  10. MASTERMIND on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 7:01 pm 


    It must make you feel so good on the inside to read about everyday all the bad things happening in the US….You are sadistic and it clearly shows everyday…Almost every comment you make is so sort of anti social jab at the US…How sad you are now totally deranged and it shows…

  11. Duncan Idaho on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 7:18 pm 

    What can’t go on forever, won’t.

  12. makati1 on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 7:27 pm 

    MM, again you assume…

    I do NOT feel happy about the events in the US, but they are a sign of the times and of the coming imperial crash. I cannot change them. It is like watching a movie and having some idea of the ending.

    For the common American, the sooner the collapse happens the better. There may be something left to start over with. If the collapse takes many more years, there will be nothing left. Not to mention the deaths and destruction the empire will cause around the world, the longer it is allowed to exist. The other 7.3 billion deserve a better future without the US insanity ruining their lives.

    So, yes I hope it happens soon. And, that the crash is hard enough to end it’s 800+ military bases around the world and it’s murdering, plundering military has to come back to the 50 states to keep order inside the country. That day is coming, but when? Soon, I hope.

  13. makati1 on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 7:48 pm 

    Recently in America:

    “First Comey Memo Concluded Hillary Was “Grossly Negligent,” Punishable By Jail”
    “Air Force Reporting Error Allowed Texas Shooter To Buy Guns”
    “For The First Time In 13 Years, U.S. Deploys 7 Aircraft Carriers Simultaneously”
    (After they cleaned the rust and corrosion off of them.)
    “Trump Asks For $4 Billion To Beef Up US Missile-Defense Systems”
    (What system?)
    “Trump’s “Beautiful Tax Plan”… Fuggedaboutit!”
    (Not my worry.)
    “This Is The Broadest Episode Of Extreme Equity Market Overvaluation In History”
    “Trump Says Trade With Japan Is Not Fair And Not Open – Awkward Moments Ensue”
    (Making friends into enemies.)
    “Comcast Users Report Massive Nationwide Internet Outage”
    “The Big Reversal: Inflation And Higher Interest Rates Are Coming Our Way”
    (Not my problem.)
    “Anthony Weiner Heads To Cushy Federal “Medical Center” To Begin 21-Month Prison Stay ”
    (Americans are NOT equal.)
    “Trump: Texas Massacre A “Mental Health” Problem, Not A “Guns Situation”
    (Typical American with guns.)

    And on and on…

  14. deadlykillerbeaz on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 8:04 pm 

    Has Kuntsler ever held a real job or has writing been his only gig?

    Seems as though he could have a better attitude.

    Maybe go to church on Sundays for some peace and quiet.

  15. makati1 on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 8:16 pm 

    “…almost $700 million to repair the two Navy destroyers that were badly damaged in a series of at-sea collisions this summer.”

    What? No collision insurance? Oh, that’s right. the taxpayer will foot the bill for their stupid navy’s accidents. Every man woman and child in America needs to hand over $2 each to pay for that stupidity.

  16. JuanP on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 8:19 pm 

    Go to church? Really? LOL! If that is the best advice you can offer then you can be safely ignored.

  17. makati1 on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 8:19 pm 

    “Kunstler worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for Rolling Stone. In 1975, he began writing books and lecturing full-time.” WIKI

  18. deadlykillerbeaz on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 8:24 pm 

    Go to church for peace and quiet is sarcasm.

    Not serious.

    I have to spell it out. Seriously?

  19. makati1 on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 8:53 pm 

    “The US is in a bind as its imperil project collapses overseas and at home. Trump’s ‘Make American Great Again’ mantra are code words to restore the empire’s prestige and domination. But there is no going back – like white supremacy at home, those days are long gone.

    The US’s only option is to close its more than 800 military bases around the world and bring its occupation troops home. Learn to get along with others and bury the idea that America is the master race – the ‘exceptional’ nation.

    The other option is World War III which would go nuclear in a cold hard flash. No one wins that one.

    The American people ought to wise up and see the writing on the wall. But they’d need a real media to share with them the true feelings of the occupied people around the world and we don’t have that – ours is a subservient media that promotes only corporate interests to US citizens.

    Plus the American people would need to care about other people around the world – human solidarity has largely been beaten out of the hearts of our citizenry. Even most liberals currently babble the anti-Russian recycled red-baiting being fomented by elected Democrats in the hardened halls of Washington.

    There is no escaping the sad fact that it will be a brutal collapse for America and it is surely coming.”

    And on and on….

  20. Apneaman on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 9:28 pm 

    hey clog, what could go wrong in Europe? Ask those Germans you worship.

    The Germans are making contingency plans for the collapse of Europe.

    A leaked defence document has revealed the country’s worries about the breakup of the global order – a scenario with serious consequences for post-Brexit Britain

    clog you can file it next to that excellent German military peak oil study. Germans – very thorough and meticulous planers……except for that one retard back in the 40’s with the dumb moustache and bad hair. Can you imagine if Hitler had Twitter? Holy fuck, now that would be seriously entertaining.

  21. Theedrich on Tue, 7th Nov 2017 4:45 am 

    Problem #1 in my West Coast urbanism is homelessness.  Actually, there are at least some things that could be done to ameliorate the misery if the Leftist politicoes and their Wehrmacht of lawyers and unions could be blocked.  Every port city on the Left Coast is overfull of stacks of containers left over from crap imported from China.  Not long ago there was a report of two enterprising men in the Phoenix area who bought such boxes at fire-sale prices, then refurbished and outfitted them with plumbing, etc., and set up a mini-subdivision of cheap housing suitable for one or two people per unit.

    If the corrupt politicians (virtually all Demonics) could somehow be cleaned out, a responsible State or city government could build something similar in peripheral areas, police it properly, and make similar housing available in large numbers at very low cost.

    The problem is that the Lefties always make The Perfect the enemy of The Good.  Plus, the cloud of lobbyists and other parasites would invent ways to divert to themselves any money intended for those in need through no fault of their own.  So naturally, nothing will be done, and our cities will continue to rot away.

  22. Shortend on Tue, 7th Nov 2017 7:09 am 

    All those digits on the computer screen and printed out are REALITY….claims The Wizard of OZ…who BTW is in drag and call themselves Janet.

  23. Cloggie on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 4:03 am 

    Virginia now Blue State, for ever:


  24. Davy on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 4:46 am 


    That means a Muslim Holland. LOL

  25. Cloggie on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 5:02 am 

    That means a Muslim Holland. LOL

    Dream on. 900,000 Muslims on a population of 17 million.

    Long before Muslims will take over Holland, the world will have taken down America, the real reason why this (((multicult disaster))) happened in the first place.LOL

    The winning factor is that you will go down before we do.LOLOLOL

    Hey, interesting admission:

    Jewish Telegraph Agency admits two days ago that “Jewish Communism” is not entirely a right-wing fantasy.

    Wonder when they will admit that multicult and “Open Society”, the western variety of communism, was their invention two.

    Rightwing blood & soil Europe will survive ZOG-USSR and ZOG-USA eventually.


    And hey Trump-America, you could even remain a part of the Great White World, provided you step down from “exceptionalism” and “benevolent hegemony” and initiate a major uprising, so we in Europe will be able to finish it off, like in 1776.

    If not, enjoy the Soros Gulag on North-American soil and the Antifa/SJW/BLM whip, you “slave owners” and “white supremacists”.

  26. Cloggie on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 5:19 am 

    From Dmitri Orlov’s blog:

    “The USA is Cracking Up Just Like the USSR Did – In Fact, They Are Related”

    Richard Spencer latest:

    South-America (18m km2 or twice the US) is a continent consisting of very different countries, with Uruguay and Chile virtually white and Peru and Columbia virtually native South-American and the others somewhere in between.

    Won’t be different with North-America in a decade or so. US + Canada is roughly of the same size 10 + 10 = 20 million km2.

    Recent history in Europe (Yugoslavia, Czecho-Slovakia, Ukraine, Scotland and Catalonia), USSR, Middle East (Iraq, Syria), have shown that you can’t ignore race/ethnicity, not even in Modernity. The Next Big Thing will be that you can’t even ignore it in America, the cosmopolitan champ.

    The catalyst for the coming break-up could very well be a major war in Eurasia, like in Iran or Korea or South-China Sea or elsewhere. Most likely after Trump retreats from office, vertically or horizontally and the Deep State tries to restore old-school US Supremacy.

  27. Davy on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 5:44 am 

    “Dream on. 900,000 Muslims on a population of 17 million.”
    Do the math and it shows the Muslims growing and the white Dutch losing. Math says the proportions will change relative to that condition. Time and slow change equals a Muslim Holland. This is an older article but still relevant:

    “The USA is Cracking Up Just Like the USSR Did – In Fact, They Are Related”
    Orlov is a kook and like Kunstler is no longer significant, get with the times. We are in a totally different world and binary extremist don’t get it. He is a funny guy but lost in anti-American extremism. He can’t get over the Russian collapse thingy. That is kind of like you and the WW2 thingy.

    The US may be the last man standing once the EU dissolves and China collapses in on its self in social chaos. The US will surely follow. If the US is first then Euroland and China are next. The math says so and anyone arguing with the math is an extremist with an agenda. This is how systems work. You can review “Tainter” if you have any questions on the matter.

  28. Cloggie on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 6:00 am 

    The US may be the last man standing once the EU dissolves and China collapses in on its self in social chaos.

    Hahaha, Hollywood last man standing

    The US are a demographic time bomb:

    Your financial collapse notions are irrelevant for the long term future. For sure, pensions will evaporate and old people will have to work longer, wages will come down, pools and libraries be closed.

    But for an American like you, for who money is everything and has no notion of Volk, because you do not have any (after all the concept of nation is “racist” and we are all glad we are not like that), for you the only vision you can produce is an undefined “collapse”, which in your view will apply to everybody, since the idea of the US collapsing alone (like the USSR in 1991) and the rest not, is too much of an embarrassment for you.

    Here’s the kicker: the world could not care less about your private embarrassments.

  29. Davy on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 6:20 am 

    Extremist anti-American eurotard opinions parading as expert analysis. There is no basis in reality for your talk just hopium of a fantasy. Let’s talk facts not what you want the world to look like.

  30. Cloggie on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 6:26 am 

    Orlov is a kook and like Kunstler is no longer significant, get with the times.

    Because they have opinions you don’t like.LOL

    You are transparent like a 12-year old.

  31. Cloggie on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 6:32 am 

    Whooptido, “philantrope” Soros forks 18 billion over to his Open Society club for subversive anti-American and anti-European activities:

    Read: more third worlders need to be shoved down our throats for “humanitarian reasons”, so that at a later stage they can be used as neo-Bolshevik proletariat soldiers against autochtones, under the command of US Lenin wannabee George Soros.

    One wonders where he gets his 18 billion??

    Freshly printed by his buddies at the Federal Reserve perhaps?

    Why do you think Ron Paul repeatedly demanded an audit of the Fed but never got it?

  32. Davy on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 6:36 am 

    He is a doomer like me but he has lost touch with the reality of the 21st century. His book was great when it came out. It is in my library. He is an anti-American extremist so he wants the US to collapse like the USSR, you know, book sales…It has to because that is his whole contribution to the doom movement. That is his identity. Guys like Orlov can’t stand irrelevance. Kunstler is the same way. Same old redundant talk. Yea, they are both on the right track just not adapted to new realities.

    You on the other hand are out in left field of crazy fantasies. A booming Euroland (NOT). A renewable freight train of change moving towards 100%. (NOT). Paris Berlin Moscow, holy cow, what a fantasy. A grand Napoleonic Euro Army ha ha ha. White Europeans saving the white world. OO la la for the Islamic Holland in 30 years. LMFAO

  33. Davy on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 6:42 am 

    “One wonders where he gets his 18 billion?? Freshly printed by his buddies at the Federal Reserve perhaps? Why do you think Ron Paul repeatedly demanded an audit of the Fed but never got it?”
    Wow, wonder dog is sure a genius with finance. LOL. Do you know what a reason for a fed audit would be? Do a little digging:

    “Audit the Fed’ bill gets new push under Trump”
    “Proponents of the measure argue that the Fed is too powerful and lacks sufficient oversight for its interest rate decisions. But Fed officials from Yellen on down, as well as other critics, have warned that such a policy could subject the Fed to undue political pressure and discourage it from taking unpopular steps for the good of the overall economy.”

  34. fmr-paultard on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 9:27 am 

    i was a paultard and peace, transparency, integrity are clubs we use to beat the govt with. in reality we don’t care about our own exact shortcomings. we don’t care about peace, private property, transparency or even the constitution which says the government can tax us. but taxation is slavery.

    we don’t care what jesse benton was doing or ron paul puts away a healthy stash of fed notes after years of serving the government

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