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Bill Bonner, reckoning today from Poitou, France...
It’s Monday morning. Time to get back to work.
This week, in the lull between Christmas and the New Year, we’re going to look at the major news stories from 2021 that the press either denied without bothering to look… or simply failed to report at all.
One of the most important stories involved no more research than looking in the mirror. The corruption of the mainstream media was certainly worth a headline or two. Instead of reporting the news, the press practically became an active shooter itself… taking sides, right or left… scurrilously hiding, bending, or inventing the ‘facts’ to make its case, and gunning down any alternative views.
In 2016, for example, the press claimed that the election was defiled by ‘Russian interference.’ Four years later, the election process was virginal again. Miraculous, no?
The World Atlas lists 4,416 cities with more than 150,000 population. The Covid 19 virus first appeared in the very one of them that was conducting research on it (the city of Wuhan in China). A pure coincidence, right?
The Biden administration says that evil corporations are conspiring to raise prices. They say the fastest price rises in 30 years for meat (up 20% for beef and 14.1% for pork —or Meatflation) is the result of a handful of greedy meatpackers. But prices are up just after the federales added about $5 trillion to the US money supply (Fed assets) in the last 24 months. Another coincidence?
You’d think the newshounds would want to know what was going on.
But anyone who raises doubts or objections is quickly labeled a nut case or a conspiracy theorist.
Worlds, Old and New
Wait. Before we begin our week’s labor, let’s pause for a cup of coffee and a croissant.
Here in France, half the people you meet are in a panic about the new Omicron strain of coronavirus. The other half are fed up with the hysteria and ready to move on. In public places, you are required to wear a mask inside. Restaurants and bars are supposed to check to make sure you are vaccinated or have a recent negative test result. Some do. Some don’t. And the gendarmes come along, occasionally, and ask to see your papers.
“First, the (Covid) tests were free,” says our local source. “Then they were free only if you were vaccinated. And now, they’re planning to eliminate the testing option; so you have to be vaccinated. Even if you have a negative test result, you still won’t be allowed in a restaurant. And even if you are vaccinated, you’ll need a negative test result too.
“There’s a lot of faking going on,” our man continues. “You copy someone else’s ‘health pass.’ Shopkeepers are not allowed to ask for identification, so they have no way of knowing if those are your papers or not. Most don’t care anyway. They just want to see a paper so they can say they did their jobs.”
Surely, there’s an under-reported story there too. Or, at least an open question: Would people be better off if the politicians had kept out of it, leaving health issues to patients and their doctors?
Again, curious minds will have to wait; the mainstream press won’t touch the story.
And yes… life goes on in the Old World, much as it does in the New World – full of nonsense and illusions, claptrap and fraud.
US government debt now 122% of GDP
Source: US Federal Reserve
And debt. Global debt rose by $20 trillion in the first six months of this year, according to the Institute of International Finance. It was the biggest year-over-year increase in debt since 1970. Total debt is now over $300 trillion.
Today’s enlightened democracies, all over the world, have extensive ‘nets’ meant to save Wall Street speculators, protect large corporations, and cushion the fall for anyone who can’t, or won’t, earn his own way in life... and, incidentally, keep the ruling elites in power by paying off the proles and insiders.
Over the Top
But nets cost money. And social distancing, lockdowns, and bailouts have taken trillions of dollars out of the global economy. To replace that, the feds everywhere have printed up new money – and spent it. And it’s led to huge deficits (tax receipts go down, ‘transfer’ payments go up)… and much more debt.
The whole planet produces goods and services (GDP) of about $90 trillion. In 2007, it already had huge debts, of nearly $150 trillion. But now, after the Wall Street and Covid bailouts, world debt is more than three times GDP.
That alone tells you why ‘normal’ is no longer possible. At a normal-ish interest rate of 5%, just the interest on this debt would cost $15 trillion – or one-sixth of GDP – annually. Not possible.
In the US, public (government) debt has more than tripled since the beginning of the Wall Street Bailout after 2008. In the last two years alone, $5 trillion was added. And now, at nearly $29 trillion, and 122% of GDP, America’s government debt is fast approaching the bourne from which no monetary traveler returns.
That is, a country may be able to support an infinite amount of claptrap. But not an infinite amount of debt. And at a government debt/GDP ratio of 130% or more, a nation is almost guaranteed to crack up – with high rates of inflation, military takeover, depression, revolution… or some other man-made calamity.
And what’s this? The Congressional Budget Office says Biden’s Build Back Better Boondoggle program would add $4.7 trillion to the debt. That should do it! It should put us over the top… over the debt/GDP rate that spells doom.
Stay tuned… for more of the coincidences, oddities and time-bombs of 2021 that the press has largely failed to notice.
P.S. One other thing the press has missed? The Fed’s so-called taper! The Fed’s balance sheet has grown by $125 billion since December 8th, according to its own data. Yet in early November it announced it would begin ‘tapering’ asset purchase by the end of the year. The total balance sheet is now at $8.79 trillion—up 107% since March of 2020.