Thursday, February 11, 2010

Farces of Law and Order

The rule of law has broken down in the United States. From the implementation and then ex post facto rationalization of, for example, rendition and torture of those deemed to be hostile foreign non combatants, to the wide array of criminal machinations aided and abetted by officialdom in the financial sphere, (machinations that, upon being discovered as such, have gone with almost no indictments or censure of any kind) the astonishing lack of adherence to legal strictures is hard to overestimate both in its scope and meaning.

This lawlessness, essentially fascistic in nature, is one path to, not just a loss of confidence in government, but ultimately to a critical erosion in the people's (increasingly shaky) belief in government's very legitimacy. I expect that in the United States the latter condition will manifest more strongly in time, even though the vast majority of citizens (and non citizens alike) are generally too ignorant and/or distracted to notice or respond appropriately to the transformation of their nominal Democracy to one that really doesn't even bother to pretend that it is no longer a Constitutional Republic.

In the meantime, we must stand by and watch as governments in the west desperately try to maintain their various social, economic, and political constructs from utterly disintegrating. They will all fail, mostly because the very basis for their creations are unsustainable. It doesn't help matters going forward that more borrowed money is being thrown at sinkholes created by unserviceable debt, but that is the only palatable response for a western political class which, first and foremost, enacts most or all of its counterproductive and desperate measures as a means to save itself.

So, Greece, and presumably, in time, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Portugal (and who else?) will be extended more credit/debt deals, and the process of extend and pretend will persist until such time as it can't. At least in Europe one doesn't get the sense that, however misguided and parlous the condition of the E. U., that the rule of law, however watered down or provisional it may be in practice, has not been completely eviscerated.

After all, no leader in Europe would dare, whatever they might believe privately, to have opined that bonuses paid to CEOs of gangster finance companies such as Goldman Sachs, or J.P. Morgan, were simply the well deserved spoils of savvy businessmen.


Thai said...

Well, did you see this?

Edwardo said...

I have seen it.

The Public sector has become the last refuge in an economy where the private sector has essentially imploded.

Thai said...

I guess we will see whether the money is being well spent or not... I equally share your concern when the main idea is to hand it over to me. ;-)

... Though I have finally come around to agreeing with Hell's position that if we use the spending to generate more energy, we will solve our impending national bankruptcy issues, especially if we can actually export some of this energy.

Though it does not solve the problem that all these mouths want to eat flipper (which is a totally different issue than global warming). Natural resource management issues still require that we either change our behaviors by cooperation or supply/demand price changes force the price of flipper meat out of the budget of the average person.

Of course that does not address your issue, namely how the rules were changed in a way that allowed one group of Americans to steal from another group of Americans.

I still see this as largely a demon of our own design but I respect your very justifiable anger on this issue.

Edwardo said...

Thai wrote:

"Natural resource management issues still require that we either change our behaviors by cooperation or supply/demand price changes force the price of flipper meat out of the budget of the average person. "

That's the nub of it.

Thai said...

If it is the latter, it would be a bummer from Flipper's point of view.

... Of course the mullet, mackerel, herring, cod... well, not the cod since they're mostly dead thanks to you Bostonians, and squid would be totally stoked!

Of course these guy's prey will be bumming!

You know, it really is kind of absurd when you actually try to decide whose viewpoint in nature is the best one to look at the ecosystem from.

Hell makes this mistake a lot.

I like flipper but I kind of like mackrel too and I wouldn't mind seeing a few more cod as well (I love them in fish and chips).

... However I think we can all agree "to hell with the squid", the only thing they are any good for is fried calamari. ;-)

Edwardo said...

If you'd read the book entitled Cod, you'd know that your comment about Bostonian's being responsible for that breed's demise is rubbish. But then you were just pulling my dedicated fish platter eating bib weren't you?

Squid is an essential ingredient of ceviche as well. If you haven't had it, well, you should.

Thai said...

Yes, I am pulling your bib ;-)

Alright, so maybe we will keep a few squid for ceviche since I like ceviche as well.

getyourselfconnected said...

I posted this on Daves site, but no I think your comment was fine and well in line, I just do not want partisan crappers hijacking any site I frequent that was all, I thought your comment was hilarious!

Thai said...

What comment?

Can non-partisans hijack it? ;-)

Edwardo said...

Thai, you can see what GYC is referring to here. It's in the comments section under my name.

Thai said...


Thai said...

I don't really follow the gold issue too much but when I get the sense the ECB will print for Greece, then I start wondering.

Do you have an opinion on this issue of physical gold vs. GLD

Edwardo said...

I do. Paper gold in the form of ETFs are not an investment. They are for trading, very short term trading. If you want to invest, then do so by buying coins or bullion. In the amounts we punters buy it in there's precious little, (pun intended) chance that fraud will ever be an issue.

If you want me to elaborate on my reasoning, I will.

Thai said...

Yes, please do.

Why would one be looked at in the form of investment and the other as for trading only?

Edwardo said...

One isn't an investment vehicle because if you read the prospectus of GLD, or SLV for that matter, you will realize they almost certainly do not have much physical metal in their accounts. They don't have to as per their prospectus agreement.

CEF (Central Fund of Canada) holds actual metal, both silver and gold, and I own some shares. There is a premium over the NAV (Net asset value), but then one pays a premium over spot to buy a gold or silver coin. Having said that there is an ever widening gulf between the physical market and paper metals markets. Why? Paper claims (derivatives) on silver and gold vastly exceed the actual silver and gold in existence, and that crooked game is slowly but surely coming apart.

Below is a link that I hope will be helpful with respect to GLD.

Your other option is "e-gold". I have no personal experience with goldmoney, but I hear good things about it. On the other hand, The Perth Mint, from what I have read, seems dubious.

FInal note:

When you own physical metal, which is in your possession, you have, in general, traded liquidity for security and safety. However, if one lives near to a reputable coin/precious metals dealer, the choice becomes easier. if one lives in the sticks, and/or does not want or trust, for example, E-Bay, where a lot of precious metals are traded, then paper gold becomes somewhat more compelling.

And yet there is no reason to believe that one will be wanting to part with one's gold in a matter of months, but rather years. Last but not least, there is nothing to stop one from blending strategies, namely owning some paper claims on precious metals, and coins and bullion.

Thai said...

But what is someone breaks into your home and steals the gold you purchased?

I was reading that link. So you think that GLD does not really have its gold? That would seem so easy to verify.

Thai said...

Did you see this?


Edwardo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edwardo said...

"But what is someone breaks into your home and steals the gold you purchased?"

There are always risks. I somehow doubt that you would have enough PMs that you wouldn't be able to find a good place to hide them. Thirty thousand dollars worth of gold would fit comfortably inside a hollowed out can of shaving cream.

If that sort of thing won't suffice, I suggest you purchase a small, heavy duty, safe, and bolt it to the floor. Last but not least, you may have heard of such a thing as a safe deposit box. But there are risks with that as well.

"So you think that GLD does not really have its gold? That would seem so easy to verify."

Two words for you: Bernie Madoff. Years ago the authorities were led by the nose to Mr. Madoff and what ensued? I could go on, but remember that GLD doesn't have to own physical gold and therein is the problem. But, by all means buy it if you want to.

So what is it about the article at the link that has you so excited?

Thai said...

They are basically saying that as policy, they steal from people in a stealth manner for the good of the whole.

I have no trouble with the idea that people have to give to the group- I have a terrible time accepting we do this in a manner that is not clearly understood by all.

Edwardo said...

Thai wrote:

"I have no trouble with the idea that people have to give to the group- I have a terrible time accepting we do this in a manner that is not clearly understood by all."

Debasing the currency has been the name of the game for a very, very long time. Obfuscating that fact goes back just as far.

Edwardo said...

Um, Thai?

Thai said...

I cannot get the link to come up

Edwardo said...

Well, go over to zero hedge and you can read the article that discusses gold manipulation by The Bank of England (with the help of The NY Fed) between the two great wars of the last century.

Thai said...

I thought you might find this interesting

Thai said...

Also, I thought this very interesting. It's suggestion is that America does not really have much net foreign debt.