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Paul Farrell on MarketWatch is writing about the Death of the 'Soul of Capitalism', referring to Jack Bogle, Marc Faber, and Michael Moore.
Has capitalism lost its soul? Guys like Bogle and Faber sense it.You Can't Lose What You Never Had
Jack Bogle published "The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism" four years ago. The battle's over. The sequel should be titled: "Capitalism Died a Lost Soul." Worse, we've lost "America's Soul." And worldwide the consequences will be catastrophic.
Here are the Top 20 reasons American capitalism has lost its soul:
1. Collapse is now inevitable
Capitalism has been the engine driving America and the global economies for over two centuries. Faber predicts its collapse will trigger global "wars, massive government-debt defaults, and the impoverishment of large segments of Western society." Faber knows that capitalism is not working, capitalism has peaked, and the collapse of capitalism is "inevitable."
When? He hesitates: "But what I don't know is whether this final collapse, which is inevitable, will occur tomorrow, or in five or 10 years, and whether it will occur with the Dow at 100,000 and gold at $50,000 per ounce or even confiscated, or with the Dow at 3,000 and gold at $1,000." But the end is inevitable, a historical imperative.
2. Nobody's planning for a 'Black Swan'
While the timing may be uncertain, the trigger is certain. Societies collapse because they fail to plan ahead, cannot act fast enough when a catastrophic crisis hits. Think "Black Swan" and read evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond's "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed."
A crisis hits. We act surprised. Shouldn't. But it's too late: "Civilizations share a sharp curve of decline. Indeed, a society's demise may begin only a decade or two after it reaches its peak population, wealth and power."
3. Wall Street sacked Washington
Bogle warned of a growing three-part threat -- a "happy conspiracy" -- in "The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism:" "The business and ethical standards of corporate America, of investment America, and of mutual fund America have been gravely compromised."
But since his book, "Wall Street America" went over to the dark side, got mega-greedy and took control of "Washington America." Their spoils of war included bailouts, bankruptcies, stimulus, nationalizations and $23.7 trillion new debt off-loaded to the Treasury, Fed and American people.
Who's in power? Irrelevant. The "happy conspiracy" controls both parties, writes the laws to suit its needs, with absolute control of America's fiscal and monetary policies. Sorry Jack, but the "Battle for the Soul of Capitalism" really was lost.
4. When greed was legalized
Go see Michael Moore's documentary, "Capitalism: A Love Story." "Disaster Capitalism" author Naomi Klein recently interviewed Moore in The Nation magazine: "Capitalism is the legalization of this greed. Greed has been with human beings forever. We have a number of things in our species that you would call the dark side, and greed is one of them. If you don't put certain structures in place or restrictions on those parts of our being that come from that dark place, then it gets out of control."
Greed's OK, within limits, like the 10 Commandments. Yes, the soul can thrive around greed, if there are structures and restrictions to keep it from going out of control. But Moore warns: "Capitalism does the opposite of that. It not only doesn't really put any structure or restrictions on it. It encourages it, it rewards" greed, creating bigger, more frequent bubble/bust cycles.
It happens because capitalism is now in "the hands of people whose only concern is their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders or to their own pockets." Yes, greed was legalized in America, with Wall Street running Washington.
"America Capitalism" is a "Lost Soul" ... we've lost our moral compass ... the coming collapse is the end of an "inevitable" historical cycle stalking all great empires to their graves. Downsize your lifestyle expectations, trust no one, not even media.
Faber is uncertain about timing, we are not. There is a high probability of a crisis and collapse by 2012. The "Great Depression 2" is dead ahead. Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing you can do to hide from this unfolding reality or prevent the rush of the historical imperative.
Marc Faber and Bogle are correct that a collapse is coming. However, you can't lose what you did not have. Capitalism did not fail, government regulation as it inevitably does, failed.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FDIC, Social Security, government bailouts of failed institutions have nothing to do with capitalism. Nor do tax breaks that favor housing over rent, nor does a government running HUG or FHA to support social goals.
The SEC took a perfectly fine credit rating system based on actual performance and turned it into sponsorship of Moody's, Fitch, and the S&P. After SEC sponsorship, the "Big Three" got paid on the basis of the volume of business they did instead of how accurately they did business. (See Time To Break Up The Credit Rating Cartel) for details.
Virtually everything that failed can be traced back to government intervention into the free markets, especially the creation of the Fed itself.
Michael Moore, The Ultimate Irony
Blaming capitalism is all the rage. However it is not to blame, since it is not what was, or is, practiced. Michael Moore is all the rage too. Yet under a socialistic system that he espouses, Moore would likely be unable to make any polemic movies, since those are all financed by evil capitalists hoping to turn a profit on what he writes.
The ultimate irony is Michael Moore and those like him have people clamoring for more of what caused this crisis: government regulation. Meanwhile the very people Moore rails against are profiting on his misguided wisdom every step of the way.
Meanwhile I am asking Where The Hell Is The Outrage? hoping for less government interference in the free markets not more. With a certifiable socialist in the White House and a Republican party that long ago lost its ways, the odds are strong that any outrage that does get vented and acted upon, will go in the wrong direction.
That is why I agree with Marc Faber when he says "But what I don't know is whether this final collapse, which is inevitable, will occur tomorrow, or in five or 10 years, and whether it will occur with the Dow at 100,000 and gold at $50,000 per ounce or even confiscated, or with the Dow at 3,000 and gold at $1,000." But the end is inevitable, a historical imperative.
Ron Paul on Wall Street Fraud
For a more reasonable take on what is happening and what to do about it, please listen to Ron Paul, not Michael Moore.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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