If you happen to be at least 150 years old, you will recall the Panic of 1907, a.k.a., “the Bankers’ Panic,” and not be surprised at the current spate of bank failures. If you don’t happen to have reached the century and a half mark, you will, of course, be stunned and amazed, as well as baffled, that such a thing could happen on the eve of the Utopia that Keynes promised if we would just lie to ourselves for a century. Of course, if we adopted the Economic Democracy Act, we wouldn’t have to lie at all, and could probably avoid problems like these:
• The Bogus (Totally) Economic Indicator. The so-called experts are panicking about the money supply, “M2,” completely ignoring the fact that in real life, the money supply is not an economic indicator at all, but depends on the level of economic activity, it does not determine it. If anything, the money supply tells you what has happened, not what will happen. The only thing you can tell from the money supply is how badly the experts misunderstand money. If money was created only backed by real value (the “real bills doctrine”), the money supply would be a non-issue. As it is, because the experts think you have to have money before you have value, everything is backwards and, of course, fluctuations in the money supply signal economic disaster, whichever way it goes. Under the Economic Democracy Act, of course, all of these would be solved, and people could focus on real economic problems instead of artificially created ones.
• Speculation for Security. It turns out that a large number of Americans own some corporate equity, but not enough to make any difference. Even the whole idea of owning stock has been transformed over the last century or so. Once upon a time, people realized that owning corporate shares meant you owned a share of a corporation. It was like owning any other business with partners. Owners had a sy-so in the business, shared the risks, and took the profit or loss in proportion to their ownership share. Nowadays, however, most people don’t own shares to get an income from ownership but from selling their ownership, such as it is. Ownership itself has become a meaningless concept for most people. That is why — among other things — the Economic Democracy Act is would help restore ownership instead of wage and welfare dependency as a way of life, turning people back into adults instead of the children and slaves they have become.
• Bank Failures and Stock Markets. Typically, the onset of a downturn in the business cycle is signaled by bank failures. This was the case in the Panic of 1825, which began the modern business cycle of boom and bust, the Panic of 1873, the Panic of 1893, and the Panic of 1907. A large measure of this is due to the prevalence of the Currency Principle that views money and credit as a commodity, which is why having a central bank run along proper lines would virtually halt such occurrences. Unfortunately, operating under the fixed (and erroneous) belief that the economy needs existing savings to finance growth. Since the advent of Keynesian economics, central banks have been used to bailout rich gamblers so that they will use their money to finance growth instead of using it to gamble, a forlorn hope at best, an outright lie at worst. That is why, instead of seeing a dramatic correction in the stock market to adjust for a downturn, we see the stock market actually rising in expectation that the government will bailout the failed banks . . . which would not have failed had they been run according to the principles detailed in the Economic Democracy Act.
• Federal Reserve and Interest Rates. Given the misuse and misunderstanding of the central bank, it comes as no surprise that the Federal Reserve has no idea what to do in light of the bank failures. One day it’s pushing for higher interest rates, the next for lower ones. It just depends on what day it happens to be. The idea of fixing the problem lower down, at the level of the commercial bank where the problem might actually be seems alien to them. Instead, they keep seeking the magic formula that will bring prosperity without actually having to do anything substantive, like adopt the Economic Democracy Act.
|THE Mad Russian|
• The Mad Russians. A stock character in comedies a century ago was “the Mad Russian,” a character who screams and rants and raves in contrast to the less crazy characters who do nutty things for a reason. Putin seems to have taken on the global role of Mad Russian, although hardly for comic relief. His latest schtick is that the sanctions imposed on Russia in retaliation for Putin’s “Special Military Operation” have actually saved Russia from the economic troubles now afflicting the west due to the COVID-19 pandemic and his own “Special Military Operation.” This, of course, is just another example of the fantasy land many in Russia now inhabit, some of them not being entirely certain there is even a war on, since Der Führer Putler hasn’t admitted it more than once or twice. All indications are that Putin’s “Special Military Operation” have completely ruined Russia, but he’s determined to take the rest of the world down with him. Nobody even wants to consider the Economic Democracy Act that has the potential to repair the damage Putin has done, and make it much less likely that another such as he could rise again.
• Americans Are Worthless! Or, perhaps put more diplomatically, most Americans in the “median income group” have a low or even negative net worth. As the old line goes, most people have to work two or three jobs just to stay in debt. People have a lot of stuff, but it’s stuff that they haven’t paid for. They might have assets of half a million dollars, but debt of three-quarters of a million, and with today’s housing prices, that might not be out of line. Clearly, what most Americans need is a second income derived from capital that generates its own repayment to get out of the hole, such as found in the Economic Democracy Act.
• Billionaire Brat. One of the ways the superrich hide the fact of just how rich they are is to put assets in somebody else’s name or set up a complex network of institutions to hide who owns what. Putin appears to be an expert at this and is possibly in real terms the world’s first trillionaire, although on paper he is only worth a measely hundred billion or two. A lot of his assets are “owned” by the government that he runs as a private company, while his eight-year-old daughter “owns” a valuable chunk of London real estate . . . which she no doubt enjoys immensely as her private dollhouse and play area.
• Crypto Currencies a “Moral Hazard”. The collapse of banks with close involvement in crypto currencies has been hailed as a clear sign that crypto is “the mother of all moral hazards” in finance. Of course, it is, for virtually all crypto has nothing behind it. Money, as Louis Kelso pointed out, is supposed to be a measure of value. Money does not create value, as the common myth today has it;
• Salt Problem. According to reports, Americans are killing themselves by eating too much salt, and it’s up to the government to stop people from doing so. The idea that people might be educated to be adults and learn to take care of themselves does not seem to occur to anyone.
• The Egg and Us. Again according to the experts, rising egg prices are a signal that something is wrong with the economy. Evidently they missed all the other signs. Now, if bacon gets into trouble, we might see some action and persuade the powers-that-be to adopt the Economic Democracy Act.
• Greater Reset “Book Trailers”. We have produced two ninety-second “Book Trailers” for distribution (by whoever wants to distribute them), essentially a minute and a half commercials for The Greater Reset. There are two versions of the videos, one for “general audiences” and the other for “Catholic audiences”. Take your pick.
• The Greater Reset. CESJ’s new book by members of CESJ’s core group, The Greater Reset: Reclaiming Personal Sovereignty Under Natural Law is, of course, available from the publisher, TAN Books, an imprint of Saint Benedict Press, and has already gotten a top review on that website. It can also be obtained from Barnes and Noble, as well as Amazon, or by special order from your local “bricks and mortar” bookstore. The Greater Reset is the only book of which we’re aware on “the Great Reset” that presents an alternative instead of simply warning of the dangers inherent in a proposal that is contrary to natural law. It describes reality, rather than a Keynesian fantasy world. Please note that The Greater Reset is NOT a CESJ publication as such, and enquiries about quantity discounts and wholesale orders for resale must be sent to the publisher, Saint Benedict Press, NOT to CESJ.
• Economic Personalism Landing Page. A landing page for CESJ’s latest publication, Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person, has been created and can be accessed by clicking on this link. Everyone is encouraged to visit the page and send the link out to their networks.
• Economic Personalism. When you purchase a copy of Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person, be sure you post a review after you’ve read it. It is available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble at the cover price of $10 per copy. You can also download the free copy in .pdf available from the CESJ website. If you’d like to order in bulk (i.e., ten or more copies) at the wholesale price, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for details. CESJ members get a $2 rebate per copy on submission of proof of purchase. Wholesale case lots of 52 copies are available at $350, plus shipping (whole case lots ONLY). Prices are in U.S. dollars.
• Sensus Fidelium Videos, Update. CESJ’s series of videos for Sensus Fidelium are doing very well, with over 155,000 total views. The latest Sensus Fidelium video is “The Five Levers of Change.” The video is part of the series on the book, Economic Personalism. The latest completed series on “the Great Reset” can be found on the “Playlist” for the series. The previous series of sixteen videos on socialism is available by clicking on the link: “Socialism, Modernism, and the New Age,” along with some book reviews and other selected topics. For “interfaith” presentations to a Catholic audience they’ve proved to be popular, edging up to 150,000 views to date. They aren’t really “Just Third Way videos,” but they do incorporate a Just Third Way perspective. You can access the playlist for the entire series. The point of the videos is to explain how socialism and socialist assumptions got such a stranglehold on the understanding of the role of the State and thus the interpretation of Catholic social teaching, and even the way non-Catholics and even non-Christians understand the roles of Church, State, and Family, and the human persons place in society.
• Blog Readership. We have had visitors from 19 different countries and 24 states, provinces, and territories in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, India, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “News from the Network, Vol. 16, No. 10,” “JTW Podcast: Natural Law Theory,” “The Purpose of Production,” “Neo-Distributism,” and “The Panic of 1907.”
Those are the happenings for this week, at least those that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and well see that it gets into the next “issue.” Due to imprudent and intemperate language on the part of some commentators, we removed temptation and disabled comments.