Interesting blog I found called Bogpaper.com….
Have you ever wondered where all the money comes from?
The £22 million, say, it cost to evict an encampment of Irish travellers from their illegal site at Dale Farm in Essex?
Or the £600 million the Ministry of Defence forks out annually for compensation claims ranging from £81,000 to four soldiers who’ve been given badly fitting boots to the £3 million paid out to the family of an Iraqi who died after being beaten by British troops in Iraq?
Or the £18.3 billion the government is committed to spending every year “decarbonising” the economy under the 2008 Climate Change Act.
Or how about the £850 billion or more spent by the government on the 2009 bank bail-out?
I’m not after value judgements here: just answers to a basic question I don’t think any of us ask nearly often enough. Who pays for all this stuff?
If you’re anything like me you’d probably rather not know. At least that’s how I used to be till quite recently. The way I’d rationalise the smaller figures would be something like: “Well the population is about 60 million, the working population must be around 30 million and 30 million times lots of tax pounds is enough to take care of that kind of thing.”
And the way I’d rationalise the larger sums, like that £850 billion – or, worse, the £5 trillion or so which constitutes Britain’s national debt – would be to bury my head under my pillow and hope that all this horrid nightmare stuff would eventually be magicked away by someone, somewhere who knew what he was doing.
But then came the event which opened my eyes to the terrifying truth. It was a small meeting in a Committee Room in the House Of Commons, attended by no more than five MPs, a few economists and a handful of bloggers. Blink and you’d have missed it. What I heard there was so appalling – but made so much sense – that it spurred me into immediate, drastic action. First, I put our much-loved family home on the market; second, I resolved to devote my energies over the next months and years to warning as many of you as I can of the disaster which lies ahead of us.
What kind of disaster? Not even our greatest economists know the precise answer to that one but then, did they ever? All we can say with certainty is that’s going to be ugly.
Best case scenario is that we experience years of stagnation, rising unemployment and falling wages. Worst could be anything from Weimar-style hyperinflation to riots, shortages and civil war leading to the emergence of the kind of totalitarian regimes which seized Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Currently, we’re in a kind of limbo, muddling along as best we can, hoping someone will find a solution, somehow and that it will all get back to normal. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Before things start getting better they’re going to have to get a whole lot worse.
Why? Because, for four decades, we in the West have been inflating the mother of all credit bubbles. We’ve been maxing out on cheap credit, spending money we don’t have, borrowing far more than we can ever afford to repay – and now we’re about to get the shocking bill.
Sure we can keep trying to put off the evil day using all sorts of devious cheats – money printing and artificially low interest rates appear to be the current favoured options – but in the end it’s not going to save us. What our governments are doing now is the equivalent of forcing us all to drink more booze to stave off our hangover: the longer we put off facing the inevitable, the more painful it’s going to be.
So far so very obvious. It’s not as though you can’t read similarly dire predictions every day on the internet. All that was different about this meeting was that it explained, in a way that had never been really clear to me before, exactly why we’re in the mess we’re in.
The meeting was organised by the Cobden Centre and the main speaker was Detlev Schlichter, author of Paper Money Collapse. Schlichter is a follower of the great Austrian school economist Ludwig von Mises, who foresaw not only the first Great Depression but also the new one fast approaching now.
Von Mises wrote:
There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.
One of von Mises’s great bugbears was “fiat currency” – the kind of money that governments are able to create at their whim. (As opposed to money whose supply is limited by being linked to a scarce commodity, as happened in the era of the “gold standard”). And von Mises had a point: every paper money system in history from China’s Southern Song Dynasty onwards has ended in failure. If it wasn’t brought voluntarily to an end, then the currency inevitably collapsed, invariably accompanied by social unrest and economic hardship.
Perhaps you’ll have worked out by now why we called this site Bogpaper. One of the reasons, anyway. Another is that it’s salacious and snappy. Another is that for such a cool name we got it surprisingly cheap. Another is that we can help promote it with amusing taglines like “Bogpaper: we’re here to save your arse!” and “Bogpaper: getting you out of the shit since 2012.” To which we might add, Bogpaper: not just about Austrian economics and fiat currency.
Because it’s not. Sure, you’ll like Bogpaper if you’re interested in those things.
But you’ll also like it if:
You believe – as we all do here – in free markets, free speech, liberty, personal responsibility and limited government.
You probably don’t believe in: bank bail-outs; the European Union; the Federal Reserve; crony capitalism; corporate rent-seeking; political correctness; HS2; wind farms; PFI; Man-Made Global Warming.
You’ve looked at the GOP shortlist and realised: America, at least as much as Europe, is toast.
You’ve accepted we’re all toast but you’d prefer to be lightly browned rather than charred.
You’re worried government spending has got completely out of control and that we’re entering an Atlas-Shrugged-style disaster zone where the productive few are bankrolling the feckless many.
You’ve sensed for some time that everything’s about to go tits up but you’d like it if someone could explain to you why.
You want to find out how best to protect yourself, your friends, and your family from the worst effects of the coming economic armaggedon.
You think people like us should stick together and build a community where we can exchange goods, services, ideas.
You want it all to be over soon so you can pick up the pieces and get on with your life and build a better future for the kids.
You – now you think about it – don’t merely want to survive this economic armaggedon but actually to come out of it much wealthier and more successful. (Yes it’s possible: we can point you in the right direction).
You like Alex Jones, Zero Hedge and Telegraph blogs.
You have a remote shack in the hills, next to a clean water source, surrounded by razor wire and claymores, with a year’s supply of dried food, plus plenty of ammo for your M4 and your shotgun. Or at least you do in your fantasies.
You’re a goldbug. (Duh!)
You believe that revolution is too important to be left to the left.
You’re a confused member of Occupy in need of enlightenment.
You’re middle class and well educated and frankly pissed off because you can’t earn enough to give yourself an even half-way decent standard of living any more.
You’ve got stuff to say, pithily and entertainingly, on any of these subjects and you’d like to blog on it for us.
You want to know the answer to the question I asked at the beginning.
Yeah. Where does all that money come from?
From the James Delingpole blog at the Telegraph…its interesting to note the amount of people commenting on his articles. It will be interesting to see where this story runs….
Uh oh, global warming loons: here comes Climategate II!
Breaking news: two years after the Climategate, a further batch of emails has been leaked onto the internet by a person – or persons – unknown. And as before, they show the “scientists” at the heart of the Man-Made Global Warming industry in a most unflattering light. Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Ben Santer, Tom Wigley, Kevin Trenberth, Keith Briffa – all your favourite Climategate characters are here, once again caught red-handed in a series of emails exaggerating the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming, while privately admitting to one another that the evidence is nowhere near as a strong as they’d like it to be.
In other words, what these emails confirm is that the great man-made global warming scare is not about science but about political activism. This, it seems, is what motivated the whistleblower ‘FOIA 2011’ (or “thief”, as the usual suspects at RealClimate will no doubt prefer to tar him or her) to go public.
As FOIA 2011 puts it when introducing the selected highlights, culled from a file of 220,000 emails:
“Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day.”
“Every day nearly 16.000 children die from hunger and related causes.”
“One dollar can save a life” — the opposite must also be true.
“Poverty is a death sentence.”
“Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize
greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.”
Today’s decisions should be based on all the information we can get, not on
hiding the decline.
FOIA 2011 is right, of course. If you’re going to bomb the global economy back to the dark ages with environmental tax and regulation, if you’re going to favour costly, landscape-blighting, inefficient renewables over real, abundant, relatively cheap energy that works like shale gas and oil, if you’re going to cause food riots and starvation in the developing world by giving over farmland (and rainforests) to biofuel production, then at the very least you it owe to the world to base your policies on sound, transparent, evidence-based science rather than on the politicised, disingenuous junk churned out by the charlatans at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
I particularly like the ones expressing deep reservations about the narrative put about by the IPCC:
/// The IPCC Process ///
Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical
troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a
wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the
uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these
further if necessary […]
I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it
which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.
It seems that a few people have a very strong say, and no matter how much
talking goes on beforehand, the big decisions are made at the eleventh hour by
a select core group.
Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive […] there have been a number of
dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC […]
The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s
included and what is left out.
I agree w/ Susan [Solomon] that we should try to put more in the bullet about
“Subsequent evidence” […] Need to convince readers that there really has been
an increase in knowledge – more evidence. What is it?
And here’s our friend Phil Jones, apparently trying to stuff the IPCC working groups with scientists favourable to his cause, while shutting out dissenting voices.
Getting people we know and trust [into IPCC] is vital – hence my comment about
the tornadoes group.
Useful ones [for IPCC] might be Baldwin, Benestad (written on the solar/cloud
issue – on the right side, i.e anti-Svensmark), Bohm, Brown, Christy (will be
have to involve him ?)
Here is what looks like an outrageous case of government – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – actually putting pressure on climate “scientists” to talk up their message of doom and gloom in order to help the government justify its swingeing climate policies:
I can’t overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a
message that the Government can give on climate change to help them tell their
story. They want the story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made
to look foolish.
Here is a gloriously revealing string of emails in which activists and global warming research groups discuss how best to manipulate reality so that climate change looks more scary and dangerous than it really is:
we as an NGO working on climate policy need such a document pretty soon for the
public and for informed decision makers in order to get a) a debate started and
b) in order to get into the media the context between climate
extremes/desasters/costs and finally the link between weather extremes and
[…] idea of looking at the implications of climate change for what he termed
“global icons” […] One of these suggested icons was the Great Barrier Reef […]
It also became apparent that there was always a local “reason” for the
destruction – cyclones, starfish, fertilizers […] A perception of an
“unchanging” environment leads people to generate local explanations for coral
loss based on transient phenomena, while not acknowledging the possibility of
systematic damage from long-term climatic/environmental change […] Such a
project could do a lot to raise awareness of threats to the reef from climate
<4141> Minns/Tyndall Centre:
In my experience, global warming freezing is already a bit of a public
relations problem with the media
I agree with Nick that climate change might be a better labelling than global
What kind of circulation change could lock Europe into deadly summer heat waves
like that of last summer? That’s the sort of thing we need to think about.
I’ll have a deeper dig through the emails this afternoon and see what else I come up with. If I were a climate activist off to COP 17 in Durban later this month, I don’t think I’d be feeling a very happy little drowning Polie, right now. In fact I might be inclined to think that the game was well and truly up.
I know how this guy feels. Well said.
Interesting times ahead. I recall seeing a young guy on the BBC news recently – he was from DEMOS – talking about the need for schools to teach young people ‘critical thinking’ while browsing on the internet. All good so far. I suppose it really depends on how this training is delivered. How I wish there was a move to teach the same wariness over what the BBC and ITV jackanory shows put out. Again I have to tick this post ‘funny’ because if you have a look at the classroom when the Demos visitor is there, tbey can barely string a sentence together.
Maybe Jamie is worried about the children going to sites like Global Research
The reaction comments to the DEMOS piece are followed in their own (quite revealing) site and are an entertaining read
And while we have all that to enjoy, christmas approaches 🙂
I remember how this made me feel when I was young. A bit of escapism is sometimes just the job…
This video is American, relates to US markets and their own private / public pension system, and is not intended to make UK pension contributors shake like jellyfish and wet their underwear.
But it is still interesting viewing … included because on my return sectors these days, the crew sometimes throw in a copy of The Daily Mail, and I have noticed that there are is a steady stream of drip drop drip drop stories about the weakening of prospects for savers. Like chinese torture to those who are clinging to hope that these schemes are one day going to live up to their promises.
The chance of reading an article like this in the Irish Times just half a year ago was quite unlikely. There is something happening over there…
The UK and Irish press is silent now on Iceland; they told the IMF to get lost, and have just jailed their second raft of bankers. For more on iceland, see Max Keiser on the links panel to the right or go to http://www.globalresearch.ca/
I wonder if it is too late for articles like this though. The 55 comments on the Irish Times site are almost as interesting:
(Robert Pye’s 7 papers warning of collapse as far back as 2004 can be downloaded here: 50015511-The-Destruction-of-the-Irish-Economy-by-Jeremy-James)
The Irish Times – Friday, May 6, 2011
Stop Brussels elite from ransacking our country
OPINION: We must face down the jackals who control the international banking system to save our nation and protect our children’s future
THERE IS considerable truth in the view that Ireland is no longer a sovereign state but an impoverished suburb of Brussels. Four million people are mired deep in a collective debt that is not of their own making, while persons unknown decide just how much more we “owe” and the terms and conditions under which this ever-expanding debt must be repaid.
We have lost control of our finances, have only a marginal role in determining the key parameters of public policy, and are being compelled by international institutions to hand over our national assets at fire-sale prices.
At least the Vikings focused mainly on coastal areas, but their latter-day counterparts are ransacking the nation from end to end. And unless we stand our ground – a modern equivalent of the Battle of Clontarf – they will take everything that’s worth taking.
The state of denial that prevails nationally at present was an intrinsic part of the mindset in the Department of Finance during the period 2000-2008. The idea that anything might happen that could throw our booming economy into a tailspin was simply anathema – as was anyone who dared to entertain such views.
Between June 2004 and November 2005, I circulated seven papers to a number of well-placed senior managers in the department, alerting them to a range of geopolitical factors that could have a sudden and highly detrimental impact on the Irish economy. These were not short opinion pieces but ran to 24,000 words in total.
Collectively they constituted, I believe, a strong, factually based argument, drawing on a variety of inter-related indicators, which showed that an international financial crisis was imminent. Indeed the final paper (November 2005) was entitled Eight Reasons why a Global Economic Shock is Inevitable by end-2008 .
Since I had regular official contact with most of the senior managers in the department, I expected my warning to receive serious consideration, but it was completely ignored. I couldn’t get a workshop or an internal debate of any kind.
At a meeting with three senior managers I was told that, while the risk factors which I had identified were plausible, there was not the slightest possibility that they would receive a hearing at a political level.
Most managers appeared to expect a gradual tightening of credit on the international markets and a manageable levelling-off in Irish property prices. No one seemed willing to entertain the possibility that the alternative, the sudden onset of a major international credit crisis, would have catastrophic implications for the Irish economy. In fact, even a more modest contraction than that which occurred in 2008 would have caused serious problems for the Irish banking system, the property sector and the public finances.
This failure by the department was not due to any lack of economic expertise or to an inability to comprehend the alleged complexity of the issues involved. To understand the problem we must look elsewhere.
In my submission to the Wright committee, which reported on the department’s performance over the period 2000-2008, I made the following observation:
“The government had no incentive whatever to take corrective action. It was reaping a colossal revenue windfall, most of which it then channelled into current expenditure. As an egregious violation of the most basic principles of economics, this is probably impossible to beat. Many commentators bleat about the need for greater specialist skills in economics and financial management in the department, but this is nonsense. The mistakes that were made had nothing to do with skills. They were due rather to the appalling inability of the department to impress upon the government the sheer recklessness of its policies [emphasis in the original].”
In the course of my seven papers, I made a number of observations about the world financial system that strongly suggested that a global credit crisis was looming, with dire implications for the Irish economy. For example, the volume and complexity of financial derivatives was growing so quickly that the true market value of the underlying assets could easily – and advantageously – be misrepresented.
Furthermore, the big institutions had no incentive whatever to give an accurate profile of the risks associated with each asset or asset class. Interest rates in the United States and Europe were far too low, leading to market distortions, property bubbles and a serious misallocation of capital. The failure of the US to support the dollar – despite the rhetoric – was rapidly eroding confidence in its reserve currency status.
The price of oil could go in only one direction and, with ongoing US involvement in the Middle East, continuity of supply would become a strategic target in its own right. Debt instruments were increasingly being treated as risk-free securities and traded so widely and so rapidly that serious exposures could quickly accumulate in a given sector. This meant that, if a major international bank over-reached itself, it could drag a number of others down with it before the authorities had time to intervene.
The US was showing such an appetite for direct military intervention, and a perverse willingness to commit itself to significant and unquantifiable costs in several theatres of war at the same time, there was not the slightest possibility that its budget deficit would fall below $500 billion, and could well reach a trillion within a few years. (It is now 1.5 trillion and rising.)
With a 40 per cent fall in its industrial capacity in just 25 years, a staggering and unsustainable trade deficit, and a massive burden of unfunded liabilities (social security and medicare), the US economy could only be held together by a dangerous expansion of its money supply (“quantitative easing” is now in full swing).
Given that the financial sector accounted for 35 per cent of corporate profits (up from 15 per cent in 1975) and the irresponsible removal of important legal restrictions on the kinds of activity that financial institutions could engage in, the opportunities for trading recklessly in a rapidly expanding money supply would prove irresistible. This in essence was the main thrust of my argument.
I strongly recommended that the State run a large budgetary surplus for up to six years and build up a substantial sinking fund to reflate the economy after the tsunami struck; that the availability of credit to domestic borrowers be greatly curtailed; that the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) switch heavily into commodities and precious metals; that a far greater proportion of the national debt be denominated in dollars to take advantage of its inevitable significant fall in value; and that the major financial institutions be urged to reduce their exposures to the markets that would suffer most when the tsunami struck.
The running of budget surpluses over a five- to six-year period would also help greatly to mitigate the fiscal impact of the coming tsunami.
With reference to the NPRF recommendation, gold has since risen 225 per cent, silver 445 per cent, nickel 120 per cent, cotton 290 per cent, rubber 230 per cent, tin 390 per cent, palm oil 200 per cent, cocoa 135 per cent, and coffee 125 per cent. (As my wife said when she read this paper: “That says it all.”)
Regarding its statutory role, the department traditionally saw itself as the last line of defence against the predations and venality of a self-serving political caste. In the course of the 1990s, however, as the public coffers expanded, a polar shift occurred and the department began to see itself merely as a provider of “advice” to the government. Its defensive role was forgotten.
It is probably fair to say that, thereafter, whatever the politicians wanted, the politicians got. The department had no vision of its own for Ireland, nor any sense of the dangers lurking in deep waters. It had ceased to stand as a bulwark between the people and the politicians and had become instead an obedient arm of government, with no mind of its own.
I feel this is a fair analysis and one which the generality of hard-working civil servants in the department would find acceptable.
The failures leading up to the crisis, however, were well and truly matched by some dreadful errors after it struck. Just as the department had failed to stand up to a rampant, irresponsible government in the run-up to the crisis, it failed thereafter to face down the sharks and jackals who control the international banking system.
The self-appointed and well-concealed elite who run Brussels will continue to siphon off the wealth and sovereignty of the Irish people until they awake, throw off the appalling shroud of apathy that envelops them and shout, “Enough!”
We owe nothing to the international bankers. Our public assets are ours and will remain in our possession.
They call us PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) because that is what you do with a pig: tie him upside down, slit his throat and drain him dry.
Well, I for one reject this disgusting epithet. I also reject utterly the despicable arrogance with which this country is being treated, and the servile ineptitude of those who pose as our leaders.
Unless we take a stand and defend our sovereignty, our integrity and our children, we will be destroyed as a nation.
ROBERT PYE BIOGRAPHY
ROBERT PYE worked in the Department of Finance for 31 years and achieved a variety of senior positions within it, retiring as an assistant principal.
Between 1995 and 2009, Pye was involved in strategic management co-ordination. This included working as secretary to the assistant secretary group, the principal officer group, and the departmental partnership committee.
He was responsible for co-ordinating the preparation of all statements of strategy, published by the department since 1997, as well as all progress reports on them; the department’s official risk management strategy, its framework of assignments of responsibility for all officers at principal level and above, and all progress reports on change management developments and initiatives across the department.
He also held responsibility for co-ordinating the preparation of the department’s annual output statement for the Oireachtas Finance and Public Service Committee and organised the department’s annual conferences between 2000 and 2007.
In October 2010, Pye made a submission to the review panel established by the then minister for finance Brian Lenihan to examine how the Department of Finance had performed in the previous 10 years.
The review, which reported in December 2010, was chaired by Rob Wright.
In his submission, Mr Pye said he declined at least three offers of promotion between 2000 and 2008 for personal reasons and “because I had long been concerned at the extent to which the department is influenced, if not controlled, by the political system”.
“I greatly enjoyed my work and found it both challenging and rewarding, he told the Wright review. “I was allowed a high degree of autonomy and, for the most part, there was a clear willingness on the part of management to both hear what I had to say and to give it due consideration. Many of my ideas and suggestions over the years were implemented. . .
“I feel it is important to provide this career-related information in order to establish that I am well qualified to comment on the department, its workings and its management. As it transpired, very few people would have had such a broad overview of the department or such regular contact with the top three layers of management over such a long period.”
Pye’s academic qualifications include an MA in logic and psychology (1980) and in 1986/87, he was the TK Whitaker Fellow with the Economic and Social Research Institute.
Pye is 55 and lives in north Wicklow with his wife and two daughters.
Max Keiser made a small film recently about the criminal looting of Ireland.
He covers NAMA (National Assets Management Agency), Anglo Irish Bank, the 300 000 ‘ghost’ houses left in the wake of one of the most extreme property bubbles Europewide. Default on Mortgages as a ‘crime’ in Ireland (eh?)…National minimum wage slashed, money for woman and children stripped out of national budget, meanwhile the IMF and EU borrow money to repay the very bankers who created the trouble and the people of Ireland are expected to be held in hock for generations to come…
Here is something from a man who took on Bank or Ireland – and won:
According to Darrell, This EBook will open your eyes to the corruption, endemic in our banking system, law system and other governing bodies.
Read it and form your own opinion.
The question and answer session is even better than the brief speech.
He tells it like it is, for more see http://www.trendsresearch.com/
This video keeps on being removed from the internet so I don’t know how long it will remain.