Three of my four grandparents are from Bergen, Norway. My paternal aunt and cousins live there and in Oslo. Southwestern Norway is a beautiful and uncrowded place, but since it’s been a very expensive socialist nanny-state I’ve preferred the US for the cultural and geographical variety, and for the freedom and (apparent) prosperity. But now I have more envy for my Norsk relatives. Norway and Sweden are free and open societies that have dispensed with lockdowns, and although they aren’t outwardly obvious about it, Norwegians are a prosperous people with low concentrations and disparity of wealth among them. Because their culture views lavishness as vulgar, the people and the government are debt-averse and modest in spending. The population is around 5.4 million, the NBIM sovereign wealth fund has around $1.4 Trillion in assets, a national debt of $1.85 Billion with a debt/GDP of 46%, and unlike most other countries, the Norwegians plan to preserve their wealth and carry it well into the future. And since Norway is not an EU member state, it is exempt from paying money and taking directives from the unelected Mandarins in Brussels who are pushing the Great Reset.
Elsewhere, governments are preparing to default on the unmanageable sovereign debts that they have stacked-up, and to dissolve the public pension and benefit plans they promised their peoples. They intend instead to place them on a universal basic income that will keep them alive but deprive them of the financial freedom that they worked all their lives to gain, binding them in perpetuity under government control instead. The political leaders are doing this by evermore tightly bringing the citizens under their domination in order to prevent their ability to respond in the standard way throughout history to such fiscal obliquity: by rising up in revolt to throw out these leaders that have betrayed them.
Covid oppression is a power that they have in-hand now, and governments never relinquish any power once they have arrogated it to themselves. So no matter how crazy their policies, purported rationales, and disinfo/propaganda around Covid/Omicron become, and what negative effects of vaccine policies become evident, expect them to continue using them to ratchet-down our freedom and rights, and to more viciously vilify and punish those who object and resist. Despite the media censorship, many of us know about the vax-related incidences of myocarditis and stillborn babies. Horrific cases have been reported with some mothers-to-be who received the Moderna vaccine of their newborn babies perishing of bleeding disorders from the mouth, nose, and eyes. That we are prevented from gaining accurate data and clinical accounts on these risks is simply criminal.
Vaccinated seniors in France who have not yet received booster shots are seeing their Covid passes becoming deactivated. And in America, after the initial assurance of “get the shot and you’re done”, universities and businesses are now modifying their booster mandates with similar caprice. Compliance must now be non-ending and in flexible accordance with such fiat changes. The politicians no longer even try to convince those of us willing to doubt these incoherent narratives and policies. They reiterate that we must get jabbed….(again), then either dismiss our questions or tell baldfaced lies to us, and leave us with that. During his campaign Biden promised to bring Covid under control and ‘return us all back to normal’ from the environment that we had with Trump. On Wednesday, a reporter challenged him on that by noting that Covid deaths have only increased under his leadership. His response was merely to grin, chuckle, and walk away without a word. Yet no one will fiercely press him on this or anything else. That would be perceived to be as indecent as requiring Alzheimer patients to prepare their own tax returns. Biden is the perfect stooge to carry out all these noxious orders: He’s too debilitated (and dishonest) for people to bother to press and hold him to account for all the damage he’s does – yet as POTUS he keeps on doing it. The buck originates with him – but it always stops somewhere else.
Saule Omarova will not become US comptroller of the currency, and the Build Back Big-Brother Act failed. And ironically, we can all thank Vladimir Putin for a move he made that has allowed our rights to hold-up a bit longer: He vetoed a UN ploy claiming that climate change is now a national security issue that would justify the ability for the UN to impose decrees upon the entire world without the rest of the world having any say nor recourse. As good as these news items are, the onslaught from government will become more relentless, regardless. It appears that the democrats actually shelved the BBB bill in order to turn their focus on federalizing the election process with HR1, the “For the People Act of 2021”. It is a measure for them to retain power indefinitely despite polling numbers clearly showing that the people reject their policy and leadership failures. It would activate nationwide mail-in voting and ‘motor voter’ registration, same (voting)-day registration, a roadwork to DC becoming a voting state, criminal voting, require 16 year-olds to register to voter, and will eliminate requirements for voter SSN identification and against ballot harvesting. It will also empower congress to takeover redistricting…all in the name of ‘fairness’. You would still need to present your ID to open a bank account, rent an apartment, or to board a plane, but not to vote in federal elections.
35 of the 47 European countries disallow absentee voting for citizens living domestically. England and France used to have absentee voting rules similar to ours but ended them in 2004 and 1975, respectively, after absentee voting’s role in massive voting frauds was discovered. In North America, our neighboring countries have enacted stiffer voting practices to prevent voting fraud. Canada requires a photo ID to vote, and Mexico requires a biometric ID for voters. The rhetoric from the US left, that voter ID requirements and restrictions on absentee and mail-in voting are un-democratic, is utter nonsense. If they succeed in enacting HR1, and the people feel that their voice in determining their own political future is being removed from them by politicos who have stolen their right to vote them in or out of office again, we can expect to see more widespread resistance. I’m afraid that it would be likely for violence to erupt. Expect election fraud to be perpetrated across the globe in 2022 (e.g., Australia, France, Hungary) and 2023-2024 (e.g., Italy, Britain) to keep the current gang of political thugs empowered long enough to end democracy and complete the Great Reset. These upcoming elections are their greatest point of weakness, and standing up to demand they be conducted fairly is one of the most fundamental rights any citizen in a democratic society has. So what then should we do ?
In finance it’s now important to keep a macro eye on inflation, on wobbly links in the supply chain, and on monetary policy. PPI is running-away unsustainably and the Biden administration has attributed this to ‘corporate greed’. I reiterate that a major reason for the 5000-year low in rates over the past dozen years is the fact that now government is not only going insolvent, but is also the largest holder of its own debt, so raising rates increases its debt-service duty and drives it towards default even faster. Some degree of inflation helps it by enabling it to repay debt in cheaper dollars, but with the runaway inflation we have now it faces a real dilemma: either allow unsustainable inflation to continue and face the economic consequences, or raise rates and struggle with bearing the increased cost of paying the annual interest on the national debt. But because the degree of threat that this dilemma poses is different for America than for some other nations, a clash between the Fed’s fiscal and monetary policy outlook and that of those other central banks is developing.
Major central banks (The Fed, BOE, BOJ, ECB) are meeting this week. They are all facing the quandary posed by inflation, low interest rates, and their sustained asset-buying, primarily of their own sovereign debt, as market demand for that debt has collapsed. The press reports that they are all focusing on the risks from inflation and Omicron, but their policy responses are much less closely aligned than you read about. Draghi’s QE has resulted in the ECB still holding all the state debt they ever bought – no one will bid on it. The bank has to roll the maturing notes as well as continue buying more, and a portion of it on their book is negative-yielding. If the bank raises rates, they will destroy their own portfolio as well as government budgets throughout Europe. By contrast, the Fed never went into negative territory and is not trapped in this same way. Powell has been able to let old debt mature and settle.
So, unlike the Bank of Japan and the ECB, the Fed can reduce its QE without imploding the US economy outright. The Bank of England is more inclined to raise rates in response to inflation than the ECB, but the ECB has been pleading for it (and for the Fed) not to. Of course, the option that governments reduce their spending is never even considered, much less tabled – Keynesianism has finally reached its final failure. This disparity between central bank outlooks is linked to the ongoing political agendas in the differing countries. In the Eurozone, where lockdowns are already among the most draconian (viz., Austria and Germany) the ECB and EU are claiming that Omicron’s rapid spread will require more lockdowns and restrictions that will be economically suppressive, therefore interest rate increases need not be considered at this time (it is interesting that here government has finally admitted that they do use COVID policy as an economic lever).
Powell appears unwilling to go-along with the Great Collapse. In fact, he has signaled that he expects to raise rates three times next year, taper the Fed’s monthly bond purchases at twice the rate previously announced, and end QE altogether in March. Powell’s clash with the other central banks’ wishes is not only a move to fight inflation. European and other foreign capital flows into the US are rising somewhat, and rate increases can steer some of that money into the US bond market. In terms of this macro-solvency picture, the US is really the only place for money to flee now, despite its erratic political climate. Powell has declared financial war with the other central banks because he knows that Europe is already economically doomed no matter what he does. He is turning his focus away from US unemployment and towards inflation and longer-term solvency risk.
Stagflation, rising rates, and a bull run for the dollar are market moves to look out for in-response. The traditional economists may criticize Powell on the basis that rising rates could reduce consumer and business spending, thereby weakening the economy and accelerating unemployment. But that economic view was founded decades ago on a portrait of the US as primarily a closed economic ecosystem, whereas today it is one element of a global economy. Such critics should look at what effect these actions have on the inflow of capital into the US before they repeat their time-worn criticisms.
The geopolitical macro risks that have opportunistically come to the fore in response to Biden’s weak and corrupt leadership continue to threaten the current setting with regard to confidence in investment opportunities, governments, and other institutions. Ukraine may be invaded soon and Iran may have nuclear weapons to begin mounting on their missiles soon after. If Putin moves to take even just the eastern part of Ukraine and Biden follows through on his promise to protect the Ukrainian border, the US could become militarily involved in defending that border even though the US government wont secure its own border. And regardless whether the US proves unwilling to intervene, or it ties up its military resources by intervening, China would probably see either event as an opportunity to move on invading Taiwan.
Enjoy the holidays – then get ready to buckle up. Or if you happen to live in Norway, just relax and enjoy some Berlinerkranser and Krumkaker.