Master of Illusion

At the end of this year, Ben S. Bernanke will retire as the greatest illusionist of all-time, bringing an end to the most brilliant career in the history of Magic. His astounding success must surely relegate all of the greats- Houdini, Copperfield, Harry Blackstone and the rest – to the status of also-rans, as none of them achieved anything close to what Ben has achieved. Blackstone, for example, was an innovator who created some of the most famous and widely copied performances in magic, including inventing the “sawing a woman in half” routine. Houdini was famed for accomplishing the impossible, escaping from death-defying situations that left audiences gasping. But no illusionist in history has successfully pulled-off a deception of the audacity and sheer scale that Ben Bernanke has. His trick has been so well performed, so brilliantly executed, that his entire worldwide audience is still largely unaware there was even a trick at all. After 2008, Ben made the entire world believe that the US dollar and the world’s largest financial system still existed. It has been the largest, most brazen, and certainly the most successful illusion in the history of magic.

Don’t believe me? Think this is mere hyperbole or exaggeration for effect? Well, let me ask you a simple question and see if you can answer- what percentage of your total net worth is your stack of precious metals? Can you reckon this in your head, at least roughly? Take a second, we’ll wait.

Now- did you immediately know, within a few cents, how much gold and silver are trading for and came up with a ballpark figure? Did you think about what your retirement account was worth the last time you checked, or did you make a quick calculation of how much equity you have in your home? Made a guess what your stocks are worth right now? Perhaps you added in your current checking or savings account value? Well guess what: if you did any of these things, then you've just been fooled by the greatest illusionist of all time. You weren’t aware that you were being fooled, but you were. Ben Bernanke made you believe in the factual reality of a whole host of things that aren’t really there.

Did you do the math for your stack vs. trading price today? Then you’ve been fooled- that spot price is a fiction based on heavily manipulated futures contracts and 100 to 1 leverage, so you don’t really know what your stack is actually worth. Did you estimate the price of your home? In what market? The one we have now where millions of houses are being held off the market by TBTF banks so they can mark to fantasy rather than mark to market and thus pretend to be solvent? You have no idea what your house is actually worth in a genuine market that isn’t being gamed. How about your retirement or trading account? Those stocks are artificially pumped and traded back and forth between machines, rendering that number on your screen a hopeful fiction... AND it is denominated in a unit of account that has to be artificially propped up by all sorts of machinations. Frankly, you have no idea what any of that stuff is actually worth, but for nearly every single item we’ve discussed, the reality is that it’s worth a whole lot less than you think. Oh, you might actually have the $137,728.47 that shows on your screen in your IRA account, but what is each of those dollars actually worth absent currency market interventions, gold and silver manipulation, and rigged Treasury bond auctions to prop up the value of those dollars? You have no friggin' clue. Neither do I, and neither does anyone else.

Take, for example, just one of the above mentioned interventions used to artificially prop-up the dollar- Treasury bonds. The bond market is of enormous importance in setting the price of the US dollar, indeed it could be argued that the true value of the dollar is largely set by the price/value of US Treasuries in the marketplace over time. But the reality is that today the bond "market" is artificially created from start to finish through a fictional process of financial alchemy. This is how it works: The Federal Reserve creates previously non-existent dollars out of thin air on a computer screen, and uses them to purchase US Treasury bonds. These bonds are a fictional promise from a completely bankrupt country to pay the holder of the bond in fake dollars (again created out of thin air) at some point in the future. These instruments are sold at pretend "auctions" where in reality, 80% of the "buyers" are actually the Federal Reserve itself.

Fantasy dollars created out of thin air and used to purchase fictional promises to pay from a bankrupt and spendthrift issuer and sold at pretend auctions. Did you get all that? Do you understand what a complete and utter sham every part of it is? Good. Now ponder this: The continuance of that ridiculous charade is what gives your paycheck its value- without it, your paycheck would be either worth less or possibly worthless. That elaborate sham is the only thing that gives value to the dollars shown in your retirement or checking account. Are you seeing what I am telling you now? The moment that this illusion dies is the moment that everything you think you own, earn, or have saved will be revalued lower… perhaps a great deal lower.

This is a major reason why I really cringe every time I read a poster saying something like “My stack is still underwater, I am just holding out until price recovers so I can get my money back”. Honestly, I can understand the sentiment and the tendency we all have to use spot price in dollars as a yardstick for measuring the success of our investments. I understand how irritating it is when your idiot brother-in-law brags about how his stock portfolio is up a hundred grand, then he needles you about how much gold and silver are down. But here’s the deal- do you realize how silly it is to use a completely manipulated, propped-up currency that is given its temporary “value” through sham treasury auctions, PM price suppression, and a host of other market interventions to try and measure the value of your investments? Do you realize that your idiot brother-in-law actually thinks he is 100k richer because stocks have (artificially) gone up? Do you think he is even aware that that figure is only derived from the Grand Illusion Ben has created? More to the point, do you think he will recognize this in time to get his faux value out before the illusion fails, or will he keep thinking he is rich right up until he suddenly realizes he is not? Yeah, I thought so.

This is the reality: There might be some numbers on a computer screen when you long-on, but you have no real idea how much you have actually saved for retirement. You have no idea how much money you have your checking account (or to put it more accurately, you have no idea how much the fantasy dollars shown on your screen will actually purchase when you may need them). You have no idea what your house is really worth, but it is probably far less than what you think- and the dollars you get for it will buy you far less than you think they will. You have no idea what your stocks are worth, because they are propped-up by fictional transactions between computers (80% of volume on the NYSE is HFT algos trading back and forth to each other- and the computers are run by zombie banks utterly beholden to the Fed for their continued existence). In fact, you don't really know how much you are being paid for getting up in the morning and going to your job every day. Is this sinking in yet?

I am saying that the US dollar, the financial system, and everything that derives its value from it, is a fantasy. The only thing keeping this bracing fact from affecting you in a very rude way is the maintenance of the illusion that Ben has created. Well, that and the fact that, for the moment, everyone either believes this illusion is real or pretends to believe it. It's all based on smoke and mirrors. There is nothing there. The banks that you think are holding your money are insolvent, so the digits that appear on your computer screen are a polite fiction. The stocks you think you own are in all probability worth considerably LESS than what they are trading for right now. The dollars you use to reckon the value of all of these things are worth far, far less than you think they are, and this illusion is only possible because of a process of fake Treasury bond auctions, precious metals market suppression, and massive interventions in the currency market. The reality for most people is that you are far poorer than you think you are.

I'll say it again: The moment this grand illusion dies- the moment that real valuations replace fictional valuations- is the moment that everything you think you own, earn, or have saved will be revalued many multiples lower. Or it may simply disappear in a puff of smoke. Unless you reckon what you own in ounces, acres, or tangible assets, you are fooling yourself. Or more accurately, you are buying-in to the grand illusion, spun by the greatest illusionist of all time.

Don't wait around worrying about the system collapsing. It has already collapsed. What you are really waiting on is the illusion that it hasn't to be revealed for what it is.

Abracadabra, Holmes.


ag1969's picture


1st Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Edit:  Well done again Pining.  All the world's indeed a stage, we are merely players.

Be Prepared's picture

The Disillusioned...

As the Bernank has been the Master of Illusion.... keeping the game and party going for the few, the criminal, the Banksters... I don't have to ponder just how much I have or don't have because the very premise is teetering on the idea that the USD is a measurement of wealth rather than an instrument of debt.  I am one of the great "Disillusioned" and I wish there were more of us.  When the Ziggy cartoon said "Ignorance was bliss!".... I can see the allure, but I abhor the blindness.  We are awash in the ending of a Great Cycle which is coinciding with the ending of many others all at the same time.... we are heading toward the nexus point, but the timescale is being warped by the Grand Master of Bubbles himself. 

Pining... your mind is amazing! and your photshops spectacular!

treefrog's picture


dollar index with a 79 handle!

Mr. Fix's picture


I really like  how you summed up the fantasy pricing of silver, gold and everything else. 

I've got a wife who thinks it's just sitting there doing nothing, and that our retirement is in jeopardy because of it.

When I tried to explain to her that the opposite is true, I don't often have as eloquent a explanation as the one you just provided.

Thank you very much, I'm going to try to commit this once in memory, at least the high points, and try to discuss it over dinner tonight.

Life would be a bit easier if she truly understood the predicament that our world is in right now.

Pining 4 the Fjords's picture

Wow, I think I pissed him off

Like any magician, Ben gets angry when you give away his tricks... Guess he felt like lashing out.

U mad Bro?


achmachat's picture

interesting have a smackdown to so close to a proven bottom.

If my dealer adjusts the prices to these levels, I am compelled to make another larger order of shiny.

Be Prepared's picture

He's not mad... He knows all the cards...

before they are dealt!

Cleburne61's picture

Chilton's statement

Does anyone else remember this statement CFTC Commissioner Chilton released on September 20th?:

On September 30th, at the stroke of midnight, our country will face a government shutdown unless a continuing resolution to fund it is adopted.  That would be grave news for consumers.

Under a shutdown scenario, government regulators will be handcuffed in our ability to go after crooks who are trying to evade our oversight and protection of markets.  You can bet the "do-badders" are licking their chops.
The dark markets that Dodd-Frank brought into the light of day will go dark again.  The lights will go out.  Given the huge growth in the derivatives industry and our new oversight of swaps, CFTC's market oversight functions are more important than ever.  Taking our cops off the beat for even a few days could have disastrous impacts on these markets that consumers depend upon.
Soooooo, was this a tell?  Was it a friendly warning that once the "the lights go out" would be used to give cover to more bullshit with impunity?
If today's action is any indication, it could mean several things:
1)We could be headed into a bearish downtrend for awhile, and
2)We could be much closer to the endgame and reset than any of us thought.
Looking back, the key inflection point was August 5th, 2011.....with the debt downgrade of the U.S. by S&P.  It was the only thing that mattered to the regime: issuing top tier-rated debt.  It has behooved them to literally hold gold and silver by the short and curlies ever since...
They have not been allowed to do anything but disappoint, stagnate, and plunge ever since....
They will do this as long as they possibly can.  The change will be instantaneous when finally allowed to occur.

EDIT: Yes, Fix, and everyone please pay far as we know the new $100 is STILL to be released in one calendar week. Anything could happen.

sierra skier's picture

The Bernack is no Magician

He is more a government thug abusing the economic rules to present a false picture of stability in an effort to please TPTB.

In 2004 we bought a second home and in 2013 we sold it for a $35K loss. The money we received back has reduced purchasing power by at least 10%, so not only did we receive back a reduced amount of dollars but those dollars now purchase less.

The Bernack is but a shill for TPTB.

My favorite South Coast episode,,,, Poof it;s gone.

Thanks Pining for your thoughts.

Mr. Fix's picture

@ Cleburne61

Of your two choices, I would pick the second, in that we are very close to the endgame.

I think this particular shutdown is part of it, the Congress critters could have stopped Obama care in its tracks

on many occasions in the past. Why did they pick now?

It's not about Obama care, it's about the end of the dollar, and the end of government as we know it.

The Department of Homeland Security and FEMA have been very carefully getting all their ducks in a row for October 1. There are more “drills” planned for the next week or two then anytime in history.

It would be a particularly good time for a major “false flag”, since they can blame the Republicans for an inability to respond, in fact this is all about blaming conservatives and conservatism for all that is wrong with the world.

I think it's about to become crystal clear just how screwed up the system is, and who to blame for it.

Interesting times we live in.

Have a nice day, I'm off to work, another day of pretending everything's okay.

Swineflogger's picture

@Pining FtF

You are an eloquent word smith.  Sad that such cogent writing makes me want to barf.  Thanks for your efforts.


Green Lantern's picture

How is this for a magic

How is this for a magic trick?  This is just weird.  Things that make you go hmm? I'm sure  with 100's of important sites in Manhattan that they chose the site of Goldman Sachs because it was close to some 24/7 eateries.

Is somebody sending a message?

Mystery parachuters land near Goldman Sachs

Two mystery men, clad in all black and wearing dark helmets, parachuted into lower Manhattan before dawn Monday, landing right in front of one of the world’s largest investment banks before vanishing, police said.

Cops on Monday night were still searching for the jumpers, who were captured on surveillance video after they dropped from the sky in front of the Goldman Sachs building near the World Financial Center.

“At 3:07 this morning, two individuals apparently parachuted to the front of the Goldman Sachs building,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Monday.

“We’re not 100 percent sure of the location, if they came out of an aircraft, but they were seen walking away with the parachutes.”

“What they came out of, we don’t know,” Kelly said. “They were wearing black suits of some sort and black helmets and they are believed to be men.”

He said the pair could be seen walking between Goldman’s West Street building and the nearby Conrad New York Hotel.

A police source said the men likely were BASE-jumping daredevils who leaped off the roof of the 43-story, 740-foot tall building that is the headquarters of the financial behemoth.

The building is just down the block from what is supposed to be one of the most tightly secured parts of the city, the World Trade Center, and is also near an NYPD mobile command center at Vescey and West streets.

Another source suggested the duo could have rapelled from one of the helicopters that frequently fly between the investment firm’s Manhattan and New Jersey offices.

An FAA source said the agency is looking into the incident to determine whether an investigation is warranted.

The FAA will contact the NYPD, the source said.

Police sources said there was no 911 call about the parachuters, and that there were no complaints about noise.

There also were no witnesses, one source said.

ivars's picture

Guess its risk-off now.

Guess its risk-off now.

ag1969's picture

I strongly believe...

... that this government shutdown will usher in the next false flag.  This morning I posted a list of potential false flags:

And now there is this article:

How the Government Shutdown Hurts National Security

Sep 30, 2013 5:35 PM EDT

If we shut down, a lot of people will be furloughed and billions of dollars will go to waste. Even scarier? The gaping holes in the agencies that keep us safe. By Josh Rogin

If the government shuts down Monday night, America’s national security and intelligence agencies will be operating with less staff, and the risk of an attack or other national security incident will go up, according to officials and experts.

The morning sun illuminates the U.S. Capitol in Washington

J. Scott Applewhite

“If we experience a partial shutdown, the intelligence community’s ability to identify threats and provide information for a broad set of national security decisions will be diminished for the duration,” Shawn Turner, the spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told The Daily Beast.

The domestic nuclear detection office will only retain 6 of its 115 employees.

HappyNow's picture

How wrong I was. And it's good for the dollar?

Yesterday I said that the US Gov't would not shut down.   Well it has.  Sort of.

Yet the dollar is not falling off a cliff.   Can it be that this perverse act of cost-cutting is exactly what the world wants to see?

Or is a stalemated government better than the government we saw before?

PM's on the other hand are taking a beating.   Curious indeed!

Rumpelstiltskin's picture

I would think most here get it, Holmes

Nice to see it in writing.

Either you have the Stack or you're holding air.

John Galt's picture

@ Pining re: Brilliant Post

Pining - Thanks for another brilliant post. It is yet another reminder for us to focus on what is real and not get distracted by the delusionary sleight of hand that has us continuing to place misguided faith in the ongoing perception of wealth being stored as paper and pixels.

This morning I sit here sore and stiff after stacking the last of my firewood for the winter. Although it is a seemingly inconsequential pile of hardwood, it is tangible and it is real and it will keep my home warm this winter. Looking at that pile of wood gives me more comfort than seeing comparable digit value on a computer screen.

While I have been working on the firewood stack Mrs. G has been busy canning bushels of apples. At one point she became frustrated about the "cost" and work of doing her own canning, pointing out that for the same price she could probably buy jars of apple sauce at the store.

Although in current "price" terms she is probably correct, I reminded her of the "cost" side of the equation. For one thing her sauce is made of all natural ingredients, whereas the apple sauce in stores (much of it originating from China, even if it is jarred elsewhere) is likely to contain additional ingredients of unknown origin and health consequences. Therefore, all "price" things being equal, her sauce is better and therefore carries less in terms of long term "cost".

Beyond that there are the tools and skills she is building as a form of future investment by doing her own canning. The present market does not recognize the value to this skill, but in the event of a currency reset and skyrocketing food prices the ability to prepare and store one's own food is going to be invaluable.

Of course the toughest thing of all is to hang on to this belief for an definite period of time while the Masters of Illusion keep flashing the ongoing deception that what is fake is real, and what is real is worth less.

achmachat's picture

1 € cheaper per ounce than yesterday!

most of the German online dealers gave in and have adjusted their prices!

As of right now, you can get (for example) Silver Philharmonics for 17,92€ each, including 7% VAT!

ag1969's picture

Pining, this seems relevant to your article today

I recently uncovered a fascinating chart, from Bianco Research LLC, of long-term U.S. interest rates covering 222 years, from 1790–2012.

Long Term U.S. Interest Rates 2013

Pretty cool chart, eh? I could discuss this chart all day. But the take-away here is that since 1790, the average long-term interest rate on U.S. Treasuries has been about 5%. When you look back over all of U.S. history, interest rates have almost never been under 3%, excepting during the total national effort of World War II. Keep that 5% in mind!

So what are the current interest rates for U.S. 30-yr bonds? At last check, according to the U.S. Treasury, they’re sitting at just above 3.6% — up over the past five months on the hopes of a Fed taper.

What’s the point? As the chart shows, historical rates for U.S. bonds have averaged about 5% over the past 222 years. Yet right now, according to the U.S. Treasury, short-term bonds yield just a hair above nothing. Medium-term bonds (one-five years) yield way under 1.5%.

We’re a long way below the historical average of 5% money, right? Treasury yields are as dead as doornails. Looking ahead, what if there’s even a slight reversion of Treasury rates to the historical mean? What if these near-dead current interest rates start to rise via the Fed’s promised taper?

What do these superlow, historically anomalous Treasury interest rates tell us? On that point, I’m reminded of the words of the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, who wrote that “Public opinion always wants easy money, that is, low interest rates.”

Well, clearly, we have a government policy of easy money and monetary populism. The U.S. government — and its associated class of media and financial enablers — wants cheap interest rates to mask the true cost of horrific, irresponsible levels of federal borrowing and spending. Low interest rates are just grease for the country’s financialized treadmill to nowhere.

NW VIEW's picture

Affordable health care?

Today marks another era of change in the direction of America.  Many will have free insurance ( like their cell phones) and many of the middle class workers, especially the  self employed, will see huge increases for insurance.  The self employed pay the full social security tax, and many work double shifts to keep their doors open.  Now they will have to subsidize the masses.

We just saw a family on the tube who will now have to pay $1200 per month, up from $700, because they make to much in their fishing business.  The nation has had problems from the beginning with non-reported income and now this will escalate. These policies,  which are current law for health care , will make a shift in the American dream. 

I was 21 before I had any health insurance and my generation had an inner drive to work hard for our future.  That "working hard" has slowly been drained from the middle class and absent from the entitlement mind set.    My son has four kids and is self employed.  He said his insurance will be over $2500 per month to obtain full coverage.  Yes that is $30,000 per year. 

This reminds me of a time back in the 60's.   My wife and I both had full time jobs.  My neighbor was on all entitlement programs and free everything.   One day he asked me if I would like going fishing with him.  I needed to work but things were free for him.      This new health law will drive many to fishing. 

Yes affordable health insurance on the surface is wonderful and a trap.  If the producers rebel, signing up for free insurance, we will see the costs rocket.  Our nation needed to meet the needs of the sick.

Lets use that $85,000,000,000 of give aways each month and start building regional hospitals/clinics for the public needs.  Lots of construction jobs, new employment for doctors and nurses.  Trickle down jobs spring up everywhere.  Housing rebounds along with new tax revenues. 

Oh well, what is my point???  Be aware that this is another change in direction for America.  Health coverage is wonderful BUT it comes with a price and this is not just the fiat costs.   jmo

Mr. Fix's picture

Pinning , it is always nice to see your artwork across the web.


Blythe Masters Jamie DimonIf “theories” about gold & silver manipulation are proven to be true, the players who conceivably might have been involved include everyone from the president of the United States, chairman of the Federal Reserve, secretary of the Treasury, CEOs of major banks, leaders of international central banks, intelligence agency stalwarts, regulatory agency directors, heads of state of other powerful nations, etc.
By way of comparison, it’s a story that could make Watergate look like a case of fixing parking tickets.
Watergate involved one paranoid, insecure president. The intentional manipulation of precious metals could involve multiple officials at the highest levels of power (in America and around the globe) … with consequences that would impact the economy of the world and the financial health of all the planet’s citizens.
The resignation of Richard Nixon didn’t really affect markets, nor the proverbial price of eggs in China. What I’m describing would, could, and probably already has. [Read more...]

Turd Ferguson's picture

WOW! Be sure to read this!


Karl Denninger calls it a day:

It's Called Evolution, Gentlemen (Tickerforum Changes)

In 2007 I began writing The Market Ticker due to the outrageous conduct of various branches in the Administration and portions of the Capital Markets.  Endemic fraud in the financial system that had generated unbridled and outrageous credit creation threatened the collapse of our entire economic system.

The consequence of this should have been thousands of indictments, prosecutions and imprisonments -- of banking executives, of members of Congress, of various executive branch officers in various agencies and more.  The banking system should have been forced to match assets to liabilities and either put up the margin to back their bets or liquidate them -- and if that forced them out of business and collapsed asset prices by 90%, so be it.

Instead our government took the easy way out.  It doubled down on the fraudulent models of the past.

But the models of the past were unsustainable and no amount of gaming arithmetic changes the outcome.  Indeed, the laws of mathematics state that the longer you allow an exponential system to run away from you, the worse the correction to reality you must sustain is.

From 2007 to 2013 the government has grown from $2.7 trillion to $3.68 trillion, a 36% increase. Marketable federal debt has gone from $4.96 trillion to $12 trillion, up 120% (that is, more than a clean double.)  

At the same time median family income has dropped from $56,000 to $52,000 in 2013 dollars (that is, adjusted for "inflation"), a roughly 7% decrease.

Oh, and that's before taxes.

Everyone talks about there being a "tsunami" of incoming inflation to be expected.  The real tsunami is government spending and debt and it already happened.  In real-dollar terms the federal government alone is taking from you nearly twice as much today as it was in 2007 and 80% of the minimum-wage-earner's buying power has been destroyed from 1980 to today.

And this is before Obamacare really kicks in.

Then there are the outrageous actions of our government in Benghazi.  What we are covering up there has not yet been determined with accuracy, but we don't need the fine details to understand the essence of the act.  That our tax money was funding terrorists and other bad guys in some form or fashion, and that we were probably providing them weapons is unfortunately pretty-much beyond dispute.

Never mind the outrageous and unconstitutional acts of the NSA in spying on people.

But perhaps the most-outrageous of all has been Obamacare and the medical "industry", which has used the power of government to utterly destroy any pretext of a fair and free market, creating a system where your medical care costs five times or more what it should.  That, incidentally, means that you should be able to pay cash for what yourdeductible is on your insurance (including Medicare!) were that outrageously corrupt system to be exposed to the white-hot light of either the market, prosecution under the Sherman Act or both.  Instead of making strides to resolve that outrage, no matter how small, Obama and Congress have doubled down with signature legislation embodying in statute the utter financial rape of our entire society and both sides of the aisle in Congress not only allowed it to happen but continue to allow it to proceed to this very day.

I've been a contributor to the government in the form of taxes my entire adult life.  I've written plenty of checks to the IRS, some of which gave me writer's cramp.  Never have I claimed a federal or state benefit check -- no food stamps, no welfare, no medicaid, nothing.  But I have been poor enough to qualify earlier on in my life -- I was simply too proud to do it, and found some how, some way to not.

I have tolerated running a company in a state where an employee that was fired for not showing up for work was able to collect unemployment, along with several others fired for cause.  I paid the increased rate of tax for what were bogus claims on my account and which drove up my tax rates.  I complained, but I paid.  I have put up with the ignobility of never actually owning real estate, having to rent it every single year from the State and County governments, even though claiming that you have "ownership" of something that you then must pay to keep is an abject fraud.  I have been "promised" both Social Security and Medicare even though it is mathematically impossible for me to ever receive them, and have paid taxes to support those programs for decades, while those who made the promises knowing they're false have never faced indictment, prosecution or imprisonment.  I have watched our government reach its hands down the crotch of sick 80+ year old leukemia patients claiming they might be "terrorists" while at the same time a man who states openly he attacked other Americans and killed them on a military base in the service of Islam is called an incident of "workplace violence" and those injured or killed are denied just recognition of being harmed in combat against a self-declared terrorist and/or taking heroic action to save others from same.

We all have our point at which we simply refuse to consent.  A few, like Joe Stack, take that refusal and turn it into acts of violence.  Singularly such acts are futile and amount to nothing more than martyrdom at best and a waste of human capital at worst.

But others, like myself, are unwilling to waste our lives.  One can recognize there is a non-violent means of refusal that no government can counteract or put a stop to.  It is far more effective and personally-satisfying than active, violent resistance, especially when the latter is singular and most of America is busy watching Dancing With The Stars, unworthy of anything more than being sheep to provide warmth for the "leaders" and occasionally a plate full of mutton.

Some of us have entrepreneurial ideas that might change the world.  But the drivers for entrepreneurs are more complex than simply the satisfaction of seeing something we imagine come to fruition.  For some it's simply the acquisition of wealth to the exclusion of everything else, but if I wanted to make that my focus in life I'd choose to be a bankster and figure out how to rip people off and get away with it.  After all it's far easier to abuse leverage to rob people than it is to build things, in today's environment the odds of going to prison for doing it are somewhere between slim and none, and Slim left the bar an hour ago.

At the end of the day you have to be able to sleep with yourself every night.  And unfortunately there can come a point where the cost-to-benefit ratio is simply all out of whack.  I've been blessed with both industry and luck; via both I was able to answer the "do you have enough?" question in the affirmative close to twenty years ago.  My motivating factors left the realm of making sure I could eat at that point and now the balance has unfortunately shifted to where what I do every day is work rather than joy.  

In no small part this shift is due to the zombie-like activity of many in this nation, including in places and among parts of the population where you'd think it would not be present.

I refuse to continue to silently accede to, and actively fund through my drive to acquire that measured in and rewarded by "wealth", the rampant theft and fraud that has and continues to take place in the economic sector, especially in the banking and health care areas of our economy.  None of this could ever exist except through the insertion of the guns of government up the noses of the American people.  

I can no longer live with being one of the better sources of funding for these abuses.  This decision did not come lightly, easily or quickly.  But I'm convinced it's the right choice as things stand today.

In short, if you want it in two words, it's this: I'm done.

I choose instead of either active participation through funding of our government's BS or violence to peacefully withdraw my consent.  To refuse to labor.  To make do with less -- a lot less.  I choose to reduce my voluntary contribution to the tax hoard that is misspent or forms the foundation against which our government borrows, giving the proceeds to those who think that doping it up is a grand past-time or shoveling guns, missiles and money to terrorists while groping our grannies, using the very existence of the terrorists we gave the guns and missiles to as justification for what any civilized society would call sexual assault.

The portion of that which I earn by my efforts that I am able to retain in real terms shrinks by the day, and I have concluded that the balance of benefits and harms, especially the harms done to others using my tax dollars, is no longer acceptable to me.

My decision will not change until America changes.  Until it wakes up.  Until the people demand and the government of this county, this state and this nation recognize everyone's fundamental rights -- that shall not be infringed means what it says, that shall pass no law means what it says and all branches of government stop using taxpayer dollars to arm terrorists, maintain and promote medical monopolies, promote and empower banking cartels while excusing violence and fraud, both financial and corporeal, committed against the people of this nation by those entities and the agents of government itself. 

I have seen enough frauds committed by and with the active involvement of government to become convinced that this is what, in the main, my tax dollars are buying.  Whether it be Angela Corey's apparent intentional withholding of evidence from George Zimmerman's counsel (and now her firing of one of the people who tried to do the right thing), the rip-off of pension funds and the taxpayer through both looting of the funds and ridiculously over-promised rates of return or the literal thousands of citizens that have had their homes foreclosed upon through blatantly fraudulent process and perjured documents, enough is enough.

I will not accept mere political promises as they are rubber checks without a penalty for being fraudulently issued and over the last 20 years they have always bounced.  I instead demand action, indictments, prosecutions, break-ups of monopolies, impeachments, business closures, the end of deficit spending and reform. These are not discussion points, they are demands.  They are demands that I have every right to make because it is with the fruits of my hand and mind that this government has foisted upon the American people these frauds, costs and harms.  I have written too many large checks to the IRS over the years only to see this crap not only continue but accelerate in the harm done to our nation -- and especially our youth.

I hope, pray for and encourage others to also peacefully withdraw their consent.  If enough of us who are the producers in this nation do so then government will have no choice but to bow to our will or collapse.  My decision in this regard, if ratified by concurrence of just a small percentage of the population, represents what I believe is the only remaining lawful and peaceful way to accomplish that goal.

If there are an insufficient number of others willing to also participate then my personal conviction that it is unacceptable to fund the screwing of others, whether it be financially or through actual acts of violence, will be demonstrated to be that of a tiny minority.

I accept that this is not only possible, it's likely.

But should that be the case then this nation does not deserve to survive as a Constitutional Republic -- and in the end, it will not, becoming something much darker, uglier and unworthy of any of my support.

There is only one way to know which of the two possibilities is true -- and that is to act, and see who also acts.  To lead not through exhortation (or worse, extortion) but rather by example.  To see who chooses to not only continue to consent but actively supports the murder of others, physical violence served upon those who simply wish to enjoy their unalienable rights and the financial******of our own citizens en-masse -- especially our children and young adults.

If and when things change I will reconsider my position and lower my middle finger.

But not before.

I therefore choose to reduce the ability of our government to tax my income to as close to an effective zero as I can reasonably achieve in keeping with what I enjoy doing, which is putting before the people a chronology of lies, frauds and scams in the hope that others wake up.

But I will do so on my terms, not someone else's.

Therefore, Tickerforum's donor program has been closed, effective today.  Existing gold donor privileges will remain active through their expiration date -- or 12/31, the latest a quarterly donor could expect them to remain active (and the longest donation formally permitted since mid-2010.)  Those who set up recurring donations have had their profiles canceled at PayPal.  

For those who wish to comment and discuss politically-related topics the politics areas will remain fully-accessible for the present time.

The formerly-anticipated newsletter, coding for which is in fact complete and ready to go, will not be launched.  My personal activity in the markets and otherwise, including entrepreneurship, will for nearly all intents and purposes cease by the end of the year.

The Market Ticker will continue to operate in an advertising-supported format but other than macro-level economic reports (e.g. the payroll report, Z1, etc) you will find the balance shifts toward less market-related material and more politically-related material -- simply because I have withdrawn from market-related activity beyond the macro level.  There will be fewer articles, and many days with none at all -- a rarity up until now.  Old articles will disappear from public view, a change recently implemented and one now filtering through the various Internet archives as they "refresh" their links.

Finally, for those who argue that I should become more involved in political pursuits, no matter what they may be, I will answer your question in advance and save you the time you'd otherwise use to solicit me for such purposes: No.

On a net basis this should reduce my "income footprint" to be within the "Screw You Uncle Sam" range.  The comment capacity on The Ticker will be commensurately reduced, as I have observed that for the most part those who are not donors to the system comprise the vast majority of inane (or worse) comments.  But for those who can form a cogent opinion and use logic, your input to the discussion will still be possible.

The activities that I choose to undertake in the entrepreneurship area will all be of a long-term capital gain in nature, where the government is able to garner little of what I come up with, and then only on my schedule, not theirs -- a schedule that may well be "never" if I so choose and there is no reform.

It is time for those of us who care to direct our energies in a different way, and I know of no better means of laying that forward than through personal example.

For whatever you deem it to be worth, here's my example.

Pining 4 the Fjords's picture

Thanks folks!

As always, the kind words are greatly appreciated- I know that my fellow bloggers and I try very, very hard to give you something worthwhile so thank you!  And thanks to Mr Fix for pointing out the SilverDoctors picking up my p-shop, I hadn't noticed that.

Quiz for Turdites-   Can you name the great work of dramatic fiction that I borrowed the final line in my essay from?  Bonus question: What is the name of the character who delivered this line?

Mr. Fix's picture

It looks to me like Karl Denninger has gone Gault.

Up this is a phenomenon that is accelerating in pace, as people are waking up to the criminal activities of our government, fewer and fewer in a position to support it are willing to do so.

This was a very well articulated article pointing out exactly how criminal an enterprise our taxes support,

and a genuine tax strike seems to be in the making here.

This particular article should be on the front page of every newspaper.

Thank you for reposting it here.

opticsguy's picture

Denninger's link needs to be forwarded to your rep and senator

It was a shock to hear Joe Kernen on CNBS state that "the acrimony over Obamacare today might have to do with the way it was passed in the first place".  You think?  Obama, Holder, and Rahm made the whole US into a giant Cook County.  No offense to Chicago Turdites.

bullion only's picture

The scary part

The scary part of the illusion for me is that they will keep it going past when I need to sell my stack to live on.

The problem is no one knows when the illusion will end. This is the greatest and last illusion. This is the grand finale. This could go on for another two years or twenty years. No one knows. This should have collapsed years ago. The plates should have stopped spinning and the fake smoke cleared but no, it continues unabated. 

Once I went to a fireworks festival in Japan. I was used to the 30 min displays here in America. In Japan they go on for hours and the grand finale never seems to stop. This could go on longer than any of us could imagine.


Mr. Fix's picture

Mystery quote,

Was it from 

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby?


Bugzy's picture

All good stuff

Pining, an excellent piece on perspective.

Turd, I post about Denninger going Galt yesterday, get up to speed man. wink

Fix, so what were your other two wishes? (ok you need to change out UK for USA.

And as I am currently domiciled in Canada I can honestly say I am surrounded by ungovernable anarchical STATES.

All joking aside, they better get this sorted out quickly before the reality that the economy will actually recover with only the private sector actually generating real wealth and without the parasitical gov class leeching from the economy. Folk could end up waking up and figuring out what is really going on. That simply would not do.

Also if I am not mistaken. Canada gov is currently prorogued (not working). False flags fluttering in the breeze, interesting read about FEMA preps for area 3 - wonder where that is?

achmachat's picture

Mystery Quote

... sounds like from The Great Gatsby.

ag1969's picture


I'll back you up on that because I read it yesterday when you posted it.  I have since sent it to all of my friends.  They both responded that they had passed it on as well.

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