Monday, July 23, 2012

A little housekeeping

I earned the ban-hammer over at Karl Denninger's TickerForum board this morning.  I had posted my email address, to let my old friends there know how they could contact me in the future.  Karl had just updated his Terms and Conditions to prevent this sort of execrable thing -- not that I actually read them.   I feel honored that Karl updated his site Terms just for my little drama, though.  Gee, how about that.

I joined TickerForum the day it went live -- my "incept date" was the same as Karl's -- back in June of 2007 when we were hunting WaMu.  I managed to get a free new car for my troubles.  I did not post the typical fare-thee-well-and-fuck-you post many make on their way out, and I'm fine with that.

Karl is a strange fellow.  He still posts his Tickers with the constant refrain that we had better fix this mess now, or there will be hell to pay.  Does he still have the fax bomb program spraying each Ticker to each Member of Congress?  Does he imagine that they care at all about him and what he thinks?  That they will think of him wistfully and regret not having taken his sage words of advice back when they could have made a difference?

I don't think Karl has anything important left to say about the financial crisis and the future.  He carried the baton well several years ago, explaining to all who would hear about risk and leverage.  He informed many of us on these matters and the financial mechanics underneath, he was hugely and deservedly influential.  All he has left now is a great crescendo of I told you so as the entire financial world collapses at long last.

When he finally accepts in his heart that we are truly beyond repair, past the monetary event horizon, that NoThing was right all along with her advice to get "seeds and deeds" and guns and garden tools, he will simply disappear.  He's a smart and serious guy, and he knows deep down that his house is worthless in the long run except as a temporary bunker.  Once the manatees have all been eaten, and malaria is haunting Florida again, he cannot produce food from a cul-de sac modern house with no useful land.  He will go elsewhere, and fast.

All of you Gold "donors" will wake up one morning to a HTTP 404 on the site.  He won't owe you an explanation, remember, he's not obligated to you in any way.  The guy makes his own SCUBA rebreathers.  When he finally knows that we are done, he will simply buy a piece of useful land, with cash, and disappear.  All of the arrangements may be in place already.

I don't know if that will be in Florida, or somewhere else.  He hails from Michigan, which he knows well and is not a bad climate for general purpose gardening.  You could probably disappear pretty well there into a doomstead in one of the rural counties.  Plus, if he needs quality domestic help, he will already have a maid and a driver at his beck and call.

But Karl has nothing at all left to say to us.  We get it already.  The Fed bought MBS, they allowed financial fraud, the Rule of Law is done, we understand.  The system has bought itself some time, but is  of course doomed.  Failure is inevitable.

The best observer of the current state of things today is Steve Ludlum, "Steve from Virginia", who posts on his invaluable blog, "Economic Undertow".  Here's what Steve had to say over the weekend:
There is a far better chance of crop failures and starvation in countries that depend on external credit, imported fuel and F/X flows. Vulnerable Pakistan could see its population completely wiped out and India could lose half of its 1.4 billion in a matter of weeks or months, particularly if coupled with a diminished- or failed monsoon. There are simply no food stocks available to shift to needy areas in sufficient quantities … to feed billions. Fuel poverty would restrict the ability of nations to replenish food stocks or create new ones. We are near- or at a food/fuel limit.
Now this is something new.  Here is a man who understands the full gravity of the situation, the historical weight of what we are actually facing.  Steve's discussions about the forgotten relationship of energy to finance are groundbreaking and, I think, critical for understanding the nature of things, and where we are headed.

TickerForum and the Market-Ticker have served their purpose.  If Karl's work is useful to you, by all means, don't let me discourage you, just don't count on him sticking around for one minute longer than he feels is necessary.  Once he realizes the sheer folly of faxing op-eds to Congress and promoting Libertarian eagle scouts in local politics to fix things, I believe he will do an about face and check out rather abruptly.  And he knows better than to leave a forwarding address.

One more thing, Karl.  I didn't buy your book.



Anonymous said...

Thank you for standing your ground. You're right.

Bicycle said...

A great line from Steve's latest was the following:

"Right now money represents fuel-using-activities which have been promoted as highly fashionable by the marketing industry. Coming soon is money representing the fuel itself. We are almost there."

His commentary reminds me very much of Stoneleigh / Nicole Foss at Automatic Earth circa 2008. She was way ahead of the curve. It scared me to death at the time primarily because her delivery was so calm and rational--she had already long since prepared for what she saw coming. It's nice to see Steve's blog carrying the torch.

Greenspan Screwed US said...

Great post CG! I didn't buy his book either.

You nailed it man, the guy has SERIOUS personal issues and will always be a LONELY dude. I can't imagine he has a single real friend.....