Satyajit Das: “Super Brussels” Saves The World, Again, Maybe!

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By Satyajit Das, derivatives expert and the author of Extreme Money: The Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk (2011). Jointly posted with Roubini Global Economics

The Pavlovian response of financial markets to the European leaders’ summit of 28 and 29 June 2012 was remarkable. The frugal communiqué of 322 words fired the “animal spirits” of financial markets, which now believe that the European debt crisis has been “solved”. As comedian Robin Williams joked: “reality is just a crutch for people who can’t handle drugs.”

Summiting Once More…

The summit supported a single regulatory body for all European banks.

The previously agreed Euro 100 billion capital injection for Spanish banks was ratified. Payments will now be made directly by the European Financial Stability Fund (“EFSF”) and its successor the European Stability Mechanism (“ESM”) to the banks rather than as loans to the relevant country. Loans will also not have priority of repayment over commercial lenders.

The EFSF/ ESM will take whatever actions are “necessary to ensure the financial stability of the euro area… in a flexible and efficient manner”. This was taken to mean that they will purchase bonds of beleaguered countries like Spain and Italy to reduce the cost.

The European Union (“EU”) will provide Euro 120-130 billion of financing for investment to boost growth.

The language was vague and the details sketchy. After the meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag that differing communications” from various Euro-Zone leaders about the exact agreement had “led to a whole number of misunderstandings”.

The initiatives may require complex and time consuming changes in European treaties.
The German Constitutional Court must rule on some aspects of the current proposal.

In essence, implementation risks remain.


Bank recapitalisation will require the establishment of the EU central bank supervisory body, which should only be “considered” by the Council before the end of 2012. Given issues of national control and sovereignty, the risk of delays and failure of agreement are not insignificant.

Capital injections are subject to unspecified “economy wide” conditions. One potential condition could be that the national government compensate the EFSF or ESM for any losses. This is what Germany sought pre-summit, arguing that the EU could only lend to sovereigns, not foreign banks over which it had little or no control.

Routing funding directly does little to break the deadly nexus between European banks and their sovereigns. It does not address the fact that the banks are heavily exposed to sovereigns and this exposure will increase over time. It does not address the banks reliance on the European Central Bank (“ECB”) for funding.

The fact that bailout funds will not have repayment priority is not a change. As investors in Greek bonds discovered, the EU can, if they wish, retrospectively change the terms to subordinate commercial creditors in any case. While the exact terms of any capital injection are unknown, the proposal creates a perverse incentive for the EU, especially Germany, to push for existing shareholders and bondholders in Spanish banks to absorb losses prior to the injection of new funds. This will be resisted by both investors and possibly the government making it difficult to implement.

The potential for EFSF/ ESM purchases of Spanish and Italian bonds to provide funding and manipulate interest rates was actually agreed last year. It requires a member state to request assistance and execute a Memorandum of Understanding, which involves less onerous conditions than those applicable to a full bailout. The 29 June 2012 statement confirms that any assistance would be conditional.

The ECB already has the ability to intervene by purchasing bonds under its Securities Markets Programme. In fact, bond purchases by the ESM may reduce buying by the ECB meaning less not more support.

The growth initiative amounts to only 1% of Euro-Zone Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”). It was a repackaging of existing unspent funds and is unlikely to be operational quickly.

The summit communiqué did not mention any progress on a Europe-wide deposit insurance scheme to limit capital flight from peripheral countries, although this may be a matter for the new European super bank regulator.

Where’s the Money…

There was no commitment of new money of any kind. Since mid 2011, Germany has succeeded in ensuring that existing bailout facilities are not increased.

The ability of the EU to support the peripheral nations on an ongoing basis is questionable.

The Euro 440 billion of the EFSF is largely committed to the Greek, Irish and Portuguese bailouts as well as the Euro 100 billion required for Spanish banks. After the new ESM is fully implemented, there will be at most Euro 500 billion available.

Potential requirements include a third bailout for Greece and further assistance for Ireland and Portugal. Additional money for recapitalising European banks may be needed. Spain and Italy have financing requirements of around Euro 600 billion in the period to 2014, mainly to pay maturing debt.

This also assumes that the EFSF (which is backed by guarantees from Euro-Zone Members including Spain and Italy) and the ESM (which will require capital contributions totalling Euro 80 billion from all Euro-Zone members) can finance its activities.

Support from the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) is uncertain. The lack of conditions and supervision of loans may be a barrier to IMF participation. Domestic politics within the US in a Presidential year may also limit flexibility.

Arithmetical Impossibility…

The cost of support for the peripheral nations is rising. The ECB has provided over Euro 2 trillion in the form of bond purchases and funding for European banks. Euro-Zone members are directly and indirectly supporting the two European bailout funds -the EFSF and ESM- for around Euro 1 trillion. National central banks in Germany, Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg have provided more than Euro 700 billion in financing for weaker nations.

Even without agreement on Euro-Zone bonds, mutualisation of debt is already a fact as stronger countries, especially Germany and France, effectively underwrite these facilities. As more financing for weaker nations moves to official institutions, the commitment will increase. Germany faces potential losses of between Euro 800 and Euro 1.4 trillion (up to 40% of its GDP). France also faces large losses. Chancellor Merkel has increasingly emphasised that Germany’s financial strength is not infinite.

The monetary arithmetic of European debt problems looks unsustainable.

The EU may simply not have enough funds to carry out their programs, unless the bailout funds are increased in some way or the ECB follows the US, UK and Japan into full scale quantitative easing to monetise European sovereign debt. As those countries have found, such measures also do not represent a simple solution.

Political Impossibility…

In the short run, the ECB will probably lower rates and continue to provide liquidity to manage the risk of financial collapse. But the deep seated problems remain.

The real economy –growth, employment, investment, capital flight out of weak nation- will continue to be problematic. The economic performance of stronger countries like Germany will deteriorate. The problems of the financial system –loan losses, funding difficulties- will continue. Weaker sovereigns will continue to face challenges in raising funds at acceptable costs.

The problems are increasingly political.

The June Summit highlighted deep fissures within the Euro-Zone itself. Germany, which is substantially bearing the financial burden of the European debt bailouts, finds itself increasingly vilified and isolated.

Spanish, Italian and French newspapers and political commentary were triumphant, depicting the summit as a humiliating back down by Germany. Northern European countries aligned with Germany have expressed concern about weaker conditions for aid to the indebted European countries. Dutch financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad wrote that “the southern euro countries are taking the north hostage”.

While her political position remains relatively secure, the German Chancellor faces increasing domestic criticism for providing assistance without extracting agreement to suitable tough conditions from recipients.

Chancellor Merkel insists that German taxpayers’ money will not be committed without strict conditions. She has reiterated that there was no increase in German guarantees for the Euro-Zone rescue funds and no jointly guaranteed Euro-Zone bonds to finance weaker states. She insists that the commitment to use the EFSF/ ESM to buy sovereign bonds for countries facing market pressure would be conditional. Spain and Italy’s gleeful boasts of unconditional aid does not square with Dutch and Finnish insistence that any money would require compliance with strict conditions.

Germany and the Norther European countries’ willingness to continue to finance the existence of the Euro-Zone may be weakening.

At the summit, the joke of the day was that Germany lost 2-1 to Italy in the semi-finals of 2012 European soccer championship in Warsaw but lost 16-1 at the EU summit in Brussels! Italian Prime Minister Mario Monto, with uncharacteristic indiscretion, boasted that “it is a double satisfaction for Italy” referring to Italian victories over Germany in both soccer and the debt negotiation.

Spain, Italy and France may well live to regret its triumphalism in antagonising its paymasters. The Euro-Zone itself seems the loser in the longer term.

Real Impossibility…

Despite progress, European leaders refuse to acknowledge that a portion of the debt of the peripheral nations is unrecoverable. None of steps announced improves the sustainability of the debt levels of the affected countries, their access to markets or cost of borrowing in the medium to long term. Ultimately, it is not possible to solve the problem of excessive indebtedness with more debt or by simply changing the lender.

Austerity dooms Europe to a prolonged contained depression as the debt burden is worked off. The alternative, a debt write-off, would result in significant loss of wealth for the mainly European lenders and investors triggering an economic contraction and prolonged period of economic stagnation. There are now limited policy options available.

For the moment, investors and the non-German members of the Euro-Zone are celebrating. It would be wise to remember American writer Edgar Howe’s observation: “there is nothing so well known as that we should not expect something for nothing – but we all do and call it hope.”

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  1. Jesper

    Could we get an elaboration on this:
    “While the exact terms of any capital injection are unknown, the proposal creates a perverse incentive for the EU, especially Germany, to push for existing shareholders and bondholders in Spanish banks to absorb losses prior to the injection of new funds.”

    Why would it be perverse to wipe out equity and allow for losses on creditors to insolvent institutions?

    1. Susan the other

      Isn’t it because wiping out bondholders will stagnate the economy as bad as austerity. It is also a form of austerity. So why doesn’t Das promote Steve Keen’s advice. The only advice that breaks the circle of debt and misery. Pay everyone in the EZ an agreed sum from a central authority. Call it a Debt Satisfaction Mechanism. Provided they all use it to pay off their debts before they resume other spending. And this will be a jolt of adrenaline which will kick start the economy. Keen says this only works when you have sufficient exports to maintain a positive balance of payments, like Japan.

      So the question I have is, what happens to national/federal (i.e. EZ, China and US) accounting of trade deficits when this relatively sane approach comes full circle in a trade-globalized world. A trade globalized world to me means zero sum so there are no deficits left, but unfortunately for borrowers, there are also no surpluses. Will that achieve a world without debt? And without profit?

      1. F. Beard

        Keen says this only works when you have sufficient exports to maintain a positive balance of payments, like Japan. Susan the other

        What is “this”? Why wouldn’t a universal bailout work regardless?

        1. Susan the other

          A jubilee will work. And I’m all for it. It’s probably the only thing that will work. But global economics is a work in progress. I keep thinking we should beware what we wish for because, in terms of capitalism, globalization will end in entropy.

          1. F. Beard

            A universal bailout isn’t the complete solution; we also need to fix eliminate the root cause which is a fascist money system.

          2. Susan the other

            I agree with this too Beard, except I think the goal of globalization is to homogenize “fascist finance,” or one goal. There are so many fascists in this world. My problem is with a certain disregard toward local economies. I think local economies should survive and thrive somehow. So in a sense I’m for local fascism. If it is benign. Or maybe so diluted it can function for a long time in a beneficial manner.

          3. F. Beard

            The fascists are eating up local communities all over the world. We desperately need an ethical form of asset-backed money to eliminate the distinction between capital and labor and unify them. We need to show the world a better way. Free markets should work for all of us.

          4. Carla

            @StO: “My problem is with a certain disregard toward local economies. I think local economies should survive and thrive somehow. So in a sense I’m for local fascism.”

            Call me utterly naive, but why should local economies have to become fascist to survive? I think (hope) the fascists will become the endangered species.

            Just finished reading “The End of Growth” and Heinberg’s number 1 piece of advice going forward is “Get to know your neighbors. Because you’re going to need them.”

  2. Hilary Barnes

    “Payments will now be made directly by the European Financial Stability Fund (“EFSF”) and its successor the European Stability Mechanism (“ESM”) to the banks rather than as loans to the relevant country.”
    My understanding – see also Spiegel – is that this applies to the €100bn loan to Spain’s banks only, nnot to all future ESM loans.

    1. Min

      Fortunately, kicking the problem down the road is one way to go. The potential supply of Euros is infinite.

  3. Norman

    Why don’t they take the easy way out, throw all the bankers into jail, confiscate their assets, lop off the heads of any who resist, and hold to one method of banking? This merry go round isn’t getting anything done, save for enslaving the masses for the benefit of the few.

    1. Justicia

      Why not, indeed? Probably because we’d have to arrest the regulators and central bankers, too.

      Financial Times

      Concerns over Libor rate raised in 2007
      The Bank of England said: “It is nonsense to suggest that the Bank of England was aware of any impropriety in the setting of Libor. If we had been aware of attempts to mainpulate, we would have treated them very seriously.”

      The Fed declined to comment.

  4. Hugh

    Das gives a good overview of the European situation from a neoliberal point of view. There’s the Northern countries can’t keep financing the debt of the South. Of course, a lot of that money they are sending south goes straight back north in payment of loans owed to Northern banks and so is actually a backdoor bailout and recapitalization of these Northern banks. What is not on the table is putting the Northern banks through bankruptcy, throwing and prosecuting their managements, and burning investors and bondholders, especially the bondholders.

    Das also expresses doubts about quantitative easing by the ECB. What Das doesn’t talk about is that the ECB could monetize the debt and provide funds to stimulate economic expansion.

    The neoliberal perspective is quite clear in the following as well:

    “Austerity dooms Europe to a prolonged contained depression as the debt burden is worked off. The alternative, a debt write-off, would result in significant loss of wealth for the mainly European lenders and investors triggering an economic contraction and prolonged period of economic stagnation.”

    As Keynes remarked, debts that can’t be paid back won’t be. Indeed as we see in Europe, with depression debt levels increase making it even more likely that a lot of this debt is not going to be paid back. It is very neoliberal to feed us the line that debt write-offs will lead to more depression. It is also very wrong. Debt write-offs deleverage the 99%. That’s actually a good thing and economically stimulative. The money they were using to service their debt could now be used for consumption. Consumption increases demand. Demand creates jobs and the costs to governments of automatic stabilizers (the safety net) decrease. Investors is just code for the rich. The truth is both investors and bondholders, i.e. the rich need to be burned before the European economy can recover. The truth is too we don’t need the rich to fund an expansion. This could and should be done by government spending backed by the ECB. This kind of approach hasn’t been tried, not because it won’t work but because it isn’t conducive to looting.

    1. PaulArt

      Excellent summation Mr.Hugh, the question to ask is why is Das still here on NC? Do the NC readership need continually edification of the exalted neoliberal point of view? Or perhaps we need him to walk around to remind all of us now and again of what neoliberalism is lest we forget?

      1. Jim

        What about all the other NK contributors who continue to insist on the viability of the Eurozone? Isn’t the person calling for a debt jubilee as “guilty” as Das, as the debt jubilee will hit the German voter MUCH HARDER than the resident of the South.

        The true solution is the dissolution of the Eurozone, a solution which will contribute to FAR MORE economic growth in the South than with the Euro.

        Yet, how many NK contributors have called for the obvious – the dissolution of a common currency union which should never have been realized?

        I believe that it’s because so many of you continue to cling to the belief that the United States of Europe is a worthwhile objective. Hundreds of years of history indicate that it’s not.

        1. They didn't leave me a choice

          I think you’ll find that the love we have for the EU is far less than you think in here. So far I think we’ve mostly been happily leering at the trainwreck in slow motion to bother saying the obvious, that the EU in its current form must cease existing. Disclaimer: this is my opinion as an european directly harmed by this conglomerate of anti-democratic horror.

          Also, please note that the universal bailout, if implemented Steve Keens way would NOT have too disparate an impact on southerners vs central europeans. (Also, would the people on this site fucking PLEASE stop referring to anything south of Denmark as “north european”…)

    2. john c. halasz

      “Austerity dooms Europe to a prolonged contained depression as the debt burden is worked off. The alternative, a debt write-off, would result in significant loss of wealth for the mainly European lenders and investors triggering an economic contraction and prolonged period of economic stagnation.”

      Das is probably thinking in the second leg of a decline in consumption based in the wealth effect and an aversion to investment based changing and uncertain contractual terms and the prior loss of investment funds/capital. Yes, that is thinking entirely in terms of prevailing neo-liberal finance, but it’s likely that to get beyond such terms, one doesn’t merely need to think beyond neo-liberalism, but beyond capitalism itself.

      1. F. Beard

        Please don’t be confused by terminology. Steve Keen’s “A Modern Jubilee” is actually a universal bailout; German savers would receive an equal amount too.

        1. john c. halasz

          And, of course, a monetary bailout of debtors/consumers is precisely what will never happen because it would destroy the illusion of money as essentially something “earned”, upon which the whole prevailing system depends. It would even provoke outraged reactions from the beneficiaries of such largesse.

          1. F. Beard

            Keen says the alternative is 15-30 years of this mess, if I understand him correctly. GD I was a major cause of WW II. Shall we risk GD II and WW III?

  5. F. Beard

    Austerity dooms Europe to a prolonged contained depression as the debt burden is worked off. The alternative, a debt write-off, would result in significant loss of wealth for the mainly European lenders and investors triggering an economic contraction and prolonged period of economic stagnation. Satyajit Das

    Steve Keen’s universal bailout which he calls “A Modern Jubilee” is another option. Why don’t you mention this, Mr. Das?

    A Modern Jubilee would create fiat money in the same way as with Quantitative Easing, but would direct that money to the bank accounts of the public with the requirement that the first use of this money would be to reduce debt. Debtors whose debt exceeded their injection would have their debt reduced but not eliminated, while at the other extreme, recipients with no debt would receive a cash injection into their deposit accounts.

    The broad effects of a Modern Jubilee would be:

    1. Debtors would have their debt level reduced;
    2. Non-debtors would receive a cash injection;
    3. The value of bank assets would remain constant, but the distribution would alter with debt-instruments declining in value and cash assets rising;
    4. Bank income would fall, since debt is an income-earning asset for a bank while cash reserves are not;
    5. The income flows to asset-backed securities would fall, since a substantial proportion of the debt backing such securities would be paid off; and
    6. Members of the public (both individuals and corporations) who owned asset-backed-securities would have increased cash holdings out of which they could spend in lieu of the income stream from ABS’s on which they were previously dependent.

    Clearly there are numerous complex issues to be considered in such a policy: the scale of money creation needed to have a significant positive impact (without excessive negative effects—there will obviously be such effects, but their importance should be judged against the alternative of continued deleveraging); the mechanics of the money creation process itself (which could replicate those of Quantitative Easing, but may also require changes to the legal prohibition of Reserve Banks from buying government bonds directly from the Treasury); the basis on which the funds would be distributed to the public; managing bank liquidity problems (since though banks would not be made insolvent by such a policy, they would suffer significant drops in their income streams); and ensuring that the program did not simply start another asset bubble. from

    There are now limited policy options available. Satyajit Das

    Says you.

    1. They didn't leave me a choice

      One has to admire Das’s obsession with making sure the TINA-line is upheld. Nobody bothered to drop him the note that TINA is now dead and buried and there’s /only/ alternatives left?

  6. mac

    These folks declared that they did “something” who knows what, but those who hope for a miracle assumed one had occurred, now if they can avoid knowing what really happened they can remain happy.

  7. Susan the other

    The Europeans, especially Angela, are discrete beyond belief because they are busy undermining national democracy. Ironic that in order to promote the greater democracy of the EZ these policy makers must destroy much of it at their own national levels. The money pledged to save the EZ and control the latest financial implosion in a member country, Spain, was contingent on two things that have been downplayed: the 100Bn Eur will go directly to the banks and the sovereign will not be asked to sign for any of it; because Brussels will get, in exchange, control over those banks. That is the goal. I think democracy is synonymous with wealth.

    1. Jim

      I think it’s ironic that so many progressives, in order to maximize the probability of an Obama victory in November, have no problem with disregarding democracy in Germany. It’s as if progressives in the US have given up on sovereignty in the continent of Europe, and believe that only the “unsophisticated” and “ignorant” oppose a United States of Europe.

      1. Min

        There is no need for German taxpayers to bail out the banks of another country. The ECB can lend as much as needed, and it can guarantee deposits without batting an eye. The Euro is a fiat currency.

  8. Aintnorep

    For a good summing up, check out the Yanis Varoufakis post on the summit .

    To put in my own two cents, not to be a total conspiracy nut . . . but . . . I think it’s impossible to understand Germany’s tactical retreat without noting that the Americans are not going to let the Euro collapse before the November elections here. It would doom Obama. Not saying that the fix is in . . but, Merkel’s retreat on direct bank recapitalization should float the Eurozone until sometime in the fall. After that, the ball will once again be in Germany’s court, God help us.

    1. Jim

      “God Help Us” because Germany may do the right thing and pull the plug on the Eurozone after November, or “God Help Us” because Merkel wants President Obama to be reelected?

      Don’t understand your remark.

      1. Aintnorep

        go the Varoufakis post; he explains much it more coherently and succinctly than I could.

    2. Min

      The Fed is not Obama’s friend. Neither is Congress, which would have to approve any foreign aid to Europe.

  9. kris

    Brilliant. Super brilliant. Hyper brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

    It’s not about austerity, it’s not about growth, it’s about: Something for nothing.


    Brilliant. Super brilliant. Hyper brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

        1. F. Beard

          When (If?) the West learns to do capitalism ethically, it’ll attract plenty of talent from the rest of the world as well as develop its own, is my bet.

          Or do you think non-ethical systems have an advantage over ethical ones?

          1. kris

            Crap!! You’re good. On another blog somebody lured me into the same kind of debate but he thinks that the west has to suit china’s business methods. I was almost going his way, but now that you placed another perspective….let me think.

          2. kris

            Actually, I won’t be able to debate. That’s a whole new perspective for me and I have to thank you and recognize your depth of thinking and debate skills.

            I give you heads up, new perspective – yes, but it doesn’t mean I will agree with your thoughts all the time.

        2. different clue

          Big companies like Apple have spent so much time and effort offshoring so much production that the factories where younger generations of workers could learn thingmaking have been driven extinct up to decades ago.

          Deliberately engineered mass-jobicide has led to mass skill-ocide, such that Apple (among others) can claim that they can’t have anything made here because there are no skills here . . . hoping we will forget to notice that the carefully engineered destruction of thingmaking skills and knowledge here is precisely what Apple and others set out to achieve. Then they can accuse the Westerner of “not wanting to work”.

          Of course they also mean “not wanting to overwork for underpay in toxic conditions” as in China, as if that particular unwillingness is a bad thing. And to outsourcers like Apple, it is.

          It would take decades to recover our destroyed skills, and it would take rigorous protectionism against Free Trade Aggression to restore the safe economic space in which those skills could be relearned and then retaught. That’s how America was industrialized the first time, behind Mighty Tarriff Walls.

        3. Min

          The idea that Westerners have lost their abilities to work is sheer nonsense. Do not be taken in by propaganda.

      1. Hugh

        Now Beard, the rich and the banksters work very hard for the wealth they steal. Or rather they hire others, our elites, to work hard to steal it for them.

        This is a riff on the meme that the 99% who produce all the real wealth in the country are shiftless and lazy, and it is therefore perfectly justifiable to cut back or eliminate any money going to them, and shift this wealth via rents to the 1%. At this point the wealth ceases to be real and becomes paper wealth because it is no longer tied to any underlying productive activity. However, the 1% have created a vast propaganda machine to get the 99% to believe that the 1%’s paper wealth is the realer than real wealth, that it is all earned, that it is all productive, and that any attempt to shift this paper wealth back to the 99% so that real wealth and realer than real paper wealth were more in tune with each other and with actual productive activity would be the grossest and most outrageous form of theft.

  10. F. Beard

    I’ve read that China is experiencing capital (and talent?) flight. Perhaps China’s elites are growing fearful of what an angry and exploited population might do if this depression persists?

    I’ll go with the US. It seems the most brilliant Chinese are working here if Science Daily articles are a guide.

    1. Hugh

      Chinese leaders have read Chinese history and what has happened to non-delivering Chinese ruling elites over the last 3,000 years. They have every right to be fearful.

      1. kris

        They already are. The elite is moving money to USA, Canad and Switzerland as fast as they can. Vancouver particularly and Toronto house prices are a clear example.

        A buddy of mine at the gym wanted to buy a condo downtown Toronto in a new building. The agent was his close friend. His close friend told him not to bother at all.98% of buyers were from China and they would outbid him. No chance.

      1. kris

        I always introduce myself as ‘right winger’. A couple of times though I have been dismissed of that on blogs and told I’m just a ‘wet liberal’. I had to look that up.

  11. Hugh

    Picking up on a point F. Beard made, Steve Keen has said the current mess could last for 15-30 years if it is not properly addressed and its problems resolved. What we need to keep in mind is this presupposes that the underlying economic substrate remains fairly stable during this period. The problem is it won’t. We have two sets of crises. We have the near term crisis of kleptocracy which must be resolved within the next 5-10 years. And we have the existential crises of climate change, overpopulation, resource depletion, especially energy and water, and environmental degradation. We can already see the effects of these in failed states, more frequent and more destructive weather patterns, droughts, damaged crops, and polluted ground water. At the moment, these are erratic and their effects are mostly, although not entirely, confined to peripheral areas of the world and its economy. But by 2030, they will be systemic and continuous.

    Unfortunately, we have not even begun to confront the problem of kleptocracy. We can not afford to delay any longer, even by a day, to act because there are much larger and deadlier problems out there and they will not go away simply because we do not want to think about them.

    1. different clue

      The Kleptons foster these bigger problems deliberately and on purpose in the hopes that we will all die of them but they will survive in their gated BioSphere Fortress Shelters.

      If you were the OverClass, how would you kill 6 billion people and make it look like an accident? You would make the world biophysically uninhabitable for anyone who can’t afford membership in a multibillion dollar Life Support Fortress with its own private army. Does it look like the OverClass “indifference” to these greater problems you cite is an accident or an oversight on their part?

      Here is an article by F. William Engdahl titled Doomsday Seed Vault in the Arctic: Bill Gates, Rockefeller and the GMO giants Know Something We Don’t.

    2. Otter

      Climate change, overpopulation, etc are not insurmountable problems.

      The 1% will simply announce, as they did for Dakota and California, that there is gold in Canada, or maybe WATER. Then, wait for the dust to settle, raking in dollars selling weapons and MREs. The survivors will make great storm troopers… in Africa and Asia this time.

      Er, well, not problems for the 1%.

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