BlackRock Says We’re All Doomed. It’s Being Optimistic

By James Meadway who hosts the weekly economics podcast Macrodose and is director of the Progressive Economy Forum. Previously, he was economic adviser to the shadow chancellor, and chief economist at the New Economics Foundation. Originally published at OpenDemocracy.

The working assumption, for governments and central banks across the world, is that at some point soon everything will get back to ‘normal’ – our economies will return to either pre-pandemic or, sometimes, even pre-2008 crash levels.

These beliefs are reinforced by media economics commentary and across political parties.

But what if they’re wrong? The world’s largest asset manager, overseeing $10trn in assets across the globe, thinks we are, instead, entering a period of increased risk and uncertainty, defined by unavoidable recession and much higher inflation.

BlackRock – a well-connected, influential and hugely profitable pillar of global capitalism – made the predictions in its ‘2023 Global Investment Outlook’ report.

It states: “The Great Moderation, the four-decade period of largely stable activity and inflation, is behind us.”

Instead, BlackRock forecasts a new regime with a “brutal trade-off” – falling living standards for the many becoming profits for the few.

This reality, of a world undergoing fundamental transformations and disrupting our settled modes of existence, has so far barely entered the economic mainstream.

For BlackRock to break with this consensus might, potentially, be one of the first signs of a broader shift in how major institutions in the Western economies view the world.

Systemic chaos

Annual food inflation in the UK rose to 13.3% – an all-time high – last month, according to trade body the British Retail Consortium, ahead of the official government figures out later this month.

This situation – though slightly worse in the UK due to a flawed Brexit deal and the falling value of the pound (critical as a major food importer) – is common across the globe. Even as wholesale energy prices have dropped from their summer 2022 peak, the price of food everywhere is soaring. United Nations’ forecasts show a major risk of widespread famine in the Global South over the next year, with harvests continuing to underperform.

This global spike in prices over the past 18 months was initially described by the economic establishment as “transitory”. Then, as inflation continued remorselessly upwards, familiar explanations reappeared: notably, excessive worker power (but real wages in the Global North are still falling) and excessive printing of money through quantitative easing (but we’ve been running QE since 2009).

The economic profession as a whole, and institutions such as the major central banks, have typically written down the obvious evidence of global instability as temporary factors, rather than something more systemic.

This means we’re trapped with central banks that still think pushing up interest rates to induce a recession is a smart way to bring down inflation. We have governments committed to holding down wages and salaries while allowing profits to explode.

But BlackRock believes the world is now “shaped by supply that involves brutal trade-offs” – in other words, the world economy is less effective at supplying goods and services than it was.

The after-effects of the pandemic have caused supply chain problems, as we all know, but they also think an ageing population means fewer workers, pushing up the cost of labour; that “geopolitical tensions” will disrupt global supply chains; and that the shift to net-zero carbon emissions will involve “demand and supply mismatches”.

Put all this together, and BlackRock thinks inflation will come down to the 2% level we’ve been used to only if central banks are prepared to ‘crush’ their economies into a severe recession. Since that’s unlikely, inflation will stay much higher than we are used to – combined with a miserable recession over the next year or so.

Massive profits for the lucky few

But BlackRock’s predictions don’t cover everything.

Its report misses the longer-term effects of Covid – both in terms of the impact on healthcare and, as we’re currently seeing, continuing waves of infection. It also misses, critically, the wider ecological impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss and resource depletion.

It is possible to imagine a world where peace returns rapidly to Ukraine, and the subsequent disruptions to global food and fertiliser trade are reduced. It is not possible to imagine a world where climate change and ecological destruction are thrown into reverse – indeed, some of the effects felt today, notably, biodiversity loss, are irreversible.

This twofold combination has led ecologist Nicholas Beuret to describe a “climate supercycle” of food shortages and rising prices running well into the future. (A recent episode of my podcast ‘Macrodose’ examines the coming food shortages for UK farmers.)

And, finally, BlackRock misses the extreme profits that shortages over the last year have generated for a select few multinationals, such as those supplying oil and gas.

It’s the last part that’s critical. A more unstable world affects everyone, but it will affect everyone differently.

For most of us, on the wrong side of food price hikes and extreme weather, the future is not great. But for the lucky few, shortages have been turned, through price rises, into massive profits

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  1. John R Moffett

    The most fascinating thing is that these people (capital) are making it all happen. It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. All that it would take to fix the world’s problems is for them to shift their mindset. If they went from capitalists to humanists, and started worrying about people instead of profits, their behavior would change and their self-fulfilling prophecies would shift from destructive to constructive. It is all based on how capital views the world, and what they set as their primary goals. If it is always about profit only, then we will continue down this road. But no one expects capitalists to all of a sudden have an Ebenezer Scrooge moment any time soon. A shame, because if it happened, the world would be a much, much better place.

    1. skippy

      Read about the man behind the myth of Ebenezer Scrooge. In the end he attempted to save money by faking his death as servants were expected to fast for a week afterwards, saves a weeks cost of feeding them. Servants did just the opposite and had a feast, with the best of what the kitchen had to offer and drinks. Said man was laid out in main room with sheet over him, became incensed and sat up with sheet still on, servants thought him a evil spirit and beat him to death …..

      1. John R Moffett

        “On 8 June 1870, Dickens had another stroke at his home after a full day’s work on Edwin Drood. He never regained consciousness and, the next day, he died at Gads Hill Place.”

        So the moral of your fantasy is??

        1. skippy

          Its got nothing to do with Dickens but a human that had a monopoly on one side of the river which force everyone to use his ferries. After his demise one of his daughters used the proceeds from the estate to fund a church for a convent which still stands today.

          Dickens is thought to have used this person as his base story.

          1. John R Moffett

            Sorry, you were not specific, so I thought you were talking about Dickens. Perhaps you could provide the person’s name?

            1. skippy

              At the end of the day there was a cornucopia of individuals which at the time would have been available, more so a broad palette to work with. I just think the story some attribute to Dickens license the most acute and how their actions ended up in their demise. Especial post death where in that time estate was first come first served and a daughter a 100 miles away having received a messenger informed the husband, that in his haste, overshot his mount on a horse and landed on his head – killing him.

              Thus her use of the estate monies to build the church for the sisters.

              Then again I’ve seen stuff up close and personal so its not a surprise as it is to some.

            2. ArvidMartensen

              A modern miser, more in the way of today’s misers, was an older woman who used to drive to the local produce markets in her Rolls Royce, then go through the bins for the vegetables and fruit that the sellers had thrown away because of being rotten, mouldy etc.
              She ran a boarding house. Don’t know if this is what she also ate. In the 1960s.

    2. VT Digger

      Above a certain income level, people who choose to continue amassing wealth cease to be in control of their money. Other forces take over completely, and their will only appears to be their own.
      Think Roman Senators watching their empire decline.

      1. José Freitas

        For how “other forces” behave, read “Das Kapital” by some guy called Marx, he figured a lot of things out.

        By which I mean I agree completely with you, and we shouldn’t “personalize” things. Capital will do as capital always does.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          Yes, I am always trying to get people to not over-personalize things, but it’s also true that sometimes the worst aspects of the system attract and reward the worst actors, and rapacious character and system feed each other.

        2. agent ranger smith

          I am just a layman but it seems to me that saying that capital “does things” is like saying that money “grows”.

          People with capital do things with the capital. If all the people died all at once and the capital remained behind . . . . all the money, the factories, the roads and railroads, etc. . . . the capital would just sit there and do nothing at all with all the people dead and gone.

    3. Mr Robert Christopher

      “But no one expects capitalists to all of a sudden have an Ebenezer Scrooge moment any time soon.”

      Those capitalists are relying on the money-printing elected governments to behave predictably, and they do! :)

      There is no Climate Emergency.

      Even if there was, the UK’s NET Zero policies wouldn’t fix the problem, is not feasible because the raw materials will be too expensive (due to ESG) and will bankrupt the country.

      The Rest of the World are getting on with being prosperous, while Europe continues to live in la-la land.

        1. Mr Robert Christopher

          Sea level rises haven’t accelerated.
          The Great Barrier Reef has recovered, magnificently. (See Peter Ridd’s legal fight.)
          Tornadoes haven’t increased in frequency.
          Polar bear populations are doing well.
          Etc, etc.

          This site has more than dozens of articles, backed up be academic papers, on plenty of topics, such as this one:

          Lord Deben is chairman of the UK parliamentary committee on Climate Change, so you would expect to get his facts right.

          And it has plenty on how Green pressure groups, like the BBC, print ‘untruths’, like the recent one on Happisburgh, that has had coast erosion for hundreds of years, even though it had reported the reverse only about 20 years ago. And then there’s this one about walrus:

          There are plenty more sources, on many aspects, of the fantasy, but none of this is allowed on Legacy Media. And then there’s the impossibility of mining enough metals for the Green electricity generation needed to replace the reliable electricity generation.

          1. juno mas

            When that walrus evolves legs to walk on solid ground instead of wiggling across an ice floe will you acknowledge that the climate is warming (changing)?

          2. EquitableEqual

            The shortages of metals and minerals will make more sense when you consider what BlackRock is referring to here as ‘supply demand mismatch’, high inflation and reduced living standards for most levels of society. It will become much more expensive to purchase a new phone. Only the wealthy will have the latest models, most will have a midrange model on contract. Mobility will be in the form of shared fleets, not vehicle ownership. Flights from major eu airports have already been cut significantly and the effect on ticket prices is visible. Mortgages are already out of reach for many.
            If mass travel and mass ownership are reduced, the energy and resource load is reduced. Look at the emissions of third world countries to understand this. Eliminating ownership also reduces wage pressures.

          3. redleg

            Things that say you’re sources are wrong:
            Ice core gas composition
            Ice sheet thickness
            Glacier distribution
            Stable isotope ratios
            Tree rings
            Pollen distribution
            High latitude winter rainfall events
            Atmospheric energy
            Rainfall intensity
            There’s more but that’s my at-the-moment list. The media is at fault for pressing accepted narratives, and scientific theories do change with new, repeatable test results, but not every alternative view deserves equal time in the media.

          4. John Zelnicker

            Mr Robert – I checked out your links. Since Paul Homewood, the blogger you link to, seems to take a contrary view to the generally accepted consensus of climate change, I went to see what education and experience he has to back up his analysis.

            I found this:

            According to DeSmog, he is a retired accountant with “no professional
            qualifications or training in meteorology or climate”. YMMV

          5. bulfinch

            Mr Robert Christopher — you’re propagating conjecture, here.

            RE: Lord Deben — “You would expect [him] to get his facts right” comes straight out of the big bag of qualifiers found on the slippery language aisle at the BS store. C’mon.

            As for Ridd‘s analysis — it is regarded as questionable at best; flawed, sloppy & blinkered at worst.

          6. thousand points of green

            If you and Lord Deben are correct about this, then you and Lord Deben have a tremendous historical contrarian-investing opportunity laid out before you.

            Just look at all the things that are predicted to happen under a global warming regime and invest in them not having happened, and not going to happen for the next few decades at least. Buy all the land you can along the seaside, especially those parts of the seaside which the panicky masses think are threatened by sea level rise. You will be planting the seeds of a truly vast dynastic fortune for your heirs and descendants.

            Its the thing to do, if you and Lord Deben truly believe this.

      1. Kilgore Trout

        Re: “Thee is no climate emergency.” The counter-factuals to that claim are so overwhelming as to be blindingly obvious except to those invested in believing otherwise.

        1. Cine Tee

          There are increasing signs that the kids are more depressed even than we were in the 70s and 80s about imminent nuclear end of the world.

          The two sided warming argument is between extremes and it erases any way of thinking about it, other than either “feel terror” or “you’re a political pawn.”

          I remember the relief and the change in my own outlook in life after 1991. A common symptom of depressive feelings is a lack of a sense of future. Feeling like there’s no point planning anything in your life.

          We haven’t given it to the younger generations as a problem to roll their sleeves up and figure out how to plot their own path for their generation and their kids. It’s only been a self-satisfying battle of intransigents, with exaggerations, and imperatives that seem either impossible or insufficient to put any hope onto.

          There are details, nuances, and possibilities that can make it a manageable and hopeful project for a generation to take on with level heads, energetic hope, and technology. But these are hidden behind the blindspot of emotions and two alternatives of either armageddon or science itself is corrupt.

    4. Mikel

      Monopolies and cartels have to keep trying to squeeze blood from a turnip.
      Rentierism and manufactured scarcity are just tools in their profit toolbox.

    5. kam

      Western Capitalism is underpinned by Socialism at the top. Without Central Banks funding liquidity for the anointed few, secured on the backs of the many voiceless, today’s Rentiers would shrivel up and die.
      How long can a society borrow 30 year debt to finance today’s bowl of soup?
      We may have computers, apps and endless moronic entertainment, but are well and truly a Feudal State.

    6. Geoffrey

      What is ‘capital’ but in large part the financialised (malleable) surplus of the economy, leveraged by credit creation, this latter – tho’ a ‘public good’ (underwritten by taxpayers, national legal systems etc) now largely being in private hands. All within a system that elevates private greed to the principle organising value of society (‘efficient markets’). Hard to imagine a more dysfunctional (from the viewpoint of humanity and the ecosystem) paradigm that has built up such entrenched power dynamics as to make it almost immutable. And it completely man-made! Is it something in the species, or in the nature hominid competition?!!!

  2. Mikerw0

    I’m sorry but I view things like this skeptically. As a self exile from Wall Street I know the value of putting out a report that is away from the consensus as a means f attracting attention.

    That said, I am firmly in the camp (partly informed by the good work of NC) that the governing ideology of Neoliberalism is well into its death throes. What is impossible to forecast is what will replace it, when it will be replaced and how messy the replacement will be.

    The political establishments across the West are failing. They don’t know where to go and having increasing difficulty controlling the masses as the elites serve their self interests. History tells us it will get extremely messy.

    1. Mikel

      “the governing ideology of Neoliberalism is well into its death throes…”

      Where? I want to see the body.
      And then kill it with fire.
      Just to be sure.

      1. Chris Cosmos

        I think neoliberalism as a political/economic/moral ideology is transitioning as a result of its marriage to neoconservativism into a full fledged totalitarian conceptual framework where power from the fist and Orwellian deception will rule. All this through the miracle of technologies created for and by (now) the oligarchs who only want obedient servants who will cater to their perversions (sexual and otherwise). This will happen through the growth of transhumanism and a “Brave New World” of hedonism, drugs, gaming and all the other immersive amusements soon to come. There is no need for an “economy” as we think of it only an entirely made-up narrative as constantly changing as those dictats from Animal Farm. Poverty of many will not move a demoralized public who have given up community and meaning to do anything much. What is required is a culture change and some combination of elites who will bring us to some relative sanity.

        1. Mikel

          “What is required is a culture change and some combination of elites who will bring us to some relative sanity.”

          Really? It takes “elites” to bring sanity?
          That kind of thinking is Exhibit A of the problem.

    2. marku52

      Capitalism will collapse when it runs out of new niches to ruin.

      Looking around, I see we are about there….

    3. spud

      what biden is trying to do is to save bill clintons W.T.O. world, where those whom have merit, corportists, rule the world. its was simply a fantasy, that was doomed the day the ink dried on nafta, let alone all of his other outrages.

      the author might have recognized how expensive it is to ship 1000’s of miles, how much precious fossil fuels are burned up in shipping what used to be made here. how long it takes, that is the lag time from ordering in countries 1000’s of miles away, till the actual order is ready to be shipped, then the shipping, unloading, and distribution time.

      it would simply be a fraction of the time if it was made here, only a fraction of the fossil fuels would be burned if it was made here, and the distribution time would be a fraction if it was made here.

      free trade is terribly inefficient and expensive, and is a direct attack on a civil society, the environment, and only benefits the few.

      1. agent ranger smith

        But it helped destroy the lives of those unionized thingmakers who broke young Clinton’s heart by voting for Nixon against McGovern. Destroying their lives in revenge for their voting for Nixon in that election might well have been a very powerful motivator to Clinton, in addition to all the after-office bribes and rewards he stood to collect from getting NAFTA and the other things passed.

  3. dftbs

    The economist and analyst at BLK seem to be a step ahead of the reversion to the mean crowd at other banks. But while they may see more trees than most, they still miss the forest. I think they are reverting to a different mean, a political one.

    They aren’t crazy to think the distributive model in the West is governed by immutable political institutions, after all they’ve long lived in a world where “there is no alternative”. But there are more variables in the real world than within economic models. Outside there bubble of our model there are many working alternatives.

    They have made the common mistake of confusing the West for the World. The path of the West, under our present political institutions and distributive models, is towards “doom.” But this pessimism isn’t shared around the world. Just as the oracles at BLK have only lived through the generational decline of their slice of the world; there is a larger part of humanity that has been governed by alternative systems and institutions and only lived through a path of material and social progress. They can only see doom, but the larger part of the world isn’t as hopeless or helpless.

    I do think pieces like this serve a nefarious purpose, they are meant to reinforce the notion of TINA. If even the smart guys at BLK say we have to eat bugs, then I guess we have to eat bugs.

  4. SocalJimObjects

    I am sure BLK has a solution for all of us? Larry, just give us the ETF ticker already ………..

    Speaking of a worsening economy, if the markets were to crash, BLK can probably say bye bye to a quite significant percentage of AUM, which should hit their bottom line in a big way and yet even though they’ve implemented a hiring freeze (except for strategic hires, … as in we are still hiring), they have not actually laid off anyone. So they are actually still optimistic?

    1. Societal Illusions

      if they are prepared then would it not fully be a buying opportunity whereby they can increase their share of global assets?

  5. Thuto

    This reckoning was always going to be an entirely predictable order effect of the geniuses who run the west coming up with the bright idea of kicking a global economy wrestled to the ground by the pandemic while it’s down by starting a cold war with China and a hot proxy war with Russia. Globalization is being rolled back by its creators in a bid to strengthen the weaking grip of US hegemony on the rest of the world.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘Instead, BlackRock forecasts a new regime with a “brutal trade-off” – falling living standards for the many becoming profits for the few.’

    Yeah, I don’t think that BlackRock is taking into account political instability and how that could play out. As this post mentions Brexit, would that have been possible if the Conservatives had not imposed years of austerity in the preceding years? For large financial firms, the mindset seems to be of a zero-sum game. Many must starve on the streets so that the few can buy their fifth mansion. And all these financial games are just that, financial games which do not reflect the real economy – or what is left of it. So I wonder how BlackRock would feel about an observation by Chris Martensonv where he said ‘More borrowing only ever makes sense if you are expecting a larger economy in the future. All economic expansion is based on energy. Countries with energy can expand, those without cannot.’ The implications of that sentence are major and broad for the years going ahead but I have no confidence that a firm like BlackRock would understand it. The world is now experiencing an inflexion point and yet firms like BlackRock are still thinking in terms of zero-sum games.

    1. Tom

      In case blackrock didn’t notice living standards have been falling already for decades for millions in the west 😄 I thought everyone would be used to it by now

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Wait, falling living standards for the Many: that’s a bad thing? I thought it was Policy.

        I’m old enough to remember the opening attack of Neoliberalism: the NYC Banker’s Coup of 1975 (usually called, for propaganda purposes, the NYC Fiscal Crisis), whereby hospitals, firehouses and libraries were closed, thousands of teachers, firefighters and cops laid off, tuition instituted at CUNY (I was a CCNY undergrad at the time) and a general actitude on the part of the Overclass that, “While you’ve always had to take s×<+ from us, now you'll have to eat it."

        All of the fabulous private wealth and public squalor that increasingly characterizes NYC, accelerating rapidly as Mayor Adam's proposes further cuts and privatization, has accrued over recent decades to the usual suspects and, as Lambert frequently notes, things are going exactly according to plan.

        1. Jorge

          The earliest salvo I have found in the neoliberalism war was when US medical facilities were allowed to profitable, which was early 70s. Until then, you could only buy medical services from an MD or a nonprofit corporation: municipal hospitals or Catholic charity hospitals for example.

    2. tevhatch

      “When there is blood in the street, buy…. ”
      Maybe it is baked in, based on their statement about accelerated concentration.

  7. Rip Van Winkle

    If BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street did not exist, THEN what would be the outcome?

  8. Rip Van Winkle

    If BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street did not exist, THEN what would be the outcome?

  9. Patrick M P Donnelly

    Those who own the world are families. They conrol the bond markets and the largest corporations and a re known only tpo their servants who may often appear to own or run corporations. The servants are all kompromised. Castration and eunuchs have gone out of fashion.

    They have modelled much of what is happening and have arranged much of it.

    We are getting closer to the stampede portion of the end of this inflation. That is where the rich turn on one another. Some will find they merely have paper promises. The Praetorians notice the decadence and arrange their escape.

    Pass the half ration of popcorn….

  10. YuShan

    Central banks are right to raise interest rates and they have to go much higher. As long as the real cost of capital is negative, you’ll keep seeing unproductive investments and less productivity growth as a result.

    Massive amounts of stock buybacks prove that capital is still way too cheap. After all, isn’t the function of the stock market to issue stock so that companies can borrow less? Instead, today they borrow to finance stock buybacks and line up for taxpayer bailouts when things turn south.

    Aging is a problem in the “old” regime, but wouldn’t be in a healthy functioning economy. As a result of the bubble economy there are simply too many bullsh1t jobs and these need to be eliminated. With BS jobs I also mean all labour that is wasted on bubble activities such as real estate speculation and much of the financial sector (incl crypto etc). A lot of good brain power is wasted there. Just imagine all that energy were focused on solving real world problems and care for the sick and elderly.

    People don’t want to hear it, but this is a classic overheated economy. Rampant inflation and labour shortages. It MUST be slowed down and reorganized. And yes, GDP will be lower going forward. Thank God. GDP growth in the current model is mostly debt expansion. There is nothing inherently good about that (quite the opposite). We should retire the GDP metric too, because in the “modern” debt driven economy it is not a good indicator anymore of real productive capacity, like it once was. Chasing high GDP growth (or GDP growth at all) also doesn’t deliver benign results, so why do we still use it to tell us if “the economy” is doing well?

    It’s all a lie anyway. Fifty years ago, you could support a family of five with one breadwinner on a nine to five job. Try that today! So where is the “growth”?

    I watched “Married with Children”. Back in the day (~35 years ago), Al Bundy was a total loser. But if you watch it now, you see a blue collar guy (shoe salesman) who has a house and a wife who does nothing the entire day, and two teenage children. This would be impossible nowadays. Gen-Z must be scratching their heads when they watch this shoe salesman with his upper class lifestyle.

    End of rant ;)

    1. Tom Pfotzer


      Nice rant. The part I really agree with is “[the economy] … must be reorganized”.

      The part Blackrock and most others leave out is that there are few options, that top-down help, if it ever arrives, will be too little too late, and that even the vaunted “revolutions” will make things much worse and then …. worse still.

      There is no “easy button” to get out of this.

      The few on the “bottom” that get into a lifeboat will be in a lifeboat of their own making.

      Can you build a life-boat yet?

    2. Mark

      “..but this is a classic overheated economy.”

      What passes for our economy is a system controlled by fewer and fewer actors who suck larger and larger amounts of capital into their personal pockets. The ultrarich have, for decades, understood that the greatest return on investment in human history has been their capture and control of our legislative government. Nothing else comes close. There is nothing “classic” about how today’s economy functions, unless you want to go all the way back to the robber barons of the 19th century.

      America’s richest few have the power. The big lie works because of the communication infrastructure funded by our rich corpocracy. Dark money dominates our elections, and dark money funds the writing of much of our legislation specifically to shove more money into their pockets. There is nothing “classic” about the vast transfer of wealth, made possible through legislation, that has existed for only the last two decades or so.

    3. agent ranger smith

      Didn’t stock buybacks used to be illegal until the Reagan Administrations rule-writers re-legalised them?

      Couldn’t stock buybacks be made illegal again, in theory?

  11. Mikel

    “This means we’re trapped with central banks that still think pushing up interest rates to induce a recession is a smart way to bring down inflation…”

    Give me a break. Interest rates now are not high in a historical context.
    And with all that rate cutting, STILL there was increasing homelessness, increasingly high rent prices, increasingly high home prices (bubbles), increasing healthcare costs, incrrasing insuranve costs, increasing education costs, up and down fuel costs, and globally , up and down food prices.

    The problems are bigger than interest rate tweaks up and down.
    The over-priced homes are not going be able to be sold.
    And the over-priced commercial real estate market is getting its just due.

    1. ambrit

      For we groundlings, the problem with “..up and down [prices]..” is called “stickiness.” Basically, prices rise in response to stimulus and then revert slower than they rose when the stimulus reverses. It falls into the class of “anecdote,” but I have seen something like this in local grocery prices. Some local stores use locally grown vegetables in season. Out of said season, the prices rose to accommodate the costs of importing the vegetables. When the next season arrived, the prices of the vegetables remained at their higher level.

      1. Mikel

        And consider, in addition:
        Up and down the supply chain are people trying to make a living.
        With housing as one example, everybody is trying to keep a roof over their head.
        Housing (homes, apartments, condos, you name it) prices go up and the prices of alot of things go up.
        I see the focus on fuel costs and the prices in a supply chain and these economists ignore this other gauging that happens.
        Blackrock is a major part of the problem. And nothing they have to say has to do with a solution. They are strictly looking at all of this to see where they can draw blood from next.

  12. Mikel

    “This means we’re trapped with central banks that still think pushing up interest rates to induce a recession is a smart way to bring down inflation. We have governments committed to holding down wages and salaries while allowing profits to explode…”

    And what are corporations/businesses doing? How are they escaping accountability in this paragraph?

    The govt is holding down wages?
    The government is doing anything that big business isn’t telling them to do.
    That’s what this entire “global order” the US promotes is about: capture of governments by big business.

    The central banks aren’t buying up property, jacking up prices, and holding inventory off the market.
    The central banks aren’t cutting costs in healthcare and services and jacking up prices.
    That’s only a couple of things offhand. The list could go on, but the point is that the central banks had a lot of help in making sure of the worst outcomes from their policies.

  13. Geo

    I have nothing of value to add but got a good chuckle out of the ads in this post being for an “Anti-Anxiety Dog Bed” with pictures of dogs sprawled out peacefully on a big poofy pillow.

    I know NC has nothing to do with ads here but that was a perfect antidote to the article. Thanks algorithm. I need to find a furry friend to snuggle up with now and ease the anxiety of our precarious road ahead.

  14. Paul Collis

    Come everyone, we all know most of us here in the first world have been living beyond our means (over borrowed) high on the hog for two generations.
    We’ve been sold an out of date dream, perpetual growth. Well, unfortunately that was all based on perpetual subsidies, pay for by the set upon working classes.
    It’s the end of the good times for most (relatively speaking, as life is pretty good), enjoy what you e got, and forget the silly no holes barred accumulation mantel, as that is now a race to the bottom.
    Read what the word Meek actually means, then you will understand, it’s their time now.

    1. Mr Robert Christopher

      Jordan Peterson has been talking about meekness, and that a man needs to be powerful, AND be able to control it. A weak man is nothing. And he offered a saying that he was told:
      It’s better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.

    1. Yves Smith

      Headline is misleading. If BlackRock were “taking over” it would have investment risk.

      It’s instead, with Zelensky’s authorization. taking fees to facilitate others looting Ukraine.

  15. Mr Robert Christopher

    Yes, a good rant. :)

    But there used to be plenty of “blue collar guys” and they created wealth: and the salesman did bring in the revenue to stay employed!

    Just think, if half of the current manpower in the entertainment industry was employed in manufacturing, just think of the wealth we wouldn’t have to import. But that requires schools and technical colleges to produce appropriately educated school and college leavers that manufacturers would welcome with glee, and not fuzzy Arts and Humanities qualifications with no knowledge of STEM or craft skills.

    And, one would hope, that the entertainment manpower loss would be in the worst half, please. :)

  16. Sergey P

    Does anyone else perhaps have a feeling that good fellows at the Blackrock are just providing cover for their predatory capitalist friends to keep raising the prices? Beyond supply chain shocks and beyond all freaking reason just because they can get away with it.

    There were some enlightening articles here on NC and elsewhere in the Western dissident web — about how these price hikes actually work, like an objective inflation going to say 5%, and then the good samaritans piggybacking it say another 10%, because well IT’S INFLATION TIME.

    My gut says there’s something to that theory. But also IIRC the ever high corporate profits would indicate the same — price hikes far beyond cost hikes.

    But such a, to borrow a phrase, ridiculously obvious scam would probably not last long enough by itself — so it needs to be covered by the Expert Economists from Reputable Institutions, telling us this is only natural and very unavoidable and a small price to pay for the Current Thing. Then we proles are left to just sorrowfully nod along.

    1. Yves Smith

      I know it may not seem logical, but BlackRock does not have even remotely the power you suggest.

      It runs absolutely enormous volumes of super low fee index funds. BlackRock is paid ONLY for achieving the best possible index replication at the lowest cost.

      It cannot buy or sell particular stocks to influence management. It generally lacks incentive to do anything other that vote for management proxies because those same managements hire 401(k) managers like BlackRock and BlackRock does not want to piss them off.

      Where BlackRock does have a lot of influence is in very technical but super important (to traders) market making rule and fund manager regulations.

      They also try to be a thought leader, particularly in investment fads like ESG, where they sell slightly customized funds for big markups.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Other than fees from index funds, BLK also makes what I would wager to be a not insignificant amount of money from their securities lending business. They have a ton of shares to lend out for people/hedge funds going short any particular stock.

      2. Sergey P

        Insightful, as always! Thank you. My life would actually be a lot less fun without your blog and you personally.

        That being said, do they not count as a Serious Institution? They may not have the business power, but they do possess a certain credibility, so their say must be worth something, if not quite the 10 gazillion.

        Are they not heavily pro neoliberalism?

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