Tuesday, July 04, 2017


Since the Silk Roads crossed Eurasia and three-masted sailing ships began to ply the seas, we’ve had international corporations investing venture capital in merchandise.  The invention of nations instead of many small kingdoms was partly a product of this profit-making which allowed the investors to become oligarchies. 

But even the Pacific was encircled by boat-hoppers who carried small valuable jade objects, drug substances, shells, and spices, around the “Ring of Fire” so that distinctive historical trade goods that can be time-marked show the progression of exchanges.  Probably no one voyageur went all the way around, but objects of unique beauty or usefulness were passed along from person to person.

The moment the Devil joined the circle was during the World Wars when some nations realized they could profit more from secretly hiding the profits and plunder the warring nations were accruing.  Then small islands with only coconuts to offer discovered the same thing.  The kleptocrats had discovered how to manage wealth without taxation until it could be disguised, maybe by investing in land or resources like oil.  

But this is a game and the rules can be changed.  https://www.wolterskluwerfs.com/article/the-demise-of-the-secret-bank-account.aspx   “After more than 80 years of the secret bank accounts that made the country the world’s most popular tax haven, the private-banking industry must now embrace an entirely new era of transparency under pressure mainly from the OECD’s automatic exchange of information (AEI) and America’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Between them these measures require full exchanges of tax-relevant information with more than a hundred countries as well as the US.”

This is the real significance of prosecuting Trump:  pull on his tail hard enough and he will come out of his hole dragging all his connections to money everywhere into the open for prosecution.  This is, for some thieves, the dark side of globalization via the internet.  Given enough patience and a good place to start, all money transactions can be traced and documented.  When the point is reached of finding Manafort’s name in hand-written ledger entries, it’s far beyond peculiarly inflated sales of mansions that no one lives in.  But people are paying approximately as much reflective attention to this change as they do to the global warming causing the ocean to engulf the little tax haven islands. 

This is only the beginning.  Financial circulatory systems penetrate every level of society, evading taxes, accumulating secretly, distorting the real wealth of the country.  Some of these networks are secret because they are about crime.  Legality of everything is controlled by political bodies which are susceptible to bribery if not participation.  Currently journalists are searching for and finding examples of legislators who use their access to make profits from being able to predict changes in law.

Venture capitalism is money loaned in the confidence that the borrower will succeed so as to be able to pay back the investment plus some interest.  Trump’s record shows that he will often NOT be able to pay back his borrowed money because of bad management, defiance, and law-loophole exploiting.  His record is so bad that he has been barred from borrowing by many banks, but not the ones with Russian or Chinese connections.  Why are they able to be sure of reimbursement?  Because they will not take it in money.  Rather, they are buying Trump’s butt.

Because venture capitalism exists otherwise only in an atmosphere of trust, truth, and optimism, Trump’s version harms us all.  He was able to swindle us, spending the psychological fund of democratic process, because as a society we have descended to his level of childishness: greed, sensationalism, and spectacle.  This continues to work.  No one planned it.  We just fell into it  But predators know how to take advantage of it.  They’ve been here before.

Many are predicting a financial collapse.  I presume they mean the stock market — which is a system of gambling — and also the derivatives which are, in fact, “derived” from more gambling, like betting on the profitability of commodities.  I’m not sophisticated about these things, which I find is an advantage since I only understand it on a rock bottom level without confusing hedges.  Where I live it is not just production that creates profit, but also the state of parallel production in other places that produce wheat or oil.  Their disasters (hail, drought) are our profit — their abundant crops take money out of our pockets.  Thus we live adversarially even in this.  We are all using bankers for our bookies.

Both right and left voters seem to feel convinced that there is some deep invisible cabal of entitled old men who are controlling all of this for their own benefit.  I know that when Bob Scriver was selling to the extremely wealthy, we came across a few people who were “rich enough to be invisible.”  Colonel Harvie in Calgary was an example.  He didn’t uncloak until it suited him, which was not exactly ideal for bragging about his purchases, including the entire major rodeo sequence of bronzes — enough money to buy a ranch.

What’s new is that the knowledge of our individual voter identities has become valuable to the merchant and voter worlds.  Knowing proportions and attachments is a means of control and manipulation without visibility.  What you buy is who you are; knowing that is knowing how you are likely to vote and knowing what will encourage or discourage you.  Getting all the data that the Trump administration wants is equivalent to x-raying or opening your laptop when you get onto an airplane.  It’s how you load the dice when gambling against the welfare of the citizens.

Those intelligent local people who actually voted for Trump now say they did it because they thought he would break up the sinister domination of the standing order.  This post proposes that it might actually happen — not because he has come to break up the oligarchy, but because he IS the oligarchy and in the process of cutting him open, sorting his parts, and figuring out what causes and feeds them, we can see what’s going on around the planet.  It’s slow, nasty, exacting work but it is salvific.  Not just for one part of the political scene, but for all of us.

The public outrage focuses on 1) making the presidency into a travesty or 2) betraying the US to Russia.  But becoming the combination that opens the vaults and spread sheets of the richest and most hidden may be the Third Rail that brings him down.

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