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The Great Crash of 2022

We are now well past the corona crisis of 2020, and most of the restrictions around the world have been repealed or loosened. However, the long-term consequences…



We are now well past the corona crisis of 2020, and most of the restrictions around the world have been repealed or loosened. However, the long-term consequences of arbitrary and destructive corona policies are still with us—in fact, we are now in the middle of the inevitable economic crisis.

Proclaiming the great crash and economic crisis of 2022 is at this point not especially prescient or insightful, as commentators have been predicting it for months. The cause is still somewhat obscure, as financial and economic journalism still focuses on whatever the Federal Reserve announces. But the importance of the Fed’s moves is greatly exaggerated. The Fed cannot set interest rates at will; it cannot generate a boom or a recession at will. It can only print money and create the illusion of greater prosperity, but ultimately, reality reasserts itself.

The real driver of the present crisis is monetary inflation. Back in 2020, I (along with many others) pointed out the role of inflationary monetary policy in the corona crisis. While consumer price inflation is now the most apparent consequence, the real damage occurred in the capital structure of the economy. This is the cause of the present crisis.

A Business Cycle, of Sorts

While to most people the most obvious consequence of the corona inflation was the transfer payments they received from the government, the real action occurred in the business sector. Through various schemes, newly created money was channeled to the productive sector from the Fed via the Treasury. The result was a classic business cycle of unsustainable expansion ending in inevitable depression.

The immediate effect of the inflow of easy money was twofold. First, it hid some of the economic distortions that lockdowns and other restrictions caused. Since they received government funds to make up for lost revenue and to cover higher costs, businessmen maintained production lines that really should have been shut down or altered in some way due to lockdowns. Second, easy money induced capitalists to make new, unsound investments, as they thought the extra money meant greater capital availability.

These investments were unsound not because the government quickly turned off the money spigot again: they were unsound because the real resources were not there; people had not saved more to make them available. The supply of complementary factors of production had not increased, or not as much as suggested by the increase in money available for investment. As the businesses expanded and increased demand for these complementary factors, their prices therefore rose. To keep the boom going, businesses have started to borrow more money in the market, driving up interest rates. But there is no cheap credit to be had at this point, since there haven’t been additional infusions of cheap money since the initial inflation of 2020, so interest rates are quickly rising. This is the real explanation of the inversion of the yield curve: businesses are scrambling for funding as they find themselves in a liquidity shortage, since their input prices are rising above their revenues. It’s not the market front-running the Federal Reserve or any other fancy expectations-based cause: interest rates rise because businesses are short on capital.

The following chart shows the increase in producer prices compared to consumer prices—an increase of almost 40 percent since the beginning of 2020 is clearly unsustainable. That consumer prices have not increased as much is a clear indication that we’re dealing with a business boom and that businesses can’t expect future revenues that will cover their elevated costs. Nor are we simply seeing oil price increases due to disruptions in supply. Oil and energy commodities complement virtually all production processes, so inflation-induced investment will lead to an early rise in oil and energy prices.

Figure 1: Producer and Consumer Price Indices, January 2019–May 2022

Eventually, interest rates will be bid too high, and businessmen will have to abandon their investments. Many will throw inventories on the market at almost any price to fund their liabilities, cut back their workforces, and likely go bankrupt. This appears to be happening already, as CNBC is reporting many layoffs in tech companies.

A likely consequence of this bust will be a banking crisis: as the share of nonperforming loans increases, bank revenues will dry up, and banks may find themselves unable to meet their own obligations. A crisis could develop, leading to what has been called “secondary deflation”: the contraction of the money supply as deposits in bankrupt banks simply evaporate. While that is a consummation devoutly to be wished, it is unlikely, to put it mildly, that the Federal Reserve will let things get to that point. This neatly brings us to a central question: What is the central bank doing right now?

The Contractionary Fed

Surprising as it sounds, the Fed really is pursuing a tightening policy. Not necessarily the one they officially announced—they are not, in fact, reducing their balance sheet, but an extremely tight policy nonetheless.

It is worth pointing out that the Fed is really a one-trick pony: all it can do is create money, either directly or indirectly by giving banks the reserves necessary for bank credit expansion. All the stuff about setting interest rates is secondary, if not irrelevant: the market always and everywhere sets interest rates. Central banks can only influence interest rates by, you guessed it, printing money.

Figure 2: M2 (billions of dollars), January 2019–April 2022

While the Fed was very inflationary back in 2020 as figures 2 and 3 show, it has since reversed course and become not only conservative, but outright contractionary. That is, not only has the growth rate slowed down, but there was a real, if small, fall in the quantity of money in early 2022.

Figure 3: M2 (percent change), January 2019–April 2022

This contraction is not immediately evident if we only look at the Fed’s overall balance sheet, because since March 2021, the Fed has aggressively increased the amount of reverse repurchase agreements (reverse repos) they hold (or owe, technically). In a reverse repo transaction, the Fed temporarily sells a bond to a bank (just as they temporarily buy a bond from a bank in a repo transaction). This sucks reserves from the system, just as repos add reserves to the system. From virtually zero in March 2021, the amount of reverse repos has increased to $2,421.6 billion as of June 15, reducing the amount of available reserves by the same amount. The Fed balance sheet has not shrunk due to simple accounting: the bond underlying the repo transaction is still recorded on the Fed balance sheet. Banks, meanwhile, benefit from this transaction even though their reserves are temporarily reduced, earning a practically risk-free 0.8 percent (the Fed increased the award rate on reverse repos to 1.55 percent on June 15 and will likely increase it in the near future as the market rate keeps rising).

Figure 4: Reverse Repurchase Agreements, March 2021–June 2022

Whatever this is, it’s not a policy that will feed inflation—in fact, inflation really will be transitory if the Fed continues its present policy. This is somewhat ironic, as the Fed has increased its holdings of inflation-indexed bonds, suggesting its economists themselves do not believe the transitory narrative. Of course, it’s possible that the Fed may simply be gearing up for the next round of inflationary policy.

What is certain is that the Fed is now neutralizing its previous inflation. The great 2020 inflation went first to the US Treasury account at the Fed and then to the government’s favored clients. As the government drew down its account, money went to the banks and was deposited at the Fed as reserves. At this point, the inflation could have accelerated. The banks were already flush with reserves and could have extended credit on top of the tidal wave of additional reserves flowing into them. This would likely have happened as the market rate of interest started rising, if not earlier, but by sucking banks’ reserves out the Fed is limiting banks’ inflationary potential. Credit expansion is still possible, as the banks maintain a historically elevated reserves-deposits ratio of around 20 percent and have since 2020 been liberated from any kind of legal reserve requirement. But by reducing the reserves in the system, the Fed is effectively preventing this development. After peaking at over 23 percent, the reserve ratio has steadily declined since September 2021, hitting 19 percent in April, as shown in figure 5. Since reverse repo transactions have continued in May and June, the monetary contraction seen in the first quarter is likely ongoing, although we will have to wait for more recent money supply figures to confirm this.

Figure 5: Banks’ Reserve Ratio, May 2020–April 2022

What Happens Now?

Whatever happens next, one thing is clear: the crisis is already upon us. Stock market declines and financial market chaos are really epiphenomena, headline capturing though they may be. The damage has already been done. And while I’ve here focused on the covid era, we were already heading for crisis in 2019—the coronavirus just provided an excuse for one last gigantic inflationary binge.

This means that it’s not simply the malinvestments of the last two years that needs to be cleared out—it’s the accumulated capital destruction of the last fifteen years that’s now becoming apparent. How much capital was wasted in tech start-ups that had no chance of ever turning a profit? As this piece in The Atlantic points out, enormous amounts of capital were poured into technology projects aimed at the hip urban millennial lifestyle—and now that they cannot cover operating costs with endless infusions of venture capital, prices are spiking and companies are laying off workers. The boom in construction is also at an end, as demand for housing is unlikely to remain elevated as mortgage rates rise.

In all likelihood, the Fed is not going to stay the course. Pressure from finance and from government is likely to force it back into inflation, but this inflation can’t prevent the bust. As Ludwig von Mises pointed out, you can’t paper over the economic crisis with yet another infusion of paper money; the crisis will play out, whatever the central bank decides to do. What the Fed can do is continue funding the government and bailing out the financial system when they come under pressure. Both will be very inflationary.

We should not celebrate the Fed for refraining from inflating the money supply at the moment—after all, its previous recklessness caused the problems to begin with—but let’s hope the Fed stays the course for now.1 The longer a new round of inflation is delayed, the more radical will the purge of malinvestment and clown-world finance be. High inflation is also possible, perhaps even more likely, given the political pressures. In that case, Weimar, here we come!

  • 1. The June 15 numbers suggest that the Fed may be reversing course: it has bought $20 billion worth of mortgages and sold $8.6 billion worth of US Treasurys, increasing the balance sheet by $14.1 billion overall. Deposits continued to decline, falling by $100 billion, but the accumulation of reverse repos reversed sharply from Tuesday to Wednesday (June 13–14) and fell by almost $60 billion. If this is a real policy reversal, the contraction is already over; however, the amount increased slightly on Thursday.

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This Hack Makes Flying Spirit Better Than JetBlue Or Southwest

It’s possible to make the no-frills, low-cost carrier as nice as flying much more expensive airlines (for less money).



It may seem impossible that the low-cost, no-frills air carrier could be an improvement over Southwest Airlines or its would-be merger partner JetBlue, but it’s possible.

Before the covid pandemic, I flew Southwest Airlines fairly religiously in order to maintain my A-List status. You need 25 one-way flights each year (or 35,000 miles) to keep that status and I flew just enough to keep eking out my renewal each year.

A-List has some meaningful perks for Southwest Airlines  (LUV) - Get Free Report passengers. You get same-day standby for free, which was very convenient when I was flying for work and a meeting got canceled allowing me to leave earlier. In addition, A-List members can change their flights with no fees or penalties, and most importantly, they get priority boarding status.

Southwest boards based on its A, B, and C boarding groups with 60 slots in each group. A-List members got checked in early and were guaranteed that if they don’t get an “A” spot, they could check in between the A and B groups. They can also do that if they fly standby and missed the check-in window altogether.

Every year, I tried really hard to keep those perks, but in 2022, it simply was not possible. I didn’t travel anywhere close to the amount I did before covid and had to let my A-List status expire as the year ended.

I was not super happy about it, but as my travel ramped up, I was being forced to fly like a regular person with no status. That changed, however, when Spirit Airlines ran a quick promotion where people with top-tier status at a number of major airlines and hotels could buy Spirit’s top-tier Gold loyalty status for $100.

It’s the best $100 I have ever spent because it elevates the experience on the no-frills airline.

Spirit is a low-cost carrier.

Image source: Shutterstock

Why Spirit Airlines Gold Status Is So Valuable

A low-cost carrier, Spirit charges for everything. Your basic fare gives you the right to get on the plane with a personal item (think a purse or a small backpack). Fares are very low because you pay for everything from checked bags to a full-size carry-on to getting an actual seat assignment. Spirit passengers even pay for water and soda, and they can opt to pay for snacks and perks like being able to get through airport security faster.

As a Gold member, I pay the basic fare price and then get bags and a premium seat assignment for free. On the three Spirit flights I have booked, I was able to get an exit row seat, with much more legroom for no extra charge. I also got access to a priority security line at the airport and got to board in the first group.

In addition, I also got one flight change (for each leg of my trip) free (which I did not need to use on this trip).

What It’s Like Flying As a Spirit Gold Member

Spirit tends to fly out of the least convenient terminal at every airport (at least that has been my experience). That was true of my Fort Lauderdale flight where the airline flies from Terminal 4, which has a small parking lot that never seems to have any spaces. That forces you to park in a garage that’s farther away, but it’s well marked and walkable or there’s a tram if you are willing to wait.

My flight was a 9:30 p.m. non-stop to Las Vegas on a Saturday night. There were very few people in the security line and while I had access to a priority Spirit line, I’m also a Clear member and opted to go with that experience instead.

Once I cleared security, I made my way to my gate passing a few shops and some restaurants. I stopped to buy some snacks, as my first boss drilled the idea of never getting onto a plane without an emergency snack into my head before my first business trip 30 years ago (I was 19).

The gate had plenty of seats and we were scheduled to board at 8:45. When boarding was called, at roughly 8:47, the woman at the desk called for people needing extra assistance, families flying with kids under two, and active military members. There were none of those, so she then called for Group 1 and since I was standing near the gate, I was literally the first person on the plane.

In my multiple years of being Southwest A-List, I had never had fewer than 20 people board before me. I found my seat and while the actual seat was hard and not all that comfortable (Spirit skimps on the padding to save on fuel) the exit row legroom was impressive. In fact, the distance between my seat and the seat in front of me was so great that I actually had to lean forward to type on my laptop given the very narrow fold-down tray.

My flight was not without problems. It did not have WiFi, which the airline did not announce until we were in the air (so I could not text my wife to let her know I would be out of touch for five hours). Aside from that, however, my Gold status also got me a free soda, water, coffee, or juice, as well as a choice of snacks.

So, for my very lucky $100 purchase of Gold status, I had a roomier seat than I have ever had on Southwest. I was also paying a price that was less than half what I would have paid on Southwest or JetBlue, neither of which offered a comparable direct flight.

Spirit may be no-frills for infrequent flyers, but for its elite passengers, the airline offers value and meaningful perks. It also offers 10X points for Gold members, so even with the cheap fares I’m paying, the first two Spirit flights I have booked will earn enough points to allow me to keep my status for another year.

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Who Can You Trust?

Who Can You Trust?

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,

“I’m sick and tired of hearing Democrats whining about Joe Biden’s…



Who Can You Trust?

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,

“I’m sick and tired of hearing Democrats whining about Joe Biden’s age. The man knows how to govern. Just shut up and vote to save Democracy.”

- Rob Reiner, Hollywood savant

Perhaps you’re aware that the World Health Organization (WHO) is cooking up a plan to impose its will over all the sovereign nations on this planet in the event of future pandemics.

That means, for instance, that the WHO would issue orders to the USA about lockdowns, vaccines, and vaccine passports and we US citizens supposedly would be compelled to follow them.

Why the “Joe Biden” regime would go along with this globalist fuckery is one of the abiding mysteries of our time - except that they go along with everything else that the cabal of Geneva cooks up, such as attacks on farmers, and on oil production, and on relations between men and women, and on personal privacy, and on economic liberty throughout Western Civ, as if they’re working overtime to kill it off. And all of us with it.

I think they are working overtime at that because the sore-beset citizens of Western Civ are onto their game, and getting restless about it. So, the Geneva cabal is in a race against time before the center pole of their circus tent collapses and the nations of the world are compelled to follow the zeitgeist in the direction of de-centralizing, foiling all their grand plans.

The “Joe Biden” regime is pretending to ignore the reality that this WHO deal is actually a treaty that would require ratification by a two-thirds vote in the senate, an unlikely outcome. In any case, handing over authority to the WHO — in effect, to its chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus — to push around American citizens like a giant herd of cattle would be patently unlawful.

That center pole of the circus tent is the wobbling global economy. It’s barely holding up the canvas over the three rings of the circus. In the center ring, the death-defying spectacle of the Biden Family crime case is playing out before a huge audience (us). This week, a gun went off at the FBI and smoke is curling out of the barrel. FBI Director Christopher Wray was forced to verify that he’s been sitting on an incriminating document for three years from a “trusted” confidential human source, i.e., an informant, stating that the Biden Family received a $5-million bribe from a foreign entity when “JB” was vice-president.

That’s only one bribe of many others, of course, as documented in the Hunter Biden laptop, and it must be obvious it represents treasonous behavior that will demand resignation or impeachment. As this spools out in the weeks and months ahead, do you think Americans will be in the mood to accept further insults such as “Joe Biden” surrendering our national sovereignty to the WHO?

Anyway, you must ask yourself: why on earth should I trust the WHO about anything? Did they not participate in laying a trip on the world with Covid-19? How did those lockdowns work out? Do you think they destroyed enough businesses and ruined enough households? How’s the vaccination program doing? Effective? Safe? Yeah, maybe not so much. Maybe killing a lot of people, wrecking immune systems, sterilizing reproductive organs, causing gross disabilities, shattering lives.

Of course, in over three years neither the WHO nor the US medical authorities showed the slightest interest in helping to figure out how the Covid-19 virus was made in a lab, and exactly how it got loose in the world. Lately, Dr. Ghebreyesus has warned the world about much worse future pandemics supposedly coming down at us. Oh? Really? What does he know that we don’t? That possibly new efforts to concoct chimeric diseases are ongoing in labs around the world? (You know that dozens of such labs were discovered in Ukraine as the war got underway there in 2022.) What’s Dr. Ghebreyesus doing to stop that?

If US orgs and citizens are involved in this “research,” why doesn’t the WHO alert our government leaders so they can stop it? (Would they? I’m not so sure.) And, who is behind it this time? The Eco-Health Alliance again, like with Covid-19? By the way, that outfit got another whopping grant last fall from the NIH to “study” bat viruses — right after the NIH terminated a previous grant on account of The Eco-Health Alliance failing to turn over notebooks and other records.

No, you cannot trust the WHO about anything. The “trust horizon” (a concept introduced by the great Nicole Foss, late of The Automatic Earth dot com) is shrinking. You can no longer trust any distant authorities. You also cannot trust the US federal government (especially the executive branch behind “Joe Biden”). And notice: the trust horizon is shrinking just as the world is de-centralizing. This, you see, is the main contradiction behind all the Globalists’ twisted ambitions to control everything, including you. They are working against the current tide of human history which is pushing everything toward down-scaling, re-localization, and re-assertion of the sovereign individual person.

That trend will become increasingly evident as things organized at the giant scale start to implode — giant retail chains, medical behemoths, hedge funds, big banks, you name it. The world no longer has the mojo for globalism. There’s reason to wonder these days whether the USA has the mojo to remain a unified national polity of states. Our federal government is not only financially bankrupt beyond any coherent reckoning, it is also morally bankrupt, and it has decided to make war against its own people. None of this is satisfactory and none of this is working. It’s time to figure out who and what you can trust and act accordingly.

Tyler Durden Sun, 06/04/2023 - 09:20

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Spread & Containment

Removing antimicrobial resistance from the WHO’s ‘pandemic treaty’ will leave humanity extremely vulnerable to future pandemics

Drug-resistant microbes are a serious threat for future pandemics, but the new draft of the WHO’s international pandemic agreement may not include provisions…




Antimicrobial resistance is now a leading cause of death worldwide due to drug-resistant infections, including drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, pneumonia and Staph infections like the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus shown here. (NIAID, cropped from original), CC BY

In late May, the latest version of the draft Pandemic Instrument, also referred to as the “pandemic treaty,” was shared with Member States at the World Health Assembly. The text was made available online via Health Policy Watch and it quickly became apparent that all mentions of addressing antimicrobial resistance in the Pandemic Instrument were at risk of removal.

Work on the Pandemic Instrument began in December 2021 after the World Health Assembly agreed to a global process to draft and negotiate an international instrument — under the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) — to protect nations and communities from future pandemic emergencies.

Read more: Drug-resistant superbugs: A global threat intensified by the fight against coronavirus

Since the beginning of negotiations on the Pandemic Instrument, there have been calls from civil society and leading experts, including the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, to include the so-called “silent” pandemic of antimicrobial resistance in the instrument.

Just three years after the onset of a global pandemic, it is understandable why Member States negotiating the Pandemic Instrument have focused on preventing pandemics that resemble COVID-19. But not all pandemics in the past have been caused by viruses and not all pandemics in the future will be caused by viruses. Devastating past pandemics of bacterial diseases have included plague and cholera. The next pandemic could be caused by bacteria or other microbes.

Antimicrobial resistance

Yellow particles on purple spikes
Microscopic view of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that cause bubonic plague, on a flea. Plague is an example of previous devastating pandemics of bacterial disease. (NIAID), CC BY

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the process by which infections caused by microbes become resistant to the medicines developed to treat them. Microbes include bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Bacterial infections alone cause one in eight deaths globally.

AMR is fueling the rise of drug-resistant infections, including drug-resistant tuberculosis, drug-resistant pneumonia and drug-resistant Staph infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These infections are killing and debilitating millions of people annually, and AMR is now a leading cause of death worldwide.

Without knowing what the next pandemic will be, the “pandemic treaty” must plan, prepare and develop effective tools to respond to a wider range of pandemic threats, not solely viruses.

Even if the world faces another viral pandemic, secondary bacterial infections will be a serious issue. During the COVID-19 pandemic for instance, large percentages of those hospitalized with COVID-19 required treatment for secondary bacterial infections.

New research from Northwestern University suggests that many of the deaths among hospitalized COVID-19 patients were associated with pneumonia — a secondary bacterial infection that must be treated with antibiotics.

An illustrative diagram that shows the difference between a drug resistant bacteria and a non-resistant bacteria.
Antimicrobial resistance means infections that were once treatable are much more difficult to treat. (NIAID), CC BY

Treating these bacterial infections requires effective antibiotics, and with AMR increasing, effective antibiotics are becoming a scarce resource. Essentially, safeguarding the remaining effective antibiotics we have is critical to responding to any pandemic.

That’s why the potential removal of measures that would help mitigate AMR and better safeguard antimicrobial effectiveness is so concerning. Sections of the text which may be removed include measures to prevent infections (caused by bacteria, viruses and other microbes), such as:

  • better access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene;
  • higher standards of infection prevention and control;
  • integrated surveillance of infectious disease threats from human, animals and the environment; and
  • strengthening antimicrobial stewardship efforts to optimize how antimicrobial drugs are used and prevent the development of AMR.

The exclusion of these measures would hinder efforts to protect people from future pandemics, and appears to be part of a broader shift to water-down the language in the Pandemic Instrument, making it easier for countries to opt-out of taking recommended actions to prevent future pandemics.

Making the ‘pandemic treaty’ more robust

Measures to address AMR could be easily included and addressed in the “pandemic treaty.”

In September 2022, I was part of a group of civil society and research organizations that specialize in mitigating AMR who were invited the WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) to provide an analysis on how AMR should be addressed, within the then-draft text.

They outlined that including bacterial pathogens in the definition of “pandemics” was critical. They also identified specific provisions that should be tweaked to track and address both viral and bacterial threats. These included AMR and recommended harmonizing national AMR stewardship rules.

In March 2023, I joined other leading academic researchers and experts from various fields in publishing a special edition of the Journal of Medicine, Law and Ethics, outlining why the Pandemic Instrument must address AMR.

The researchers of this special issue argued that the Pandemic Instrument was overly focused on viral threats and ignored AMR and bacterial threats, including the need to manage antibiotics as a common-pool resource and revitalize research and development of novel antimicrobial drugs.

Next steps

While earlier drafts of the Pandemic Instrument drew on guidance from AMR policy researchers and civil society organizations, after the first round of closed-door negotiations by Member States, all of these insertions, are now at risk for removal.

The Pandemic Instrument is the best option to mitigate AMR and safeguard lifesaving antimicrobials to treat secondary infections in pandemics. AMR exceeds the capacity of any single country or sector to solve. Global political action is needed to ensure the international community works together to collectively mitigate AMR and support the conservation, development and equitable distribution of safe and effective antimicrobials.

By missing this opportunity to address AMR and safeguard antimicrobials in the Pandemic Instrument, we severely undermine the broader goals of the instrument: to protect nations and communities from future pandemic emergencies.

It is important going forward that Member States recognize the core infrastructural role that antimicrobials play in pandemic response and strengthen, rather than weaken, measures meant to safeguard antimicrobials.

Antimicrobials are an essential resource for responding to pandemic emergencies that must be protected. If governments are serious about pandemic preparedness, they must support bold measures to conserve the effectiveness of antimicrobials within the Pandemic Instrument.

Susan Rogers Van Katwyk is a member of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance at York University. She receives funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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