Dow Jones plunges 831 points and planet has a decade to prevent catastrophic climate change – where is our media?

By   /   October 11, 2018  /   29 Comments

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The real problem for light entertainment current affairs shows like Seven Sharp & The Project is that their low quality prattle can’t give insight or critical debate to fundamental issues like Climate Change or the looming economic depression.

A massive plunge on the Dow, S&P and the Nasdaq this morning highlights the instability of a market drenched in a decade of quantitive easing and the debt hangover that has left us with.

The reckoning has been building for some time and Trump’s irresponsible corporate tax cuts alongside his trade war and his general incompetence have only exacerbated this. What we are seeing today is just the market waking up to the enormity of what rising rates will do to an economy that has spent a decade gorging on cheap debt. What will be the ultimate trigger be to a major meltdown is still moot, Iran, Italy, Brexit or China are all possibilities.

Add in the far more dangerous reality that we have only a decade left to stop catastrophic climate change, and the problems outweigh the positives.

We are left rudderless by events and visionless because our own media simply don’t have the capacity to highlight the truth to us.

The real problem for light entertainment current affairs shows like Seven Sharp & The Project is that their low quality prattle can’t give insight or critical debate to fundamental issues like Climate Change or the looming economic depression.

Events will ultimately outrun our media’s vapidness the same way it will outrun our political spectrums ability to respond radically enough to both problems.

Sometimes the truth is things need to break or snap because of their own weakness before change can truly happen.

 

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29 Comments

  1. Marc says:

    Heard of the ‘October Effect’?

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/octobereffect.asp

    But this must be considered also:
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/10/listen-to-the-imfs-new-warning-economist-says-and-cut-your-exposure-to-us-stocks.html

    The outlook is a bit gloomier, given Trump’s economic policy, his hard trade talk and sanctions imposed on China, the EU and so forth. Yesterday the IMF expressed another serious warning for the global economy, which must be taken seriously.

    The party may be over, for some, at least for a while, and look at Argentina again, at South Africa, at Indonesia, at Turkey, at many emerging markets, and at those over dependent on commodity exports, that will also affect Australia and NZ Inc..

  2. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    The Dow is so high now that while 831 points sounds like a lot, it really isn’t (3.15%). For a lot of traders this is a mere correction in a massive bull market (which is now the largest ever, BTW) and represents a buying opportunity. There was no meltdown happening here – I fully expect it to be up (or flat) tomorrow, suggesting there isn’t a major systemic issue causing the fall. If it drops by another 5% tomorrow (with lock limit down future trading) we’ll know it’s in real trouble.
    #ByTheDip

    • Sam Sam says:

      It could be stock replacements. We’ve had pretty sharp rises in energy stocks and U.S interest rates. The Russell’s which are small U.S stocks have just come off some strong moves and people could be looking for the next market leader. No ones ever on top for ever, they go through cycles.

      With NAFTA2 being somewhat of a success and Trump tweeting at Mexico it kind of cancels a bit out there so there’s a lot of confusion but payrol numbers are showing signs of strength. I suppose the biggest issue is the coordinated effort by Russia, Iran, China and others to boost the oil price cancelling a lot of Americas Sanctions so lots of confusion.

  3. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Well said, Martyn.

    We have discussed the appalling state if the environment and the appalling state if the mainstream media many times over many years; and the state of both have deteriorated. They will continue to deteriorate until collapse of some kind occurs.

    Upton Sinclair recognised a fundamental political truths decades ago:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not his understanding it.”

    https://www.azquotes.com/author/13641-Upton_Sinclair

  4. bert says:

    “The real problem for light entertainment current affairs shows like Seven Sharp & The Project is that their low quality prattle can’t give insight or critical debate to fundamental issues like Climate Change or the looming economic depression.”

    The most succinct comment ever posted.
    Both show’s a very slightly more serious version of Seven Days.

  5. Dave Brown says:

    Capitalism is on its last legs and can only survive by making us, the vast majority of working people the world over, pay for it by giving up our livelihoods and our lives.

    For that reason, we have to get over our magical thinking that capitalism can be saved from itself, and fight for survival socialism.

    That means going to the root of the problem – the subordination of everything to making more profits.

    In NZ our salvation means nationalising the land and all production of energy and essential commodities, and organising the economy on a democratic, egalitarian sustainable way.

    We start with the most obvious, dealing with the anarchy of land use and its environmental and climate costs.

    – Removal of agricultural subsidies and imposition of a carbon tax.

    – A land tax on the ‘unearned increment’ to subordinate profits to sustainability by cutting speculative profits.

    – A capital gains tax on the parasitic private banks, and the formation of a single State bank that backs the money supply against a measure of PSP – Planned Sustainable Production.

    To take even such minimal steps we need a government that will take on the vested interests of the landed gentry and the capitalist shareholders to keep the rip, shit, bust economy staggering on…

    Yet no capitalist government will do this, even under the pressure of climate change, because they defend growing profits as the measure of economic success.

    So all attempts at such serious reforms will fail, and those who mobilise against these governments, for a workers government that does fight for serious reforms, will be met with state force and fascist mobs.

    This is why the logic of the current capitalist crisis forces us to choose between survival socialism or capitalist barbarism.

    Everything else is magical thinking – deluded.

    • d says:

      I agree with most of this, Dave, especially the ownership of land. The land of NZ belongs to us all, the government of the day simply being custodian of it. Unfortunately returning the land to the nation would have to happen slowly and in a piecemeal fashion unless you are prepaired for a revolution.
      However anyone watching the freak weather around the world on TV would have to agree that we need something desperate to happen, and soon. When that occurs, people may start talking about global over-population. Fix that and we can fix anything. Fail to fix it and nothing else can be sufficient.

    • Dave Brown says:

      Paul Beckwith (“climate change emergency”) points out that the IPCC report has changed the base line from 1750 to the average of 1850- 1900 to measure the 1.5 target. But if we stick with the 1750 baseline, we are already at 1.2-1.3 not 1.0 degrees. No wonder 1.5 looked OK for a while and is now seen as already crippling.

      Second, the IPCC makes light of methane. It may have a short life c.f. CO2 but its around 100 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas. And at the current 1-1.3 degrees above baseline is being released in much larger amounts.

      The IPCC has always been way behind the leading edge of climate science which means that we have to treat today as a climate emergency.

      We already know that the reactionary capitalist regimes that are coming to power globally are preparing for social collapse as the climate quickly breaks down under their plans to burn and drown us all.

      Who is putting any bets on which left, right or center Govt in NZ has the political will to call an emergency now and start rapidly reducing carbon and methane uptake as well as massive planting to extract CO2?

      https://paulbeckwith.net/2018/10/10/abrupt-climate-change-will-rapidly-blow-past-1-5c-and-2c/

    • Marc says:

      “In NZ our salvation means nationalising the land and all production of energy and essential commodities, and organising the economy on a democratic, egalitarian sustainable way.”

      You are calling for a kind of revolution, while there are NO revolutionaries.

      The bulk of the population is apathetic, even accepts the situation as a given, as even necessary or unavoidable, and operate accordingly.

      The younger generation, the millenials and the even younger ones, they have perhaps some idealistic views, but when it comes to action, they think the system can be reformed from within, with a few tweaks, by using modern IT and other tech solutions, which is though creating a massive full scale control system for our and other societies, thus empowering the dictatorship of today and tomorrow.

      Most live in some kind of selected fantasy land thinking that with a few pushes of buttons and templates, and with promoting an online petition on issues we will all be saved.

      Meanwhile industry, commerce and the vested interest holding parties, including most of the middle class, certainly property and car owners, carry on as usual, and do all to get an even stronger grip on power and control.

      With an largely urbanised, modern and system adjusted and even system embracing population, that is totally dependent on systems, that does also leave the dirty and hard work for offshore manufacturing workers and onshore new willing migrant workers, you will not get any revolution of any kind in this place on earth.

      They are too risk averse, and simply do not want to get their hands dirty, most people in NZ Inc these days.

      • Dave Brown says:

        Marc never write off workers who get pissed off with total system failure manifest by global economic crisis and climate collapse.

        Even the Bolsheviks were taken by surprise when 20,000 women textile workers in the Putilov works went on strike in February 1917. This was echoed in NZ by workers resistance to WW1 and Maori resistance to conscription.

        True, NZ is not the idea place for a socialist revolution because it is immersed in a petty bourgeois culture of escaping wage labour into small business. Which leaves petty bourgeois ideas clashing with business failure and either blaming the workers, or the bankers, as in the case of small family farmers who walked off the land in every depression.

        Key to organising for revolution in Aotearoa, is uniting Maori with other workers around collective organisation on the land; re-building the unions run by the rank and file as the basis for recreating working class communities; campaigning to re-nationalise power, transport etc and for one state bank to recover the billions sucked up by Aussie parasites and fund sustainable and useful production; and so on.

        Meanwhile to create the ground swell for this, every instance of oppression and exploitation by class, gender, race etc has to be resisted and all these struggles united around one common objective, replacing the tiny ruling class exploiters with a united front of the oppressed producers, on the land and in industry, seeking to take control of the economy and restore it as a means of sustainably reproducing human and other species life.

        And finally, the revolution may come much later in NZ as it is packed with corporate refugees fleeing climate change who will defend their property rights by joining in the clamour for a Trump/Bolsonaro type fascist regime. So lets see how the revolutions develop in these much bigger, politically mobilised countries, and how we can link up with them.

        The problems we face are global, our solutions have also to be global.

        • Marc says:

          “Key to organising for revolution in Aotearoa, is uniting Maori with other workers around collective organisation on the land; re-building the unions run by the rank and file as the basis for recreating working class communities; campaigning to re-nationalise power, transport etc and for one state bank to recover the billions sucked up by Aussie parasites and fund sustainable and useful production; and so on.”

          Keep dreaming, I fear you are holding a very lonely position out there.

  6. Sam Sam says:

    Still don’t know why any one takes financial advice from people who make there money from taking the piss out of successful people.

  7. Darth smith says:

    He who panics first panics Best once the stampede to exit starts it’s to late

  8. Darth says:

    Wfor the housing speculator to close off there position s and pay there debts it may already be to late the the exit door is shut

  9. David Stone says:

    In the “30s crash the world’s currencies were tied to gold reserves so the creation of money was limited. That is a fundamentally different situation to now. What will happen now is an accelerated transfer of wealth to the few and the impoverishment of the many and the nation states. Wealth won’t be lost altogether, just change hands. The GDPs will continue to tell us we are doing fine as we bed down under a bridge.
    D J S

  10. David Stone says:

    Driving home in the truck yesterday listening to the BBC it was all about the IMF meeting in Bali and Lagarde warning of the grim outlook for the world’s economy. Nothing said about the connection with what happened in the world’s share markets this morning, all attributed to obscure unrelated factors apparently. Couldn’t accuse the IMF of precipitating a collapse could we.
    D J S

  11. R.P Mcmurphy says:

    the media is committed to selling goods and not not selling goods.

  12. SPC says:

    A stockmarket correction was and is inevitable.

    1. Yields are improving elsewhere as the Fed moves from the QE era.
    2. Many stocks are overvalued because of corporate buybacks (shareholders have untaxed CG until they sell, and even then the CG tax rate is below the tax rate on dividends). But for how long this can go on?

    How far stocks fall, or a stock fall might depend on where the seller puts their money (and for how long)? And what companies who have been buying up their own stock do.

    If sellers do not want to buy back in unless the dividend yield is competive (give up on expectation of continuing CG) then it could be a big fall.

    One positive for the US government might be that sellers will be realising CG on the historic purchase price and thus subject to paying tax.

    Another is that the stockmarket boom was so unrelated to the real economy that a severe market correction might have little impact on it, unlike the GFC.

  13. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Some readers will be familiar with the Working Group on Financial Markets, colloquially called the Plunge Protection Team.

    Depending on who you believe, this group either consults and makes recommendations in times of financial instability, or orchestrates the pumping of rapidly-created money into falling markets to prevent further falls and to restore confidence.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_Group_on_Financial_Markets

  14. sumsuch says:

    Dear man, you’re a good man.

  15. CLEANGREEN says:

    hit Marc you asked?
    Heard of the ‘October Effect’?
    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/octobereffect.asp

    Yes; as the Bank profit forecast details come out this month too.

    So we also see that Saudi Arabia is in the shit after alleged killing of a critic of the Saudi Government.

    So all together now that all the leading world powers with the US leading the charge may place an embargo on Saudi Arabia because of this killing now mooted the press today; – we are in for the worst month going forward it looks like.

    We will hope by October 25th (St Crispins’ day) we may see some clouds of doom finally lift from the current gloomy scene.

  16. Iain McLean says:

    Martyn;


    “We are left rudderless by events and visionless because our own media simply don’t have the capacity to highlight the truth to us.”

    Maybe there is an explanation for that.

    “The BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, WaPo, CNN and the other usual suspects have been pushing this one hard.”


    “What’s encouraging, though, is how many outlets haven’t taken the bait.”

    https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/10/08/ipcc-summary-for-policy-makers-warns-of-more-climate-doom/

    I wondered why so many Guardian links had been posted here lately.

    Cheers.

  17. Iain McLean says:

    Martyn;

    “We are left rudderless by events and visionless because our own media simply don’t have the capacity to highlight the truth to us.”

    Maybe there is an explanation for that.

    “The BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, WaPo, CNN and the other usual suspects have been pushing this one hard.”

    “What’s encouraging, though, is how many outlets haven’t taken the bait.”

    https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/10/08/ipcc-summary-for-policy-makers-warns-of-more-climate-doom/

    I wondered why so many Guardian links had been posted here lately.

    Cheers.