Author Archive | Charles Hugh Smith

The Demise of Dissent

In other words, we’ll be left with officially generated and sanctioned fake news and “approved” dissent. We’ve all heard that the problem with the web is fake news, i.e. unsubstantiated or erroneous content that’s designed to mislead or sow confusion. The problem isn’t just fake news–it’s the homogenization of the web, that is, the elimination or marginalization of […]

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Follow the Oil, Follow the Money

In this scenario, time is running out for Saudi Arabia’s free-spending royalty and state– and for all the other free-spending oil exporters. While there are numerous dynamics at work in the turmoil roiling Saudi Arabia and by extension, the Mideast, one way to cut to the chase is to follow the oil, follow the money. Correspondent B.D. […]

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Forget the Bogus GOP Reform

The point is to end the current system in which billionaires get all the privileges and financial benefits of owning assets in the U.S. but don’t pay taxes that are proportional to the benefits they extract. As has been widely noted, the Republicans’ proposed “tax reform” is not only just more BAU (business as usual, i.e. […]

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Where Are Europe’s Fault Lines?

Beneath the surface of modern maps, numerous old fault lines still exist. A political earthquake or two might reveal the fractures for all to see. Correspondent Mark G. and I have long discussed the potential relevancy of old boundaries, alliances and structures in Europe’s future alignments. Examples include the Holy Roman Empire and the Hanseatic League, among others. In […]

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What the Kennedy Assassination Records Reveal

Imagine Harvey Weinstein wielding a “top secret” stamp to block any exposure of the uncomfortable truth and you have the FBI, CIA and NSA. One way to interpret the intelligence community’s reluctance to let all the Kennedy assassination archives become public is that the archives contain evidence of a “smoking gun”: that is, evidence that the intelligence agencies […]

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The Everything Bubble

I’ve long held that if a problem can be solved by creating $1 trillion out of thin air and buying a raft of assets with that $1 trillion, then central banks will solve the problem by creating the $1 trillion out of thin air—nothing could be easier. This is the lesson of the past eight […]

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Fraud, Exploitation, Collusion

The rot within manifested by the pharmaceutical industry almost defies description. The theme this week is The Rot Within. America’s Pharmaceutical industry takes pride of place in this week’s theme ofThe Rot Within, as the industry has raised fraud, exploitation, and collusion to systemic perfection. What other industry can routinely kill hundreds of thousands of Americans […]

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The Endgame of Financialization

This is the new model of nationalization: central banks control the valuation of private-sector assets without actually having to own them lock, stock and barrel. As you no doubt know, central banks don’t actually print money and toss it out of helicopters; they create a digital liability and use this new currency to buy assets such […]

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Our Protected, Predatory Oligarchy

If you want to understand why the status quo is unraveling, start by examining the feudal structure of our society, politics and economy. The revelations coming to light about Hollywood Oligarch Harvey Weinstein perfectly capture the true nature of our status quo: a rotten-to-the-core, predatory, exploitive oligarchy of dirty secrets and dirty lies protected by […]

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No More Consent of the Conned?

Every single line item in our entire Bernie Madoff scam of a system is cooked. My theme this week is The Great Unraveling, by which I mean the unraveling of our social-political-economic system of hierarchical, centralized power. Let’s start by looking at how the basis of governance has transmogrified from consent of the governed to consent of the conned. In effect, our […]

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The Tax Donkeys

I would hazard a guess that an increasing number of tax donkeys are considering dropping out as a means of increasing their happiness and satisfaction with life. Since federal income taxes are in the spotlight, let’s ask a question that rarely (if ever) makes it into the public discussion: what if the tax donkeys who pay most of […]

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Dear Homeowner: If You’re Paying $260,000 in Property Taxes over 20 Years, What Exactly Do You “Own”?

If we understand property taxes as a “lease from the local government for the right to gamble on another housing bubble arising,” we see “ownership” in a different light. We’re constantly told ours is an ownership society in which owning a home is the foundation of household wealth. The concept of ownership may appear straightforward, […]

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