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Book Review: Killing the Host
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The first of hopefully many book reviews. Thanks to those who have already reviewed it on Amazon, we are off to a good start.

Pam Martens from Wall St On Parade writes:

The riveting writer, Michael Hudson, has read our collective minds and the simmering anger in our hearts. Millions of American have long suspected that their inability to get financially ahead is an intentional construct of Wall Street’s central planners. Now Hudson, in an elegant but lethal indictment of the system, confirms that your ongoing struggle to make ends meet is not a reflection of your lack of talent or drive but the only possible outcome of having a blood-sucking financial leech affixed to your body, your retirement plan, and your economic future.

In his new book, “Killing the Host,” Hudson hones an exquisitely gripping journey from Wall Street’s original role as capital allocator to its present-day parasitism that has replaced U.S. capitalism as an entrenched, politically-enforced economic model across America.

This book is a must-read for anyone hoping to escape the most corrupt era in American history with a shirt still on his parasite-riddled back.

Hudson writes from his most powerful perch in chapters describing how these financial parasites have tricked our society into accepting them as a normal, productive part of our economy.

….

How else to explain, other than kleptocracy, the fact that Wall Street’s richest mega banks collect the life insurance proceeds and tax benefits on the untimely deaths of their workers – all codified into law by the U.S. Congress – making death a profit center on Wall Street. Or, as Frontline revealed, that two-thirds of your 401(k) plan over a working lifetime is likely to be lost to financial fees.

Hudson writes: “A parasite’s toolkit includes behavior-modifying enzymes to make the host protect and nurture it. Financial intruders into a host economy use Junk Economics to rationalize rentier parasitism as if it makes a productive contribution, as if the tumor they create is part of the host’s own body, not an overgrowth living off the economy. A harmony of interests is depicted between finance and industry, Wall Street and Main Street, and even between creditors and debtors, monopolists and their customers.”

What has evolved, says Hudson, is that Wall Street banks have “become the economy’s central planners, and their plan is for industry and labor to serve finance, not the other way around.”

To gloss over the collapse of this depraved economic model in 2008, Hudson says these Wall Street central planners simply depict “any adverse ‘disturbance’ as being self-correcting, not a structural defect leading economies to fall further out of balance. Any given development crisis is said to be a natural product of market forces, so that there is no need to regulate and tax the rentiers.”

Read more at Wall St on Parade

(Republished from Michael-Hudson.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Killing the Host 
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  1. It’s always attractive to search for the Bad Actors in any morality play, but a deeper explanation exists for the vast debt-driven con game described by many.

    We’ve known since de la Boetie’s “Discourses” 500 years ago that no social system exists without popular consent. When silver was removed from US coinage in 1964, there was not a hint of protest. When Nixon ended the last veneer of connection between US money and a real thing (gold) in 1971, there were no marches in the streets (over that, anyway.) Unmooring money from any single thing enabled a belief in a floating abstraction, so that value shifted form so fast that observers were easily fooled both by others and by themselves.

    Robert Prechter’s Socionomic hypothesis is an appealing, simple explanation for how we find ourselves in year 51 of massive monetary debasement, year (?) for the greatest buildup of debt in human history and year 20 of an asset mania that dwarfs John Law’s Mississippi Scheme, England’s South Sea Bubble and Holland’s Tulipmania combined.

    In a nutshell, people herd, and share a “social mood” that both animates their actions/beliefs and rises and falls in a patterned fractal.

    “We” indenture ourselves as debt surfs because high time preference and reaching beyond our means are the actions of manic optimists. “We” make more and more credit available because we’re maniacally optimistic. “We” elect politicians and erect an organizational chart of people to enable credit creation and debt assumption on an unprecedented scale because “we” are so collectively, unconsciously optimistic that the term “consequences” has evaporated from “our” mental vocabulary.

    It’s controversial whether our current, dire, collective folly arises from the top down (in a nefarious grand conspiracy of bad actors) or from the ground up (in a shared delusion emanating from a natural ebb and flow of mass optimism and pessimism), but one thing I note: No one on Wall Street is behind the pervasive fad of getting massive tattoos, and I can think of no better measure of people’s willingness to live like small children in the Perpetual Now than donning a fashionable look (like a new blouse or sweater) that can’t be removed without very significant time and cost.

    I see no better explanation for these phenomena than they arise from the same wellspring of the Madness of Crowds. Prechter’s work predicted that the final rise in perceived wealth would occur during a fundamentally weaker period, and surely a period of dishonest money and running the society-wide credit card qualifies. The USA and possibly the West in general have coasted toward a multi-century top for half a lifetime. Those who know that the future is always a product of the past and present justifiably cringe when estimating what must ensue to “correct” the profound errors now embedded to the bone. The only pertinent questions are 1) when does the deflationary collapse in an unsupportable ocean of IOU’s run its course and 2) what specific kinds of upheaval accompany it?

    Since life often imitates art, I suggest that the popularity of the Zombie Apocalypse genre constitutes a strange foreshadowing of what happens when Social Democracy runs out of those willing to be redistributed from, to Cannibal Democracy where the consent of the “haves” is no longer deemed necessary. The clock is ticking, and the can gets heavier with an unstable explosive each time it’s kicked.

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