Saturday Report from the Front

The two major warriors in the orthodox camp, the Goliaths, if you will, are TINA and TAF. It is unfortunate for the two of them that they cannot work together. TINA, of course, is "There is no alternative." There is no alternative to austerity, so-called structural adjustments, or the grind it out deleveraging. TAF is "Things are fine." And getting better. "Just look at the latest (cherry-picked) numbers." The two together may be a farce defense, but we doubt it.

TINA, now enforced on Europe, has had its intellectual legs cut out by the Modest Proposal of Varifoukis/Holland/Galbraith, and is kept upright by entrenched interests below the skirt -- in academia, the finance sector and the major institutions. The IMF, after being run out of Africa trailing its Neoliberal agenda behind it in tatters, has reformed around the banks in Europe and taken advantage of the euro crisis to infect the European states.

TAF, "Things are fine," is most active in the US sphere, where the rest of the world is obscured by high walls of ignorance or apathy. But even inside these walls, TAF's strength is fading The proposition that recovery is just around the corner has combined with the long length of time the idea has been promoted, and some are convinced that we must have gotten there by now. Sadly, no.

The WODS twins have left the field to TAF and TINA. "We are doing something." No longer. WODS-Fiscal, that is, investment spending by governments was felled by its own compatriots TAF and TINA some time ago. WODS-Monetary is in more slow retreat, as it becomes clear that monetary policy in the US has benefited the few and hurt the many, particularly contributing to market instability in the rest of the world. The walls of isolation protect it to some degree, but its back is to us as the Fed winds down QE.

The whole arrangement is eerily reminiscent of the Depression. The difference? We now have the advantage of history and of the New Deal institutions that still support demand, financial market stability and personal security. (TAF and TINA appears healthier in this light.) But we have the disadvantage that the political apparatus has been captured,  Academics, as always, remain behind their own walls.

Elsewhere, Nikolaos Karatsoris checks in with some material from Greece, recorded media from conversations with Steve. We're working to get that to you. Probably through the Facebook page as soon as we figure it out. Nikos is similar to many of our allies -- very modest, but very effective.