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"Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world" - Henry Kissinger

and yet...

"Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences" – Robert Louis Stevenson

Populism and Trump - Gillian Tett is starting to get it

In response to an FT article by Gillian Tett on 15th July 2016, entitled “Newt’s eye view of the Trump ‘circus’”

"'There is a huge split now between the elites and the rest. People who are fed up with Washington don’t want someone who can manage the table better. They want someone who can kick the table over'…So far, so obvious"

It may seem obvious to you Ms. Tett, but for the past year it has been anything but obvious to your colleagues, with people such as Gideon Rachman, Phillip Stephens and Martin Wolf completely missing the point about the rise of Trump - contorting their articles with ever more condescending adjectives in an attempt to discredit the man, all the time totally missing the underlying message. To be fair, Ed Luce has been consistently less blinkered. 

You may have got it Ms. Tett - your colleagues haven't. They have been either:

1. Blind to the big picture – that this is a global trend that has been unfolding for several years and is now entering the bend in the ‘J’ curve, or

2. In denial, in the hope it would go away - it won't, or

3. Acting as good establishment ‘foot soldiers’ in an attempt to discredit and kill the backlash before it becomes a tidal wave - too late, or

4. On a journey through 1 to 3, and are just starting to wake up - but to what, they are still not quite clear

My money is on 4.

So when you say:

"The elites discount that protest vote at their peril" - that boat has already sailed Ms. Tett.

The system is rotten to the core. Whether or not Trump is a buffoon or a baboon is largely irrelevant. The elites are reaping decades of arrogance, hubris, and neglect. The following is what is coming home to roost; this is what they have needed to address since 2008, and haven't:

a) Professional politicians and lifetime Congressmen who spend more of their time running for office, kissing the backsides of K Street, than they do reading legislation or serving the interests of their constituents 

b) Corrupt bankers on Wall Street, who fund the politicians, in exchange for which they write their own legislation, passing it to their poodles in the sure knowledge that none of them will read it, let alone understand it, let alone challenge it

c) Political families like the Bushes and the Clintons, who have spent decades peddling their sordid celebrity around government buildings and palaces in the Middle East and around the globe

d) The raft of senior officers at the Pentagon who retire from commissioning military equipment and move straight to the C suites of the firms who make it

e) The revolving doors that exist between the New York Fed and the casinos on Wall Street. The ‘jobs for the boys’ regime that exists from the ground floor, and stretches right to the top. The culture that leads to Ben Bernanke being hired by Citadel – a man who knows nothing about investment, and even in his own ‘field’ he couldn’t spot a bubble if you put him inside one. Why? Anyone on Wall Street who says that there is no insider dealing between the Fed and the casinos is either as bent as a nine bob note, or as gullible as Benny from Crossroads

f) In an extension of e) - the cartel of ex-Goldman Central Bankers who are scattered throughout the Federal Reserve System, and who currently run the ECB and The BoE 

g) The academic ‘nests’ that foster groupthink and pass as ‘Centres for excellence’ in economics.  Interview criteria: Are you a Neo-Keynesian with Friedman Rising and your moon in Krugman? Come right in and sit down…Oh, you think that debt matters and the economy isn’t a machine or a math problem…Nice chatting to you, we’ll let you know

And finally:

h) A complicit and ‘poodle like’ press, who seem to pay more attention to protecting their address books than challenging the status quo ‘without fear or favour’

I’ve always enjoyed your work Ms. Tett – an anthropologist who understands the economy better than most of the economists makes me smile.  You are ahead of your colleagues on this too – but alas you are not running with racehorses on this topic. You are leading a field of donkeys – in more ways than one :-)

And in other news – Saturday 16th July 2016

Is the penny starting to drop for Larry Summers?