The Great Liquidation

America is hanging by a thread.  A great liquidation is underway, with many of the structures that support American society..or, in some cases, any viable society…being kicked away, sold off piecemeal, or just wantonly destroyed.  I’m talking about physical structures, legal structures, and social structures.

I do not think it is too late to turn this trend around, but the situation is very serious, and I’m going to ask you to gaze into the abyss with me before I discuss some reasons for hope.

Consider:

–Significant parts of America’s energy infrastructure are being destroyed or targeted for destruction.  For example, the Indian Point nuclear plant, serving NYC, was closed in April, despite the fact that this closure will likely create grid instability–and will certainly result in the zero-emissions power it had previously produced being generated instead by sources which do generate emissions. (Yet at the same time, NYC is banning the use of natural gas in new buildings–which will further increase the demand for electricity!) The Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, the largest source of electricity in California, is also scheduled for closure in 2025.  The cost of Diablo Canyon was $14.5B in present-day dollars, and I estimate that this represents at least 50,000 person-years of labor.  Something like 1200 working lifetimes, being wantonly trashed. Only a society which is very rich (for now)–disrespectful of its past accomplishments–and uncaring about the future would act in this way.

And these examples represent only a small portion of the assaults being conducted on America’s energy infrastructure. Peaker plants which ensure continued output under tough conditions, are being closed, with much hand-waving about how ‘demand management’ will solve any problems.  Oil and gas production are being squeezed. Pipeline construction is being suppressed, at the same time Putin is given the US green light for a Russia-Germany pipeline.  Energy is being transformed from an American asset into an American vulnerability.

–Billions of dollars of America military equipment were abandoned in Afghanistan and are now in the hands of the Taliban.  If we use a conservative estimate of $40 billion, that represents at least 400,000 person-years of human labor, thrown away. But that’s not the worst of it, of course: much of that equipment will now be used against us or our allies.  There are already reports of formerly-American weapons on their way to Iran.

The effect of the horribly-executed Afghanistan withdrawal on our credibility as an alliance partner will be devastating.  While many foreign policy types expressed worry about what expecting Germany to pay a larger % of the NATO bill would do to our alliances, any imagined impact of that was trivial compared with the impact of the current debacle.  The negative effect on American military recruiting, also, will be considerable, as discussed by several commenters at this blog.  Overall, America’s actual and perceived power position in the world has been greatly reduced over the past few months.

–American manufacturing has been negatively impacted by numerous policy choices and social factors, and America is no longer the world’s facto ry: that role now falls to China.  We have become extremely dependent on China and other countries for many products and components of products–as we found out during last year’s Covid crisis when we were subject to threats that we would ‘burn in the fire of Covid’ if China should choose to deny us critical pharmaceuticals and ingredients thereof.  We have become highly dependent on other countries for electronics manufacturing, especially microchips: a single Taiwanese company, TSMC, acts as the ‘foundry’ for a whole range of chips produced to the designs of many different American companies.  A Chinese takeover of Taiwan could be devastating to our industry, and such takeover appears considerably more likely than it did a couple of months ago.

Manufacturing was, for a couple of decades, considered by the approved-expert classes to be an increasingly-unimportant industry, populated only by those with inferior and uncreative minds. There is some recognition growing lately that this field may actually matter. But American politicians generally have so little comprehension of how the economy actually works that it is hard to believe that any remedies that they propose will be efficacious ones.  As example #1, I give you Joseph Biden: a man who asserted that anyone who can mine coal can ‘learn to code’, and who apparently believes that manually shoveling coal into furnaces is an actual substantial occupation in America today.  Biden also said, referring to China: “They’re not competition for us.”  This was in mid-2019!

America has given up much of its potential in manufacturing. and the consequences are severe for national security and for millions of people.  

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Game Over? Manchin Approval Soars as He Stands Ground.

The biggest news I’ve seen today hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserves. It is when Senator Joe Manchin told a Fox News reporter that he has had no conversations with the Biden administration since his last interview with Fox News:

“There’s been no conversations after I made my statement. I think it’s basically, you know, and I was very clear. I just feel as strongly today as I did then. I’m really not going to talk about Build Back Better anymore, because I think I’ve been very clear on that. There is no negotiations going on at this time.”

So first of all, good for Senator Manchin for holding his ground. Second, I told you. The guy is not going to cave. I fully expect him in the next couple days to tell us all that he intends to save America and kill the bill. I’m just waiting for that.

This high tax, high spend, woke monstrosity is going nowhere. All these phony baloney political writers who say otherwise are wrong. Like the Axios report yesterday that breathlessly said that Mr. Manchin is really negotiating on a child tax credit.

Blah, blah, blah. No he’s not. That was a Democratic leak. Pure baloney, and Axios should know better than to fall for that stuff. Unless, of course, they’re pushing their own little woke, “BBB,” big government socialist agenda. Is that what they want? Really? I thought they were independent journalists.

The point I’m making is that not only has Joe Manchin been heroic, he has also been loyally representing the voters of West Virginia. Some recent polling shows that West Virginians oppose the big government socialism bill.

Nearly two thirds of them believe the bill would lead to higher costs for gas and groceries. Senator Manchin’s job approval has gone up seven points to 59 percent. He’s doing the lord’s work.

And he offered a deal to Chuck Schumer last summer, and Mr. Schumer dissed him.

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‘BIDENFLATION’. Jimmy Carter has been surpassed as the most economically incompetent president since Roosevelt


US inflation surges to 39-year high as consumer prices soar higher.

Consumer prices surged at the fastest pace in nearly four decades in November as Americans paid more for practically everything from groceries to cars to gasoline, solidifying hot inflation as a key trait of the economic recovery.

The consumer price index rose 6.8% in November from a year ago, according to a new Labor Department report released Friday, marking the fastest increase since June 1982, when inflation hit 7.1%. The CPI – which measures a bevy of goods ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents – jumped 0.8% in the one-month period from October.

So-called core prices, which exclude more volatile measurements of food and energy, soared 4.9% in November from the previous year – a sharp increase from October, when it rose 4.6%. It was the steepest rate since 1991.

Economists expected the index to show that prices surged 6.8% in November from the year-ago period and 0.7% from the previous month.

Price increases were widespread: Energy prices jumped 3.5% in November and are up 33.3% year over year. Gasoline is a stunning 58.1% higher than it was a year ago. Food prices have also climbed 6.1% higher over the year, while used car and truck prices – a major component of the inflation increase – are up 31%.

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Biden to Increase U.S. Oil Lease Fees 50%…
While Accusing ‘Big Oil’ of Anticompetitive Price Gouging

The Biden-Harris administration issued a report Friday to increase the price of oil leasing fees on federal lands in the United States by 50 percent—even while accusing oil companies of artificially increasing prices through illegal and anticompetitive actions.

Despite record-high gasoline prices impacting American families across the country with winter around the corner, the Biden-Harris administration is recommending Congress hike the cost of oil leases on government lands from 12.50 percent to 18.75 percent.

The 6.25 percentage point royalty rate increase on oil companies would contradict the administration’s promise to lower gasoline prices. In recent weeks, the Biden-Harris administration has asked OPEC to increase oil supplies and requested the Federal Trade Commission conduct an investigation into oil companies for “anticompetitive behavior.”

The rate increase, according to the New York Times, would generate about an extra “$2.5 billion in new revenue by the end of the decade,” which oil companies would pay to the federal government, though consumers would absorb the increased cost the companies incur. So far, the Biden-Harris administration has collected $1.6 billion more from oil leases in 2021 than in 2020.

An increased royalty rate would be the first rate hike since 1920 and would fulfill President Biden’s campaign promise to global warming activists and the far-left.

 

After taking office, Biden threatened American energy independence by mandating a temporary ban on oil leases until Friday’s report was issued. But after 13 states sued and overturned the order, “Shell, BP, Chevron and Exxon Mobil offered $192 million for the rights to drill” in the Gulf of Mexico.

The report from the administration coincides with the massive tax and spend reconciliation package that Democrat leaders are attempting to jam through Congress. The package was passed in the House last week and will likely find its way into the Senate, where it stands little chance of passage as written.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have opposed many provisions in the package, including tax increases, hits to American energy independence, and welfare provisions.

The recommendation to Congress to increase the cost of oil production is the latest tactic in the war on American energy independence. In January, Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline and is also considering canceling the Michigan Line 5 pipeline. Biden also rejoined to Paris Climate Accords and is conducting an environmental regulatory review of repairs instituted by the Trump administration that protected American energy independence.

On Tuesday, Biden raided the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices, despite Vice President Harris slamming then-President Donald Trump in 2020 for refilling them. The immediate impact of the raid was an increase in oil prices. Due to constraint capacity on pipelines, the United States’ output from the reserve is 4.5 million barrels per day.

As Inflation Soars Biden Explains How the Fed Chairman Will Work to Combat…Climate Change

Speaking from the fake White House set in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Monday afternoon, President Joe Biden announced he will renominate Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve.

While limiting his remarks about runaway inflation, Biden explained how Powell will use his position at the monetary agency to combat climate change.

Biden’s description of how Powell will manage the Federal Reserve to work in the left’s climate change goals is indicative of his administration’s broader plans for the economy.

Last week Saule Omarova, Biden’s nominee to be the Treasury Department Comptroller, testified in front of the Senate Banking Committee. She was heavily scrutinized by Republicans and Democrats over her statements calling for the oil and gas industries to be bankrupted in order to meet climate change goals.

If confirmed, Omarova would be in charge of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The OCC “charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.”

 

When Looking at Treasury Nominee Saule Omarova, Do Not Forget Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

One thing CTH does is to look at proposed leftist advancements through the prism of previously blocked moves.  The Joe Biden nomination of avowed communist Saule Omarova to the Treasury Department Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) should be considered in a similar perspective.

There’s a couple of different issues surfacing in the Omarova nomination.  Obviously, she is aligned with the view that controlling money is another way to control the behavior of businesses and people; Omarova’s previous statements {Go Deep} about intentionally bankrupting oil and gas companies is indicative of the former – and the most recent statements are aligned with the latter.  WATCH:

Obviously, Saule Omarova is interested in the concept of an all controlling central bank that would eliminate the need for private banking interests.  As she states, “There will be no more private bank deposit accounts, and all of the deposit accounts will be held directly at the fed.”  The basic premise is that all employers would funnel their payrolls into a centralized federal depository, where they would be then be taxed and re-distributed, electronically, to the workers.

One central bank, owned and operated by the federal government, would replace all the purposes within the private banking system.  Given her upbringing in the former Soviet Union, and considering her education at the University of Moscow, perhaps this outlook shouldn’t be surprising.   However, her nomination alone should be viewed as astonishing.

♦ Big Picture – The COVID Passport concept, now currently deployed in Europe and Australia, then becomes the vector for entry into a digital identification process.  At the end of that digital ID process is a centralized database, which, not coincidentally, directly aligns with the capability of the U.S. federal government to trigger what Omarova is advocating in that video – a centralized system to control all financial deposits and transactions through the digital ID previously created.

It doesn’t take a deep thinker to see how the federal government would eventually respond to having that much power over the financial accounts of Americans.  Cue the visual reference:

Now, pause for a minute before you call me crazy… [although in my defense, CTH has been outlining the goals and aspirations of the specific Chicago headquartered communist ideologues for almost 15 years, while most allies on Team Freedom said we were crazy]…  and consider: ‘through the prism of previously blocked moves’;  because there’s a reference here most are likely to miss.

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Biden Considers Killing Another US Pipeline as Oil Crisis Continues.

As gas prices continue to skyrocket and the feckless President of the United States continues to blame Russia and OPEC for the U.S. oil shortage he and he alone created — on purpose — on day one of his installation in the Oval Office, by killing the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Joe Biden is weighing shutting down another oil pipeline, which would all but guarantee further increased fuel prices in the affected region.

As reported by Daily Wire, the Biden administration is reportedly gathering data on a Michigan-based pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes, and Michigan, and into Ontario.

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This administration hates you and enjoys your suffering. The Secretary of Energy who continually reminds me of Tinkerbell, let’s you know exactly what she thinks about it.

 

Venezuelans Turn to Gold Nuggets as the Local Currency Implodes

The Venezuelan government recently lopped off six zeros from its hyperinflating currency, the bolivar. The highest denomination currency note of 1 million bolivars, worth less than $0.25, was replaced by a one-bolivar note. At the same time, a 100-bolivar note, worth about $25.00, was introduced as the new highest denomination of the bolivar.

The currency conversion was designed to spare the government the embarrassment of having to issue a 100-million bolivar note to enable people to purchases everyday items without having to carry around bundles of notes, given that the price of a loaf of bread had risen to 7 million old bolivars. Of course, the arbitrary scaling down of the denomination of the currency will not slow inflation, because the new currency notes can be printed just as cheaply as the old. The bolivar has already lost 73 percent of its value in 2021 alone and the IMF estimates the annual inflation rate will reach 5,500 percent by the end of 2021.

It is not surprising, then that all but the poorest Venezuelans have abandoned the bolivar as a medium of exchange, let alone a store of value or unit of account. US dollars are the exchange medium of choice in Caracas and other large cities, while the Colombian peso dominates along the Colombian border, particularly in the regional city of San Cristobal. The Brazilian real is current along the southern border with Brazil and the euro and cryptocurrencies have also found niche uses.

What is wonderfully surprising is the spontaneous emergence of a pure gold currency in a remote region of southeastern Venezuela around the towns of Tumeremo and El Callao. The region abounds with precious metal ores and has a long history of luring prospectors and miners seeking their fortunes. Today, however, many of the larger mines are controlled by the government military, which is battling local gangs and guerillas.

Despite the violence and lawlessness, jobless Venezuelans from far and wide are flooding into the area to work in thriving illegal mines in exchange for payment in gold nuggets. As a result, gold flakes, which are peeled off raw nuggets with hand tools, have become the currency of choice in the region with prices for commodities and services quoted in grams of gold. Half a gold gram buys you a one-night stay in a local hotel, while a meal for two at a Chinese restaurant and a haircut will cost you a quarter of a gram and an eighth of a gram, respectively.

The gold flakes are carried in people’s pockets—usually wrapped in the nearly worthless bolivar notes. While some shops are equipped with scales to weigh the gold flakes, most sellers and their customers have become so familiar with the flakes that they evaluate them by sight. For example, the barber and his customer who transacted for the haircut agreed that three gold flakes equaled the one-eighth gram price (approximately $5.00). Gold is also starting to penetrate the nearby cities, such as the regional capital Ciudad Bolivar, as stores in shopping malls gladly accept the gold in exchange for dollars from miners who are seeking to cash out.

For gold to become a full-blown currency that can viably compete with depreciating dollars and other foreign currencies, the raw nuggets need to be minted into convenient shapes and sizes and their weight and fineness certified by reputable firms. This means that any legal barriers to private mints must be eliminated. In addition, sales and capital gains taxes on gold must be abolished. Since it is highly unlikely that these measures will be implemented by the Maduro government, we can only cheer on the inroads made by the people’s gold flake currency.

It’s not the senile moron in the White House. It’s the puppetmasters who are pulling his strings.


Bidenomics’ Build Back Better Blunder

Swedish socialist economist Assar Lindbeck is semi-famous for saying that “in many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city – except for bombing.”

It’s becoming clearer that one of the most efficient ways to destroy the U.S. economy, outside of bombing the country, is to put Joe Biden in the White House.

Economic growth in the third quarter was a meager 2%, the Commerce Department reported Thursday, the most feeble increase of the pandemic recovery. Some economists had forecast a gain closer to 3%, leaving many disappointed. As the Asia Times accurately summed it up, the U.S. “economy ground to a halt.”

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GDP Misses as US Economy Grows Only 2% in Q3, Weakest Growth Since COVID Struck

See the source image

With the Atlanta Fed cutting its GDPNow estimate to just 0.2% yesterday…

… there were big worries that today the BEA could reveal a shocker of a number, one far below the rapidly falling consensus estimate of 2.6%. Well, the Q3 GDP number just came out and it was bad, but not nearly as bad as it could have been: at 2.0%, it did indeed miss the 2.6% consensus by a lot but it could have been far worse.

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BLUF:
On the rare occasions that he comes to the cameras to deliver remarks, most often he finishes speaking, turns around abruptly, and returns to the recesses of the White House.

It’s an apt image presented by an administration that is usually very concerned about visuals and symbolism.

Biden is leaving the lasting impression that, as he does to members of the press, he is simply turning his back on the American people.

Biden on Energy Crisis: Begging Others to Save Him From Himself.

President Joe Biden is drowning in a sea of crises of his own creation, and Americans are the ones who are paying the price.

There’s an ongoing humanitarian and national security calamity at the southern border.

Thirteen U.S. service members are dead, and an unknown number of our citizens remain stranded in Afghanistan following Biden’s disastrous withdrawal.

COVID-19 is still rampant, despite Biden’s promises that he would defeat the virus, while his vaccine mandate has divided the country.

Americans are not taking the millions of jobs available and the economy is stalled, as many have chosen the option of being paid by the government to stay home instead of working.

Biden’s administration failed to identify the growing supply chain disruption, which did not occur overnight and threatens to further strangle the economy. Labor shortages are a contributing factor, including a lack of truck drivers to help unload ships and transport goods (see the above point about workers not accepting available jobs).

And energy prices continue to rise, helping to drive mounting inflation and hurting Americans—especially those with moderate or low incomes—at a time when the economy should be hitting its stride coming out of the pandemic lockdowns.

It is on the costs of energy where Biden’s failures are most starkly visible.

On his very first day in office, Biden scrapped the Keystone XL pipeline, killing 11,000 jobs in the process and making good on his campaign promise to be hostile to the fossil fuel industry.

Continuing his assault on natural resource development, Biden suspended oil and natural gas leases in Alaska.

Former President Donald Trump had propelled America to energy independence, but Biden has purposely squandered it. His policies are designed to reduce domestic production of petroleum, meaning we have become necessarily more reliant on foreign sources.

Biden’s approach has been an economic disaster.

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Comment O’ The Day

“It is interesting that the group that claimed Trump was an instrument of Russia are actually putting people in power that believe the completely failed economic system of the Soviet Union should inspire what we do in the US.”


Biden Comptroller pick Saule Omarova refuses to turn over Moscow State University thesis on Marxism
Sen. Pat Toomey claimed Omarova removed the thesis from her recent CV

President Biden’s pick for Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is facing a hard fight over her past comments and studies as she refuses to turn over her thesis on Marxism while a student at Moscow State University.

Saule Omarova was born in the Soviet Union in what is now called Kazakhstan and graduated from Moscow State University in 1989. She has pointed to the USSR’s practices as recently as 2019, when she tweeted about the gender pay gap, citing the USSR as a better model.

U.S. Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey, R-Pa., last week asked Omarova to turn over a copy of her thesis – in both English and the original Russian – for review by the committee no later than Oct. 13. Her thesis, titled “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital,” remains an item of interest to some members on the committee.

Saule Omarova

Ms. Saule T. Omarova, Professor of Law and Director, Jack Clarke Program on the Law and Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets, Cornell University.

“While it appears that you have deleted any reference to your thesis in the version of your curriculum vitae (CV) that is currently available on the Cornell Law School website, the paper appeared on your CV as recently as April 2017,” Toomey wrote on Oct. 6.

Omarova had not complied with the request as of Thursday, Oct. 14, a spokesperson for Senate Banking Committee Republicans claimed.

“Ms. Omarova has time to attack Republicans in an interview with the Financial Times, but she can’t bother to comply with a Banking Committee requirement that nominees— regardless of their political party or ideology—submit copies of their writings,” said Amanda Gonzalez Thompson. “We certainly hope she reconsiders so Senators have the information necessary to fulfill their constitutional duty to advise and consent on appointments.”

Thompson argued that such requests are a common part of the vetting process, and other candidates have faced similar requests from committees in the past.

Omarova spoke with the Financial Times in an interview published Thursday in which she claimed that Republicans find her an easy target to “demonize” because she is “an immigrant, a woman, a minority.”

“There is definitely a different standard applied to someone like me,” Omarova said. She asserted that she believes some of the criticism leveled against her is racist in nature.

Toomey stated in no uncertain terms during a committee hearing last week that he does not believe her country of origin factors into consideration for her nomination.

“I also pointed out that some of the most wonderful, loyal, and greatest Americans that I’ve ever met are Americans who happen to have been born and raised behind the Iron Curtain and come to this country,” Toomey said. “That fact of her background has no bearing whatsoever on my judgement about how profoundly misguided the policies she has advocated are and it is perfectly appropriate for us to examine those policies.”

Republicans have targeted past comments by Omarova in which she praised the USSR economic model, citing it as an example of a system that the U.S. should look to for inspiration.

“Until I came to the U.S., I couldn’t imagine that things like gender pay gap still existed in today’s world,” Omarova wrote. “Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always ‘know best.’”

A number of officials have written to voice opposition to Omarova’s nomination, pointing to other comments she has made in which she laid out her intention to reshape “the basic architecture and dynamics of modern finance.”

Omarova did not respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

 

Nothing is Real: A Visual Journey Through Market Absurdity

When it comes to modern markets, risk assets and the now normalized yet twisted tango of fiscal and monetary policy gone wild, it’s safe (rather than sensational) to simply confess that nothing is real.

As I recently watched BTC drop by 16% in one hour from $50K to $43K, only to reach back up to $46K in 20 minutes, my 20+ years of Wall Street experience watched with bemused yet experienced awe at what amounted to just another day of leverage, emotion and institutionalized front-running as the big money whales in crypto pulled off yet another media and SEC-ignored pump-dump-and-pump trade.

In short, the unreal has simply become business as usual.

Real Education vs. Surreal Facts

By 1997, I had graduated from a steady, iconic and expensive list of higher educational institutions which emphasized critical thinking, objective data, historical context and basic math.

But had I told a single professor back then that one day we’d see the simultaneous occurrence of Treasury Yields at 1.35%, and

Negative treasury yields occur when nothing is real in the economy.

….an “official” YoY CPI (inflation) growth rate of 5.4%, and

Inflation is soaring.

…an S&P reaching all-time highs above 4000,

Traders announce "Nothing is real!" as equity valuations repeatedly hit record levels.

…despite negative annual GDP rates, and

GDP is falling

… consumer sentiment tanking,

Consumer sentiments tank as consumers catch on that nothing is real.

… it’s likely they’d ask me to return my diplomas.

Why?

Because everything I (and all the rest of us) had been taught long ago was that rising risk assets reflect healthy economic growth, vigorous natural demand and a robust confidence in continued productivity and hence free-market price discovery.

That, at least, was the “reality” that nine years of secondary (post high-school) education gave me before I began my first toe-dip into the public exchanges (i.e., asset bubbles) of 1999.

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One more indication that SloJoe is merely a meatpuppet.


Biden Is Nominating Soviet-Trained Radicals Now

Presidentish Joe Biden wants to put an actual Communist — self-proclaimed “radical” Cornell University law school professor Saule Omarova — in charge of the nation’s banking system.

Omarova graduated from the Soviet Union’s Moscow State University in 1989 on the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship, according to the Wall Street Journal. As recently as 2019, she was still praising the USSR’s economic system as in some ways superior to our own. “Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always ‘know best.’”

As a matter of fact, I will say what I will about the old USSR.

Teachers there were paid the same as doctors — because medicine was considered “women’s work” and both were paid crap numbers of worthless rubles. Sexism and central mismanagement, all in one murderously totalitarian package.

There’s a reason the USSR is defunct and the U.S. isn’t — at least until Omarova gets her way.

Omarova’s goal is the eventual elimination of private banking and the establishment of the Federal Reserve as the nation’s only bank.

In her own words:

“The core idea here is simply to allow all U.S. citizens and lawful residents, local governments, non-banking firms and non-business entities to open transactional accounts directly with the Federal Reserve, thus bypassing private depository institutions,” she wrote. “In this sense, it is a variation on the familiar FedAccounts — or FedCoin, ‘digital dollar wallets,’ etc. — theme. In principle, FedAccounts can be made available as an alternative to bank deposit accounts, upon a person’s request.”

Omarova herself wrote that her proposal is “deliberately radical in scope and substance.”

Indeed. Or as Kristin Tate wrote for The Hill on Wednesday:

Taken to its extreme, this would mean that the Federal Reserve, acting on behalf of Washington, could become the only place citizens could deposit their money. Such a massive transformation would be accomplished by replacing consumer deposits into a new digital dollar, held by the Fed.

Nationalized banking with, if I’m reading this correctly, nothing but a centrally-controlled digital currency for legal tender — what could go wrong?

The top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry, said of her last week:

I am concerned Professor Omarova will prioritize a progressive social agenda over the core mission of the OCC — supervising and managing risk in our financial system. Our financial regulators must focus on pro-growth policies that foster innovation to build a robust and inclusive economic recovery, rather than Democrats’ obsession with vague social objectives.

True, although I wonder what’s so “vague” about Omarova’s objectives.

Nominating Omarova to serve as Comptroller of the Currency, as Biden has done, is worse than putting the inmates in charge of the asylum. It’s more like putting a convicted arsonist in charge of the Forest Service.

There’s just no making up anything so absurd, and in Biden’s America, you don’t have to.

Bitcoin Crashes After China Rules All Crypto-Related Transactions Illegal

The People’s Bank of China revived its tough stance on digital currencies on Friday, ruling all crypto-related trading activities illegal and banning overseas crypto exchanges from providing services to mainland investors.

The regulator announced plans to bar financial institutions, payment companies and internet firms from facilitating cryptocurrency trading, as well as to strengthen monitoring of risks from such activities.

“Overseas virtual currency exchanges that use the internet to offer services to domestic residents is also considered illegal financial activity,” the PBOC said in a Q&A posted to its website.

Financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions cannot offer services to activities and operations related to virtual currencies,” the central bank said.

The move sent bitcoin and other virtual currencies plummeting. The world’s number one digital asset by market capitalization dropped over 5% to below $42,000. Other cryptocurrencies followed the declining trend with ether dropping 10% to below $2,800, while dogecoin crashed over 8% to below $0.20, according to the Coinmarketcap website.

The latest ruling comes as part of a broader state-run campaign by Chinese regulators against cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, Beijing banned mining in major bitcoin hubs, such as Sichuan, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, which led to a sharp drop in bitcoin’s processing power, as multiple miners took their equipment offline.