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Covid Is Toppling America’s “Points of Failure” Dominoes

Charles Hugh Smith
December 8th, 2020
Of Two Minds Blog
Comments (9)

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog.

Sorry Fed, it’s too late. The dominoes are already toppling, and every point of failure is being exploited by the catalyzing effects of Covid.

America’s many points of failureleverage points where a break brings down the entire system–are falling like dominoes, a process catalyzed by Covid. These systemic points of failure have been masked for the past 20 years by the widespread distribution of trillions of dollars, either printed or borrowed.

There’s no point of failure that can’t be glued together or covered up a bit longer with fountains of cash. That’s the American way of solving problems: just throw more money at it.

Unfortunately for America, substituting borrowed trillions for real problem-solving generates its own set of problems, problems that increase the system’s vulnerability to collapse. Healthcare / sick care is a leading example of this: as the corruption, pay-to-play, and profiteering deepened, the federal government’s endless borrowed trillions boosted healthcare / sick care from 5% of the nation’s economy to roughly 20% today.

Covid Is Revealing the Cancerous Underbelly of U.S. Healthcare.

As I’ve noted for a decade, this has created an enormous fragility: healthcare is now so immense that it will bankrupt the nation all by itself. (see charts below) Once the corrupt, pay-to-play, profiteering sectors such as healthcare and banking become “too big to fail,” then the Federal Reserve and Treasury are obliged to bail them out or continue funding their spiraling-out-of-control demands.

Speaking of “too big to fail,” look at the voracious monster the Fed’s endless monetary goosing has incentivized–a financial system addicted to Fed “free money,” soaring debt, accelerating leverage, and near-infinite speculation.

Given that the Fed has effectively promised to backstop all of Wall Street’s bets, bailout every major player and never let the stock market falter for longer than three weeks, the Fed has created this incentive structure: there is no risk at all in borrowing billions, leveraging it into tens of billions and then dumping these multiplying billions into the most speculative bets available.

And so that’s what every fund manager, hedge funder, punter, gambler, and guru has done, and been richly rewarded for doing so.

There’s just one tiny little second-order consequence of the Fed’s incentivizing debt, leverage and speculation: wealth and income inequality have reached such extremes that they’ve unraveled the social order. Social cohesion: gone. The social contract: shredded. Social disorder: in the first inning of a very long game.

Now the Fed is backtracking while it laughingly claims its policies didn’t have anything to do with America’s skyrocketing wealth/income inequality. That the Fed is well aware of the destructive consequences of its endless quantitative easing is evidenced by their recent proposals (FedNow) to start sending “free money” directly to households via a new system of household accounts at the Fed. (Look for an initial rollout by 2022.)

Sorry Fed, it’s too late. The dominoes are already toppling, and every point of failure is being exploited by the catalyzing effects of Covid, either first-order or second-order effects. Every weak point–corruption, incompetence, bureaucratic sclerosis, self-serving insiders, counterproductive complexity, regulatory thickets, clinging to the past, and most especially doing more of what’s failed spectacularly–will give way, bringing down existing systems with a momentum that will surprise all those who thought every system in America was rock-solid and forever.

Two words will define 2021: acceleration and amplitude. The catalyzing effects will accelerate throughout all the interconnected systems like wildfire and the consequences will move rapidly from linear (predictable) to non-linear (geometric, unpredictable) as each weakness is amplified by the self-reinforcing dynamics unleashed as every point of failure triggers another failure in a connected system.

If you still believe that America’s systemic points of failure are endlessly sustainable, please study these four charts and extend the trendlines.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

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    Author: Charles Hugh Smith
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    Date: December 8th, 2020
    Website: https://www.oftwominds.com/

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    1. James says:

      At least they cheated and got Biden in as President, when he institutes his policies and the economy collapses, Democrats will get the well deserved blame. It should be the end of the Democratic party as we know it.

      • cranerigger says:

        James, the rightful “blame” should go to the fiscally irresponsible Demonrats. Biden represents them as much as anyone.

        The problem for me is ONE PARTY RULE if the Demonrats get away with the 2020 Presidential election CHEAT. The “woke” crowd will not tolerate other ideas. That places many of us in a wartime position.

    2. Bill says:

      Example of how the State (which is now the deep State) does not represent the people of the US: large-scale fraudulent elections, grossly corrupt gov’t and grossly corrupt politicians are the rule – not the exception, official policies conducive to sending jobs overseas, official policies that are allowing the unbelievable hyper concentration of wealth, and allowing neo-cons to formulate foreign policy and war-making that are not in the interests of the American people. How about all the lying “elites” and their minions who commit crimes against the State and against the people of the US, yet never pay for their crimes, a clear example of the operating two-tier system of justice in this country. How about the typical rules for thee but not for me policy the “elites” operate by. Pres. Reagan’s intel director once stated that intel’s job was successful when everything the American people believe was false. Or Dems. stating they will reopen the borders and allow and even facilitate mass illegal immigration – in contravention of the will of the American people. Or the continuous chipping away of our rights – especially our 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 10th Amendment rights by legislators and the courts. The list is endless.
      WE, THE CITIZENS, DO NOT HAVE A GOV’T OF, BY, OR FOR THE PEOPLE. THEREFORE, WE HAVE NO OBLIGATION TO COOPERATE, OBEY, OR RENDER LOYALTY TO THE NATIONAL STATE AND ITS GOV’T.

    3. The problem is with all this talk about secession(not the HBO series) as a preferred course of action ,opposed to a subsequential course of action is that those who have a serious desire for secession would have voted for Biden.

      The Nader Effect

      Ralph Nader quote:

      When asked which of the two he’d vote for if forced, Nader answered “Bush … If you want the parties to diverge from one another, have Bush win.”[54] As to whether he would feel regret if he caused Gore’s defeat, Nader replied “I would not—not at all. I’d rather have a provocateur than an anesthetizer in the White House.”[55] 

      :end quote

      On the surface Trump is the provocateur…. if not for the fact he’s all tweet.
      Biden? …Now there’s a Revolutionary train wreck waiting to happen.

      I’m not saying that Trump didn’t render Biden a right old beat down but there might be unexpected peculiarities in some areas.
      Anomalies? NO

    4. Confederate Bill says:

      Missouri and Louisiana have joined Texas in taking the election fight to the Supreme Court to challenge the fraudulent election results. These states cannot stand by and allow this fraudulent election to stand that will usher in authoritarianism, over-reaching policies and political decisions, statism, etc. that will negatively affect the interests of their states and are counter to the will of their people. Several other states have signaled they will join. But why stop there – why not secession? Secession is the only thing that has shown to really get the government’s attention. This thing needs to be linked to other issues, stirred up, and amplified in a huge way across the country so that it is rendered unsolvable.
      Know this, the deep State is waiting for the day they can arrest you for not wearing a mask, for not allowing them to inject you with something, for saying something wrong, for demanding your rights.

    5. Steven Quinn says:

      The solution to the healthcare crisis that will bankrupt the nation is a change from what can be called “conventional medicine” to functional medicine that prevents health problems from occurring, and addresses their source when they do occur rather than what conventional medicine does – which is primarily suppress symptoms with expensive patented drugs.

      See the book Unconventional Medicine by Chris Kresser for more about this. We don’t have to have an overwhelming avalanche of chronic degenerative diseases that are caused by bad nutrition and lifestyle choices, and that conventional medicine doesn’t have real solutions to.

    6. Anonymous says:

      The dweebs, wonks, and welfare statists of the 80’s became our incompetent administrators and diploma mill doctors, for the worst year in recent memory. None of these present-day, so-called elite can be explained in terms of natural law, which would have been fine by me.

    7. Darth Skippy says:

      The dweebs, wonks, and welfare statists of the 80’s became our incompetent administrators and diploma mill doctors, for the worst year in recent memory. None of these present-day, so-called elite can be explained in terms of natural law, which would have been fine by me.

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