Why Has Classical Capitalism Devolved Into Crony-Capitalism, by Charles Hugh Smith

In this article, Why Has Classical Capitalism Devolved Into Crony-Capitalism, Charles Hugh Smith, (oftowminds.com) makes the point that the Elites, consisting of ; people in Government and central bankers, lesser institutions that are closest in orbit around Government and central banks, and organizations and individuals who are orbiting these lesser institutions, think the economy will eventually “heal itself” even after all they have stolen through zero percent interest rates, electronically printed counterfeit money, and Government debt. These three legs of theft are, quoting CHS, “crippling the market’s self-healing immune system: Price discovery. Thanks to ceaseless interventions by central banks, the price discovery mechanism has been shattered: want to know the price of risk? It’s near-zero. Yield on sovereign bonds? Near-zero. And so on. Prices have been so distorted (the ultimate goal of Central Planning everywhere, from China to the EU to Japan to the U.S.) that the illusion of stability is impossible without more intervention.”

Here are his six factors of how, “...free market capitalism becomes state-cartel crony-capitalism, a Ponzi scheme of epic proportion...”

1. “Those who control most of the wealth are willing to risk systemic collapse to retain their privileges and wealth. Due to humanity’s virtuosity with rationalization, those at the top always find ways to justify policies that maintain their dominance and downplay the distortions the policies generate. This as true in China as it is in the U.S.”

2. “Short-term thinking: if we fudge the numbers, lower interest rates, etc. today, we (politicians, policy-makers, money managers, etc.) will avoid being sacked tomorrow. The longer term consequences of these politically expedient policies are ignored.”

3. “Legitimate capital accumulation has become more difficult and risky than buying political favors. Global competition and the exhaustion of developed-world consumers has made it difficult to reap outsized profits from legitimate enterprise. In terms of return-on-investment (ROI), buying political favors is far lower risk and generates much higher returns than expanding production or risking investment in R&D.”

4. “The centralization of state/central bank power has increased the leverage of political contributions/lobbying. The greater the concentration of power, the more attractive it is to sociopaths and those seeking to buy state subsidies, sweetheart contracts, protection from competition, etc.”

5. “Any legitimate reform will require dismantling crony-capitalist/state-cartel arrangements. Since that would hurt those at the top of the wealth/power pyramid, reform is politically impossible.”

6. “Understood in this light, it’s clear that central bank monetary policy—zero-interest rates, asset purchases, cheap credit to banks and financiers, QE, etc.—is designed to paper over the structural problems that require real reform.”

 

CHARLES HUGH SMITH INTERVIEW

If you want to hear an interesting and in-depth explanation about the rise of crony capitalism, listening to Charles Hugh Smith’s interview with Gordon T. Long would be well worth your time ( it also has some great graphs and diagrams).

Related ArticleCentral Bank Monetary Policy Enables Us To Put Off Real Reforms, by Charles Hugh Smith, at oftwominds.com.

Related ArticleIs There Capitalism After Cronyism?, by Charles Hugh Smith, at oftwominds.com.

 

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