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How to Set the Economy on Fire: Trump’s Financial Arsonists


How to Set the Economy on Fire: Trump’s Financial Arsonists

Nomi Prins

There’s been lots of fire and fury around Washington lately, including a brief government shutdown. In Donald Trump’s White House, you can hardly keep up with the ongoing brouhahas from North Korea to Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation, while it already feels like ages since the celebratory mood over the vast corporate tax cuts Congress passed last year. But don’t be fooled: none of that is as important as what’s missing from the picture. Like a disease, in the nation’s capital it’s often what you can’t see that will, in the end, hurt you most.


Prins’ article is the true state of the union…a kleptocracy where the too-big-to-fail banks (TBTF) that controlled 25% of US bank assets when they crashed the economy in 2008 now control more than 50%, with recently added decriminalization (disguised as deregulation and tax reform) greasing the rails to accelerate their ascent to monopoly. Chase is among the TBTF banks.

The next TBTF bank - caused crash will require bailouts far exceeding the 20 something trillion dollars in various bailout schemes that Congress put US taxpayers on the hook for after the 2008 crash. That is why December’s Inequality Exacerbation Act (IEA) cuts Medicare by $25 billion this year and $400 billion during the next decade. Those cuts, combined with Paul Ryan’s upcoming cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other “domestic programs” will provide some of the funding for the upcoming bailouts Prins delineates.


I refuse to play nice anymore…this did not start with Trump. “Bail-ins” were legalized during the Obama administration. The “Duopoly” are both Fascist parties.



The American economy is characterized by giddy rises and abysmal crashes, and has been since the beginning. Let’s face it: when a society’s values are rooted in materialism and avarice, the game will always be who gets the most now and who pays later. It’s like watching a bad movie about organized crime getting away with the most abhorrent crimes, and being forgiven by their cronies, over and over again. Unfortunately there is no way to really prepare to survive this.


Bollocks- There is a very simple way - Change the monetary system.


I don’t understand macro-economics any more than quantum physics, but before the last crash it was obvious even to me something was out of whack. Homes and properties began selling for preposterously inflated prices to borrowers who couldn’t possibly complete their variable rate mortgages. The whole stock market was awash in funny money. My wife and I talked about this often months before it actually crashed. Right before the end when all the profit-crazed traders realized there was no there, there, they tried to continue their profit-taking by reckless speculations of food commodities. By the time you see that though, it’s too late to avoid the thud.


It’s a dismal science, economics is, but watch out, change gonna come, for good or ill.


But make sure you keep your eye on the Russia hoax. Or maybe the Iranians are swimming across the oceans with knives in their teeth. No look, North Korea, North Korea.
I want to tell you something. It was in late 2009, maybe early 2010, after doing a lot of reading about the bailouts, big finance,etc. that I stood in my kitchen and said to one of my last childhood friends "Hey man, there’s nothing to be loyal to anymore in this so called country. It’s not a country, it’s a racket."
I’ve felt the same ever since. It is both the R’s and D’s. They go the same elite schools, shmooz with the same money men (yeah, they are still mostly men) and self interest is their only interest. The rest is pure theater. We get the fear mongering, they get the loot.
Thank you Nomi Prins.



I understood the ‘08 crash aftermath as a ‘bailout" (the TBTF banks were given FED loans through treasury bonds i.e. QE), but a “bail in” is taking depositors money to pay the bank’s debt…if one reads the fine print in your bank/brokerage brochure they hold ownership of your deposits in your name. It’s their property to survive the next bankruptcy crisis if they choose.
The Counter Punch article should be another wake up call, like Prins’ and Hedges’ et al.




If you haven’t already watched the documentary " Inside Job", (I don’t remember the director), explains for the economically challenged, (like me), exactly what happened in the last melt down, and how they did it. Watch it.
I found it on DVD at my local library.
Sadly all of the elements are in place for another.


Obama could have done way better-----but I am sick of people covering for Trump—Its a year in–he has most of the people he wants in place, his policies are in place like the tax cut. So from here out it is Trumps economy. And really with all this money being handed to the private sector things should take off. But if one is paying attention it is clear that Trump is CLUELESS. The guy probably spends most of the day looking in the mirror telling himself how great he is.

I don’t think there will be a crash anytime soon—but the divide between rich and poor is going to grow with most of us being poor.

People need to understand that they are the owners–SUPPORT THE COMMONS.

There was an interesting discussion on DN today about what causes depression—and it came down to not having meaning in life—and jobs that are meaningless.


The mega banks have to be broken up. They need more stringent regulations and an oversight body removed from government and industry. We are headed for an even bigger catastrophe that the last one without any more safeguards in place than there is now. Get your 401lk’s and 403b’s out of the over inflated market before its too late. Buy bonds, they’re much safer in turbulent times.


I say just living in a capitalist empire is enough pathology for depression to take root. It sure has for me anyway.


Sure would be nice if Trump’s job creation numbers were better.
But more jobs were created in 5 of the 6 years before he became President.

Or if there were meaningful wage increases.
In 2017 they were anemic.


As horrendous and criminally irresponsible Obama and the Democrats have been, Trump and the GOP lead the pack when it comes to taking more, much more, out of Americans’ right pockets compared to what they put into Americans’ left pockets. Ye’ old Red, White and Blue redistribution of wealth taken to new heights of vulgarity, while masked behind those amorphous economic ‘bubbles’. Taking the GDP as the key barometer for success is akin to conflating revenues with profits. Increases in cancer rates can increase the GDP. It’s pure charlatanism. But that’s all Trump lap dogs have to go with. However they can switch to the old/new Dems for a few days a month where they can pretend to be human, as the new/old Dems deceive themselves to be, before returning to the dark ages.

Not hard to see why the Great Human Experiment is teetering.


Isn’t there one big difference between what is happening currently and what has occurred in past financial cycles? I’m referring to the need to create an internationally unified financial commitment to mitigate and adapt to the economic stress that will occur as climate tipping points create a no going back scenario (to the perpetual 2% or more annual growth hypothesis of the fossil fuel based economy). Planned transition to more equitable sources of energy for the entire global population should provide a political stability that fossil fuel economies don’t provide in the rush to get all fossil fuel out of the ground to avoid the stranding of those assets by the fossil fuel invested interests. This is producing an accompanying rush to income inequality that will require an increasingly large restructuring of economies and government to rectify. We already see that democratic principles in the US and globally are on the decline as income disparity increases. Democratic government is always challenged when international war scenarios create universal fear perpetuated by a hyper-active media that is essentially too uninformed and too driven by their need to sell sensational news to give us the fact based analysis that might protect democracy and allow a consciousness of equitable sustainable paths of economic development to grow. The international war that is being prepared for now is seen in the rapidly narrowing feasible number of paths to make the transition to a massively reduced carbon consumption based world economy. This isn’t a religious transition to the Garden of Eden. It’s simply and only a rational compassion centered transition that is needed to minimize future suffering what could be on the order of a billion humans in 20 or 30 years if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase in a business as usual scenario. We know that a failure in the ability of our agricultural systems to feed a projected population of 9 billion is in our future from the work of reputable agroeconomists due to rising water crises as climate change melts the storehouses of agricultural water resources in the glaciers and snows of the Himalayas and as droughts accompanying erratic weather in a changed climate grow in severity world wide. Agriculturalists do not agree on the best alternatives to boost current food production to feed the world of the future but they do agree that the gains that can be made are not as large as will be needed to feed a planet that will produced 9 to 10 billion humans unless the habits of those humans become much less wasteful and much more vegetarian. I am interested in this thought experiment because I want to focus on a middle way rather than either extreme approach. I do not imagine a transition to some idyllic world in which poverty is eliminated or to a world where technology provides plenty to 9 billion. I do imagine a world that does not deny the right of everyone to have a shot at health and some prosperity but that world is hugely unlikely when it is governed by politicos like we know suffer in the US.


Yes, every boom and crash is different, but every one has been rooted within the framework of predatory capitalism and so-called “free markets.” Take, for example, the “panic” of 1873, the “panic” of 1893, the great depression, Black Monday (1987) etc…looking at the underlying causes, it’s always been speculation on some commodity (ies) and trying to get rich without working. The whole system is like Swiss cheese: full of holes through which rats of every size can slip.
I like your ideas, and I know there are solutions out there.