People often ask whether I am concerned about inflation, deflation, peak oil, or a global financial meltdown. My answer is as follows.

The future is something to be created, rather than feared. Allocating our time, networks, and resources to deal with a variety of high-risk scenarios frees us to become proactive and to build positive futures instead of negative ones. I like to understand what these scenarios mean in terms of managing risk and to know how we can succeed within all possible futures.

But my business is investment, not prophecy.

The risk scenario I weight most heavily is not listed above. I call it the “Slow Burn.”

The “slow burn” is a political culture and economy managed through principles of economic warfare in which insiders systematically protect themselves and centralize control and ownership of resources by using:

  • Central banks
  • Currency and lending systems
  • Taxation
  • Regulatory and enforcement policies
  • Controlled media and entertainment

Insiders use these means to drain the time, resources, and life of people on the outside. Although insider cartels compete and jockey for power, they are able to settle their squabbles by increasing control and draining everyone and everything else. This is why the bubble economy continues to deplete the real economy. It is likely the reason why Dick Cheney said, “Deficits don’t matter.”

In a slow burn scenario, it is possible to prop up trillions of dollars in financial asset values by systematically arranging subsidies that ultimately liquidate life. This is what “managing” markets really means: de-populating people and places to maintain phony values created and necessitated by derivative bets.

The reason why it is difficult for sophisticated financial people to discern that a slow burn is taking place is because we have not yet collectively mastered the operational detail of how it is implemented. This is an extremely important subject.

One of the most important aspects of the Paulson Plan to re-engineer US financial regulation is the assertion of complete control of payment systems by the Federal Reserve and gaining access to the data of essentially any financial institution. Combined with 1) the ability to print money and 2) digital communication payment and surveillance technology (satellite), this will consolidate greater power into fewer hands than at any time in recorded history.

As Nicholas Negroponte said, “In a digital age, data about money is worth more than money.”

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