The Knee-Jerk Ban Mentality

I came across this today:

Elon Musk says cars will eventually be banned

Immensely successful tech icon Elon Musk sells cars as CEO of Tesla Motors, but he envisions a future in which the drivable cars of today are ultimately banned from roads. “It’s too dangerous,” Musk said to Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at the CPU Technology Conference yesterday. “You can’t have a person driving a two-ton death machine.”

Musk, as you might expect, sees self-driving cars as the way of the future, but what of the couple billion traditional vehicles already out on the road? He says it’ll take at least 20 years to move people over to self-driving cars, if only because the current output of the automotive industry is about 100 million cars per year.

Although Musk has shared his concerns over A.I. in the past, he doesn’t see the same issue with driverless cars. “I don’t think we have to worry about autonomous cars, because that’s sort of like a narrow form of A.I,” he explains, likening the process to programming the first elevator back when. Still, we imagine some Tesla owners might grimace at his words after buying one of his pricey “death machines.”

It’s a good example of what seems to be an endemic knee-jerk ban mentality. You can’t just let something gradually fall out of use as it’s replaced by something better. No, you have to call what’s being replaced a “death machine”, and have it banned.

I don’t remember horses being banned when cars appeared. But, if cars were appearing these days, there’d be calls to ban horses: “Half-ton kiddie-tramplers with tiny minds of their own, and a nasty habit of leaving their droppings everywhere.”

I’m quite sure that when enough people have become fully vegetarian, meat will be banned. People will complain about the “stench” of roast beef. Studies will show that meat is carcinogenic (there probably already are such “studies”). Meat-eaters will be reviled, fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes.

Of course, Elon Musk will probably want ordinary cars banned in order to force people to buy his self-drive cars – much like pharma companies want tobacco and e-cigarettes banned to force people to use their “safer” nicotine products. And what ends up getting banned may simply depend on how many politicians can be bought to push the bans through – which skews the odds in favour of big companies with lots of money.

In fact, I imagine that it’ll be Musk’s self-drive cars which will turn out  to be the “killing machines”. Because driving a car sometimes requires real intelligence, when some unusual situation crops up. I can imagine self-drive cars would be quite good in many normal situations. But would they be able to correct a spin that starts on black ice? Or gauge the depth of a flooded road ahead? Or see the missing span in the bridge in front?

It’s all top-down control, as usual. You don’t let products compete on markets. You decide in advance what the future is going to be like, and you ban anything that doesn’t fit into The Plan. And inevitably this kind of state control will result in good products getting banned in favour of bad ones, and the quality of everything will gradually decline.

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About Frank Davis

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55 Responses to The Knee-Jerk Ban Mentality

  1. Frank Davis says:

    Related story:

    The link between high fashion, body image and eating disorders on French catwalks may lead to a ban on super-skinny models.

    France’s government is likely to back a bill being discussed in Paris banning excessively thin fashion models as well as potentially fining the modelling agency or fashion house that hires them and sending their agents to jail, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on Monday.

    • Sounds more like the socialists in France are ready to tax or fine anything just to get a buck………..

      • nisakiman says:

        Naah, Harley, it’ll be pressure from the wimmin’s groups, most of whom are probably fat and ugly and jealous of the slender waifs who grace the pages of ‘Vogue’ and the like.

        • As RUSH calls em NAGS or FEMINAZIS……………

        • beobrigitte says:

          Nisakiman, would you be interested to learn that bulimia is a pre-requisite for becoming a slender waif who graces the pages of ‘Vogue’?

          Would this be of INTEREST to you – after all, you get to see what you like to see.

          And, no, I have no time for bans on skinny models. I want common sense back.

    • beobrigitte says:

      The link between high fashion, body image and eating disorders on French catwalks may lead to a ban on super-skinny models.

      Well, this link between high fashion and body image whoa-hey! Skinny is ‘healthy’, isn’t it? After all, there is an obesity ‘epidemic’ to fight!!!

      And now they want to ban size 6 models? But…. but…. but… NO type 2 diabetes; no heart attacks!!! AND all the oh-so-georgeous-clothes that no-one will ever wear in public.

      In the meantime – there are the youngsters who take the healthists propaganda VERY seriously. They cave in and count calories; the less they eat, the sooner will they reach a size 12. Unfortunately the healthists have no data of the side effects of their health propaganda and how quickly a stomach ulcer develops. And when that gives way it leaves grieving parents.

  2. Reinhold says:

    And inevitably this kind of state control will result in good products getting banned in favour of bad ones

    A simple term comes to mind.

    Light bulb.

  3. Quite funny for here in ky. we have amish driving buggys an wagons everywhere even on the hiways and that’s still over 100 years after cars hit the road……….tesla doesn’t realize his electric car trash isn’t feasible in todays world unless your within walking distance of work already,Id just buy a horse over an electric car after all it can drive itself already and knows its way home everytime.

    • castello2 says:

      They don’t call it korntucky for nuthin. Edverybody wants a tesla here in califrisco :) We just need to kill a few rainforests for the lithium and shit.

      • Korn is best used fer makin kornlicker…………….

        • Don’t forget Calinutcases haven’t built a new power generating station in what 40 years or longer and obamas EPA is forcing 19 coalfired power plants to shutdown by years end. That means the loss of grid power will cause roving brown outs nationwide……..

          So if Frisco progressives cant charge their teslas at home or work what was the sence in it to begin with. It still takes electricity made in one form or another to meet demand,but they don’t seem smart enough to figure that Duh moment out……….then down in Nashville TV is always showing one or more electric cars laying dead on the interstate blocking traffic………..its really a technology of limited use.

        • The problem is a solar cell cant provide enuf power to do much of anything. If you consider how many acres of solar cells itd take to run a home or charge a car battery its not going to meet the needs at a rational price to begin with. While a cup of oil would likely produce 5 kw of power by itself. Nothing can be as efficient as oil or gas. Unless you want a glow in the dark nuke plant!

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    Stand by for more bans! The millionaire ban proponents Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates are funding a global anti tobacco initiative: “Bill Gates, Bloomberg launch anti-tobacco industry fund,” http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/666049-bill-gates-bloomberg-launch-anti-tobacco-industry-fund.html . This will likely fuel the move toward bans especially in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. This is overt top-down manipulation of politics and the masses.

    Today, Oceanside, CA banned smoking patios. While in NOLA, Harrahs casino is starting an initiative to overturn the smoking ban in the casino: “Harrah’s seeks exemption from smoking ban, says city could lose millions,” http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/politics/11883333-123/harrahs-seeks-exemption-from-smoking . The move to reverse the casino ban is a good step toward repealing the entire ban.

    • I think Harrahs means they are moving to the state for total excemptions from local bans,same as what happened in West Virginia basically a preemption law,samething is or seems to be happening in Texas after the governor attacked local authorities outlawing things they have no business outlawing or controlling.

  5. John Watson says:

    Cars that drive themselves eh? Not a good idea! While some aircraft can now fly themselves, even land themselves they still require pilots to input information, monitor the systems or take control if something untoward happens. Indeed a large number of pilots prefer “hands on” landings and the few airports with automated landing systems still close during severe weather conditions. The same caveats would hold true for automated cars and I am not certain that drivers would fully trust such a system.

    Smoking Lamp, I may be mistaken but don’t some casino’s in Nevada and Atlantic City still have smoking areas? If so wouldn’t NOLA be aware especially as Atlantic City is a mere few hours flying time from them? Granted Nevada is a far greater distance but they have customers from all over the world and flying in from La is still relatively cheap and sustainable.

    • AC might have one casino left open out of nine,I believe they’ve all shut down now. NJ basically became a total state of prohibition. Why bother Trump told jersey officials what would happen to the casino business 7 years ago if they kept it up………….

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Both Nevada and Atlantic City still have smoking in casinos; in Nevada bars still have smoking too…

  6. Rose says:

    Interesting price comparison from South Africa, I didn’t know that James 1st’s rise in tobacco tax in 1604 was equal to the cost of 84 pounds of best beef.

    Smoking is a habit not even the Nazis could end

    “EARLIER this year, the Free Market Foundation made a request under the Promotion of Access to Information Act to explore the Department of Health’s funding of antitobacco research. The aim was to establish whether Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi was involved in a self-validating and self-reinforcing campaign against smoking. It turns out that the National Council Against Smoking is a government-supported and taxpayer-funded body masquerading as a private think-tank.

    The antismoking lobby has an ancient pedigree. In 1604, King James described tobacco smoke as “the horrible smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse”, referring to the smoke of hell itself. He raised the excise on a pound of tobacco to an exorbitant six shillings and eight pence — equivalent at the time to the price of 36 gallons of good beer or 84 pounds of the best beef.”
    http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/2015/03/19/smoking-is-a-habit-not-even-the-nazis-could-end

    • Rose I posted the same below,thats what happens when I didn’t refresh the page from lastnite…………lol

    • nisakiman says:

      For all the posturing from TC about making smoking history, and various countries saying that they will be totally ‘smoke-free by 2030’ or whenever, the reality is that tobacco consumption is rising inexorably:

      http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/global-cigarette-consumption-number-of-smokers-climbing/

      Try as they may, and lie about it as they will, Tobacco Control will never stop people smoking. There are a limited number of gullible and easily indoctrinated in the world, and I think they’ve got to most of them by now. For all Gates’ and Bloomberg’s recently announced millions, they’re into the stage of diminishing returns now.

      • John Edwards received a cool 36 million for his part as a lawyer in the MSA agreement and they think a lawyers gonna do anything for a lousy 4 mill………….lmao

      • beobrigitte says:

        For all Gates’ and Bloomberg’s recently announced millions, they’re into the stage of diminishing returns now.

        Indeed, I did read something about $4 million – and I have wondered about howmuch this money could SAVE THE LIVES OF MORE WESTAFRICAN PEOPLE when the Ebola epidemic survivers have to deal with the famine to come. The ones working the fields were ill and most of them died. Who brought in the harvest?
        I believe Bill Gates has graciously donated $450 000 to the Ebola affected people. No idea what Bloomberg gave. If he did at all.
        I guess, it’s so much less hassle and so much more pleasing to “save-lives” when dead people exist only on tobacco control funded ‘research’.

  7. wobbler2012 says:

    Plus he’s talking complete poppycock about removing them in 20 years, that’s simply never going to happen. You may at a push get a small country to manage it but what about China, India and the USA? It’s almost as crazy a notion as eradicating smoking by 2040, people should not take these fools seriously.

    • Wobbler they indeed are insane. In fact they keep moving their goal posts and Id bet if we had a real smoker rate study with out fear of smokers being tagged we would find the rates of smoking are actually 10-15% higher than whats being reported by ASH or CDC.

  8. Smoking is a habit not even the Nazis could end

    EARLIER this year, the Free Market Foundation made a request under the Promotion of Access to Information Act to explore the Department of Health’s funding of antitobacco research. The aim was to establish whether Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi was involved in a self-validating and self-reinforcing campaign against smoking. It turns out that the National Council Against Smoking is a government-supported and taxpayer-funded body masquerading as a private think-tank.

    The antismoking lobby has an ancient pedigree. In 1604, King James described tobacco smoke as “the horrible smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse”, referring to the smoke of hell itself. He raised the excise on a pound of tobacco to an exorbitant six shillings and eight pence — equivalent at the time to the price of 36 gallons of good beer or 84 pounds of the best beef.

    Such was his hatred of tobacco smoke, the philosopher Jeremy Bentham would later use the king’s antitobacco tirades as an example of hatred “run wild”. King James was described at the time as “the wisest fool in Christendom — wise in small things, but a fool in weighty things”. The lesson from this episode is that the British tobacco tax collapsed due to a surge in tobacco smuggling.

    Due to Motsoaledi’s petty-minded attitude and lobbying for ill-considered tobacco taxes, smuggling now accounts for more than 40% of all tobacco consumed in SA.

    Bentham would go on to develop the principle by which every action could be evaluated against the calculus of pleasure and pain, which became the building blocks of his utilitarian philosophy of individual freedom; the separation of church and state; freedom of expression; equal rights for women; the right to divorce; the decriminalisation of homosexuality; the abolition of slavery, the death penalty and corporal punishment; the recognition of animal rights; the basis of welfare economics; and the freedom to smoke.

    The lesson from utilitarian philosophy is that “nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think.”

    But for the apogee of hatred, as usual we need to look to the evils of Nazi Germany, where Adolf Hitler’s personal distaste for tobacco led to an early national-socialistic fascination with racial hygiene, bodily purity and reproductive health. Starting in 1933, the campaign included smoking bans on trams, buses and city trains, health education, limiting cigarette rations in the military, organising medical lectures for soldiers, raising the tobacco tax, restrictions on tobacco advertising, and restrictions on smoking in public spaces and restaurants.

    The lesson to be drawn from Nazi health policies is that the regulations were completely ignored. To Hitler’s frustration, Joseph Goebbels, Eva Braun and countless others smoked openly and publicly. The policies were also completely ineffective. From 1933 to 37 the rate of smoking increased faster even than in neighbouring France, where there was no antitobacco movement.

    Given the above, it is surprising that the official opposition, the Democratic Alliance, scored Motsoaledi six out of 10 in last year’s rankings of Cabinet ministers.

    Unfortunately, all of this is a ruse to divert attention from the valid problems in government healthcare: R317bn to be spent on public hospitals and “clinics” that largely dispense aspirins and cough medicines irrespective of medical diagnosis; R146bn spent on healthcare with disastrous outcomes; R19.3bn spent on National Health Insurance pilots that are failing; and spending on Ebola quarantine facilities — with not a single reported case — while tuberculosis, the fourth leading cause of death in SA, is underfunded.

    Motsoaledi and the lobbies that surround him are a menace and must be stopped.

    • Sharp is an economist with the Free Market Foundation.
    http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/2015/03/19/smoking-is-a-habit-not-even-the-nazis-could-end

  9. Letters
    UK smoking ban in outdoor spaces

    We don’t need an “evidence base” for a smoking ban in outdoor spaces
    BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1442 (Published 18 March 2015)
    Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1442

    http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h1442

  10. roobeedoo2 says:

    Don’t know about anyone else, but name ‘Elon Musk’ makes me wrinkle my nose …

    • Smoking Scot says:

      @ roobeedoo2

      An interesting phenomenon our Musk, coming from nowhere to make his initial fortune through paypal. Now he’s running supplies to the space station. Wiki tells me he’s worth in the region of $12 billion. Not at all bad for a 40 something.

      The recent rout of oil prices has hit all firms in the alternative energy space and his Tesla’s have seen a substantial fall in sales. They’re extremely expensive though – by all accounts – they’re very good cars in their own right.

      Today he came up with a terribly clever notion to save drivers the hassle of range anxiety

      http://www.thestreet.com/story/13084414/1/heres-how-tesla-elon-musk-want-to-end-range-anxiety-live-blog.html

      and that sent shares in his company downwards.

      His ideas are good, however he’s like a lot of people with their own agenda, he thinks his solution is best and, as Frank pointed out, should be adopted by all.

      The hassle with electric cars is they’re horribly inefficient, especially in places like the UK where our power is still generated primarily by fossil fuels and of course nuclear. Their only advantage is they cause no atmospheric pollution at their point of use. In reality all they’re doing is moving the problem elsewhere.

      And their batteries cost lots to produce and that too causes horrid levels of pollution, but that’s all swept under the carpet in our leaders rush to be seen to be doing something, even if what they’re actually doing is sweet naff all.

      Today’s electric are – in my opinion – like mobile phones in the 80’s. Muckle great cumbersome things reserved for those with pots of cash, or paid for by the company.

      Because ordinary Joe Soap knows this, they depreciate drastically, with the Nissan Leaf retaining about 25% of its value after just 3 years of ownership!! To the best of my knowledge no other car comes close to that level of depreciation – even the much reviled Chevy Spark.

      So to an extent Musk has an uphill battle and yes he’d just love it if he could get legislation passed to make us buy his buggies. After all any CEO who sees nearly 33% wiped off the value of his company in a very strong bull market is bound to panic!

      https://www.google.com.cy/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=tesla%20share%20price%20chart

      Tough meeting shareholders with that lot looming in the background!

      However his personal life is a wee bit of a mess. Married her, divorced, remarried and divorced again in January this year.

      telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11320885/Billionaire-Elon-Musk-divorces-wife-for-second-time.html

      (broke www. bit on account of the 3 rule)

      Methinks it’s got to do with access to his five children, and she’s a sort of integral accessory.

      As I’m an observer of someone currently going through a marriage meltdown, also associated with a crashed business venture, I’d be inclined to veer toward the view that Mr. Musk’s under a huge amount of pressure!

      Largely self inflicted, but there nonetheless.

      But I agree with you, however I wrinkle my nose because of the very fishy smell.

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        I smell fish too, SS, barbecued, defo some kind of cooking ;)

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        Do you know much about cars, Smoking Scot? I hear there’s a vacancy on ‘Top Gear’. I’d watch ya!

        • Smoking Scot says:

          You take Captain Slow (James May), age him a tad, them multiply his encyclopedic knowledge of triva by a factor of 12.

          Guaranteed you wouldn’t, save to cringe in utter boredom.

          And don’t get me started on scooters. They I really like!

        • roobeedoo2 says:

          Damn! You sure know how to make yourself sound attractive to a girl ;)

          Actually, fuck the BBC – we’ll have our own ‘Top Gear’ – you get the part, Capt Slow by a factor of 12 <3

      • nisakiman says:

        The whole thing about ‘green’ energy tends to ignore the inescapable fact that you never, ever get something for nothing. It’s a basic law of physics. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So they think that wind power is free. And it may seem so, for now. But every windmill they have out there, driven by the wind takes energy away from the wind. Just as pumping oil depletes the reserves. It’s not an infinite resource. Ok, the number of windmills is paltry at the moment, and doesn’t impact on the movement of air around the globe, but the amount of power harvested is paltry also. It can never be a serious source of power without seriously affecting the airstreams. And as you say, SS, all electric cars do are to move the problem elsewhere. The electricity still has to be generated.

        There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. When resources run out here on Earth, hopefully they will have found a way to exploit the resources further afield. But exploit, they will have to do.

        • beobrigitte says:

          The whole thing about ‘green’ energy tends to ignore the inescapable fact that you never, ever get something for nothing.

          I, too, am amazed at the shortsightedness of our ‘Green Energy’ promoters.
          Windmills. In order to get them half way efficient, we destroy China’s natural people’s and wildlife habitat.
          http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/big-winds-dirty-little-secret-rare-earth-minerals/
          Then it comes to the storage of this meagre ‘gained green’ energy: LITHIUM BATTERIES. Lithium isn’t exactly abundant on our planet.

          Then, the tide as a means to drive turbines…. How many habitats is the ‘Green Energy’ Lobby prepared to call ‘collateral damage’ in order to “save the planet”?

          If anyone comes across the perpetuum mobile let me know.

  11. Sound familiar……………..

    E-cigs use a battery-powered electric combustion system to put the nicotine and other additives into a vapor that is inhaled, resulting in extremely efficient delivery of nicotine. The vapor is not water; it is usually a liquid from the glycol family of chemicals, which are similar to antifreeze products.

    http://www.grandforksherald.com/opinion/op-ed-columns/3703211-eric-johnson-no-data-prove-e-cigs-reduce-smoking

    Fact:
    The primary ingredient of concern to those who wish to see e-cigarettes banned is the propylene glycol vapor, which has been studied for over 70 years.

    I recently came across a document titled, “Reregistration Eligibility Decision For Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol“, which was created by the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    Propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol were first registered in 1950 and 1959, respectively, by the FDA for use in hospitals as air disinfectants. (page 4, paragraph 1).

    In a previous post, I had shared the summary of research that had been done in 1942 by Dr. Robertson regarding the antibacterial properties of vaporized propylene glycol, but I had never heard that the FDA wound up approving it for the purpose of an air disinfectant in hospitals.

    Indoor Non-Food: Propylene glycol is used on the following use sites: air treatment (eating establishments, hospital, commercial, institutional, household, bathroom, transportational facilities); medical premises and equipment, commercial, institutional and industrial premises and equipment; (page 6, paragraph 2)

    Just amazing ehh! To bad the story has no comments…………….

  12. After Pillaging Pensions, Greece Raids Utilities To Repay Troika; Bonds Plunge As Bank Run Accelerates
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/19/2015 – 08:02

    The new Greek government, instead of seriously contemplating a Plan B outside of the Eurozone, was busy thinking of new ways to raid its own population just to repay the “loathed” Troika. In the latest sad indication of just how truly insolvent Greece is, Reuters also reported that days after raiding its own Pension funds to repay the IMF (which in turn lent the cash to Ukraine so it could repay Ukraine’s obligations to Gazprom and thus Putin), the Syriza government is now raiding the major state utility firms to lend the government cash through short-term repo transactions as it scrambles to avoid running out of cash.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-19/after-pillaging-pensions-greece-raids-utilities-repay-troika-bonds-plunge-bank-run-a

  13. garyk30 says:

    ‘Self-Drive’ cars will get a lot of protests from the Alcohol Control crowd.

    There being no drunk drivers would deprive them of their ‘Alcohol Kills’ mantra.

    Big threat to their jobs and political power.

  14. When the shit gets so deep its up to their necks in lies

    Health advocates: Tobacco industry makes $7,000 for each smoking-related death

    6.3 million died from smoking-related illnesses in 2013

    http://thegazette.com/subject/news/health-advocates-tobacco-industry-makes-7000-for-each-smoking-related-death-20150319

  15. Slippery slope? Nah!
    The new Tobacco Atlas, published by the World Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society, was unveiled at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health this week.

    There is a striking image on page 80.
    http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2015/03/slippery-slope-nah.html#disqus_thread

  16. The global Titanic isn’t going to make port as well

    Greece is Just the Tip of the Iceberg for the $100 Trillion Bond Bubble | Zero Hedge

    This is why the Greek debt crisis continues without end. The minute Greek bondholders have to take a…

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-18/greece-just-tip-iceberg-100-trillion-bond-bubble

    ECB Prepares For Grexit, Anticipates 95% Loss On Greek Debt | Zero Hedge

    Dear Greek readers: the writing is now on the wall, and it is in very clear 48-point, double bold, and underlined font: when the ECB “leaks” that it is modelling a Grexit, something Draghi lied about over and over in 2012 and directly in our face too, take it seriously, because it is time to start p…

  17. It appears all the big countries and even the lil guys are all devaluing their currencies big time right this minute and going for a Chinese valuation or some such shit. But its appearing the SHTF time is here………..

    • Greece, as a country, represents 2% of Europe’s GDP. The country lied in its financial to enter the EU. Since that time, it’s been officially bankrupt since 2010.

      The country has since gone through a series of “bailouts” and experienced a 25% collapse in GDP (roughly equivalent to what Argentina experienced in its 2001 implosion).

      And yet, despite all the bailouts and claims that Greece was “fixed,” the country is set to default on some of its debt this Friday.

      How on earth does this farce continue? How can Greece be broke FIVE years after it was first allegedly “fixed”?

      The answer is very simple. Greece was never fixed. The Greek bailout was about getting money to German and French banks, many of which would go broke if Greece defaulted on its debts.

      This story has been completely ignored in the media. But if you read between the lines, you will begin to understand what really happened during the previous Greek bailouts.

      Remember:

      1) Before the second Greek bailout, the ECB swapped out all of its Greek sovereign bonds for new bonds that would not take a haircut.

      2) Some 80% of the bailout money went to EU banks that were Greek bondholders, not the Greek economy.

      Regarding #1, going into the second Greek bailout, the ECB had been allowing European nations and banks to dump sovereign bonds onto its balance sheet in exchange for cash. This occurred via two schemes called LTRO 1 and LTRO 2 which happened in December 2011 and February 2012 respectively. Collectively, these moves resulted in EU financial entities and nations dumping over €1 trillion in sovereign bonds onto the ECB’s balance sheet.

      Quite a bit of this was Greek debt as everyone in Europe knew that Greece was totally bankrupt.

      So, when the ECB swapped out its Greek bonds for new bonds that would not take a haircut during the second Greek bailout, the ECB was making sure that the Greek bonds on its balance sheet remained untouchable and as a result could still stand as high grade collateral for the banks that had lent them to the ECB.

      So the ECB effectively allowed those banks that had dumped Greek sovereign bonds onto its balance sheet to avoid taking a loss… and not have to put up new collateral on their trade portfolios.

      Which brings us to the other issue surrounding the second Greek bailout: the fact that 80% of the money went to EU banks that were Greek bondholders instead of the Greek economy.

      Here again, the issue was about giving money to the banks that were using Greek bonds as collateral, to insure that they had enough capital on hand.

      Piecing this together, it’s clear that the Greek situation actually had nothing to do with helping Greece. Forget about Greece’s debt issues, or protests, or even the political decisions… the real story was that the bailouts were all about insuring that the EU banks that were using Greek bonds as collateral were kept whole by any means possible.

      Thus, the Greek situation is really all about one thing: the BOND BUBBLE… specifically the fact that sovereign bonds are posted as collateral for derivative trades by the big banks.

      The ECB doesn’t care about Greece. If it did, this problem would have been resolved five years ago by simply kicking Greece out of the EU until it regained its financial footing.

      And in fact, the whole issue is not even about Greece… the reality is that SPAIN, ITALY, and ultimately even FRANCE are in or approaching similar financial straits as Greece.

      At that point you’re talking about well over $3 TRILLION in sovereign debt, which is likely posted as collateral on well over $100 trillion in derivatives trades

      The ECB and every other Central Banker/ political leader in the EU knows that what happens with Greece will serve as the template for the much larger, unmanageable problems for Spain, Italy, and ultimately France down the road.

      This is why the Greek debt crisis continues without end. The minute Greek bondholders have to take a REAL haircut, the wheels come off the EU.

      That day is approaching. And it will change the investment landscape for the entire globe as the $100 trillion bond bubble finally blows up… triggering a chain-reaction in the $551 trillion derivatives market.

      If you’ve yet to take action to prepare for the second round of the financial crisis, we offer a FREE investment report Financial Crisis “Round Two” Survival Guide that outlines easy, simple to follow strategies you can use to not only protect your portfolio from a market downturn, but actually produce profits.

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