When a political system authorizes plunder and when a moral code encourages it, moral degeneration follows swiftly after.

Monthly Market Commentary: June 1, 2016

Montesquieu opined already in the 18th century that, “There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.”

The economist Jeffrey Sachs, recently penned an article entitled, The age of impunity. Sachs explains that, “Impunity means that the rich and powerful escape from punishment even when their malfeasance is in full view. Impunity is epidemic in America. The rich and powerful get away with their heists in broad daylight.”

Dubious practices, fraud and embezzlement are common during financial bubbles, which are usually created by central banks’ loose monetary policies and by a poor supervision of the financial sector.

Currently, there is a wide gap between GAAP earnings and “adjusted” earnings, which are usually reported to investors. In the first quarter of 2016, according to FactSet, the companies in the DJIA that "adjusted" their earnings inflated them on average by 28.9% over their earnings under GAAP.... According to Wolf Richter, “no one wants to see it. Instead, everyone wants to believe the sweet fairy tale spun by Wall Street and Corporate America.” Richter calls this phenomenon, “Consensual Hallucination.”

The Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung opined that, “The wickedness of others becomes our own wickedness because it kindles something evil in our own hearts.”

The flood of money that central banks are creating pollutes the Western capitalistic system and free markets, as well as democracy. The consequences are anemic economic growth, deep social discontent, a culture of cheating, and moral degeneration. At the same time, “the bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding bureaucracy” (Oscar Wilde). Hardly a recipe for sustainable economic growth and rising standards of living. 

With kind regards
Yours sincerely
Marc Faber 

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