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Thermidor en Ventose

By Owen Paine on Thursday March 11, 2010 08:09 AM

March is Independent Fed month!

This month back in '51, the blatantly bright-eyed anal-looking briefcase thief pictured above freed our Fed from the Truman treasury department, after 9 harrowing years of institutional captivity, just as many of our brave boys in Korea were entering Chicom captivity.

Clio takes with one hand as she gives with the other, no?

At any rate, brainwashing seems to work in both directions. Here's one way -- the classical way, the Red Menace way. Before washing:

[Image unavailable]

After washing:

And here's another way -- the Fed's freedom-to-turkeyrope way. Before washing:

After washing:

To read about this glorious silk-hat liberation struggle, maybe start here. In brief: the Fed had its policy rate ceilinged, for nearly a decade, at a level often well below inflation. The clamp was placed originally in 42-43 just as Uncle, resorting to extraordinary measures, exploded his deficits to win the war.

The same clamp -- prolonged by diabolical Treasury forces -- helped win the postwar peace too, as the economy barreled ahead in unprecedentedly broad and bottom-elevating strike-infested fashion.

With help like this pinned rate, obviously the size of our war-induced federal paper debt mountain shrank nicely, as the postwar years of stiff -- in part, wage-driven -- price level updrafts roared away.

March, '51 -- like mighty badger Milhous closing the gold window in August '71

-- one of the really big invisible ink landmarks in the great American class struggle.

Comments (12)


You deserve a comment.

(BTW, you give a lot of homework and that keeps your comment count down.)

Those handsomely dressed post-washing 3D watchers could be the same people -- the males anyway -- as the pre-washing Ford strikers. What does that say about economic progress? Hidden of course is the immigrant work force and the black underclass of the 3D era. Might those hidden ones have been on strike during the first showing of The Creature Walks Among Us? Or did the co-opting of the Ford gang into the middle also doom economically effective orglabor?

There is genius built into this system. Makes me wonder if only something like AGW could defeat it.

Feel free to ignore this comment.

sometimes, or maybe most times, op's posts remind me of the posts by Art James at Chris Floyd's. in each instance the writer is communicating something, but I'm not sure what it is. I see the words, I know their general meaning, but when they are assembled as given, I lose the gist of the communication.

pre-washing? post-washing? what is all that about? washing? washing with what? what's being washed? brains? tally sheets? is the tabula being e-rasa-ed?

op's posts give me the impression that he is a dweller within a land of one citizen. his language speaks to that land and its populace. I am ashamed to say I need a translator since I don't seem to have ever been to the land.

probably it's my 4th-tier college and 3d-tier law school that are to blame. they don't teach highbrow stuff at such places. I'm generally in "up periscope!" mode with op's posts. I can't even tell when he's being funny. usually this is me:



"I can't even tell when he's being funny."


if this has a point it is to be a pointer

the events leading up to march '51
and the "sprininging " of the fed by wall street forces from treasury department control
are key moments in the american class struggle
the interval from vj day 45
to march 51 was a period of intense class struggle and advances for the huge white kulack wing
of the wage class

btw the blacks at ford were instrumental in organizing the place

old henry had been the only car maker to higher them in large numbers and place them in "better " jobs
he did it to resist unionism as much as anything else
and only when the cio started working in detroits black community did this turn around

there was a brief piece on this at people's world recently
no time to find and link
but it helped open my eyes
or is it re open

op, help me out here:

so you're suggesting that the end of the war-based coffer-fattening glee of World War 2, it gave rise to an urge to have a more free-wheeling robber-baron capitalism with unbridled profiteering? and this is why the Fed was untethered?

how does that connect to workers at FoMoCo? you're suggesting they understood the significance of unfettering the Fed, and thus went on strike?

I'm a little lost here. those of us who didn't grow up in a house with 5 generations of Ivy League geniuses as forebears, we don't understand the subtle implication-laden communiques, implications that depend heavily on dinner table conversation regarding the role of the Fed in daily life.

so I'm wondering how the FoMoCo strike figures here. best I can figure as a blue collar bumpkin myself, a strike in the 50s would be organized by people who needed to herd pawns and peons, and thereby increase their own prestige in the bargain. one might even see it as the ascendancy of the power of Unions as new money vehicles for the Mafia.

if one were a blue collar bumpkin skeptic, that is.

Part II:

but here's the part I **do** understand, op -- the role of Time Magazine in creating "experts" who should be "listened to" and "followed" by the grasping, social-climbing readers of Time and Newsweek and LIFE and National Geographic and... Popular Mechanics!

for the post-WW2 baby booming blue collar bumpkins going to college on the GI Bill and trying to "improve their station," so to speak, mass communication of gross disinformation is a critical social molding tool.

worshiping the Fed's new boy Massuh Martin, that's practically mandated by his appearance on the cover of Time magazine. I get that bit.


I grew up in a steel town in the '50's. About every third year my father had to pack up his air mattress and move into the plant (a middle manager) while the "bumpkins" struck. Many of them went fishing while dear old dad helped keep the plant warm, literally. We all learned that the strike was a pointless exercise that lost business for the company and hurt everyone because the lost production could never be recaptured.

Well, things run smoother now. The plant locally employs workers by the dozens instead of the tens of thousands. The company has expanded into Bratislava, Slovakia and much of the retained profit was magically turned into an oil company about 30 years ago. This skips over a lot of other issues, e.g. the air is cleaner over slag-town than it was in my youth.

Sure, there were blue collar types who didn't like the union but many of these people died in nice houses out by the Galleria and far away from the smoke. Their kids graduated from college without huge debts. But the strikes were wasteful. Unh hunh.

Nope. IMO the unions were a countervailing force to the corporations in a class war that has been won by the elites. Sadly.

Despite the criminal element and class betrayal in our labor history, the country is poorer societally without a strong labor movement.

Casey, if I wanted you to badly misinterpret my post, I would have left an open call for moronic pot-shotters who don't know jack shit about me. And I don't recall doing that. Surely there's no proof of it in my posts above.

You got that strawman building and destroying thing down though, I'll give you that much.


I have noticed that CF repeatedly disapproves of anyone pretending to knowledge of him on the basis of his posts. I find this beyond strange. CF, to me at any rate, is his posts. It is CF, the poster not the person, to whom I and others respond.

In this instance the prod was CF's:
"a strike in the 50s would be organized by people who needed to herd pawns and peons, and thereby increase their own prestige in the bargain. one might even see it as the ascendancy of the power of Unions as new money vehicles for the Mafia"

CF said it and I said what I said. Have a pleasant Sunday, CF.


Correction: It is CF, the posts not the person, to whom I and others respond.

Casey, how stupid do you assume readers are? You first mis-state my sentiments, ascribe to me sentiments I don't hold. Then when I call you on that, you switch to quoting me and then misrepresenting what the quote says. Then you say you're just responding to the quote. How dull you are, how inept your argument, how pointless your posts.

Please tell me where I suggested

...the strikes were wasteful.


Please tell me where I suggested that I or anyone in my family fit this mold

Sure, there were blue collar types who didn't like the union but many of these people died in nice houses out by the Galleria and far away from the smoke.

Please tell me how you can suggest these sideways snarks about me, without knowing a damned thing about me.



CF is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma, spawned by a family of space aliens about whom nothing is or can be known or predicated with any assurance. Just like everyone else, everywhere and always.

CF is an electronic character string occasionally directed to the web pages of stopmebeforeivoteagain.org.

CF appears as a sardonic janitor in box-man attire on his own website. He approves (or disapproves) of tough girl types like Holly Ballou, about whom nothing is or can be known etc.

CF abuses anyone who touches his posts with anything other than upturned thumbs and Rodney Dangerfield finger circles.

CF (apparently) regards direct quotation as misrepresentation.

Lest there be any further misunderstanding, I invite any reader not already bored by the hackysack, to read or reread the two CF posts beginning at 11:20AM on the 13th to see if the portion of the first, quoted in response to the first of CF's abuse-posts, is so decontextualized as to constitute a "misrepresentation".


"so you're suggesting that the end of the war-based coffer-fattening glee of World War 2, it gave rise to an urge to have a more free-wheeling robber-baron capitalism with unbridled profiteering? and this is why the Fed was untethered?"

no not in the least
the economy of the 46-51 period couldn't be more unlike the golden gold standard era
of the robber barons

the credit mechanism
in a manner impossible on the classic gold standard
was held at open throttle
from 46 to 51
allowing the class struggle to express itself thru the price system
and levels of employment
to remain robust thru periods of idiotic truman era fiscal conservatism
--helped mightily by the marshall plan
et al extra ordinaire credit flows
that so nicely boosted
exports of course --
now the on set of the kold war boom after the
north koreans crossed the 38th parallel in june 50 coincides with this return of the fed to full time wall street control

ie from then on trhe fed could be used to mange inflation
by "producing" unemployment thru the credit drought system
"manage" the export dollar's value by...producing unemployment
thru ..the credit drought system

the fed became a very insular star chamber again
like the SOTUS
only one run by a maximum leader etiquette
the chairman enters the board room with a majority and comes out always with an overwhelming majority

not quite
a pope of credit
more a doge of credit in the end
where the league of fearless oligarchs
are up there on wall street
--collective coaching one might call it
but where the collective uber soul
is sending the plays in to the fed huddle
on every down ----
btw the over praised marriner eccles was yanked out of his chair
in the late 40's
basically for representing
the " pre mature tightening "lobby

now the narrative shows its complexity and contradiction

but suffice this:

the irregular sturm und drang credit boom of the truman years was nicely tamed in the eisenhower 50's
whilst we built roads and war fleets

yes the pentagon production machine
took back the role
"new dealers" created for it
in the early 40's
as fabulous keynesian giant
err half giant in the sequel

nothing can compare to the GI pantagruel
of WW II

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Thursday March 11, 2010 08:09 AM.

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