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Creeping Fascism

Fake Conflict: Fed Criticizes Big Banks

by John Rubino on November 8, 2013 · 16 comments

Yesterday, Federal Reserve official William Dudley had some harsh words for Wall Street banks, sort of calling them criminals, among other things: New York Fed Chief Levels Explosive Charge Against Big BanksThe head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Thursday that some of America’s largest financial institutions appear to lack respect for […]

Too Big To Even Name

by John Rubino on October 20, 2013 · 19 comments

With the announcement that JP Morgan Chase will pay a $13 billion fine for past crimes against its customers – while the bankers who actually committed the crimes will remain not only unprosecuted but unnamed – a lot of people are wondering how it is that crimes worthy of billions in restitution don’t rate a […]

They’re Coming For Your Savings

by John Rubino on October 12, 2013 · 26 comments

Another of history’s many lessons is that governments under pressure become thieves. And today’s governments are under a lot of pressure. Before we look at the coming wave of asset confiscations, let’s stroll through some notable episodes of the past, just to make the point that government theft of private wealth is actually pretty common. […]

Did Wall Street Miss A Bribe Payment?

by John Rubino on July 30, 2013 · 15 comments

It’s hard to know which aspect of today’s world future historians will find most appalling. But the fact that during the greatest financial crime spree ever, not a single major Wall Street executive has gone to jail has to rank right up there. Yes, the occasional insider trader and Ponzi scheme operator is prosecuted, but […]

Creeping Fascism, Part 4: Preserving Privacy

by John Rubino on June 18, 2013 · 3 comments

Every day, it seems, there’s another story about the web of surveillance that’s being woven around us by governments and telecom firms and hackers. Between the webcams and DVRs that can be activated remotely to watch us at our desks or in front of our TVs, the warrantless wiretaps that vacuum up millions of phone […]

It’s becoming easier every day to accept the miraculous as normal: GPS systems that somehow know exactly where you are and give you precise directions in the language of your choice (mine does this in a classy female British accent, though my kids once almost killed us by switching it to Chinese in an unfamiliar […]

As Trust Evaporates…

by John Rubino on April 27, 2013 · 27 comments

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi has once again put the world’s major hard news organizations to shame by describing, in comprehensible terms, the pervasive corruption at the heart of the financial system. Below are his concluding paragraphs from a much larger article that everyone with money at risk in a bank, brokerage account or business should […]

Money In The Bank? No Thanks

by John Rubino on March 22, 2013 · 23 comments

In Niall Ferguson’s Civilization: The West and the Rest, he presents a list of institutional arrangements that turned a bunch of ignorant, “malodorous” Europeans into the world’s dominant culture in the space of a couple of centuries. One of those institutional arrangements was property rights. That is, when something is yours it’s yours, not the king’s or […]

Creeping Fascism, Part 2: Great Fraudulent Beast

by John Rubino on February 24, 2013 · 2 comments

In Charles Mann’s 1491, about the (surprisingly big and diverse) cultures that existed in the Americas before the arrival of smallpox, he offers this: “The celebrated anthropologist Clifford Geertz has half-jokingly suggested that all states can be parceled into four types: pluralist, in which the state is seen by its people as having moral legitimacy; […]

Fiat Currency and the Emerging Police State

by John Rubino on October 14, 2012 · 32 comments

Our transition from more-or-less free country to police state is accelerating. The NSA’s Utah data mining facility, ever-tighter restrictions on offshore accounts, the Internet “kill switch”, the Patriot Act’s many assaults on the Bill of Rights, the militarization of local police, the spread of drones for domestic surveillance; each has a role in the high-tech […]


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