Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Value Extraction Cure

In looking at the financial crisis upon us I can't stop reading about how the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

And then everyone dives right on into the horror anyway.

"U-u-um, y-y-y-yeah, I'm not afraid-nn-nn-duhduhduh lions and tigers and bears oh my."

All kinds of neat solutions are spit out by World operatives and inhabitants alike, all prefaced by the standard "Here's what really needs to happen," and all falling into one of two categories: (a) a rehashed way to do oppressive World-directed law enforcement--not a bad thing for those who like being whacked by the law, or (b) some foolish idiocy spit out by someone seeking attention.

I've written dozens of times that the only cure to the malady is Jesus Christ. It's not just me saying this. It's flat what it is.

The problem is He not the wuss Jesus Christ most people think about, the guy who's just another one of the religious club gods people like to hang on the wall. This is not the effete weinie glowing in church and a fairy tale to all the "serious" economists and scholars who rely on science and reason and really meaningful erudition to fix things.

I'm talking about Almighty God come in the flesh to rescue men from their own harrowing wickedness, especially that smothered in the most erudite-sounding spittle.

But that's all fine and dandy--"Nothing new there" a lot of people would blap. The question they ask is what is it about this ethereal superbeing that would help us now, here, on earth? So what's the real tangible answer to the problem?

It is simple. He merely expects us--and wholly empowers us--to treat one another the same way He treats us.

With self-giving love.

No, not everyone does that. Especially when the Guy who gets us to do that is thought to be a fairy tale. "Yeah I like Jesus and all but I can love others myself. Now get outta my face so I can get more more more from my 401(k)..."

Sigh. So many people don't love even in the face of them shouting that they do, so many thinking only of themselves in the face of abject fear without a thought about this pointless Jesus fellow. You'll hear this a lot from them: "Hey everyone, if we say there's a lot of fear then maybe we'll know so much about it being there that we won't fear anymore--brilliant idea, huh?"

Millions of Christians do the same thing, being firmly moored to the World through their World contracts and showing their impotency by having no clue about what's really going on with the world's finances and its benighted value assessment, and off they go joining all the other chickens stumbling around with their heads cut off.

If people just valued things the way God does, if we loved others the way He asks us to, the way He moves us to do if we'd just sincerely ask Him--if we loved another with the highest greatest compassion--then we'd have 100 times what the World has. Oh, yeah, you forget so soon. Look there in Mark chapter 10, there in the middle there.

100 times.

What would happen, practically, tangibly, authentically? There'd be a pool of capital available that would dwarf any $700 billion bailout, any $3 trillion federal budget, any $13 trillion yearly U.S. gross domestic product, or even any $250 trillion world asset value.

Christians all around will say, "Ooo, uh-huh, I know about this Jesus."

Then why don't you do what He says.

Why won't you get out of your Catholicist ratholes and off your asses and do missions like they did in the old days, ungrafted to the World. Why won't you stop mindlessly handing over the immense value of your gifts to Caesar or the Wall Street wolves, who just pour it into more and more human sacrifice.

The thing that is so mind-blowing is how simple it really is. If there is a severe lack of credit, it means a whole bunch of people don't trust a whole bunch of other people. Why is that? If you say you believe in God, don't you trust that He will provide gobs and gobs of what you really want? And that this will spill into the lives of others who, I'd think, would also want gobs and gobs of everything they'd ever want?

If on the other hand, you have to check in with Caesar every time you step out to do something, don't you see this is telling everyone "Don't trust me for I need powerful government to keep me clean!" If the law and the banks and the state-churches all supersede Christ's rule over your affairs, then what is Christ for? And why would anyone believe you if you said you knew Him?

When Jesus returns, will He find faith on earth?

It is the answer to that question that's the most frightening thought of all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Reality of Value Enhancement

Today economics columnist Robert Samuelson wrote a piece called "The Engine of Mayhem." In some ways it was one of those typical "This is really what the problem is" pieces, yet Samuelson has a way of plainly elucidating what happens in markets.

He brought up a novel term for the wild misassessment of value going on out there right now. It is appropriate to flesh this out especially on a day when the Dow got the biggest bounce in history, jumping over 900 points, an 11% increase. This exuberance doesn't mean everything's fine, it actually means everything is just as unstable.

Samuelson's term was deleveraging, the practice of too quick a call for capital instead of debt. He concludes by pointing out that the financial system in place now is "inherently fragile" and what is needed is one with "firmer foundations."

What this means most plainly is this.

People are realizing that a whole lot of powerful financial people have lied about how well they assess value. The fluctuating market is simply the barometer for how much everyone can take stock in the answer to the question, "Can I trust you?"

Of course everyone and his cat have been saying "Oh, we must trust one another again." Blah blah blah. What is never asked is how the answer can be considered trustworthy.

World inhabitants can only say, "Wull, we'll just try really really hard to make good value assessments." They'll also turn to the government to rein them in and say, "Look! Government regulation! That's gotta be good!" And a whole lotta people buy it. Sort of.

How about this answer to the "Can I trust you?" question:

Yes. Yes indeed you may trust me, because I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Because He loved me by dying for me, I know I can love you. Because he has given me the Kingdom and all the bounty within it, I may invest His gifts within me in what you're doing that's good. And because I belong to Him I cannot disrespect you or your value in any way. Again, I can't.

Because I love you.

How many people can give that answer? How many people are so ungrafted to the World of fearful value extraction, hacking off values from others anywhere they can just to ensure they have something left for retirement?

How many can actually say that?

I'm ashamed. I think it is a tiny portion of people. I think most people in this World think of Jesus Christ as a banal religious figure to give lip service to. Here He is, the Firm Foundation that Samuelson speaks of, and people blow Him off.

Jesus knew about this. He knew people would believe in all sorts of what He called anti-Christs. What is so mind-blowing is how so many people can continue to treat the God of the Universe with such brazen dismissal.

I'll even share what I shared above, that Christ is the true foundation for value and reaping the bounty of all we'd ever want, and Christians will just shrug and say, "Yeah, you're right, uh-huh..." and still maniacally protect their useless contracts with the World, those W-4's and 501c3's and mortgage agreements that cede the lordship over their lives to usurers.

What would it look like to have a few more than the 0.01% of the populace fully abandoning themselves to Christ in this way? Communities filled with people invisible to World operatives and sowing tremendous wealth both material and spiritual--right now, in profound abundance? Growing in God's riches and exploding in His pleasure?

Samuelson pointed out that the value of all the world's wealth right now is estimated at $250 trillion. What if what Jesus said is true, that when we abandon ourselves wholly to Him we'd have 100 times what we had when we once prized our World moorings so highly? What would be the value of those things then? It'd be $25,000 trillion, or $25 quadrillion.

Wow.

Some will say they can't imagine an amount that big, so why bother? What's the point?

Sad. They can't even understand that the $25 quadrillion isn't just "stuff," but people.

In fact, Christ's blood makes the $25 quadrillion look like a rusty nickel to a millionaire.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Value Extractors After Putting on the Stunned Look Now Having a Bit More of the Kinder and Gentler Look

I enjoy plucking out the front page of the Los Angeles Times and putting it here on the web. I hope that the plain pretext will get people to see the folly of World affairs management. The photograph there was particularly striking.


As the Dow hovered precariously at 8,000 on Friday (oh it seemed like yesterday it was stretching stratospherically past 14,000, didn't it?), all the most powerful of powerful finance ministers were meeting to hash out things. The U.S. guys had already decided they were going to use some of the "bailout" money to buy U.S. banks, so I don't know what's with the screaming headline.

In fact, the U.S. pretty much "owns" every company anyway, whether it's a bank or not. Whenever a business becomes incorporated, it cedes control over itself to the incorporating entity. All the laws and by-laws of the governing authority are now preeminent, and any thought that you have some substantial management autonomy is because you are brilliantly deceived. Sure they'll let you be a bit imaginative and inventive, but Caesar has you reined in with a bridle that you've allowed him to jam into your face.

Sure they often do a crappy job, just look at the financial mess. But if you are surprised this is happening, you haven't been looking close enough. If you're outraged the government is doing this terribly socialist thing, you've been brain dead about how socialist things are already and have been for millennia.

But briefly, to the photograph.

I like it. There they are, all the finance big shots, hopping down a few steps to get right down in with the common people. Well, not too far now. See, that's the thing about this picture.

The guys (and a gal) from the ivory tower are willing to come all the way down a whole four--ooo, maybe five--steps to mix it up with you. And, of course, waaay down there at 57,000 steps higher than you rather than the standard 57,005, they'll eventually find new ways to jerk you around. With a smile on their face though. At least there's that.

These are the World guys.

Hey! How about the Kingdom Guy! The Guy who came from heaven and went down into the den of the most wretched people on earth, told them all sorts of wonderful matters, then went even further down, getting hanged upon and nailed to the very iconographic herald of Caesar himself.

Those finance geniuses of the World? Still right there up front, shoving you further into the dirt, telling you they're working reeeal hard to make it feel nicer.

Jesus?

He's way at the back, asking you to join Him there, extending nothing but His outstretched arms and open hands.

But, ahem, I wonder. Clamoring, clutching, clawing for your 401(k)s and your tax exemptions and Social Security entitlements like they were torn and tattered security blankets?

Seems like so many though want to stay up front with the finance guys.

It's good to talk with Henry Paulson, he has a nice comforting voice. Or, yeah, sorry, pretend like you're having any real conversation, as if he's really got your best interest in mind. Yes, you may gleefully pretend, no matter how much your teeth are clenched. That's cool, that's your choice.

On the other hand, what of the Kingdom? Where the truly awesome living is happening? Not anywhere to be seen there.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Value Extractors Remain Stunned-Looking

Today was the first weekday after the federal government finally authorized the dissemination of 700 billion pieces of green rectangular paper to its good-buddy exploiters, and the Dow responded with an appropriate clunk, dropping below 10,000 points for the first time in four years. At one point the drop was 800, a bigger plunge than last Monday's, but it rallied a bit late. Since its high of 14,000-and-change a few months ago, it has lost 30% of its value.

But goodness gracious! I thought Caesar's magnificent decree that worthless people were worth $700 billion was supposed to get people fired up to not be worthless? What happened golly-gee-whiz-whillickers??? Isn't Henry Paulson up to the job of being United States Hedge Fund Manager, deftly pooling the nation's future productive capacity as leverage?

When Congress passed this thing Friday, you heard a whole batch of Congresspersons say pretty-much what U.S. Senator from California Dianne Feinstein said about her affirmative vote: "It would be one thing if we had a choice. But I don't believe we have a choice."

Ahh. You have no choice. All you can do is wave money in people's faces to convince them they've got value. All you can do is offer a spiffy word as if anyone believes you're doing it for anything other than your political sustenance.

Well, Mrs. Congressperson, truer words were never spoken. You're right, you don't have a choice. You have no clue about anything other than the World. All you know is obsequious service to your superior, Caesar, who himself has a superior whooo... you may indeed not know about. This condition is simply a veritable result of Cain's banishment from God's presence millennia ago. Through the eons all who follow him whine "We have no other choice." They wave the rod around whacking many while working very hard not to cut down anyone they like.

The fact is any individual not thoroughly given over to the World's Top Executive does have a choice. That choice is between Caesar and God, between Cain and Christ. You may choose to trudge through the World or you may choose to thrive in the Kingdom. You may choose value extraction which is nothing other than nice-looking human sacrifice, or value enhancement which is simply giving sowing charitable love.

You may choose to live by the lie, or live by the Truth. No matter how much that Congressperson or any other agent of Cain deftly make the lie look attractive, it is still disguising worthlessness. Anytime someone says "It was those mortgage-backed securities, that was the core problem," you can tell they only know the World. When they say "Those sneaky credit default swaps are at the core of this mess," you know they can't see very far. Many will cry out, "It was all the easy money in the 90's! That's what's really to blame!"

It is all just mendacity disguising worthlessness.

The only way one can be worthful is by Christ.

But hey. Like the World and its fake worth? Mr. and Mrs. Congressperson like being your friend, so at least you won't be alone in your whining.