Question Everything

Question Everything by Michael Krieger for Liberty Blitzkrieg

Crises, like pandemics, don’t break things in and of themselves; they show you what’s already broken.

– Patrick Wyman

Big macro crises in any form are scary, massively disruptive, and in some cases, literally deadly. This is why governments and entrenched institutions always see such events as opportunities to further consolidate wealth and power.

The current global pandemic is no exception, as I detailed in last week’s piece: Power Grab. While it’s necessary to be aware of this reality — and to push back against it wherever possible — it’s equally important to recognize there’s a silver lining to all of this.

The paradigm we live under depends on us not thinking too hard about how power functions. It relies on us being so busy with the basics of survival, or distracted by superficial consumerism and endless entertainment, to contemplate how the system actually works. This method of social control has been wildly successful throughout my lifetime, but what’s interesting about moments of global crises is the mask is forced off for a period. In a desperate scramble to marshal all of the corporate-imperial state’s resources to save the interests of the oligarchy, we’re shown in full color who really matters and who doesn’t.

You do not matter. The imperial state doesn’t care about you. Oligarchs don’t care about you. Mega corporations don’t care about you. This truth is cleverly hidden from much of the public during “normal” times when the machine is humming along as intended, but it’s far more in your face during a crisis period. It’s much harder to hide the truth when the world gets turned upside down.

Aside from the grotesque spectacle of the U.S. government funneling all of its resources toward propping up Wall Street and large corporations, this crisis has exposed the rot and disfunction in another meaningful way. Our health experts, ostensibly there to help the public navigate exactly this sort of event, have failed us in spectacular fashion.

This is what political actors masquerading as experts do in a crisis. They either give bad advice, or intentionally mislead the public to hide the fact the U.S. simply doesn’t have adequate mask supply and sent its manufacturing capacity overseas. Which brings up an important topic worthy of further discussion: the crucial distinction between experts and expertise.

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Michael Krieger

As far as my academic and professional background, I attended college at Duke University where I earned a double major in Economics and Spanish. After completing my studies in 2000, I took a job at Lehman Brothers where I worked with the Oil analyst in the Equity Research Department. In 2005, I joined Sanford C. Bernstein where I served as the Commodities Analyst on the trading floor. About halfway through my time there, I started to branch out and write opinions on bigger picture “macro” topics that no one else at the firm was covering. These opinion pieces were extremely popular throughout the global investment community, and I traveled extensively providing advice to some of the largest mutual funds, pension funds and hedge funds in the world. I loved my job, but as time passed I started to educate myself about how the monetary and financial system functions and what I discovered disgusted me. I no longer felt satisfied working within the industry, and I resigned in January 2010. At that point, I started a family investment office and continued to write macro pieces on economic, social and geopolitical topics. That summer, I drove cross country for six weeks and ultimately decided to leave the crowded streets of Manhattan for the open spaces of Boulder, Colorado, where I currently reside.