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Modern “Leadership”: A Perfect Blend of Delusion, Dishonesty & Distraction

By Matthew Piepenburg


As is historically typical of all corrupted and objectively bankrupt nations, the truth is often as hard to find as an honest man in parliament.

Thus, if you want to see what’s most true, and embarrassing (and directly linked) to desperately cornered power-brokers increasingly enamored by the centralizing marriage of corporate influence and government opportunists (currently masquerading as “democracy”), the best evidence of genuine reality often lies in what is deliberately omitted from the headlines and public discussion.

Stated otherwise, the devil doesn’t just lie in the details, it lies in what is deliberately ignored, omitted or censored.

As any serious devotee of history (now increasingly cancelled as “elitist”) already knows, there’s no greater power than the power to control the two key levers of society, namely: 1) information and 2) money.

Unfortunately, even in the land of the free, neither of these forces (from genuine capitalism to the fourth estate) serve its deliberately “tribalized” citizenry. Our so-called free press (aka “legacy media”) is anything but free, and our “independent” Federal Reserve is anything but Federal, a reserve or independent.

The ironies just abound.

Between the corporate media and the central bank, it’s fairly clear that both of these time-honored institutions are now openly in bed with big government.

This is not fable, but fact. It’s also ominous.

How Information is Controlled

Note, for example, how the obvious blunders of the “safe and effective” COVID policies/failures of late (from hysterical and global mandates, lab-leak denials, and excess-death math to the global gaslighting of the un-vaxed) have been curiously absent from the headlines or public debate, when just over a year ago this “crisis” was the center of all our lives.

Attempts by the French legislature were even made to fine or jail those criticizing the vaccine. It seems, for some, at least, that Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité has become a convenient phrase rather than guiding ideal. C’est la vie…

More, however, can be said of the strangely silent headlines on the blatant (and finally confirmed) illegality of Trudeau’s invoking of emergency powers to criminalize truckers’ collective expression of free speech and dissent in Canada, or the demonizing of veterans who question the neocon’s US proxy war in the Ukraine as “unpatriotic” or a threat to “national security.”

In short, if you want to see the truth of what scares the power-brokers whose policies defy the open common sense of the common man (which Walt Whitman described as the true spirit of any nation), just look at what those clinging to power deny, hide from, cancel, censor, confuse or punish.

Or to paraphrase Shakespeare, they “doth protest too much,” for they know they are in the wrong.

How Money is Controlled

Turning from the centralization of information toward the centralization of money, the template is no different.

Obfuscation, devilish little details and outright absence of discussion and headlines are where you find the darker truths behind our entirely rigged-to-fail financial system, which as we’ve shouted from the rooftops with facts rather than fear, is little more than a modern feudalism of insider lords and public serfs.

As we’ve warned for years, solving a debt crisis with more debt, which is then paid for with money mouse-clicked out of thin air, is not policy—it’s fantasy.

We’ve also warned that at some point this fantasy (and debt addiction) will lead to not only more lies, more wars and more centralization by the state (as well as a pretextfor dystopian CBDC), but to an inflationary QE endgame/hangover of currency destruction interrupted by a conveniently deflationary (and openly denied) recession.

This is because a government $34T (and counting) out of debt control will have no choice but to take full control over our markets and money via capital controls, yield curve controls and more currency-killing QE to provide fake liquidity to a fake (Fed-driven/deficit-driven) market and economy.

Memories Are Short, Headlines Are Empty

Remember when Bernanke, for example, said QE would be “temporary”? What followed was QE 2,3,4, Operation Twist and then unlimited QE in 2020.

Remember when he also said such magical money would have no impact on the currency, which is the same thing Nixon said when he decoupled from gold in 1971?

What followed was a 98% decline in the USD’s purchasing power when measured against a milligram of gold.

And now, with Powell (who also said inflation was “transitory”) still toe-dipping into QT and hawkish rates, he seems to think no more QE will be needed, and that even the rate cuts he promised months backed are now being back-stepped.


Because Powell, like all political figures (and the FED IS POLITICAL) is pathologically incapable of admitting error or offering transparency or accountability for the debt hole his Fed has dug for us since its creepy inception in 1913.

After his “higher-for-longer” fight against inflation (a ruse to re-load his rate gun for the next recession) knee-capped the middle class, regional banks, and small businesses in an economy that is witnessing the highest level of corporate bankruptcies and layoffs in over a decade, Powell is still relying on words rather than math.

In this way, he has tempted an appallingly narrow S&P (which is nothing more than a tech ETF led by five names) to all time highs on just the suggestion (rather than act) of rate cuts.

But as I’ve argued elsewhere, this S&P bubble couldn’t come at a worse time nor in a worse national and global setting.

More Currency-Killing QE Will Come

Despite (and frankly, because of) all this embarrassing (and ignored) disfunction, the inflationary QE will come.

In fact, it has been hiding in plain sight.

Five times in the last four years, the two-heads (Yellen and Powell) of the two-headed financial snake in DC have been quietly providing trillions in back-door QE in various forms yet completely off the public headline/radar.

That is, via emptying of the Treasury General Account, issuing unloved IOUs from different extremes of the yield curve and sucking liquidity from the Reverse Repo Markets, DC has managed to buy more fantasy and time from “back-door” sources of liquidity which are now tapping out.

But math, as well looking beyond the headlines, teaches us that front-door (i.e., direct) QE is only a matter of time—i.e., just one popping and deflationary S&P bubble away.

For now, of course, Powell can’t say the quiet part out loud, and the vast majority of children playing within our Congress can’t even count out it loud.

How Dumb is the CBO?

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), for example, has already projected another $20T in US Federal Debt to be issued in the next 10 years.

If this number wasn’t so mind-numbingly shocking enough (yet largely ignored from the WSJ or NYT), what is even more comical (and mind-numbing) is that the same CBO also foresees NO recession in that 10-year projection.

Furthermore, the CBO is assuming that 10Y yields (i.e., interest rates) will be 40 basis points lower than they are today.


The level of dishonesty, denial and/or outright stupidity in such a projection literally defies belief and hard reality.


First, the CBO is ignoring the recession we are already in.

Secondly, the only way for yields on the US 10Y to be lower than they are today is if someone (or some “thing”) actually buys Uncle Sam’s IOUs. (Yields move inversely to bond demand.)

Yet based on not only our last report on the most recent UST auction, and based far more importantly on the unspoken reality that global central banks have been net-sellers rather than buyers of USTs since 2014, one has to wonder from where those mathematical wonder kids at the CBO expect that bond demand to come?

The honest answer, of course, is that there are not enough natural buyers of our unloved IOUs.

This means the actual buying will come from a mouse-clicker at the Eccles Building, where zeros can be added to a balance sheet far easier than say…actual GDP.

Equally clear, is the fact that the trillions of such mouse-clicked dollars are fake dollars, and despite the ongoing debates between “base money” and “reserve notes,” QE IS inherently inflationary.

Powell, for all his faults, knows this.

But his political position (and hence proclivities) means he will continue to well… lie about the inevitability of more QE, more inflation and more currency debasement, which as we (and history) have also warned for years, is THE endgame.

New, Clever Little Lies and More Time-Buying at Your Expense

In the interim, the Fed and its sister little devil, the US Treasury Department, will come up with clever tricks to tell the surface truth while substantively (and simultaneously) lying.

In short, politics 101.

They do this via absolute confusion and brain-numbing details, acronyms and data hiding—i.e. “smoke and mirrors.”

For example, recently, the magicians in DC (namely, the ISDA, or “International Swaps & Derivatives Association) have asked the FED, the FDIC and the OCC (the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) to reinstitute the UST exclusion for Supplementary Leverage Ratios (SLRs) at Federal Reserve Banks.

Most of you, of course, are saying: “What in the he_ _ does that mean?”

Well, that’s the entire point: You’re not supposed to understand, and you’re not supposed to notice.

Like all other pre-QE and current “backdoor QE” tricks, DC doesn’t want to show its bad poker hand.

That is, it doesn’t want you to know how broke(n) our dollar thirsty (i.e., debt-soaked) nation truly is.

In simple English, by excluding SLRs from calculations at the Fed banks (which was last done when markets tanked in April of 2020), banks are allowed to buy USTs with no reserve requirements (which essentially allows for unlimited leverage).

Or in even simpler English, this is just QE without the Fed having to say the “QE” part out loud.


Hardly. Just more words replacing bad math, which in my opinion, is the perfect description of the current financial cycle (or fourth turning…)


Given that extreme liquidity, as well as extreme leverage, is THE trigger for extreme debt and then extreme disaster in markets and economies (a theme repeated from David Hume to von Mises, or Reinhart & Rogoff to Jeremy Grantham), those investors playing the long-game (rather than a Taylor Swift S&P) are thinking preparation not FOMO.

Rather than chase tops, the smart money is looking at assets that cannot be “popped” when all that is rosy today turns to blood in the streets tomorrow.

Currencies–for all the myriad reasons discussed elsewhere, from De-dollarization to central bank debasement and petrodollar divergence–will be hit even harder, and yes, the USD too.

This explains the breakout in anti-fiat assets like BTC and gold.

We are not going to compare “digital” gold and real gold here, but have long argued that they are not the same assets, stores of value or mediums of exchange. Nor are we here to critique fans of the former to highlight investors of the latter.

I love gold. This doesn’t mean I hate BTC. But there’s a difference.

What we do know, and can say, however, is that the world’s central banks are stacking physical gold at unprecedented levels and that the COMEX and London exchanges are seeing historical (and one-way) out-flows from these exchanges for the simple reason that the world wants gold– a tier-1 asset—far more than it wants a UST.

In short, seismic shifts are not coming, they are already happening to the currencies of distrusted and debt-heavy sovereigns.

Many, however, will still try to understand gold’s price moves in connection with (i.e., as a “correlation” to) Fed policies as to rates (up or down), bond yields (up or down), the DXY/USD (up or down) or CPI inflation (up or down).

What we are seeing however, is that gold breaks away from all standard “correlations” when nations tip toward chaos, which is what always follows a debt crisis.

The fact that Germany, the UK, Japan, South Korea and China are technically in recession, while America denies recession at home, suggests to us (gee whiz) that such chaos (financial, military, social, currency and political) is already upon us.

And as trust falls in such a backdrop of objectively neutered currencies, gold simply rises, because it’s real rather than paper money.

The BIS knows this, the world’s central banks know this. Wall Street legends know this.

And yes, gold just reached all time highs in USD terms. We all know this.

But there is much, much, more to come for gold, and for no other reason, than that there is sadly much, much more disfunction ahead in the financially upside-down (and debt-trapped) world which our leaders have handed us.

About Matthew Piepenburg
Matt began his finance career as a transactional attorney before launching his first hedge fund during the NASDAQ bubble of 1999-2001 Thereafter, he began investing his own and other HNW family funds into alternative investment vehicles while operating as a General Counsel, CIO and later Managing Director of a single and multi-family office. Matthew worked closely as well with Morgan Stanley’s... More...

Matthew Piepenburg

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