Accumulation is the accumulation of camps, an accumulation of the dispossessed, the fleeing, the marginalized, those whose very existence is supposed to make them invisible, unheard, lost.
From Guantanamo, to gated communities; from squats occupied by those without cash attempting to avoid detection to penthouses occupied and purchased by those with cash for cash likewise to avoid detection, it's a camp world. Calais, Canary Wharf, Battery Park City, The City of London, Idomeni, none can exist without the other; each exists because of the other.
2. Meanwhile...in the United States, a golf-cart fascist, the bastard offspring from the non-marriage of Elmer Gantry and Silvio Berlusconi, as incubated in Sarah Palin's uterus, is just a ventricular fibrillation or two away from every landlord's dream, picking up the White House as part of the package of foreclosed properties in a distress sale.
3. Meanwhile...in China, president Xi Jinping is engaged in a struggle to preserve "party capitalism," that is to say the organized aggrandizement, against the prospects of oligarch capitalism, the disorganized plunder inherent in China's integration into world markets. And how will the party/state camp protect its assets from the depredations of the laissez-faire camp? By expelling two million workers from state-owned coal and steel enterprises in the next four years, thereby resolving also the so-called "labor shortage" of migrant workers in the Guangdong, and thereby relieving the pressure for wage increases, thereby reducing the flight of capital to other cheaper camps, like Vietnam. A win-win-win-win for party capitalism, president Xi assures everyone with a keyboard.
As big a number as two million is, it's but a veritable drop in the bucket of overproduction. Estimates are that almost one-third of China's workforce in the cement, glass, shipbuilding sectors face elimination.
Special enterprise zones, plus foreign direct investment, plus state owned enterprises, plus off-balance sheet local government structured investment vehicles equals....more camps.
4. Meanwhile...As it is on the sea, so shall be it on the land. Capsized dry-bulk carriers lay up at anchorage, container ships "slow steam" to reduce overcapacity, and very large crude carriers (VLCC) are deployed as floating oil storage facilities as land based holding areas are at peak capacity. Now, in the United States, about 1/3 of the tank cars used to transport shale oil are being used to warehouse the oil. The cost for leasing a 700 barrel capacity tank car per month is $1500-$1700 month, so if the warehousing period lasts for six months, the barrel price has to increase by about 50 percent to make this exercise in market-timing fruitful. Who says the bourgeoisie are good at numbers?
Meanwhile, annual deliveries of new tank cars to transport rather than warehouse the oil have more than tripled, from less than 10,000 in 2011, to more than 35,000 in 2015. Just in time, right?
Meanwhile of course, the oil boom camps in North Dakota are emptying out; commercial breath in the Permian Basin is shallow, wheezy, and weakening.
The employer of next resort in the frail shale oil patch? Welcome to Camp Meth.
5. Meanwhile...in the European Union, the French, having failed to destroy the refugees inhabiting the camp at Calais, have decided that the refugees now have a political use-- as a threat against the UK should it opt out of the EU camp. Should that "Brexit" occur, France will deny Britain the right of "containment"-- maintaining a quarantine of refugees on the French side of the English Channel.
In 1917, the German military command sent Lenin & Co. in a sealed train to Russia to force it to withdraw from the war. A century later, the French Minister of the Economy threatens allowing thousands of refugees to enter Britain via Eurofreight train in order to prevent the UK from withdrawing from the European Union.
Meanwhile and at the same time, the same minister of the economy has promised to make a place and a home for the refugees from the City of London-- bankers, asset liquidators, hedge fund managers-- at Palais Brongniart should they desire to maintain their EU connections and set up camp at 14 Place des Reflets. Welcome back, finance campers. Répète après moi.
Donnez-moi votre riche fatigué
Aspirant à dépenser librement
Ces braves financiers
Leveraged au maximum
March 5, 2016