Babylon's Bankers

3-D PRINTERS, & CROWD FINANCING

When former Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Catherine Austin Fitts was here for a visit, she, my co-author Dr Scott de Hart, and I had, as I've mentioned before, a wide-ranging discussion of about ten hours ranging on a whole host of current events, financial shifts, and geopolitics.  Among Secretary Fitts' concerns was the need to move from debt to equity-based financing, at a localized level, and "crowd financing."

Well, earlier this week I received an email from her, containing a link to this article, which is worth your consideration:

It Just Got a Whole Lot Easier to Fund Your Startup

What interests me here is the apparent easing, and further foretold easing, of crowd-funding financing, i.e., the ability of small investors to participate directly in the funding of start-up ventures:

"As of yet, startups are restricted to angel investors. They cannot “crowdfund” from non-millionaires, as allowed under the JOBS Act, because the SEC has not yet issued rules around crowdfunding. But such rules are expected within the next year, and in the meantime, longtime finance wags have taken note of the quantum leap in transparency that allowing general solicitation will enable. As Reuters’ Felix Salmon has noted, the rule should bring online details of even infamously opaque hedge funds, allowing for comparison shopping of the sort that was unthinkable just a year ago. And as Fortune’s Dan Primack has written, a robust, fast, and transparent funding machine/market would let entrepreneurs focus on running their business rather than marketing themselves to investors in the old fashioned, face to face manner.

"By excluding any substantial new regulatory curbs to thwart investor exploitation — some have been drafted but remain unapproved — the SEC’s new rules leave consumers vulnerable to shady operators in boiler rooms selling bad investments online and over the phone, as commissioner Luis Aguilar, the lone dissenter, has eloquently said. But the promise of slowly unwinding the old boys’ club of startup venture capital, of coming up with a more open, dispersed, and diverse funding network for entrepreneurs, is mammoth enough to overshadow those risks. Via the JOBS Act and this week’s SEC ruling, the government has set in motion the ad hoc construction of a vast venture capital machine. It will be a scary beast, but one quite likely fairer and faster than the flesh and bones system that preceded it." (Emphases added)

Now my question is this: "Why would the government be interested in an 'ad hoc construction of a vast venture capital machine?'" A machine that, as the article and the quotations above make clear, is not without its risks, but obviously, not without its potential rewards. But again, the question remains, why?

I strongly suspect that the reasons are highly geopolitical, perhaps even "cosmo-political" (to avoid that badly tainted word "exo-political"). Leaving the "cosmo-political" reasons to my forthcoming book Covert Wars and the Clash of Civilizations, we turn to the purely geopolitical aspects of some high octane speculation.

To put it succinctly, I suspect that the quick moves by the Anglo-American globaloneyists toward a unipolar Anglo-American global order, in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, have been stymied on a number of fronts.  The nuclear hysteria over Iran led nowhere, the growing evidence of criminality from the Syrian rebels are making the case for intervention there - always dubious to begin with - even more so. And finally, the pushback from the BRICSA nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) on a number of fronts has meant, in my opinion, that a retrenchment is called for.

But the "Empire of America, Inc." is badly overextended. It's hard to have an empire when everyone else seems to be doing the manufacturing. It's hard to have an imperial economy and a service economy at the same time. So I suspect that this move by the SEC is a carefully calculated move, one made not only for economic reasons, but for geopolitical ones: the basis of Anglo-American oligarchical power - North America - simply has to be beefed up; manufacturing must be returned, and a restoration of technological development and infrastructure is badly needed; and a measure is needed to jump start not only a recovery, but rather, a kind of second industrial revolution, one that will not be funding railroads but maglevs, not just electrification but a complete remake of the energy grid(with some new technologies, less subject to centralization and interdiction), three-d printing. And for all of that you need a "vast venture capital machine," one that is accessible to the small investor.

And that means of course, that "the powers that be" are not really concerned about helping small business or the middle class; it simply means they are in a hurry, and need vast amounts of cash in a hurry. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but it is a factor to bear in mind.

But the bottom line remains the same: (1) they are retrenching, (2) they mean a sweeping transformation of their power base, both in manufacturing, infrastructure, (3) less "interdictionable" and more decentralized manufacturing, and (4) manufacturing that is flexible enough to produce a variety of high-tech products.

And that's just the geopolitics folks...

See you on the flip side.

(A final word: My thanks to Mr. P.T. for suggesting to me the term "cosmo-politics", a term meant to avoid the nuttery often associated with "exo-politics.")

 

9 thoughts on “3-D PRINTERS, & CROWD FINANCING”

  1. Thought this might add some insight to the 3D printer discussions:
    The key patents covering a 3D printing technique called “laser sintering” are set to expire in the next year or two — there are a bunch of them, so they’ll trickle out — and this will radically reduce the price of printing and printers. Laser sintering involves melting a fine powder (usually plastic) in order to fuse it with the powder below and around it, and it’s a technique that produces a very smooth, even finish. The big 3D printer manufacturers, who control the laser sintering patents, have used patent law to lock up the market for devices, and to prevent device-owners from sourcing their powder from third parties. As a result, simple, cheap plastic powder can cost more than filet mignon by weight, which means that the cost of 3D printed objects is very high — especially when you factor in the extremely high cost (and high profit margins!) on the printers themselves.

    As these patents expire, it will mean that mass-manufactured printers from China and elsewhere will be able to integrate laser-sintering, setting aside the extruded plastic wire technique that is presently standard. With wire-extrusion, a wire filament is melted inside a print-head, and then forced out of a fine nozzle, like icing coming out of an icing bag. This produces a rougher finish and is prone to delamination during the print-process.

    Patent expiry will also open new horizons to the world of hacker/maker printers, like the RepRap and its derivatives. These open-source hardware printers will likewise be able to integrate laser sintering, and to take advantage of a coming explosion in plastic powder suppliers.

    All told, it’s an exciting moment to be in. 3D printing is a minefield of stupid patents — there’s a patent on putting see-through plastic windows on the sides of a 3D printer! — but thankfully, they’re mostly old and starting to expire. Give it a couple of years and there will be a very robust, open marketplace of cheap, innovative, and open printers flooding the market.

    http://boingboing.net/2013/07/22/get-ready-for-the-big-bang-as.html

  2. Like a computer printer today, in 2013, a 3D printer needs carefully manufactured materials–e.g. powdered titanium–to make things. Also needs argon, and sophisticated dehumidifiers. The idea that they can simply make themselves without access to all sorts of supplied parts, is sort of like the cliche of someone who has never seen a farm, who when asked: “Where does milk come from?” Answers: “The store.” (Ibankers live by this “logic” often too.)

    It is unlikely that future 3D printers will be able to build themselves and their components–perhaps in 100 years time, but only with a different concept of elemental matter.

    However they will make the making of complex one off parts a bit easier in the next 20 years.

    “crowd sourcing” could work on some interesting things though.

    1. “Using 3D printing cuts the production process of the engine injector from one year to four months, and cuts the cost by 70 percent”
      http://www.dailytech.com/3D+Printed+Rocket+Engine+Injector+Designed+Tested/article31959.htm
      For NASA’s “new mission opportunities”, 3D printing technology can be “game-changing” and it will “benefit American businesses here on Earth”. Says Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate.
      The 3D printed rocket engine part has already been tested by American rocket company with the help of NASA and Edwards Air Force Base, whose testing facility known as Area 51 in Nevada most likely already possess “more advanced space technology”. Think about all the witnesses to those triangular UFOs in this part of the U.S over the past decades, it’s even featured in the second episode of The X Files, “Deep Throat”. The problem is their “hidden system of finance” using all that illegal hoarding of gold is falling apart, coupled with the fact both Edward Snowden and Strauss Kahn have found themsleves “safe haven” in Russia, both of whom could be used and are being used as geo-political leverage against the Anglo-American elites whose “budgeting crisis” has already caused NASA to terminate its participation in ExoMars. But the recent launch failure of its Proton rocket seem to overshadow future Protons fly and the ExoMars mission of which Roscosmos has substituted NASA as ESA’s partner. Let’s not forget the MARS-500 mission conducted by Russia, ESA and China, in preparation for future manned spaceflight to Mars. Not to mention the Chinese launch of their own space station was on backdrop of U.S. congressional block of space cooperation with China, and one of the concerns is “Chinese spying”.
      http://nasawatch.com/archives/2013/03/congress-vs-nas.html
      “Space exploration” is the other “hidden” aspect of the “Snowden” story. Interestingly, when China launched Tiangong-1 space station they played “America The Beautiful”, which was played as welcome music when Nixon visited the country.

      With that “geopolitics” in mind, also consider other space powers which are also utilizing 3D-printing technology in their space programs, precisely as Dr.Farrell has said,”the recent rapid introduction and (more importantly) the “media talking-up” of 3-D printing has a profound connection to space and space exploration”. My suspicion is, the fact other major space powers are “suddenly” jumping on the 3D-printing bandwagon with NASA, suggest to me they probably already knew that “more advanced space technology” exist, especially consider such technologies were developed with a “hidden system of finance” that concerns the other space powers in the first place, technologies that can do what Russia’s Protons can not. When the technocrats are hyping over a seemingly “new” technology to the public, they have probably already experimented with it for much longer time.And the almost immediate association with “space exploration” just tells where they have beening using 3-D printing technology, but for the misinformed public, it’ll be starting with “rocket parts”.
      http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Technology/Building_a_lunar_base_with_3D_printing
      http://www.3dprinter-world.com/article/chinese-astronauts-use-3d-printed-seats

  3. marcos toledo

    If we have anyone to thank for the reindustrialization it will be the military. They unlike the so called Capitalist greed heads and criminals really well as the old saying the last capitalist will sell the rope they hang them with. The military know in time of war they need a reliable and secure supply of materials to wage their missions. Maybe some of our overlords that still think are applying the breaks before their empire goes over cliff. We will see if they make it.

  4. The Anglo-American elite are loosening the economic reins (which should be even more dangerous in its own way as the last cat that got out of the bag, the internet) because they have to.

    Parasites can’t live on a dead host. Just look at the shambles they’ve made of Britain and the US. They’re gorged fatter than ever and they don’t want to go on a diet, so they’d better damned well get their hosts off life-support so they can continue to suck them dry.

    I don’t think you need any great, secret insight to spot pure desperation when you see it.

  5. Robert Barricklow

    When trying to analyse a change, it helps to take a viewpoint from as many angles as possible. Of course, the problem is, that there are more than 360 degrees. There is that …361.
    Take an example. Pretend that everything is so highly organized, that the end result, is ipso facto. When viewed this way, certain accidents, serendipitious events, are then not so happenstance, but purposefully orchestrated.

    In the end, it is cuo bono.

    But thats deceptive,
    for what is/are the “ends” to the “means”?

    Also, I can’t help but think, the parasites have sucked one cash cow dry & are fattening up another one or two for further slaughter. Their insaitiable appetite kills alot of golden gooses.
    They even kill their own.
    And, in the end,
    maybe that is “their” nature.
    To kill the light,
    that feeds us all.

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