DISASTER CRAPITALISM? OR DISASTER SOCIALISM?

DISASTER CRAPITALISM? OR DISASTER SOCIALISM?

This is one of those days that my high octane speculation isn't even my own, though I've privately thought along these lines for some time. Rather, the high octane speculation today is that of C.M., who also shared the article. If there's anything in today's high octane speculation that is my own, it's the details, not the central core itself.

And it concerns those seemingly never-ending fires in California, and disaster capitalism.

Disaster capitalism, or as I like to call it, disaster crapitalism, may be briefly outlined as the creation or staging of "natural catastrophes" in order to achieve a political goal, and along with it, usually a financial goal, such as driving people out of their ruined homes and picking up assets on the cheap (think of Stalin's purges of the kulaks in this regard). The first step in our hypothetical scenario is to create an interlocking network of corruption involving four families all from the same area, let's call them the Newbrown's, Feinosome's, Pelostein's, and Gavinsi's (with pardons for the apostrophes, which are used simply to clarify our surnamic obfuscations). Through a variety of means involving kickbacks, graft,  corruption, Chinese chauffeurs doubling as spies, and outright election fraud, one can then cement a one-party control over our fictitious state's regurgitature in the state capital of Scarymental. The state luddocracy is quickly filled by shuffling bureaucrats and regulators who, moving at the speed of evolution when it comes to doing some genuine good for the people of our fictitious state, can move at warp speeds when it comes to imposing a tranche of wacky environmental rules to protect "natural habitats", and turn the state's once highly productive and lush San Giacomo valley - which lies between two mountain ranges - into a dust bowl, and prohibit cutting underbrush from the state's powerlines and so on. The result of these policies is predictable, as the kulaks...er... family farmers are driven from their farms, and others lose their homes to the inevitable brush fires.  You can then blame all this mess on the opposition, on the conspiracies of Trotskyites and conduct more policy implementation and purges.

With that little hypothetical background in mind, consider this article  that C.M. spotted on Zero Hedge, and passed along:

PG&E Crashes To All Time Low Over Fears It Will Be Blamed For Latest California Inferno

There are some things to note in this article, that form the basis of C.M's accompanying high octane speculation, and my "added details" today:

According to a note by Citi's Praful Mehta, while it is still unclear if this week’s fire in Kincade was indeed caused by PG&E equipment, the prospect raises the risk of wiping out PG&E’s equity value, which would also undermine the recovery plan favored by PG&E and its shareholders, and make it more likely that a rival plan from bondholders will win approval, one which leaves the current equity a donut.

The Citi report comes one day after PG&E admitted that its transmission lines in the area of Kincade fire were not de-energized because forecast weather conditions, particularly wind speeds, did not trigger the Public Safety Power Shutoff protocol. In a statement, the company added that the wind speeds of concern for transmission lines are higher than those for distribution, adding that the transmission tower was inspected earlier this year as part of PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Inspection Program. Of course, none of that will matter if California finds that the Kincade fire was indeed the company's fault.

Mehta echoed his bearish sentiment from earlier this month, when the analyst set a Street-low price target at $5 on PCG shares (they are trading at $5.30 after today's drop), predicting there was a 75% probability the California power company’s stock would fall to zero. On Friday, he repeated his call, saying "shareholders are worried -- and should be." (Boldface emphasis in the original, italicized emphasis added)

Previously, when writing about the burning of California - and yes, I believe a portion of it, not all of it, but a portion of it, to be deliberate disaster crapitalism - I have entertained a hypothesis and speculation shared by many others, that behind it is a suspicious land grab, since many of the fires occurred in areas prized by Silicon valley to enable its "expansion," and so on. On that view, the primary targets are the people and victims being literally burned out of their homes and land. And even in the case of genuinely accidental fires, much of the blame for these can be squarely laid at the feet of the luddocracy in, and the policies coming out of, Scarymental.

But given the collapse of Pacific Gas and Electric's equity value, I believe C.M.'s speculation may have some traction, namely, that the goal is not only to acquire land on the cheap, but also, perhaps, to acquire PG&E itself, in the ultimate and literal power grab of the nomenklatura in Scarymental. It could easily be done in the political swamp the state has become, as equity could be demanded in return for a "bail out". There are in fact any number of ways that it could be done. And once that happens, the blackouts could really ratchet up.

See you on the flip side...

 

 

16 thoughts on “DISASTER CRAPITALISM? OR DISASTER SOCIALISM?”

  1. Not one to add a flashpoint to your “high octane speculations / suspicions” yet there’s much that could be said about irresponsible maintenance of power-lines, of power-line placement, and direct environment of entangled trees within the power-lines. Absurd! That this condition of power-lines and entangled tree branches on the power-lines still remains is unacceptable no matter talking head stupidness about who’s to blame or efforts to distract or who’s going to donate their taxes to fix this shortsightedness. Power in the lines is one source of a potentially uncontained energy source that can lead to flames.

    Clearance of those affected power-line distribution lines from tree entanglement is way overdue. At least one saw that there were steps taken as seen on video, no less, as recorded evidence showing where neglect and poor planning from reducing potential fire hazards existed and still exists. No power-line tree combination seems invulnerable to lightning strikes, weakened by high winds, wear and tear from years of use, to wild flames, and long-term environmental exposure. Those are old lessons already. Apparently not yet learned by presumptive powers that be and in positions to enact direction or call to action directives to reduce and remove the potential hazards from becoming consuming events.

    Civil management and local managers probably complained about hourly wage costs for crews to clear the trees and others about the awkward view of the trimmed trees early on. Best not to allow that hazardous combination to exist in the first place. No power-line poles by trees or trees planted by power-lines and poles, for instance. When estimates of fire damage costs and lives lost continue to be tallied, removal of those negligent and of poor past decision skills would also seem way overdue. As for those insisting that power-lines, trees, and tree branch entanglements go together, . . . Well, . . . they’re wrong.

    Insurance premiums of such areas should be contained to those intellectually challenged with insisting on such poor decisions (power-line poles and entangled tree branches go together nonsense) instead of spreading the costs to desert region dwellings, concrete high-rises where combustible plants are miles away or waterfront moored house boats. In a way, one could get the feeling that this infrastructure thing of repair, rebuild, and upgrading is also way overdue or was badly planned.

    Could it be that preventive legislation is lacking due to distractions that ought not be? Or, is it that disruptive legislation is in the way again for preventing catastrophic events from initiating in the first place? What about reviewing natural elements of environment exposure to old constructions.

    California or any other geographic location are NOT invulnerable to Carrington events or increased Solar / Cosmic radiation sessions that have used connected conduits or electromagnetic circuits to conduct energy without notice. That same energy from above continues to wreck-havoc on human made contraptions like those century old telegraph wires then or modern constructs now. Unexpected degradation often does not announce its failings until it’s too late. Just how does one adapt constructs for natural high energy sources and exposure? Hopefully those blackouts will show where vulnerabilities are in need of correction and how rapid redistribution can be augmented when failure occurs. It should also show where unequal power demand occurs on outdated infrastructure less likely to last or endure.

  2. I live in California and experience four very close fires . In all cases the problem was lack of brush control.
    When I moved to California in 84, the back country had wheat farmres and ranchers. Now the land is unoccupped an hence wild fires that travel 40 miles and cannot be stopped.

  3. Maybe it is the Fat Cats, Dummycrooks , or their minions who are ultimately behind all the mayhem, fires, and driving good people off their land or out of their homes, and so forth.
    But, I call them DemonCrats!

  4. “One question what will these zillionaries eat and drink when all the rest of us deplorable are not around to serve them hand and foot”
    Each other, I hope. down to the last (Josephus ) one of them.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus
    “After the Jewish garrison of Yodfat fell under siege, the Romans invaded, killing thousands; the survivors committed suicide. According to Josephus, he was trapped in a cave with 40 of his companions in July 67 CE. The Romans (commanded by Flavius Vespasian and his son Titus, both subsequently Roman emperors) asked the group to surrender, but they refused. Josephus suggested a method of collective suicide;[22] they drew lots and killed each other, one by one, counting to every third person. Two men were left [b] who surrendered to the Roman forces and became prisoners. ”
    And if you believe that, I have a 3rd Temple to sell to you.

    1. Absolutely. And if you buy into Ralph Ellis’ identification of Saul/Paul as actually being Josephus (via overwhelming parallels in their ‘lives’), it gets even more interesting…

  5. One question what will these zillionaries eat and drink when all the rest of us deplorable are not around to serve them hand and foot.

  6. I am going to have to go to the opposite of Joseph’s point of view. In the case of public utilities, I believe they should be state owned. There is too much conflict-of-interest in the capitalist system.

    When a utility is publicly-owned, there is no incentive to ‘milk’ the public. Long-term, stable ownership (public ownership) also allows long-term investments into the utility.

    Contrariwise, private ownership exists solely for profit. On the income side, push the rates as high as the public will bear. On the expense side, minimize everything – including maintenance, upgrades, high-salary (experienced) personnel, etc. And when that ultimately comes back to bite you, throw yourself on the public’s mercy for a bailout while conducting as big a FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) campaign as you can get away with. The mantra is: “Privatize the gains, socialize the losses.”

    PG&E is a poster child for the above. It should be allowed to go bankrupt (no bailouts) and then be restructured into a public utility. From there, PG&E’s ‘fortunes’ will wax or wane solely on the intelligence with which it is funded and guided. (Let us hope that CA residents have learned a bit from the current state-of-affairs.)

    (It is fashionable these days to pronounce anything publicly-owned as “Socialist.” This is a propaganda campaign to put “The Commons” in the hands of private interests. There is a place for privately-owned organizations. There is a place for publicly-owned organizations. Not to distinguish which is optimal for each situation is a recipe for ruin…)

    1. Robert Barricklow

      Right On! Goshawks.
      Public Utilities would include banking; what, according to Benjamin franklins autobiography was the primary reason for the American revolution. To issue our own currency; and therefore, out from under the thumb of the King’s gold. Public Heath; Public Infrastructure, and the difficult Public education, which should be the purview of the individual state[s].
      The United States are not one; but many sovereigns.
      Each making their own laws and policies. The federal government is ignoring the division of power[s] expressed in the constitution. A constitution, by the way, that DID NOT live up to The Declaration of Independence promise.
      [above mentions a few public utilities]

  7. Add to this the new rent control law that has landlords across California kicking out tenants in order to “remodel” and raise the rent to highest market level. Low income folk and previously low rent payers are leaving in droves. Add to this the projected income from corporate cannabis farms which grows very well in the hills of California. Add to the the forecast of “the big one” earthquake/ tsunami to hit soon based on newest measurements and fault activity. The areas in southern California that will be damaged the most are being cleared of people and industry. Personally, I am looking at moving back to Texas.

  8. Robert Barricklow

    “They’re” starting the fires in areas/properties they want to own. Rather than use the eminent domain process[too slow]. interesting that they too might want to acquire PG & E as well. I don’t see socialism here. I see the oligarch’s using whatever “ism” is going to achieve their aims at the least expense at the most expediency.
    No way are “they” going to share power and/or wealth. They’re just grabbing more at the expense of us all; and don’t forget what matters most: living wealth. Not only for humans, but other living spirits that are also taking care of their families.

    That is, until the fires come for you?

  9. The USSA’s brand of Bolshevism. This is just the test for what may be coming to a state near you in the near future if the Dummycrooks manage to take the next election. You can kiss your first, second and fourth amendment rights goodbye as the police/surveillance state marches over us with its jackboots and “social credit” as “what could never happen here” continues to happen right in front of a vaccine brain dead population as it plays Candy Crush on their smart phones.
    One would think we would wise up eventually…

  10. anakephalaiosis

    Private landowners have always been obstacles to the Roman empire.

    Corporate senators have always extorted natural resources from provinces.

    All roads have always led to Rome, with the exception of the Druidic Runes.

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