Everyone hits it all of the times.

Everyone hits it all of the times.

Hurricane Irene was an interesting device for demonstrating the lack of will power the media has when it comes to over-indulging its own hysterical tendencies. They just had to eat their entire pumpkin-head full of Halloween candy; they couldn't stop until their eyes were crossed and their tongues were blue. All their biggest fonts, and most paranoid kettle-drums. Fearful absurdities shouted by idiots in raincoats standing on dark beaches. The media was squealy tween-slumber-party amped by the prospect of making citizens abandon their homes and scatter like ants around the fall of their huge orange clown-foot.

The credibility gap has become Kredibility Kanyon.

I definitely wasn't the only one feeling nonplused and skeptical. Most of my friends in New York were rolling their eyes; we just couldn't get it up to heed the Call to Lose Our Shit anymore. The panic button has been punched so many times since 9/11 it's become a background noise as ignorable as a looping clap-track. ... Oh, good God, “alert levels” have been “raised” from YELLOW to ORANGE … the TSA has declared that SNOWGLOBES are now the SOUVENIRS OF TERROR. Now, whenever the press sounds any kind of alarm bell, legit or no, it just sounds like a whoopee cushion, to wit: what kind of crap are those brainless jackasses trying to sell us this time?

Hurricane Irene had so much hype and so little disaster, conspiracy theories ran amok right away. Was the whole thing a conspiracy with ConEd to fiddle with the power knobs and effect “rolling blackouts” in order to use emergency generators and get a quick Enron-fix of federal lucre? Did weathermen team up with duct tape, candle and bottled-water corporations for a consumer quickie-mugging, after seeing how hyped-up panics about swine flu, avian flu, and anthrax boosted sales of Cipro and Tamiflu? Was it all like that scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind when the government faked all those dead cows to evacuate people away from the spooky mountain so they could continue to lie about UFOs?

There were a few interesting HAARP (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program) theories — HAARP being a creepy $30 million Pentagon project in rural Alaska which looks like a graveyard of bent UHF antennae, and is dedicated to mucking around with Tesla technology to beam 1.7 gigawatts of focused, steerable radiation into the ionosphere. Some sci-fi optimists allege that this weird project is actually an advanced geophysical weapon that enables the U.S. government to create neoliberally convenient weather patterns — hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, etc. (Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, for example, accused us of using it to cause the Haiti earthquake.)

I thought the most juicy theory from the tinfoil umbrella contingent was that the hurricane hype was manufactured to obscure the shenanigans of HSBC and JP Morgan, and the dirty things they were doing in bed together that night.

It seems that HSBC and JP Morgan have been playing insider foosball when it comes to the precious-metals markets for quite a while. A guy writing for ZeroHedge.com under the name of “Tyler Durden” pointed out that 9,173 ounces of gold were physically transferred from the HSBC vaults to JP Morgan's, overnight, that night.

The statement below, with minor variations, appeared in the comments section under a Daily Telegraph article and a number of other articles and hurricane YouTube videos, attributed to different commenter names:

“Something strange going on in NYC. The entire subway system has been shut down and is still down and the hurricane was barely a rainstorm here in NYC. Also all of downtown Manhattan was evacuated (Wall Street and NY FED). This coincided with a late night gold exchange between HSBC and JP Morgan. JP Morgan's bets have been called and they can only be settled in gold, and they need a lot more than they have. Did the largest gold heist just occur with the NY FED being emptied?”

It's maybe not as bonkers as it sounds.

JP Morgan Chase and HSBC have been getting flak and lawsuits in the U.S. and the U.K. for years, for colluding to manipulate the precious-metals markets. These banks act on behalf of the Federal Reserve in the metals markets, and have been conspiring on behalf of the government to keep the prices of gold and silver down.

In December 2010, both banks received token scrutiny, stern fingerwagging and a few disapproving “tsk tsks” from anti-competition authorities, lawmakers and watchdogs for ostensibly amassing a big long position in copper and unwinding a short position on silver. (Like: they were buying metals and putting them in warehouses and then moving them back and forth — and they're not supposed to do that.)

ZeroHedge.com had what I thought were the most trenchant comments:

“Someone called JPM and said they wanted their gold that was being held … JPM didn't have it so they had to scramble. The wealthy are going ‘Venezuela' and pulling their physical from vaults to have on hand. That signals to me some people expect TSTHTF sooner rather than later,” said someone called “PapaSwamp.”

“We are getting to the end game bitchez,” replied “Clam McCain.”

It's just like Y2K — I now have more bottles of Guinness and Deluxe Moon Pies than I know what to do with. Ready for my next disaster, Mr. DeMille.