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Monday, May 27, 2013

Learning from Mistakes

by









The old idiom “you can lead a horse to water, but not make him drink” has proven itself true in the course of human learning. Or rather, it would be more accurate to label it man’s inability to learn from mistakes. You can hold a mirror up to grotesque instances of hypocrisy, but most men will remain mules – stubborn in their prejudice and beliefs. The ability to heed lessons from blunders is, often times, a skill unable to be mastered by the mass populace. A child might learn to not touch a searingly hot stove, but adults are apt to accept their condition of intellectual stupor – even when it proves painful.

Microeconomics of Inflation

by Martin Sibileau

















A week later and everyone is a bit more nervous, with the speculation that US sovereign debt purchases by the Federal Reserve will wind down and with the Bank of Japan completely cornered.
In anticipation to the debate on the Fed’s bond purchase tapering, on April 28th (see here) I wrote why the Federal Reserve cannot exit Quantitative Easing: Any tightening must be preceded by a change in policy that addresses fiscal deficits. It has absolutely nothing to do with unemployment or activity levels. Furthermore, it will require international coordination. This is also not possible. The Bank of Japan is helplessly facing the collapse of the country’s sovereign debt, the European Monetary Union is anything but what its name indicates, with one of its members under capital controls, and China is improvising as its credit bubble bursts.

Abenomics is nothing new

by FinancialTimesVideos




When shown the magnificent run-up in Japanese equities over the past six months and asked why he is skeptical about the likely success of Abenomics, Mizuho's chief economist simply explains, "because I am not suffering from amnesia," as the rest of the market appears to be. He goes in this brief interview with the FT to explain there is nothing new here. We already saw massive fiscal expenditure in the 1990s (which failed to gain any real economic traction) and as far as quantitative easing, Ueno reminds his interviewer, we saw major QE between 2001 and 2006 (that failed), Furthermore, the so-called growth strategy, "every Japanese cabinet has undertaken such doctrines without any success." The discussion then switches from the dashing of hopes to the risks of the policy. Five minutes well spent this weekend to remind your momentum-driven recency-biased anchored view of the world that there is nothing new under the sun and moar is not always better...

Killing the Currency

by














 
. . . there is no record in the economic history of the whole world, anywhere or at any time, of a serious and prolonged inflation which has not been accompanied and made possible, if not directly caused, by a large increase in the quantity of money.

— Gottfried Haberler, Inflation, Its Causes and Cures (1960)[1]

The phrase “not worth a continental” may be vaguely familiar to Americans as an old and quirky saying, but to Revolutionary War–era Americans it would have been a harsh reminder of a recent nightmare. In order to finance the war, the Continental Congress authorized the issuance of money without rights of redemption in coin or precious metals (unlike other currencies in circulation). In short order, over $225 million Continentals were issued on top of an existing money supply of only $25 million. Initially traded on a one-for-one ratio with paper dollars backed by coin or precious metals, within a mere five years Continental currency had depreciated to worthlessness.[2] It was America’s first major experiment with a fiat currency, and it cost many newly free Americans their livelihood and savings.

Gold And The Fiat End-Game

 by soundmoneycampaign.com



The Fiat End Game: Preparing For A Way Forward, is a our latest micro-documentary focused on solutions to our current economic problems. Our current fiat currency standard is terminal, nations around the world are dropping the U.S. dollar as a medium of exchange, central banks are buying gold, and Americans are seeing price inflation during an economic downturn. In order to avoid a systemic financial crisis here in the U.S., we need to focus on solutions. Please watch this important video and join us in a new financial awakening happening right now all across America.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

America’s Bubble Economy Is Going To Become An Economic Black Hole

By Michael

















What is going to happen when the greatest economic bubble in the history of the world pops?  The mainstream media never talks about that.  They are much too busy covering the latest dogfights in Washington and what Justin Bieber has been up to.  And most Americans seem to think that if the Dow keeps setting new all-time highs that everything must be okay.  Sadly, that is not the case at all.  Right now, the U.S. economy is exhibiting all of the classic symptoms of a bubble economy.  You can see this when you step back and take a longer-term view of things.  Over the past decade, we have added more than 10 trillion dollars to the national debt.  But most Americans have shown very little concern as the balance on our national credit card has soared from 6 trillion dollars to nearly 17 trillion dollars.

The Gods Of The Marketplace

by Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,
"It's the lure of easy money. It has a very strong appeal."

                 -Glenn Frey, Smuggler's Blues

 


Investors borrowed $384.4 billion in April, a 1.3% gain from the previous month and a 29% rise from the same month last year. This is an all-time record for margin debt and it exceeds the previous high mark set in June 2007. Some may see this as an increased sign of investor confidence but I am not one of them. To me this is a giant red warning flag blowing in the financial breeze indicating the leveraging of dumb money making very risky bets.

"Every swindle is driven by a desire for easy money; it's the one thing the swindler and the swindled have in common."

                     -Mitchell Zuckoff

Substances based upon some sort of white powder are quite dangerous. They can overcome your good sense and then they it can be quite difficult to extricate yourself from them. The Great Depression was caused, in large part, by massive leverage utilized in the equity markets. This was the white powder of 1929. It took a decade and a World War before America was able to loosen the grip of the stuff.

Abenomics 101 - The 15 Most Frequently Asked Questions

 by Tyler Durden



With the first arrow of Abenomics perhaps hitting its limit, it will be the second and third arrows that need to occur quickly and aggressively to carry this momentum forward (and for the economy to grow into stock valuations). Barclays lays out 15 of its most frequently asked questions below but concerns remain as the BoJ’s planned absorption of nearly 80% of new JGB issuance from the markets this fiscal year has triggered a dramatic change not only in JGB supply/demand and ownership structure but in the JGB market risk profile itself, which has moved from “low carry, low volatility and high liquidity (superior to other assets from perspective of risk-adjusted returns or Sharpe ratio)” to “low carry, high volatility and low liquidity (inferior from same perspective)”. Barclays added that with a wave of major political and policy events ahead, starting with a crucial Upper House election, there was no big change in the basic belief among foreign investors that Japan is likely to be the main source of surprise for the global economy and of volatility in financial markets.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fed exit strategy: the mother of all head fakes

by Goldmoney











“Exit strategy” is the current buzz phrase among market watchers, with the dollar rallying in recent days and weeks on expectations that all is well with the US economy again, and that the Fed can now start thinking about ways of selling assets and “exiting” from its current commitment to perpetual quantitative easing.
Given this growing narrative and the fact that US stocks continue to race higher, gold and silver remain under pressure – with a “sell the rallies” mentality continuing to predominate trading in these metals. This could change though, depending on what Fed chairman Bernanke says in congressional testimony later today (if he sounds more dovish on monetary policy and pessimistic about the economy than expected, this should support the metals; in the opposite case, the metals could go lower).
From a longer-term perspective, it really doesn’t matter what Bernanke says. Talk from Fed officials about “exit strategies” is nothing more than a head fake: a way of convincing the markets that central banks are still in control, and that there’s nothing to worry about. The central planners have it all under control.

Keiser Report: Narcissists' Rally




In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert have a look at the narcissists' rally as we drown in central banking their currency wars and their quantitative easing without wealth creation. In the second half, Max talks to Jim Rickards, author of Currency Wars, about why we don't need to worry about a recession - because we're in a depression! They discuss US Federal Chairman, Ben Bernanke's, plan to not Beggar Thy Neighbor, but Enrich They Neighbor by jumping out of the printing plane together with simultaneous devaluations. And, in terms of gold, Keiser and Rickards suggest maybe it's the Chinese manipulating the price of gold . . . and not the US Federal Reserve.

by RussiaToday

Will It Be Inflation Or Deflation? The Answer May Surprise You

By Michael





















Is the coming financial collapse going to be inflationary or deflationary? Are we headed for rampant inflation or crippling deflation? This is a subject that is hotly debated by economists all over the country. Some insist that the wild money printing that the Federal Reserve is doing combined with out of control government spending will eventually result in hyperinflation. Others point to all of the deflationary factors in our economy and argue that we will experience tremendous deflation when the bubble economy that we are currently living in bursts. So what is the truth? Well, for the reasons listed below, I believe that we will see both. The next major financial panic will cause a substantial deflationary wave first, and after that we will see unprecedented inflation as the central bankers and our politicians respond to the financial crisis. This will happen so quickly that many will get "financial whiplash" as they try to figure out what to do with their money. We are moving toward a time of extreme financial instability, and different strategies will be called for at different times.

So why will we see deflation first? The following are some of the major deflationary forces that are affecting our economy right now...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Keynesian Europe Will Not Muddle Through, Says German Economist

by Gary North
















Europe is the poster child of Keynesianism. The southern countries ran huge government deficits for a decade. There was a boom. But that boom has ended. Mediterranean nations are in depressions. These depressions are getting worse.

Hans-Werner Sinn is a German economist. He is known as one of the most pessimistic economists in Europe. But, compared to what is facing Europe, he is a raging optimist.

He spoke at the Peterson Institute. That organization is closer to economic reality than other Establishment think tanks. It allows some bad news to be discussed. Not statistically inevitable bad news, but some bad news.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Banks Win Big as Regulators Refuse to Rein in $700 Trillion Derivatives


by The Real News





 Bill Black: Weakness of financial regulators shows you can not "tame the scorpion"

No Bear Market In Gold — Paul Craig Roberts

by Paul Craig Roberts

















You know that gold bear market that the financial press keeps touting? The one George Soros keeps proclaiming? Well, it is not there. The gold bear market is disinformation that is helping elites acquire the gold.

Certainly, Soros himself doesn’t believe it, as the 13-F release issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 15 proves. George Soros has significantly increased his gold holding by purchasing $25.2 million of call options on the GDXJ Junior Gold Miners Index.

Why I'm Praying for Government Incompetence

by Bill Bonner



"You Americans don't understand anything. You have to come to Argentina and live here for a few years. Then you'll understand America."

We had to ask, "Huh?"

"When you're here, you can see more clearly how things really work... and don't work. You see the real nature of things... especially government. Believe me, you Americans have all sorts of delusions.

"A government 'by, for and of the people'? Or, as Hillary Clinton put it, 'The government is all of us.' Not quite. And when you've been here for a while, you'll see your own institutions more clearly."

Our Man in Argentina

The speaker was a friend of ours. An American from Alabama who has lived in Argentina for 30 years. He lived through the hyperinflation of the 1980s... the boom of the 1990s... and the crash of the 2000s.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gangster Stato America - Paul Craig Roberts

by paulcraigroberts.org



There are many signs of gangster state America. One is the collusion between federal authorities and banksters in a criminal conspiracy to rig the markets for gold and silver.

My explanation that the sudden appearance of an unprecedented 400 ton short sale of gold on the COMEX in April was a manipulation designed to protect the dollar from the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy has found acceptance among gold investors and hedge fund managers.

The sale was a naked short. The seller had no gold to sell. COMEX reported having gold only equal to about half of the short sale in its vaults, and not all of that was available for delivery. No one but the Federal Reserve could have placed such an order, and the order came from one of the Fed’s bullion banks, one of the entities “too big to fail.”

Bill Kaye of the Greater Asian Hedge Fund in Hong Kong and Dave Kranzler of Golden Returns Capital have filled in the details of how the manipulation worked. Being sophisticated investors of many years of experience, both Kaye and Kranzler understand that the financial press runs with the authorized story planted to serve the agenda that has been put into play.

Economics and Armchair Psychology

By John Kozy



“Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man.”― Henry Hazlitt

Over millennia, numerous enterprises have sought the status of science. Few have succeeded because they have failed to discover anything that stood up to scrutiny as knowledge. No body of beliefs, no matter how widely accepted or how extensive in scope, can ever be scientific.

In the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the epicycle is a geometric model of the solar system and planetary motion. It was first proposed by Apollonius of Perga at the end of the 3rd century BCE and its development continued until Kepler came up with a better model in the 17th century, and the geocentric model of the solar system was replaced by Copernican heliocentrism. In spite of some very good approximations to the problems of planetary motion, the system of epicycles could never get anything right.

US Dollar Collapse and Japan’s Sham Currency War: The Hidden Agenda Behind Japan’s Kamikaze Quantitative Easing

By John Kozy















US$ dollars have been flooding the financial markets ever since Bernanke launched quantitative easing allegedly to turnaround the US economy. These huge amounts of US$ toilet paper are mainly in financial markets (and in central banks) outside of the United States. A huge chunk is represented as reserves in central banks led by China and Japan.

If truth be told, the real value of the US$ would not be more than a dime and I am being really generous here, as even toilet paper has a value.

That the US dollar is still accepted in the financial markets (specifically by central banks) has nothing to do with it being a reserve currency, but rather that the US$ is backed/supported by the armed might and nuclear blackmail of the US Military-Industrial Complex. The nuclear blackmail of Iran is the best example following Iran’s decision to trade her crude in other currencies and gold instead of the US$ toilet paper.

Regulating Banks the Austrian Way

by David Howden















Most people — from young to old and from all ends of the political spectrum — are united by a common bond. The idea that banks are deserving of taxpayer support is viewed as morally repugnant to them. Business owners see bank bailouts as an unfair advantage that is not extended to all businesses. Those typically on the political left see it as support for the establishment, and a slap in the faces of the little people. Those more at home on the political right see it as just another form of welfare: a wealth redistribution from the hard working segment of the population to the reckless gambling class of banksters.
Despite this common disdain for bankers, there is considerable disagreement on how to deal with them. One group sees less regulation as the solution — letting market forces work will allow the virtues of prudence and industry to prevail. This formulation sees these same market forces as limiting firm size naturally to evade the “too big to fail” issue, through many of the same incentives that foment competitive economic advancement.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Jim Rogers: The EU goes down the tube as politicians spend cash they don't have

 by rt.com/on-air


Switzerland's cherished banking secrecy is under threat. In the ongoing battle against tax evasion, EU finance ministers have agreed to put pressure on the non-member nation to share its banking data with the Union. Investor Jim Rogers told RT that instead of trying to crack tax havens, EU leaders should address the real problems - like their own unchecked spending habits.

The S&P 500 is Now a Gambler's Paradise With 76.9% Up Days in May So Far

by peakprosperity.com
















Everyone knows the odds of winning in a casino are worse than 50% (often much worse depending on the game played). So who wouldn't rush to a casino where, instead, the odds were overwhelmingly in the gambler's favor?
That's the promise of today's stock market, which has been experiencing an aberrantly high percentage of up days all year. Toss your money into the market and on any given day, you're much likelier to make money than not.
So far, May 2013 has been a gambler's paradise, in which a whopping 76.9% of the trading days for the S&P 500 have been up: 

Bank Of Japan Head:"No Bubble Here" As Nikkei Rises 45% In 2013



Take a good look at the chart of the Nikkei below:


Supposedly this is the same chart that the new BOJ head, Haruhiko Kuroda, was looking at when he was responding to Japanese lawmakers during a session of the upper-house budget committee, where he flatly rejected an opposition-party member's argument that the recent rapid rise in the Tokyo stock market is out of line with Japan's real economy. "At this moment I do not think they are in a bubble," Kuroda said. And everyone believes him, just Because central bankers are so good at objectively observing how contained subrpime is big the asset bubbles their ruinous policies create.
Incidentally, all this happens as the Nikkei225 closed at 15096, and is up 45% in 2013 alone! It will easily surpass the Dow Jones Industrial Average in absolute terms once tonight's trading session begins, considering the ongoing pounding the Yen is sustaining in today's session. From the WSJ

Gold Demand In One Chart: Physical vs ETF

 


 















China's demand for gold jumped 20% to 294 tonnes in the first quarter of 2013, while global gold demand overall slid 13% thanks to the dramatic rotation of demand from paper to physical. Chinese demand in gold bars and coins grew to 109.5 tonnes - more than double the five-year quarterly average of 43.8 tonnes. Central banks added 109.2 tonnes of gold to their reserves in Q1 2013, the ninth consecutive quarter of net purchases. But it was the Q1 ETF outflows of 176.9 tonnes, equating to a 7% decline in total gold ETF holdings that obscured the strong rise in investment for gold bars and coins at the retail level. In the face of the huge 'paper' gold ETF outflows, 'physical' gold demand surged to its highest in 18 months...

Friday, May 17, 2013

by crisishq.com


economic collapse

 

America is quickly approaching a catastrophic economic collapse. Before you dismiss this as hype or paranoia, take a few minutes to review the facts outlined on this page. The numbers don’t lie. At this point, the dollar crash is unavoidable… far from an exaggeration this is a mathematical certainty. As repelling as that sounds, it’s in your own best interest to learn just how bad the situation is.

 

According to the talking heads of mainstream press the economy is slowly recovering and the financial crisis is all but behind us. But we need a reality check. It’s time to stop being naive and start being more discerning. Instead of more false hope, we need the truth as bitter as it might sound… and the truth is, from our local municipalities, to our states to our federal government, we are broke… the truth is we can’t payback our debt without getting into even more debt… the truth is the housing crash of 2008 was just a small preview of what’s to come.
America is drowning in debt. The government’s liabilities are now growing at an exponential rate. Our national debt is on a vicious downward spiral.
To our detriment, our government continues to pretend that we can borrow our way out of debt and only a handful of our politicians are willing to admit that our nation is now bankrupt.
Contrary to rhetoric coming out of Washington, no tax hike or budget cut will get us out of this mess. The kinds of measures that would actually bring about meaningful change to curb the financial collapse are deemed too severe to be even considered.
Examine the evidence outlined below. Connect the dots and think for yourself.

The Recovery That Never Happened...

by Bill Bonner














Gold seemed to be stabilizing at the end of last week. Commodities remained weak. Steel has fallen 31% this year. Brent crude is off 17% since early February. And copper is down 15%.
Copper is the metal you need to make almost anything – houses, cars, electronics. When it goes down, it generally means the world economy is getting soft.
At the start of last week, the conventional analysis of the gold sell-off was that the central banks' efforts to revive global growth were working. The feds had the situation under control. So who needed gold?
By the end of the week, it appeared that gold – and commodities – had sold off for the opposite reason: because central banks' money printing wasn't working and the world was slipping further into a period of slow growth and barely contained depression. From Business Insider:
Recent U.S. economic data has been disappointing, especially in the realm of housing, which is what the US bull case is all about.
In Germany, dubbed the strong arm of Europe, economic sentiment just fell.
Where's the Growth?

And growth has begun to slow in China –

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

10 Scenes From The Economic Collapse That Is Sweeping Across The Planet

by Michael 


















When is the economic collapse going to happen?  Just open up your eyes and take a look around the globe.  The next wave of the economic collapse may not have reached Wall Street yet, but it is already deeply affecting billions of lives all over the planet.  Much of Europe has already descended into a deep economic depression, very disturbing economic data is coming out of the second and third largest economies on the globe (China and Japan), and in most of the world economic inequality is growing even though 80 percent of the global population already lives on less than $10 a day.  Just because the Dow has been setting brand new all-time records lately does not mean that everything is okay.  Remember, a bubble is always the biggest right before it bursts.  The next major wave of the economic collapse is already sweeping across Europe and Asia and it is going to devastate the United States as well.  I hope that you are ready.
The following are 10 scenes from the economic collapse that is sweeping across the planet... 

#1    27 Percent Unemployment/60 Percent Youth Unemployment In Greece
The economic depression in Europe just continues to get worse with each passing month.  According to the Daily Mail, the unemployment rate in Greece has nearly tripled since 2009...

India Gaining on China as World's Leading Importer of Gold

by GoldSilver.com - Douglas May





















Gold imports to India have surged, topping 100 metric tons in April, and they are expected to again exceed 100 metric tons in May. China gold imports also are up, a market response to a dramatic drop in gold prices, a trend not expected to end any time soon.

“It’s a great opportunity to invest in gold now – and being in India, gold can never go to waste,” writes financial analyst Hamsini Amritha.

For reference, China imported an incredible 223 metric tons of gold during the month of March, topping the previous monthly record of just over 100mt.

The escalation of gold imports in India can also be attributed to threats of new taxes on gold imports, pushing traders and jewelers to “beat central bank curbs on overseas bullion purchases by banks.”

Stable Prices, Unstable Markets

by

 














According to European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sees no risk of inflation in the United States. According to Nowotny, Bernanke had given a “very optimistic” portrayal of the US outlook.
“They see absolutely no danger of an expansion in inflation,” Nowotny said. Bernanke had said US inflation should be 1.3 percent this year.
Fed forecasts put inflation by the end of this year in a range of 1.3 to 1.7 percent. The yearly rate of growth of the consumer price index (CPI) stood at 1.5 percent in March against 2 percent in February and 2.7 percent in March last year.
Also the growth momentum of the core CPI (the CPI less food and energy) has eased in March from the month before. Year-on-year the rate of growth has softened to 1.9 percent from 2 percent in February and 2.3 percent in March last year.

This Gold Bug Ain't for Turning!

by Bill Bonner


















Whoa! This is getting interesting...
Gold crashing on Monday. Slight recovery yesterday. Stocks crashed on Monday too. Now surging.
What happened to gold? No one knows. There were reports of a 124.4 ton sell order from an investment bank on Friday morning. But from whom? Why? Nobody knows.
From Bloomberg:
The CME's Comex unit is making it more expensive for speculators to trade after gold fell the most in 33 years today, dropping to the lowest since February 2011, after prices entered a bear market last week. Silver, also in a bear market, slumped 11% today and extended the year's loss to 23%.
In the financial markets, we spend most of our time waiting for something to happen. When years go by and nothing happens, we assume that nothing will ever happen. When it does happen, we are totally surprised.
Is something happening now? A major change of direction? Is another shoe dropping?
All Downhill for Gold?
A consensus is forming that the gold market has reversed direction. The bull market of the last 14 years has finally ended. It's all downhill from here, say the mainstream pundits.
But if that is true, what else will have to be true? The last bull market in gold ended when the Fed dramatically changed course.

Liberty Was Also Attacked in Boston

by Ron Paul 























Forced lockdown of a city. Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down.

These were not the scenes from a military coup in a far off banana republic, but rather the scenes just over a week ago in Boston as the United States got a taste of martial law. The ostensible reason for the military-style takeover of parts of Boston was that the accused perpetrator of a horrific crime was on the loose. The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city. This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.

Pew Study: Europeans Rapidly Losing Faith in Europe

By Gregor Peter Schmitz in Washington
















In just the last 12 months, support for the European Union has plummeted on the Continent. Furthermore, many have lost faith in their elected representatives. Only in Germany do people still view the EU favorably, and the split with the rest of Europe is widening.

Europe's ongoing economic crisis and lasting currency woes are beginning to rapidly erode faith among Europeans in the EU project. That is the result of a new survey undertaken by the renowned Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. and released on Monday evening.
The institute polled 8,000 people in eight European Union member states in March and arrived at some disturbing results. In just one year, the share of Europeans who view the European Union project favorably plummeted from 60 percent in 2012 to just 45 percent this year. Furthermore, only in Germany does a majority continue to support granting more power to Brussels in an effort to combat the ongoing crisis.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Money-ness of Bitcoins

by Nikolay Gertchev

















Bitcoins have been much in the news lately. Against the background of renewed concerns about the integrity of the euro zone and the imposition of capital controls in Cyprus, the price of a bitcoin has tripled over the last month and reached more than $141 for 1 BTC. Are we witnessing the spontaneous emergence of an alternative virtual medium of exchange, as some would put it? This article offers an answer to this question by considering three aspects of the economy of bitcoins: their production process, their demand factors, and their capacity to compete with physical media of exchange.

The Production of Bitcoins

A bitcoin is a unit of a nonmaterial virtual currency, also called crypto-currency, by the same name. They are stored in anonymous “electronic wallets,” described by a series of about 33 letters and numbers. Bitcoins can travel from a wallet to a wallet, by means of an online peer-to-peer networktransaction. Any inter-wallet transfer is registered in the code of the bitcoin, so that the record of its entire transaction history clearly identifies its owner at any single moment, thereby preventing potential ownership conflicts. Bitcoins can be further divided into increments as small as one 100 millionth of a bitcoin. The current outstanding volume of bitcoins is above 10 million and is projected to reach 21 million in the year 2140.

Who Is The Highest Paid Public Employee In Your State?

by Tyler Durden















Think the best paid public servant in your state is some tax-collecting bureaucrat with a commission-based comp structure, or some administrative apparatchik? Think again. As the following infographic from Deadspin shows, in 41 US states, the highest-paid public employee is either the football, basketball or hockey coach at the local state school. Whick takes cares of the "Circuses" part. For now, at least, public sector bakers did not make the list...

But fear not: your taxes don't pay for these key actors in the daily lineup of "bread and circuses" - from Deadspin: "The bulk of this coaching money—especially at the big football schools—is paid out of the revenue that the teams generate."

What are the considerations? 

The Golden Answer to Chinese Import Data

by Eric Sprott, Etienne Bordeleau & David Franklin













Manufacturing data in the last several months has suggested that economic growth around the world is slowing.1   However, China’s export growth surprised the market this week and unexpectedly accelerated in April, even as shipments to the U.S. and Europe fell.2   This has created a conundrum for analysts and market watchers. How can China be growing while the countries that purchase its exports are slowing? The numbers don’t add up.
Digging deeper into these figures, several analysts have come to the conclusion that the numbers are faulty. Bank of America Corp. and Mizuho Securities Co. analysts have gone so far to say the figures have been inflated by fake reports. An “astounding” 92.9 percent jump in exports to Hong Kong, the most in 18 years, raises questions on data quality, researcher IHS Inc. said. They even call some of the data ‘absurd’, suggesting that exporters are ‘faking orders’ to obtain export-tax rebates. These observations challenge the credibility of Chinese economic data once again.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Marc Faber: "Something Will Break Very Badly"

theglobeandmail.com
















Marc Faber, editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report, was late to arrive to our Tuesday live discussion at Inside the Market alongside David Rosenberg. But we posed some of the questions you left for him in a later telephone conversation.
Before we did, however, we couldn’t resist asking him about his views on Canada. Not surprisingly, the famed economist known for his contrarian and often pessimistic bent didn’t exactly offer an uplifting view.

“I think Canada is a case where you have huge leverage in the private sector and where the economy is slowing down, where you have a strong currency and where the price levels are now relatively high,” Dr. Faber told us from Thailand. “I don’t think Canada is very inexpensive any more. I travel there all the time, it’s rather on the expensive side. I think there’s significant risk to the Canadian economy.”

It’s official: Global economic policy now firmly in the hands of money cranks

By
              



















The lesson from the events of 2007-2008 should have been clear: Boosting GDP with loose money – as the Greenspan Fed did repeatedly between 1987 and 2005 and most damagingly between 2001 and 2005 when in order to shorten a minor recession it inflated a massive housing bubble – can only lead to short term booms followed by severe busts. A policy of artificially cheapened credit cannot but cause mispricing of risk, misallocation of capital and a deeply dislocated financial infrastructure, all of which will ultimately conspire to bring the fake boom to a screeching halt. The ‘good times’ of the cheap money expansion, largely characterized by windfall profits for the financial industry and the faux prosperity of propped-up financial assets and real estate (largely to be enjoyed by the ‘1 percent’), necessarily end in an almighty hangover.

The crisis that commenced in 2007 was therefore a massive opportunity: An opportunity to allow the market to liquidate the accumulated dislocations and to bring the economy back into balance; an opportunity to reflect on the inherent instability that central bank activism and manipulation of interest rates must generate;

Is Mr. Buffett Right about not Holding Gold?

By: Julian D. W. Phillips, Gold/Silver Forecaster - Global Watch














Who is Warren Buffett? He's 'Yoda' of the financial world. He is a man brilliantly skilled at making profits with considerable expertise in the U.S. economy and its corporations.

Gold is, as he says, a dormant item pulled out of the ground and stored in vaults thereafter. It is not for 'just making profits because it is an entirely different animal to corporations. The big difference is that Buffett has been making money for around 70 years, whereas gold has been preserving wealth for around 5000 years. Buffett is mortal and coming to the end of his life, whereas gold is not. Mr Buffett's ability to make money is dependent on the continuation of a growing U.S. economy. More importantly it depends on his mortal skills as an investor. Gold is immortal.

China produces 90 tons, consumes 320 tons in Q1-2013













The Association added that country's gold production gained 11% in the same period to 89.91 tonnes.

BEIJING (BullionStreet): World's largest gold producer and second largest consumer China's total gold usage reached 320.54 metric tonnes in the first quarter, China Gold Association said.
According to CGA, purchases of gold bars surged 49% to 120.39 tonnes, while jewelry gained 16% to 178.59 tonnes.
Gold consumption in China soared 26% in the first three months of 2013 from a year ago amid strong bullion sales and rising jewelry demand.
The Association added that country's gold production gained 11% in the same period to 89.91 tonnes.
Analysts said Chinese gold imports are likely to swell further after rising strongly for a second straight month in March, as investors seek safety from economic uncertainty and after prices plunged to a two-year low last month.
Meanwhile, China's net gold inflows from Hong Kong rose to 223.519 tonnes in March from 97.106 tonnes in February.
China produced 403 tonnes of gold in 2012, but consumption was more than double at 832.2 tonnes.
Demand for gold from India and China is a major factor in global prices, with the World Gold Council saying the two countries account for more than a third of global appetite.

The Truth About Economic Forecasting

 by
















Astrologers, palmists, and crystal-ball gazers are scorned while professional economists are heralded for their scientific achievements. Yet the academics are no less mystical in trying to predict the direction of interest rates, economic growth, and the stock market.
Forty years ago, Thomas Dewey was defeated by Harry Truman, stunning the political experts and journalists who were certain Dewey was going to win. While questions about “scientific” polling techniques naturally arose, one journalist focused on the heart of the matter. In his November 22, 1948, column in Newsweek, Henry Hazlitt said the “upset” reflected the pitfalls of forecasting man’s future. As Hazlitt explained:
The economic future, like the political future, will be determined by future human behavior and decisions. That is why it is uncertain. And in spite of the enormous and constantly growing literature on business cycles, business forecasting will never, any more than opinion polls, become an exact science.
We know how well economists forecasted the eighties: from the 1982 recession and the employment boom to the Crash of 1987, no major forecasting firm came close to predicting these turns in the market.

The Story Of Inequality In The US: Past, Present And Future














In this far-reaching documentary, we are first treated to a history lesson from the early 80s to the present day - a story of lust, debt, and largesse; from Reagan deficits to cell phones to day trading to real estate... and then 2008 is explained (as reality started to peek through). The clip projects the next few years - from failed bond auctions to QE9 and social unrest - "but it doesn't have to be this way," the narrator notes. Breaking Inequality is a documentary film about the corruption between Washington and Wall Street that has resulted in the largest inequality gap in the history of America.
It is a film that exposes the truth behind the single event that occurred back in the early 70's that set us off on this perilous journey that we are currently on. The inequality gap is presently the worst that it has ever been and there is no solution in place to repair this crippling problem.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Are We a 'Criminal Element'?

by Bill Bonner 

 















Back in the USA, stocks rose again yesterday. The Dow finished up 128 points. Gold fell $25 per ounce yesterday... and everybody seems to think it will be going down forever. (A word of caution: probably not.)
Last week, we went to São Paulo, Brazil. There, too, we found taxi drivers who knew a lot more about monetary crises than the typical US economist. Said one:
I remember. I was just a kid. But my father would call and tell us to run to the grocery store. He had just been paid. We'd dash for the grocery story, meet him there and buy everything we could. We spent every cent in just a few minutes.
Our friend was recalling what it was like in the late 1980s in Brazil. The government had caused inflation... then hyperinflation. Prices rose so fast that as soon as people got some cash they ran to the grocery store to spend it.
Later, there was no point. In 1990, hyperinflation in Brazil reached 30,000%. What cost 1 real (the Brazilian currency) in 1980 cost 1 trillion in 1997. The hyperinflation wiped out the middle class... and wiped the shelves clean.
"It's hard to run a business when you don't know what your money is going to be worth," said our friend. "Businesses tended to just stop."



From Harare to Buenos Aires...

And here in Argentina, there came an announcement this week. The government will freeze the price of gasoline for the next six months.

What Is a Gold Standard?



Before 1971, U.S. dollars were backed by gold. This meant that the federal government could not print more money than it could redeem for gold. While this constrained the federal government, it also provided citizens with a relatively stable purchasing power for goods and services. As Learn Liberty explains in this simple 4 minute clip, today's paper currency has no intrinsic value; it is not based on the value of gold or anything else. Under a gold standard, inflation was really limited. With floating value, or fiat, currency, however, some countries have seen inflation reach extremely high levels - sometimes enough to lead to economic collapse. Gold standards have historically provided more stable currencies with lower inflation than fiat currency. Of course, this leaves the question open of whether the United States return to a gold standard?

This Is The S&P With And Without QE

by Zero Hedge
 















For a while there, it seemed that even the densest of career economists who try to pass for stock pundits on financial comedy TV, were starting to get that without the Fed's (and the ECB's, and the BOE's, and the BOJ's) QE, the market would be much, much lower (whether 500 points lower as Gundlach suggested or much more, remains unclear). After all: by now it should have been clear to most that QE is doing nothing for the economy, and everything for the stock and bond market (here we certainly agree: there is a bond bubble, which by implication there is an even more massive stock bubble too - anyone who says the two are unlinked can be immediately put on mute).
This is why we presented this chart previously:



Monday, May 6, 2013

Jim Rickards on the EU Economic Crisis


Jim Rickards, senior managing director at Tangent Capital and author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis, joins Phillip Yin on CCTV America. They discuss the Euro Zone economic crisis.

Thanks, World Reserve Currency, But No Thanks: Australia And China To Enable Direct Currency Convertibility

by Tyler Durden 
 





















A month ago we pointed out that as a result of Australia's unprecedented reliance on China as a target export market, accounting for nearly 30% of all Australian exports (with the flipside being just as true, as Australia now is the fifth-biggest source of Chinese imports), the two countries may as well be joined at the hip.



Over the weekend, Australia appears to have come to the same conclusion, with the Australian reporting that the land down under is set to say goodbye to the world's "reserve currency" in its trade dealings with the world's biggest marginal economic power, China, and will enable the direct convertibility of the Australian dollar into Chinese yuan, without US Dollar intermediation, in the process "slashing costs for thousands of business" and also confirming speculation that China is fully intent on, little by little, chipping away at the dollar's reserve currency status until one day it no longer is.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A. Gary Shilling - Six Realities In An Age Of Deleveraging

by Lance Roberts of Street Talk Live blog

















In Part III of Lance's series of reports from the 10th annual Strategic Investment Conference, presented Altegris Investments and John Mauldin, the question of how to invest during a deleveraging cycle is addressed by A. Gary Shilling, Ph.D.  Dr. Shilling is the President of A. Gary Shilling & Co., an investment manager, Forbes and Bloomberg columnist and author - Mr. Shilling's list of credentials is long and impressive.  His most recent book "The Age Of Deleveraging: Investment Strategies In A Slow Growth Economy" is a must read.  Here are his views on what to watch out for and how to invest in our current economic cycle.

Six Fundamental Realities
  • Private Sector Deleveraging And Government Policy Responses
  • Rising Protectionism
  • Grand Disconnect Between Markets And Economy
  • Zeal For Yield
  • End Of Export Driven Economies
  • Equities Are Vulnerable
Private Sector Deleveraging And Government Policy Responses
Household deleveraging is far from over. There is most likely at least 5 more years to go. However, it could be longer given the magnitude of the debt bubble. The offset of the household deleveraging has been the leveraging up of the Federal government.
The flip side of household leverage is the personal saving rates. The decline in the savings rate from the 1980’s to 2000 was a major boost to economic growth. That has now changed as savings rate are now slowly increasing and acting as a drag on growth.
However, American’s are not saving voluntarily. American’s have been trained to spend as long as credit is readily available. However, credit is no longer available. Furthermore, there is an implicit mistrust of stocks which is a huge change from the 90’s when stocks were believed to be a source of wealth creation limiting the need to save.    

The Monarchs Of Money




The world's central banks have printed unimaginable amounts of money in recent years - "these guys are really more powerful than the government." Neil Macdonald explores what this means for the global economy and for your financial well-being - "can you imagine if the American public knew there was this 'club' that met secretly in Switzerland and made decisions that dramatically affected their lives, but we're not going to tell you about it because it's too complicated." This brief documentary should open a few eyes to the reality behind the world's most powerful (and real) cabal.


Nigel Farage on "wholesale, violent revolution" in Europe

by sovereignman.com



As Nigel said… “When the next phase of the disaster comes, they will come for you“ As countless examples throughout history have shown, there will always be winners, and there will always be losers. At Sovereign Man we write frequently about how you can end up on the winning side, and the key to not ending up as one of the losers is internationalizing yourself and your assets ahead of time. Once capital controls were erected in Argentina it was too late. Once the banks recently announced the “bank holiday” in Cyprus it was too late. But chances are you don’t live in Argentina or in Cyprus, and that there’s still time for you to take certain steps that makes sense no matter what happens.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Arizona Becomes 2nd State To Make Gold & Silver Legal Tender

by Tyler Durden
















Just under a month ago we raised the prospect of a number of states following Utah (which authorized bullion for currency in 2011) down the path of gold and silver as legal tender. "The legislation is about signaling discontent with monetary policy and about what Ben Bernanke is doing," was how this shift was previously described and as Yahoo reports, the Arizona Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to make gold and silver legal currency in the state, in a response to what backers said was a lack of confidence in the international monetary system. The bill will make gold and silver coins legal tender as of mid-2014 and more than a dozen other states continue to mull the transition. Those against the bill argue somewhat ironically, "anybody who thinks gold or silver is a really safe place to put your money had better think again," anchored on the last two weeks, but as one supporter of the bill added, a "sound and honest money system such as gold and silver" is needed to bring stability.

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem




Econstories.tv is a place to learn about the economic way of thinking through the eyes of creative director John Papola and creative economist Russ Roberts.

In Fear the Boom and Bust, John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great economists of the 20th century, come back to life to attend an economics conference on the economic crisis. Before the conference begins, and at the insistence of Lord Keynes, they go out for a night on the town and sing about why there's a "boom and bust" cycle in modern economies and good reason to fear it.

Cyprus Bailout Deal Is Pilot Program for Future Bank Deposit Confiscation

by goldsilver.com














A great deal of ink has been spilled recently about the economic meltdown in Cyprus. The latest domino in the slow collapse of the European monetary union, Cyprus introduced radical solutions to meet the demands of the EU (European Union) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Now, Cypriot bank depositors have lost chunks of their savings, the Cyprus government has imposed currency controls, and the central bank may be forced to sell the majority of its gold reserves. In some ways, however, the Cypriots are receiving a better deal than citizens of the U.S., U.K., or Canada.

The Cyprus bank crisis is intimately tied to that of Greece. Due to rising unemployment and benefit payments, the volume of state debt – much of which is funded through Greek loans – steeply increased during the recession. In order to fund the loans, Cypriot banks bought Greek bonds. As a result of the Greek bailout settlement, the bonds suffered a 50% haircut, in turn threatening the collapse of the Cypriot banking sector.

Good riddance to deposit ‘insurance’

By Detlev Schlichter

















Once the public furor and shrill media coverage have died down it will become clear that events in Cyprus did not mark the death of democracy or the end of the euro but potentially the beginning of the end of deposit ‘insurance’. If so, then three cheers to that. It may herald a return to honesty, transparency and responsibility in banking.

Let us start by looking at some of the facts of deposit banking: When you deposit money in a bank you forfeit ownership of money and gain ownership of a claim against the bank – a claim for instant repayment of money but a claim nonetheless. In 1848 the House of Lords stated it thus:

“Money, when paid into a bank, ceases altogether to be the money of the principal; it is then the money of the banker, who is bound to an equivalent by paying a similar sum to that deposited with him when he is asked for it…The money placed in the custody of a banker is, to all intents and purposes, the money of the banker, to do with it as he pleases; he is guilty of no breach of trust in employing it; he is not answerable to the principal if he puts it into jeopardy, if he engages in hazardous speculation; he is not bound to keep it or deal with it as the property of his principal; but he is, of course, answerable for the amount, because he has contracted.”

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book review: David A. Stockman – “The Great Deformation – The Corruption of Capitalism in America”

by DETLEV SCHLICHTER
David Stockman’s new book “The Great Deformation” is a brilliant, penetrating analysis of the present state of the US economy and the US political system, and a detailed account of how the nation got into this mess. The book will upset Democrats and Republicans alike, and quite a few other constituencies as well, which can, in this case, be safely accepted as proof that Stockman’s narrative is spot on.

Stockman is an angry man and he admits so himself early in his 719-page tome. That anger adds bite and verve to his writing and keeps what is in fact a detailed historical account and economic analysis always highly entertaining. The book is long but never boring. Furthermore, Stockman does not let the anger cloud his judgement, which remains, in my view, relentlessly accurate throughout.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It’s official: Global economic policy now firmly in the hands of money cranks

by DETLEV SCHLICHTER



















The lesson from the events of 2007-2008 should have been clear: Boosting GDP with loose money – as the Greenspan Fed did repeatedly between 1987 and 2005 and most damagingly between 2001 and 2005 when in order to shorten a minor recession it inflated a massive housing bubble – can only lead to short term booms followed by severe busts. A policy of artificially cheapened credit cannot but cause mispricing of risk, misallocation of capital and a deeply dislocated financial infrastructure, all of which will ultimately conspire to bring the fake boom to a screeching halt. The ‘good times’ of the cheap money expansion, largely characterized by windfall profits for the financial industry and the faux prosperity of propped-up financial assets and real estate (largely to be enjoyed by the ‘1 percent’), necessarily end in an almighty hangover.

The crisis that commenced in 2007 was therefore a massive opportunity: An opportunity to allow the market to liquidate the accumulated dislocations and to bring the economy back into balance; an opportunity to reflect on the inherent instability that central bank activism and manipulation of interest rates must generate; an opportunity to cut off a bloated financial industry from the subsidy of cheap money;