Economics

Economics
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Updated: 6 hours 37 min ago

The United States of Weinstein: Complicity, Greed and Corruption Is the Status Quo

17-Oct-2017

The sordid story of Harvey Weinstein is being presented as an aberration. It is not an aberration; it is merely a high-profile example of how the status quo functions in the USA, a.k.a. The United States of Weinstein, in which complicity, greed and corruption reign supreme in every sector and in every nook and cranny of power. 

The dirty secret of America’s status quo is that power and wealth are both extremely concentrated, which means there are gatekeepers who must be bribed, sated or serviced if you want to claw your way up the wealth-power pyramid. Mr. Weinstein’s alleged conduct and payoffs of those he exploited is par for the course in the corridors of power in the USA.

As a gatekeeper in Hollywood, Mr. W. could make or break careers with absurd ease.

Gatekeepers are the key functionaries in a rentier economy in which the few at the top skim the wealth of the many. Want to play in the big leagues of Hollywood, Washington D.C., the Pentagon, or the various HQs of Global Corporate America? You have to pay the Gatekeepers what they demand.

It might be the casting couch or a slice of the profits, or a vote in committee, but the price of admission will always include complicity–silence about the crimes committed and the endemic corruption, and a sacrifice of moral standards. This is the minimal price of “success” in the elite circles of wealth and power in America.

If you doubt this, dig deep into any concentration of power in America and see what you find. Outsiders won’t find anyone willing to talk, of course; that’s how complicity works.

The overheated engine of complicity is greed. Hollywood kept quiet about Mr. Weinstein because insiders and wannabes alike hoped to score a plum role in Mr. W.’s next hitmaking production, or secure a couple of points of the gross. (1 point = 1%.)

This is the evil fruit of a system that ruthlessly concentrates power and wealth, not just in Hollywood and Washington D.C. but in the judiciary, in higher education, in Big Pharma, the National Security State, Corporate America and yes, the Deep State, which is comprised not of the bureaucratic functionaries (sorry to pop your balloon) of the state but those one level above the gatekeepers.

Every American has a simple but profound choice. Either place your integrity above all else, and refuse to climb the putrid pyramid of wealth and power, or succumb to greed and become complicit in an empire of greed, complicity and corruption.

If “success” means a fat salary, points of gross, invitations to A-list parties, access to the inner circle, being the right-hand boy/girl of someone powerful, a seat on the private jet, etc., then you will be required to service the gatekeepers and sacrifice whatever integrity you once possessed.

If integrity means more than any of these baubles, then prepare to fail. You won’t clamber up the putrid pyramid, you won’t get past the gatekeepers, and you won’t be invited to join the elite skimming the nation’s wealth for its own gratification and greed.

But you will still have yourself, your pride, and your integrity.

It’s not an easy choice. Choose wisely. As Orwell observed about a totalitarian oligarchy, some are more equal than others. But the sacrifices required to become more equal than than the bottom 99.5% are irrevocable–you will have to sacrifice everything but your greed, your appetite for corruption and your willingness to hide the truth from the outside world.

True success lies outside the empire of greed, complicity and corruption.

 

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About That Oil For Gold-Backed Yuan Contract: Two Points EVERYBODY Has Missed

17-Oct-2017

The first point (and a half) is a counter to this statement which everybody accepts as doctrine:

Anybody can buy gold with dollars at any time – no gold backed oil contract needed.

I won’t name names. We’re all on the same side here, but for some reason this topic is more polarizing than it should be.

Let’s think about “anybody can buy gold with dollars now” for a moment.

Dollars come from the United States. The benchmark global gold price in dollars comes from the United States.

It makes sense that if a company/country is selling a crap-ton of barrels of oil for dollars, said company/country would be most efficient in purchasing their physical gold on the COMEX with those dollars.

It’s not like a company or country can walk into some local coin shop with $350,000,000 in U.S. dollars and scoop up a 259,259 Chinese Gold Pandas.

They need the COMEX.

Here’s the problem:

If the U.S. futures market price of paper gold is nothing more than a debt based fiat currency price for something that never actually gets delivered, but rather, gets cash settled with more debt based fiat currency, then the company/country that just sold their oil for dollars is not really able to just take those dollars and buy gold as the “matter-of-fact” statement claims.

Secondary note to the first point (this is the half point):

We see what happens to world leaders when they announce or  begin to sell their oil for something other than dollars.

Anybody who is not familiar with this, the answer is death of said leader and destruction/plundering of the country by the war machine.

There is a flip-side to the oil-for-gold proclamations that we are missing:

Say Oil producers Canada or Mexico, or pick some non-bedfellow countries that attract the war machine, such as Turkey, Syria, Iraq, or Venezuela, who all of the sudden decide, “We are selling our oil for dollars, but we will immediately take them and buy physical gold from the COMEX with all the proceeds.”

Are the neo-cons, the deep state, the ESF, the Fed, the gold cartel and the other nefarious players just going to sit by and say:

“sure dude, whatever floats your boat”.

Not a chance. Said groups will spring into action, most likely of the swift and violent type.

Back to the main first point:

While theoretically possible to just “take those dollars and buy gold”, in practice this does not happen.

Between the levered-up, fractionally reserved “paper gold” which the bullion banks can naked short with a supply of unlimited paper, what company/country is going to want to get a futures contract and jump into that firefight, with the full brunt of market manipulation and precious metals price suppression bearing down on them, and backed-up by the war machine when all else fails?

To say “anybody can buy gold now” with their dollars misses the point.

And that’s the point.

Theoretically I can build a vast array of underground cities connected by public transporton submarines, or I can build an office building 39,000 feet tall, with a rotating restaurant on top for a 360 degree view of the clouds, but in coming down to earth a bit, we all know that in both practice and for all intents and purposes, neither of those things are possible. Much less just converting massive oil revenues into physical delivery from the COMEX, which is probably the least possible of all the scenarios I just mentioned.

The second point is even simpler:

The bigger picture that everybody keeps missing has to do with one of the principle reasons that people will use an un-backed, debt based fiat currency:

CONFIDENCE

Whether the oil for gold contract is true or false, myth or fact, it misses the point that China is looking for confidence in something other than the dollar.

Confidence builds very, very slowly, and it is bursts in a ball of flames.

Everybody understands what it means to have, and then to lose confidence in the currency. Loss of confidence is why un-backed, debt based fiat currencies always suffer death by hyperinflation.

No doubt we are in the growing pains of a paradigm shift in the global monetary system. Every single time, without fail, the world always goes back to gold and silver. We have been going through several years of pain, and perhaps, disbelief, much like the Brits went though a hundred years ago up until Bretton Woods.

This time is somehow different?

How ’bout a global twist in the “gold backed” story with President Trump ending the “temporary” convertibility of dollars for gold:

We do know that President Tump understands gold:

And we know Donald Trump accepts payment in gold:

Which is why, for the first time ever, Trump will accept today gold bullion instead of dollars for a lease deposit from his newest tenant in one of his marquee properties, 40 Wall Street, a 70-story skyscraper in Manhattan’s Financial District that at one time was the tallest building in the city until the Chrysler Building surpassed it. Trump will accept the gold at an event in the lobby of the Trump Tower at 725 Fifth Avenue.

And we do know that sooner or later, bullies (as in the US War Machine forcing the world to use dollars) will make a mistake, become weak, become complacent, or have opponents in numbers that band together.

There is a reason they say “Even a dog knows the difference between getting tripped over and getting kicked”.

It’s only possible to kick a dog so many times. At some point, the dog is going to get so angry that it will not take another.

The question is:

Is there one more kick coming, or is the dog about to bite? 

Brexit UK Vulnerable As Gold Bar Exports Distort UK Trade Figures

17-Oct-2017

– Brexit UK vulnerable as gold bar exports distort UK trade figures
– Britain’s gold exports worth more than any other physical export
– Gold accounted for more than one in ten pounds of UK exports in July 2017

– UK’s stock of wealth has collapsed from a surplus of £469bn to a net deficit of £22bn – ONS error
– Brexiteers argue majority of trade is outside EU, this is due to large London gold exports
– Single gold bar (London Good Delivery) is, at today’s prices, worth just over £400,000
– “There are few things you’ll ever touch which pack so much weight into such a small size”
– UK’s economic vulnerability means safe haven gold essential protection

I’ve never played poker but I’m pretty sure the number one rule is not to reveal your cards to your opponents.

Yesterday the ONS possibly gave the EU one of the biggest reveals so far in Brexit negotiations. Revised figures from the statistics bureau showed the country’s stock of wealth has fallen from a surplus of £469 billion to a net deficit of £22 billion as reported by LBC.

This is down to FDI and fall in reserve foreign assets. In the first half of the year FDI fell from a £120 billion surplus in the first half of 2016 to a £25 billion deficit for the first half of this year.

With the UK totally losing its foreign assets, the EU (and the rest of the world) is aware that its safety net is no longer there. Not great timing, just as the government is trying to get through this crucial stage of Brexit negotiations.

The amount that has been knocked off the UK’s wealth is the equivalent of 40% of EU contributions. The bank balance isn’t the only thing the UK has at best misunderstood or at worst been mislead over. Their trade is not as internationally diverse as Brexiteers might have led markets to believe.

Following the referendum result there was an increase in Britain’s exports. Many pointed to the numbers as a sign of confidence in the future of the UK, following the Brexit vote.

It turns out that much maligned gold was to thank for this uptick. Without gold, the majority of the UK’s trade would be with the EU.

This is a reminder of how vulnerable we are to negotiations and reliant we are on the precious metal.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com.

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

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Too Good For Too Long

16-Oct-2017

Having just lived through the massive fires in northern California — on top of watching news reports over the previous weeks of similarly abrupt “before/after” transitions in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico City, Las Vegas and Catalonia — I have a new-found appreciation for the maxim that when it arrives, change happens quickly — usually much more quickly than folks ever imagined, catching the general public off-guard and unprepared.

We humans tend to think linearly and comparatively. In other words, we usually assume the near future will look a lot like the recent past. And it does much of the time.

But other times it doesn’t. And that’s where the danger lies in today’s markets.

Click here to read the full article

The Fading Scent of the American Dream

16-Oct-2017

It’s been 10 years since I devoted a week to the theme of The Rot Within(September 17, 2007). Back in 2007, I listed 16 systemic sources of rot in our society, politics and economy; none have been fixed. Instead, the gaping holes have been filled with Play-Do and hastily painted to create the illusion of shiny solidity.

We live in a simulacrum society in which the fading scent of the American Dream is more a collective memory kept alive for political purposes than a reality. Even more disturbing, the difference between a phantom prosperity (or in homage to the Blade Runner film series, shall we say a replicant prosperity?) and real prosperity has been blurred by layers of simulated signals of prosperity and subtexts that are carefully designed to harken back to a long-gone authentic prosperity.

This is the reality: the American Dream is now reserved for the top 0.5%, with some phantom shreds falling to the top 5% who are tasked with generating a credible illusion of prosperity for the bottom 95%. While questions about who is a replicant and who is real become increasingly difficult to answer in the films, the question about who still has access to the American Dream is starkly answered by this disturbing chart:

If you talk to young people struggling to make ends meet and raise children, and read articles about retirees who can’t afford to retire, you can’t help but detect the fading scent of a prosperity that has steadily been lost to stagnation, under-reported inflation and soaring inequality, a substitution of illusion for reality bolstered by the systemic corruption of authentic measures of prosperity and well-being.

The New Reality of Old Age in America.

In other words, the American-Dream idea that life should get easier and more prosperous as the natural course of progress is still embedded in our collective memory, even though the collective reality has changed: for the bottom 95%, life is typically getting harder and less prosperous as the cost of living rises, wages are stagnant and the demands on workers increase.

Meanwhile, the asset bubbles inflated by central banks have enriched the top 10% of households, which own over 75% of all assets and take home over 50% of all household income.

“While most Americans are unprepared for retirement, rich older people are doing better than ever. Among people older than 65, the wealthiest 20 percent own virtually all of the nation’s $25 trillion in retirement accounts, according to the Economic Policy Institute.”

Household wealth follows a power-law distribution, i.e. the vast majority is held by the top few households: the top .1% own roughly 25% of all US household wealth, the top 1% around 40%, and so on. So the households between 80% and and 95% own a very modest percentage of what the top 96%-99% own.

The power-law distribution of wealth is visible in this chart:

Statistically, average per capita (per person) income and per capita share of GDP have risen substantially over the past the past 30 years. By these measures, everyone is considerably better off. Yet how many households are measurably better off in terms of free time, savings, disposable income, retirement accounts, financial security, reduction in debt loads, etc.?

These two charts tell the real story of our economy: median household income (using the Consumer Price Index measure of inflation, which grossly under-estimates real inflation, as I explained in About Those “Hedonic Adjustments” to Inflation: Ignoring the Systemic Decline in Quality, Utility, Durability and Service) has gone nowhere since 2000. If income were adjusted by real inflation, the chart would show a 20% decline in purchasing power for all but the top 5%:

This chart of household assets/corporate equities reveals the source of the phantom wealth propping up our simulacrum prosperity:

And please don’t claim corporate profits are soaring, so the valuations are justified. If you examine the Federal Reserve’s Z1 report, you’ll find that corporate profits are unchanged since 2014–no growth at all.

Clearly, our political-financial system and the policies of central banks have combined to concentrate wealth and income in the top of the wealth/income pyramid: those who own the assets that have bubbled higher are booking luxury cruises, while those who don’t own much of bubbling-ever-higher assets are working at tourist spots visited by the cruise ships.

The average person knows the scent of the American Dream is fading, and many have lost hope of what was once taken for granted: home ownership, increasing income, and an easier life as household income and wealth slowly but surely increased with time.

But the collective memory of the American Dream remains; people feel they should be able to take a vacation, should be able to buy a starter home, should be free of constant worry about paying the bills, and so on. With this collective memory still in place (and constantly kept alive by advertising), people naturally start feeling a pervasive sense of betrayal: the system implicitly promised everyone who worked a lifetime security and increasing prosperity.

Official claims of prosperity are out of alignment with reality, and so expectations are out of alignment with reality. As I have often noted, this creates a highly combustible and dangerous dynamic, as the emotions of betrayal and despair are volatile.

In other words, if 90% of the work force expects to be poor their entire lives, has no thought of ever owning a house, anticipates scraping by in their senior years, etc., then their expectations are aligned with the realities of a hierarchical power-law economy and social structure. Low expectations are difficult to dash.

But when 90% of the work force has expectations for an American Dream based on memories of those expectations being met, the widening gap between expectations and reality unleashes a politically combustible realization that prosperity is now concentrated in the hands of the top 5%. A sense of injustice and betrayal arise, along with a sense that something has gone profoundly wrong with the society and the economy.

This dynamic has yet to fully play out, but it will. Whatever you think of Trump, his election isn’t the problem; it’s merely a symptom of much deeper forces that will sweep our corrupt and rotten-to-the-core status quo into the dustbin of history. 

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Ready To Surge: Dow Is Going To Need A Lot More Than 23,000 To Fend Off Gold & Silver

16-Oct-2017

First this to start a Monday morning:

The U.S. has gained more than 5.2 trillion dollars in Stock Market Value since Election Day! Also, record business enthusiasm.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2017

In the overnight session, gold and silver have been looking good with respectable price action:

For this Monday Outlook, let’s see where we have been over the last year. As we can see, gold and silver have been all over the place.

For example, Silver is lower than where it was a year ago:

On November 9th, we had the election night spike higher, and then two days lower, they brought the smash. We are in a good position for the week when we move our eyes to the right side of the chart. The 50-day is right there at the 200-day, ready to show the world that the 50-day has decisively crossed to the upside. We know that already, but since the metals have had no love all year, it will be good for everybody else to see it.

Regardless, the silver price is decidedly lower than a year ago. It hasn’t been much fun, and those month long smashings this year have been brutal, but the more they try to force the price down, the more this pent-up energy needs to be released, and the cartel could quickly become overwhelmed.

A problem area on the chart is around $17.70. That is June 6th peak before a month long fall. Once silver gets through that level, the price needs to take out $18 with determination.

But if the copper price has anything to do with it, that could be sooner than later:

We know that everybody has been quick to discount the price action in copper as merely the result of rampant Chinese speculation. We have not been quick to agree with this point of view, and when we zoom out over the last year, we can see that when copper surged from the October 20th low a year ago, there was a seven month consolidation in price in preparation for the next leg up. Perhaps everybody is skeptical because it was a fading consolidation, but that chart looks decent. It does look overbought, due to the overnight surge to a new high since mid-2014, but looking at the surge last October, it could still have room to run before what may be another several month consolidation.

The point with copper is that the price of silver catches a bid with the price of copper. Silver is both money and an industrial commodity. At the very least, a rise in copper will move up the floor in silver.

We have been following the strong performance of gold in relation to silver all year.

In fact, gold is right where it was a year ago, gold has been higher than it was a year ago, and the up-trend is clear. At one point, from the lows last December to the high on September 8th, gold is up $240. In gold, just like there has been very little consolidation this year in silver as well, the gold price really needs to work it’s way up past $1350 sooner than later. The election night $70 surge show the price can move in a hurry. With Israel striking Syria, Iran and North Korea heating up again, all of Europe in chaos of the political, social, and monetary kind, there sure are several catalysts for one of those surges.

We could certainly use the boost to confidence that a surge would provide. Is this the week we finally see a surge in gold, silver, or both?

Palladium is at a new high again:

 

Palladium has shown what surges can do to price.

Platinum, however, has not held up well at all over the year:

Platinum is up year to date, but from a year ago, platinum is slightly down. The September smashing was exceptionally brutal for platinum. At this point, we should all just be hoping that platinum gets back above it’s 50-day. But looking at the other metals, both precious and base, it does seem that the platinum price action will do that sooner than later.

Crude has been surging over the past several days:

Talk about one of the hardest price moves to call all year. The price for crude is basically unchanged from a year ago, and it has been range-bound mainly in the $45-$50 range, but again, looking at the simple moving averages, the 50-day is about to cross to the upside through the 200-day. Crude bulls exist because they trade off of oil, or they have some connection to the oil fields or oil industry. For everybody else, it means get ready for higher diesel and gasoline prices, which means get ready for higher prices in everything else.

The dollar has been decidedly one way this year after the “infrastructure build”,  “inflation trade” and “Trump trade” hype:

It is worth noting that two times before, in 2017, the 50-day moving averaged looked to be turning up, only to fail after a few weeks. If the 50-day starts turning down again, it could get moving in a hurry.

Just yesterday, Janet Yellen was saying that low-rates are the new normal, and the dollar has been falling despite escalating geo-political tensions around the globe. And while the infrastructure spend is indeed coming, it is due to all the devastation caused by mother nature. This is not productive spending because it is only replacing what was already there with dollars that could have been used for something else. Not shown, however, is the fact that the dollar slowly climbed from 70 to 80 from the GFC as the pundits like to call it, and then again the dollar surged from 80 in mid-2014 to where it peaked out after the election.

Somehow it doesn’t seem like the dollar will see continued strength from here, and a decisive move to the downside would confirm this. But no matter where it goes, we all should come to understand that the Fed is doing their hardest to make sure that the dollar devalues by 2% per year as their stated public policy.

The yield in the 10 year Treasury Note had a big move lower on Friday:

Another drop in yield like that and the entire gap-up from September 27th will have been erased. Since we are looking back a full year in this Monday Outlook, it is worth noting that the rate on the 10-year was 1.724% on October 20th. Though all year long, the trend has been lower yields, no higher.

The VIX seems rather calm for all the uncertainty in the world:

Other than the election run-up spike in volatility, the entire year has been muted. There have been a few spikes here and there, and if ever body is short volatility, one has to wonder when the low-vol trade will end up looking showing the traders’ whose boss, just like everybody was long-dollar in the beginning of this year.

Here’s a farce:

Dow 23,000 by Friday? Then what?

On the fundamental side, Europe is a mess. Italian banks are struggling, Australia just elected the world’s youngest leader, Catalonia and Spain are in a good old Mexican standoff, the UK just wants to be friends with the EU as May engages on the most drawn-out break-up ever, and Greece is going to need another bail-out.

Back home, California has been burning to the ground, Puerto Rico is still in the dark, Texas, Florida and many other states in rebuild mode from multiple hurricanes.

Geo-politically, China will most likely re-elect Xi Jinping as the Communist Party Congress convenes in two days and last for the next two weeks. Iran and North Korea are facing an ever increasing war-mongering Donald Trump (who saw a massive spike in the number of bombs dropped on enemies last month), and somehow it is all a bit too much so Russia has to take a back seat again.

The economic calendar is full this week:

There is a slew of data releases and Fed speaker this week.

And it ends with a Janet Yellen crescendo this Friday:

Bottom line: We could see a nice healthy rise in the metals this week. The question is will we see a dominant surge higher in the gold and silver prices?

SilverDoctors.com has been on the leading edge of Gold News and Silver News Since 2011. Each month, more than 250,000 investors visit SilverDoctors.com to gain insights on Precious Metals News as well as to stay up-to-date on World News impacting the metals markets.

[KR1136] Keiser Report: Artificial Intelligence

16-Oct-2017

In this episode of the Keiser Report from Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, Max and Stacy discuss artificial intelligence – aka AI – as the Iron Horse Apocalypse of the modern social media man. The two recall their recent experience interacting with a real self-driving car and the car’s human operating system. They also discuss corruption, shakedowns and more financial news.

How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt Without Hurting Bondholders

14-Oct-2017

During his visit to hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump shocked the bond market when he told Geraldo Rivera of Fox News that he was going to wipe out the island’s bond debt. He said on October 3rd:

You know they owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street. We’re gonna have to wipe that out. That’s gonna have to be — you know, you can say goodbye to that. I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs but whoever it is, you can wave good-bye to that.

How did the president plan to pull this off? Pam Martens and Russ Martens, writing in Wall Street on Parade, note that the U.S. municipal bond market holds $3.8 trillion in debt, and it is not just owned by Wall Street banks. Mom and pop retail investors are exposed to billions of dollars of potential losses through their holdings of Puerto Rican municipal bonds, either directly or in mutual funds. Wiping out Puerto Rico’s debt, they warned, could undermine confidence in the municipal bond market, causing bond interest rates to rise, imposing an additional burden on already-struggling states and municipalities across the country.

True, but the president was just pointing out the obvious. As economist Michael Hudson says, “Debts that can’t be paid won’t be paid.” Puerto Rico is bankrupt, its economy destroyed. In fact it is currently in bankruptcy proceedings with its creditors. Which suggests its time for some more out-of-the-box thinking . . . .

Turning Disaster into a Win-Win

In July 2016, a solution to this conundrum was suggested by the notorious Goldman Sachs itself, when mom and pop investors holding the bonds of bankrupt Italian banks were in jeopardy. Imposing losses on retail bondholders had proven to be politically toxic, after one man committed suicide. Some other solution had to be found.

Italy’s non-performing loans (NPLs) then stood at €210bn, at a time when the ECB was buying €120bn per year of outstanding Italian government bonds as part of its QE program. The July 2016 Financial Times quoted Goldman’s Francesco Garzarelli, who said, “by the time QE is over – not sooner than end 2017, on our baseline scenario – around a fifth of Italy’s public debt will be sitting on the Bank of Italy’s balance sheet.”

His solution: rather than buying Italian government bonds in its quantitative easing program, the European Central Bank could simply buy the insolvent banks’ NPLs. Bringing the entire net stock of bad loans onto the government’s balance sheet, he said, would be equivalent to just nine months’ worth of Italian government bond purchases by the ECB.

Puerto Rico’s debt is only $73 billion, one third the Italian debt. The Fed has stopped its quantitative easing program, but in its last round (called “QE3”), it was buying $85 billion per month in securities. At that rate, it would have to fire up the digital printing presses for only one additional month to rescue the suffering Puerto Ricans without hurting bondholders at all. It could then just leave the bonds on its books, declaring a moratorium at least until Puerto Rico got back on its feet, and better yet, indefinitely.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs data, 33,000 US jobs were lost in September, the first time the country has had a negative figure since 2010. It could be time for a bit more economic stimulus from the Fed.

Successful Precedent

Shifting the debt burden of bankrupt institutions onto the books of the central bank is not a new or radical idea. UK Prof. Richard Werner, who invented the term “quantitative easing” when he was advising the Japanese in the 1990s, says there is ample precedent for it. In 2012, he proposed a similar solution to the European banking crisis, citing three successful historical examples.

One was in Britain in 1914, when the British banking sector collapsed after the government declared war on Germany. This was not a good time for a banking crisis, so the Bank of England simply bought the banks’ NPLs. “There was no credit crunch,” wrote Werner, “and no recession. The problem was solved at zero cost to the tax payer.”

For a second example, he cited the Japanese banking crisis of 1945. The banks had totally collapsed, with NPLs that amounted to virtually 100 percent of their assets:

But in 1945 the Bank of Japan had no interest in creating a banking crisis and a credit crunch recession. Instead it wanted to ensure that bank credit would flow again, delivering economic growth. So the Bank of Japan bought the non-performing assets from the banks – not at market value (close to zero), but significantly above market value.

Werner’s third example was the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program, in which it bought $1.7 trillion in mortgage-backed securities from the banks. These securities were widely understood to be “toxic” – Wall Street’s own burden of NPLs. Again the move worked: the banks did not collapse, the economy got back on its feet, and the much-feared inflation did not result.

In each of these cases, he wrote:

The operations were a complete success. No inflation resulted. The currency did not weaken. Despite massive non-performing assets wiping out the solvency and equity of the banking sector, the banks’ health was quickly restored. In the UK and Japanese case, bank credit started to recover quickly, so that there was virtually no recession at all as a result.

The Moral Hazard Question

One objection to this approach is the risk of “moral hazard”: lenders who know they will be rescued from their bad loans will recklessly make even more. That is the argument, but an analysis of data in China, where NPLs are now a significant problem, has relieved those concerns. China’s NPLs are largely being left on the banks’ books without writing them down. The concern is that shrinking the banks’ balance sheets in an economy that is already slowing will reduce their ability to create credit, further slowing growth and triggering a downward economic spiral. As for the moral hazard problem, when researchers analyzed the data, they found that the level of Chinese NPLs did not affect loan creation, in small or large banks.

But if Puerto Rico got relief from the Fed, wouldn’t cities and states struggling with their own debt burdens want it too? Perhaps, but that bar could be set in bankruptcy court. Few cities or states can match the devastation of Puerto Rico, which was already in bankruptcy court when struck by hurricanes that left virtually no tree unscathed and literally flattened the territory.

Arguably, the Fed should be making nearly-interest-free loans to cities and states, allowing them to rebuild their crumbling infrastructure at reasonable cost. That argument was made in an October 2012 editorial in The New York Times titled “Getting More Bang for the Fed’s Buck”. It was also suggested by Martin Hutchinson in Reuters in October 2010:

An alternative mechanism could be an extension of the Fed’s [QE] asset purchases to include state and municipal bonds. Currently the central bank does not have the power to do this for maturities of more than six months. But an approving Congress could remove that hurdle at a stroke . . . .

The Fed lent $29 trillion to Wall Street banks virtually interest-free. It could do the same for local governments.

Where There’s a Will

When central banks want to save bankrupt institutions without cost to the government or the people, they obviously know how to do it. It is a matter of boldness and political will, something that may be lacking in our central bankers but has been amply demonstrated in our president.

If the Fed resists the QE alternative, here is another possibility: Congress can audit the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Defense, and retrieve some of the $21 trillion gone missing from their accountings. This massive black money hole, tracked by Dr. Mark Skidmore and Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of HUD, is buried on the agencies’ books as “undocumented adjustments” – entries inserted without receipts or other documentary support just to balance the books. It represents money that rightfully belongs to the American people.

If our legislators and central bankers can find trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street banks, while overlooking trillions more lost to the DoD and HUD in “undocumented adjustments,” they can find the money to help an American territory suffering the worst humanitarian crisis in its history.

____________________

 

Bitcoin Might Not Displace Fiat Currencies Soon but Nothing Comes Close as a Store of Value

14-Oct-2017

Bitcoin seems to be the proverbial cat with nine lives as it continues to survive the onslaught of governments, regulators and traditional financial institutions. The digital currency lost some ground in the market after negative comments from the CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon who referred to the digital currency as a “fraud”. Dimon also said that he would sack any staff of his bank that trades in the currency, Yet, Bitcoin didn’t waste time in getting up from the backlash and it appears to be rallying up towards previous highs.

In addition to Dimon’s negativity, China initiated some tough measures against Initial coin Offerings (ICOs) which in turn affected the general cryptocurrency market negatively. Yet, the digital currency market responded in an amazing level of resilience as Bitcoin and Ethereum booked an amazing bounce in the following sessions. This piece looks at two reasons cryptocurrencies are here to stay despite criticism and cynicism from traditional financial institutions.

Cryptocurrency scores more than $3 billion a day in trading volume

Analysts believe that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and one of the best indicators of the market trend is the consistent rise in trading volumes. Digital currency trading is surging higher daily because investors are confident that cryptocurrency is the future of money.

The trading volume for Bitcoin is currently more than $3 billion daily, and Bitcoin’s trading volume might soon surpass the trading volume of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:  AAPL ), which has a $4 billion daily trading volume.  For what it’s worth, Apple’s stock is the biggest stock traded in the world by daily trading volume.

Jens Nordvig, CEO at Exante Data observes that cryptocurrency might soon become the mainstay for investors who had hitherto been wary of putting serious money in cryptocurrencies. In his words, “cryptocurrency trading volume is now more than of $3bn/day on average, and will likely soon surpass that of the world’s most liquid stock: Apple ($4bn/day)”. He also noted the volume of trading taking place between the two largest digital currencies, Ethereum and Bitcoin in relation to trading volume for traditional fiat currencies as increased eight times this year.

2 Reasons Cryptocurrencies will continue to survive attacks

The cryptocurrency industry is constantly evolving

The first reason investors might want to drop their cynicism and open up to the latent potential in Bitcoin is that the cryptocurrency industry is constantly evolving. When Bitcoin debuted, regulators were quick to point that its anonymity made it a tool of trade for illegal activities – case in point, Silk Road. However, in the last couple of years, Bitcoin hasn’t fully lost its anonymity but some evolution in the protocol now makes it easy for a determined investigator to trace Bitcoin transactions.

Many investors are cynical about investing in cryptocurrencies because of past events on how hackers have stolen millions of dollars in Bitcoin. The fact that cryptocurrency exchanges lacked insurance or deposit guarantees also meant that many investors were left out cold without respite when such hacks happen.

Interestingly, some innovators with deep backgrounds in finance and technology are setting up shop to assuage the doubts on investors by creating a cryptocurrency exchange that meets the yearnings of traditional investors. Legolas provides cryptocurrency investors with a guaranteed wallet that preclude risk of theft and loss with guarantees on deposits by a real life bank.  The exchange is also built on a transparent protocol to provide a fair and honest trading environment that eliminates the chances for market manipulation and front running.

Cryptocurrency investors can also join the pre-sale of the LGO token, which will be used as payment for fee orders and other paid service on the cryptocurrency exchange. Hence, investors can reasonably expect an increase in inflows from Wall Street to cryptocurrencies once the major problems that keep institutional investors from cryptocurrencies are solved.

Undeniable proof of potential in cryptocurrencies

The second reason it might not be smart to stay on the sidelines of the cryptocurrency train is that there’s an undeniable proof of potential in cryptocurrencies. In the year-to-date period, Ethereum has rewarded investors with more than 2778.89% gains from $10.28 on January 2 to $295.95 on September 25 as seen in the chart below.

More interesting is the fact that Ethereum seems to have built a support and resistance trend in the $280 to $350 range. Ethereum has declined both times it touched the $350 resistance point in the last three months, but it has gone flat once and rose the second time it touched the $280 support trend line.

Bitcoin investors also have been treated to a steady 404.4% gains from $910.29 on January 2 to $4,800.03 on October 11 as seen in the chart above. Of course, Bitcoin has recorded some heartbreaking declines as seen in the chart; yet, you can’t deny the fact that the predominant trend in the cryptocurrency is northbound.

Interestingly, Bitcoin has delivered particularly impressive performance relative to stocks in the year-to-date period as seen in the chart above. The NYSE Bitcoin Index has delivered 404.04% in the year-to-date period. In contrast, the S&P 500 is up 13.94%, the NASDAQ is up 22.45%, and the Dow is up 15.59% in the same period.

Final words…

Nobody can guarantee that any digital currency will thrive as an alternative to any of the major traditional currencies. Neither can we state in absolute terms that cryptocurrencies will continue to outperform stocks.  However, the fact that cryptocurrencies keep  showing resilience to survive attacks, hate speeches and clampdowns suggests that cryptocurrencies will stay around for a long time. Bitcoin might not reach $100,000; but for now, there’s no other asset that lay claims to being a comparable store of value of growth vehicle on Wall Street.

U.S. Mint Gold Coin Sales and VIX Point To Increased Market Volatility and Higher Gold

13-Oct-2017

– US Mint gold coin sales and VIX at weakest in a decade
– Very low gold coin sales and VIX signal volatility coming
– Gold rises 1.7% this week after China’s Golden Week; pattern of higher prices after Golden Week
– U.S. Mint sales do not provide the full picture of robust global gold demand
– Perth Mint gold sales double in September reflecting increased gold demand in both Asia and Europe
– Middle East demand likely high given geopolitical risks
– Iran seeing increased gold demand and Iran’s gold coin price up by 5%
– Trump’s war mongering could see demand accelerate
– Germany seeing very robust demand and now world’s largest gold buyer

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Source: ZeroHedge

US Mint coin sales fell to a decade low last month. This follows poor sales since the beginning of 2017. In the third quarter sales reached nearly 3.7 million ounces. September gold coin sales were down a whopping 88% compared to the same period last year.

Year to date sales at 232,000 ounces are 66.5% lower than the 692,500 ounces delivered during the first nine months of 2016, according to the U.S. Mint.

American Eagle gold coin sales did see a slight uptick in demand from very low levels and increased by 11,500 ounces in September which was up by 21.1% in August.

Is this pick-up in US coin demand a sign of things turning around? Perhaps, but we believe the low coin sales this year might say something else about the wider economy. It is also important to look at gold coin and bar sales across the globe to get a better feel for actual demand.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com.

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

Are You Better Off Than You Were 17 Years Ago?

12-Oct-2017

If we use gross domestic product (GDP) as a broad measure of prosperity, we are 160% better off than we were in 1980 and 35% better off than we were in 2000. Other common metrics such as per capita (per person) income and total household wealth reflect similarly hefty gains.

But are we really 35% better off than we were 17 years ago, or 160% better off than we were 37 years ago? Or do these statistics mask a pervasive erosion in our well-being? As I explained in my book Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reformwe optimize what we measure, meaning that once a metric and benchmark have been selected as meaningful, we strive to manage that metric to get the desired result.

Optimizing what we measure has all sorts of perverse consequences. If we define “winning the war” by counting dead bodies, then the dead bodies pile up like cordwood. If we define “health” as low cholesterol levels, then we pass statins out like candy. If test scores define “a good education,” then we teach to the tests.

We tend to measure what’s easily measured (and supports the status quo) and ignore what isn’t easily measured (and calls the status quo into question). 

So we measure GDP, household wealth, median incomes, longevity, the number of students graduating with college diplomas, and so on, because all of these metrics are straightforward.

We don’t measure well-being, our sense of security, our faith in a better future (i.e. hope), experiential knowledge that’s relevant to adapting to fast-changing circumstances, the social cohesion of our communities and similar difficult-to-quantify relationships.

Relationships, well-being and internal states of awareness are not units of measurement. While GDP has soared since 1980, many people feel that life has become much worse, not much better: many people feel less financially secure, more pressured at work, more stressed by not-enough-time-in-the-day, less healthy and less wealthy, regardless of their dollar-denominated “wealth.”

Many people recall that a single paycheck could support an entire household in 1980, something that is no longer true for all but the most highly paid workers who also live in locales with a modest cost of living.

As noted in yesterday’s postAbout Those “Hedonic Adjustments” to Inflation: Ignoring the Systemic Decline in Quality, Utility, Durability and Service, the quality of our products and services has declined dramatically, even as prices continue marching higher.

Meanwhile, inequality and officially protected privilege has soared, as I outline in my book Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege.

The gulf between these two narratives–the ever-higher financial statistics, and our unsettling sense that we’re less secure, less healthy and less wealthy–is widening. I think the Grand Canyon is an accurate metaphor here: the mainstream media parrots glowing official statistics on the distant side of the canyon, while on the lived-in-world side, well-being continues decaying. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

[KR1135] Keiser Report: ‘Deep State’

12-Oct-2017

In this episode of the Keiser Report from Denver, Colorado, Max and Stacy are joined by artist Alex Schaefer to discuss city planning and state banks in Los Angeles. In the second half, Stacy talks to former George HW Bush assistant housing secretary, Catherine Austin Fitts, about the ‘deep state.’

[KR1133] Keiser Report: Housing Bubbles

12-Oct-2017

In this episode of the Keiser Report from Denver, Colorado, Max and Stacy discuss housing bubbles and surging economic activity. Despite the doomsayers, is the economy recovering? Stacy interviews Ellen Brown, author of ‘Web of Debt,’ about the state-owned bank proposal for Los Angeles. They also discuss the newly-discovered $14 trillion in debt previously hidden in the global derivatives market, and whether or not that could happen in a blockchain-based financial world.

ps – sorry for delay in posting but we were driving across Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota for the past week and there was ZERO internet access. I’d get occasional pings of 3g on my iphone but they would last only for 10-20 seconds. Like another world out there.

Mad, Mad, Mad, MAD World: News in Charts

12-Oct-2017

Global Outlook – Mad, Mad, Mad, MAD World: News in Charts

by Fathom Consulting via Thomson Reuters

Alarm bells are ringing for economic fundamentalists such as Fathom Consulting.

Asset prices look increasingly out of step with fundamentals, and in some cases they look downright bubbly. And other geopolitical developments are similarly alarming. One might even describe them as…

Mad:

Equity prices in developed economies, and specifically in the US, are more than one standard deviation higher than their long-run average in relation to nominal GDP.

Mad:

The Nasdaq has again played its part, posting an even greater degree of fundamental overvaluation than the S&P 500. Its degree of overvaluation in relation to nominal GDP is now close to its dotcom bubble high.

Mad:

Government bond prices across the developed world are at all-time highs. Bond prices have been increasing consistently since the 1980s, with a series of global shocks driving that move.

Total central bank assets across the developed world now stand at over $14 trillion, having increased by about $10 trillion since the recession.

Over the same period, the new issuance of government debt has increased dramatically right across the G5. All else the same, you would expect such an increase in government debt to result in higher government bond yields (lower prices).

However, short rates have fallen to the lower bound and QE has been introduced, mopping up almost all of the value of new issuance of government debt across the major developed economies. It is no surprise, therefore, that the price of government bonds has increased over the same period, by around 18%.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com.

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

About Those “Hedonic Adjustments” to Inflation: Ignoring the Systemic Decline in Quality, Utility, Durability and Service

11-Oct-2017

One of the more mysterious aspects of the official inflation rate is the hedonic quality adjustments that the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes to the components of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The basic idea is that when innovations improve the utility (and pleasure derived from) a product, the price is adjusted to reflect this improvement.

So if television screens become larger, while the price per TV remains the same, the hedonic quality adjustment adjusts the price down when calculating the CPI.

In other words, since we’re getting more for our money–more quality, more features, more goodies, more pleasure–the price is adjusted down to reflect this. If a TV that cost $250 had a 19-inch screen in the old days, and now a $250 TV has a 27-inch screen, the price of TVs in the CPI is adjusted down to reflect this increase in what the consumer is getting for her $250.

So while a TV still costs $250 to the consumer, in terms of measuring inflation the TV is reckoned to cost (for example) $225, as the consumer is getting a larger screen for her $250.

In other words, the price of TVs declines when measuring for inflation, even if the retail price remains unchanged. This is how the official rate of inflation can be so low even as real-world costs keep rising.

If you read the above link, you’ll find the mathematical model used to reduce the price of products when calculating the CPI, i.e. the rate of inflation.

While the BLS website makes mention of the possibility that hedonic quality adjustments occasionally go the other way, i.e. quality has declined, it’s clear this almost never happens. “Innovations” are always improvements.

I propose we start tracking anhedonic quality adjustments, i.e. significant declines in quality, durability, utility and the pleasure derived from the product or service. (Anhedonia: inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable.)

First up: airline travel. Can any remotely objective passenger claim that airline travel is now more pleasurable than it was in the past, and that the quality of the product and service has increased due to “innovations”?

We all know virtually every aspect of air travel has declined other than the reliability of the aircraft–and due to tight schedules, just-in-time inventorying of spare parts and lack of redundancy (i.e. spare aircraft), even minor maintenance issues now routinely trigger flight delays.

Have typical airline seats become larger and more comfortable? You’re joking, right? Seats have been shrinking even as the average girth of the passengers has increased.

First class seats may have become more luxe, but so have the fares.

As for hedonic experiences such as pillows, blankets, meals–welcome to Anhedonia.The industry is shifting to an everything now costs extra model: printing a boarding pass, speaking with a sales rep on the phone, carry-on luggage, etc.–everything carries an additional fee.

Changing a flight reservation can cost more than the initial price of the ticket.

And this is not even considering the entire air travel experience at airports.

Any fair anhedonic quality adjustment to air travel would double the CPI cost of a $300 ticket to $600 to reflect the staggering decline in quality, service and enjoyment.

Let’s next consider computers. While the BLS is busy lowering the CPI price of computers due to faster processors, more memory, etc., the degradation of the utility of computers and enjoyment (i.e. ease of use) is ignored.

Consider the “innovation” of Windows 10, Microsoft’s replacement of the Windows 7 workhorse operating system. Anyone else getting Win10 error messages demanding that I manually upgrade the BIOS on my laptop in order to get the latest upgrade? No instructions on how to do so are provided by Microsoft, of course.

To the best of my knowledge, Skype and Windows 10 remain incompatible in a variety of subtle and mysterious ways. Microsoft owns Skype, so welcome to Anhedonia. Please don’t tell me the sudden failure of Skype on Win10 machines isn’t a reality; we’ve given up even trying.

Then there’s the decline in durability, not just in computers but in everything.Brand-new Corporate America appliances are rusting along the bottom within a year, almost-new U.S. branded ovens turn on by themselves, and the repair of the defective sensor costs more than the entire stove/oven itself–I could go on and on, but you have your own stories of devices and appliances failing or corroding in a few short years.

Water heaters once typically lasted 30 to 40 years. Now we’re lucky if they last a decade.

The actual utility of “innovations” is also suspect. New cars have rear-view cameras to promote safe reversing, but some of the screens are so small and prone to glare that they’re actually worse than having no rear-view screen at all, as drivers slavishly attempt to make use of the glare-ridden screens to the detriment of their driving skills.

And how about that college diploma that now costs $120,000 and up? Has the utility value increased or decreased? How about the effectiveness of healthcare in terms of improving health and healthy longevity? How about the immense suffering created by addiction to supposedly “safe” and “non-addictive” opioid medications? Did the BLS calculate the CPI cost adjustment of the gargantuan decline in the quality of our national life due to the widespread distribution of addictive opioids?

If we could be honest with ourselves, we would have to conclude that any comprehensive accounting of anhedonic quality adjustments would double or triple the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

The quality, durability, utility and enjoyment-of-use of our products and services has been plummeting for years. This is a core reason why the official rate of inflation/CPI is a complete joke. Welcome to Anhedonia.

Of related interest:

Earn 25,000 Points To Nowhere (July 24, 2013) (humor)

My 31-Year Old Apple Mac Started Up Fine After 15 Years in a Box (February 28, 2015) 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Young Guns of Gold Podcast – ‘The Everything Bubble’

11-Oct-2017

– Young Guns of Gold Podcast – ‘The Everything Bubble’
– Precious Metal Roundtable discuss gold in 2017 and outlook
– Gold +9.1% year to date; Performing well given Fed raising rates, lack of volatility and surge in stock markets
– “People are expecting too much from gold”

– Economy: Inflation indicators, recession on the horizon, global debt issues
– Global demand: ETF inflows, Russia central bank purchases, Germany investment figures and international coin demand bode well for gold
– “First monetary inflation, then asset inflation, next is price inflation …”
– Gold bull market resumed; silver should outperform gold

Indicators point to inflation, a recession is on the horizon and the ‘Everything Bubble’ is the great threat to financial stability – these are the conclusions of the Young Guns of Gold who hosted a Precious Metal Roundtable, this week.

Jan Skoyles from GoldCore and Jordan Eliseo of Australia’s ABC Bullion were hosted by Ronald Stoeferle of Incrementum in a reboot of their Young Guns of Gold podcast.

The Young Guns of Gold discussion was broken into three parts:

  1. Gold, Markets and Macro
  2. Gold’s Role in a Portfolio, 2017 and beyond
  3. Gold on the international stage
  4. Engagements and buying diamonds : )

Executive Summary

  • High expectations of Trump’s reflationary growth policy dampened the gold price increase in 2016. However, Gold was still up 8.5% in 2016 and is up 10.6% since Jan. 2017

Click here to continue reading on www.GoldCore.com

Our Protected, Predatory Oligarchy: Dirty Secrets, Dirty Lies

10-Oct-2017

The revelations coming to light about Hollywood Oligarch Harvey Weinstein perfectly capture the true nature of our status quo: a rotten-to-the-core, predatory, exploitive oligarchy of dirty secrets and dirty lies protected by an army of self-serving sycophants, servile toadies on the make and well-paid legal mercenaries. Predators aren’t an aberration of the Establishment; they are the perfection of the Establishment, which protects abusive, exploitive predator-oligarchs lest the feudal injustices of life in America be revealed for all to see.

The predators reckon their aristocratic status in Hollywood/D.C. grants them a feudal-era droit du seigneur (rights of the lord) to take whatever gratifications they desire from any female who has the grave misfortune to enter their malefic orbit.

Anyone who protests or makes efforts to go public is threatened by the oligarch’s thugs and discredited/smeared by the oligarch’s take-no-prisoners legal mercenaries. (Recall the Clintons’ Crisis Management Team tasked with crushing any Bimbo Eruptions, i.e. any eruptions of the truth about Bill’s well-known-to-insiders predation of the peasantry.)

The dirty secret is that the oh-so-hypocritical power elites of Hollywood and Washington D.C. circle the wagons to protect One of Their Own from being unmasked. The first weapons of choice in this defense are (as noted above) threats from thugs, discrediting the exploited via the oligarchy’s paid goons and lackeys in the mainstream media and dirty lies about what a great and good fellow the oligarch predator is. The last line of defense is a hefty bribe to silence any peasant still standing after the oligarchs’ onslaught of threats, smears and lies.

Should the worst happen and some sliver of the truth emerge despite the best efforts of the thugs, corporate media, legal mercenaries and PR handlers, then the playbook follows the script of any well-managed Communist dictatorship:the oligarch predator is thrown to the wolves to protect the oligarchs’ systemic predation and exploitation of the peasantry/debt-serfs.

Just as in a one-party Communist dictatorship, an occasional sacrificial offering is made to support the propaganda that the predators are outliers rather than the only possible output of a predatory, exploitive feudal status quo comprised of a small elite of super-wealthy and powerful oligarchs at the top and all the powerless debt-serfs at the bottom who must do their bidding in bed, in the boardroom, in the corridors of political power, and in the private quarters of their yachts and island hideaways.

Media reports suggest that the real reason Mr. Weinstein has been fired is not his alleged conduct over the past 27 years but his loss of the golden touch in generating movie-magic loot for the oh-so-liberal and politically correct Hollywood gang that was pleased to protect Mr. Weinstein when he was busy enriching them.

What’s truly noteworthy here is not the sordid allegations and history of payoffs–it’s the 27 years of intense protection the Hollywood/ media /D.C. status quo provided, despite hundreds of insiders knowing the truth. Just as hundreds of insiders with top secret clearance knew about the contents of the Pentagon Papers, and thus knew the Vietnam War was little more than an accumulation of official lies designed to protect the self-serving elites at the top of the power pyramid, only one analyst had the courage to risk his career and liberty to release the truth to the American public: Daniel Ellsberg.

Why are we not surprised that Hollywood, the corporate media and Washington D.C. lack even one courageous insider?

If you want to understand why the status quo is unraveling, start by examining the feudal structure of our society, politics and economy, and the endemic corruption, predation and exploitation of the privileged oligarchs at the top.

Then count the armies of self-serving sycophants, toadies, lackeys, hacks, apologists, flunkies, careerists and legal-team mercenaries who toil ceaselessly to protect their oligarch overlords from exposure.

Open your eyes, America: there are two systems of “justice”: one for the wealthy and powerful oligarchs, and an overcrowded gulag of serfs forced to plea-bargain in the other. If John Q. Public had done the deeds Mr. Weinstein is alleged to have done, Mr. Public would have long been in prison.

As Orwell observed about a totalitarian oligarchy, some are more equal than others.

 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

London House Prices Are Falling – Time to Buckle Up

10-Oct-2017

– London house prices fall in September: first time in eight years
– High-end London property fell by 3.2% in year
– House sales down by over a very large one-third
– Global Real Estate Bubble Index – see table

– Brexit, rising inflation and political uncertainty causing many buyers to back away from market
– U.K. housing stock worth record £6.8 trillion, almost 1.5 times value of LSE and more than the value of all the gold in world
– Homeowners and property investors should diversify and invest in gold

Editor Mark O’Byrne

In what might be a sign of things to come, London house prices have fallen for the first time in eight years.

London house sales have fallen by a third as years of frenzied bidding come to a shuddering halt.

The capital remains expensive. Housing still costs 10 times the average salary and only 50% of Londoners own their own homes, the EU average is 70%.

Currently the rest of the UK appears to be benefiting from the lack of affordability and stock in London. Buyers are moving further out of the capital in order to secure their footing on the housing ‘ladder’… no snakes here …

Last month U.K. house prices regained their fastest pace since February. A Halifax house price survey showed a 4% price rise in the three months to September compared with the same period last year.

Long-term, a fall in London prices may be an indicator that concerns over Brexit, inflation and political stability are beginning to affect the U.K property market.

This will be a hard landing for a country that is so convinced that putting all one’s eggs in the housing basket is the answer to securing and growing wealth.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com.

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

The future of risk-mitigated cryptocurrency investing – Crypto20

10-Oct-2017

The cryptocurrency markets have shown high potential regarding returns on investments in recent times. With high profits, they have become the cynosure of the financial world, brewing interest among institutional investors and intraday traders alike. However, the primary challenge with these digital assets is their low liquidity which in turn manifests in the form of high volatility in the markets. The volatility and the feeble fabric of fundamentals surrounding these digital currencies make it difficult even for seasoned investors to take a definite call. Hence the majority of the players aren’t able to predict, time nor trade profitably in most situations.

To solve this problem and make cryptocurrency trading viable for everyone by minimizing the risk, Crypto20 is launching an index fund with 20 different cryptocurrencies to beat the market adversities. Let’s dive deep into how they are planning to do so:

What is CRYPTO20?

CRYPTO20 is the world’s best, completely autonomous, AI-backed, Tokenised Crypto-Index Fund. By being a basket token, C20 can hold 20 different tokens at any given time, solving a logistical nightmare. It holds the tokens and coins in cold storage making sure that the token is backed by actual assets. The token balances a portfolio of 20 coins using Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning, automatically adjusting the risk exposure every week. This enables the participants to bet on the market in general while reducing the risks due to volatility if they held only a few coins of interest.

Link to Crypto20 Fact Sheet

Additional advantages:

Built on the Ethereum Blockchain, the system is planned to be completely autonomous. The token’s smart contract enables it to be instantly liquid-able. Hence at any given time, the token can be liquidated to the value of its underlying asset. The assets for the C20 would be bought on multiple exchanges. This would help regarding reducing the slippage or taking advantage of the arbitrage opportunities that might arise due to price differences.

Presale and ICO launch:

The Presale for CRYPTO20 token would launch on 7th of October with incentives for early investors. The ICO is set for 16th of October, and the organization is expecting a quick and successful crowdsale. They are also planning for future ICOs with different portfolios backed by the same technology. The buyers of the CRYPTO20 ICO would have the edge over the other participants in these upcoming ICOs. All in all Crypto20 looks like a token that is undoubtedly a unique value-add to the crypto-ecosystem and something to definitely to watch out for.

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