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Nomi Prins: Collusion!

Nomi Prins: Collusion!

How central bankers rigged the world

Nomi Prins, Wall Street veteran turned financial industry reformist returns to the podcast this week to explain the findings within her new book Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged The World.

Nomi has put together a timeline of exactly when and how the central banks have plundered the wealth of the masses since 2008, either directly or indirectly through the loss of purchasing power of the currencies they control:

The relationship between the Central Banks, the major ones — the Fed, Europe Central Bank, Bank of Japan — all the larger Central Banks in the world and their private banks was effectively, and is effectively, kept secret. The relationships they have with each other, a lot of it is secret; so you have to really dig in to it to find out what’s really going on.

What I did was dig into the documents that I could find and create a timeline. That’s why each chapter in each region starts in 2008. It works with Mexico, Brazil, Japan, China and Europe and juxtaposes that with what the Fed was doing at that time to see how that collusive behavior wound up happening. The secret-ness is in the relationships of the banks, where that money that was fabricated by these institutions actually went, and when — or if — it’s coming back.

The ‘cheat and deceiving’ part of that definition is also apparent: people have been cheated out of their futures from the standpoint of the central banks’ strategies. So when the Feds creates cheap money, companies and banks and countries borrow more from the future because it is so cheap and easy. This deceives many people into thinking that the economy is somehow therefore being helped by this strategy, which is in acutality an emergency strategy. It’s an emergency that’s gone on now for ten years.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Full Faith and Credit in Counterfeit Money

Full Faith and Credit in Counterfeit Money

There are nooks and corners in every city where talk is cheap and scandal is honorable.  The Alley, in Downtown Los Angeles, is a magical place where shrewd entrepreneurs, shameless salesmen, and downright hucksters coexist in symbiotic disharmony.  Fakes, fugazis, and knock-offs galore, pack the roll-up storefronts with sparkle and shimmer.

Several weeks ago, the LAPD seized $700,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics from 21 different Alley businesses.  Apparently, some of the bogus makeup products – which were packaged to look like trendy brands MAC, NARS, Kyle Cosmetics, and more – were found to contain human and animal excrement.

“The best price is not always the best deal!” remarked Police Captain Marc Reina via Twitter.  Did you hear that, General Electric shareholders?

Yet the Alley, for all its dubious bustle, offers a useful public service.  It provides an efficient calibration for the greater world at large; a world that’s less upright and truthful than an honest man could ever self-prepare for.  In 30-seconds or less, the Alley will impart several essential lessons:

The price you’re first quoted is the sucker’s price.  To negotiate effectively, you must appear to care far less about buying than the merchant cares about selling.  Don’t trust someone that says, “trust me.”  And, most importantly, don’t believe what you see and read…or what you hear.

Reality Bites

For everything worthwhile, there exists a counterfeit.  This modest insight extends well beyond the boundaries of flea markets and tent bazaars.  It extends outward to news, money, prescription drugs, wars, public schools, Congress, corn ethanol, medical insurance, public pensions – you name it.  There’s plenty of fraud, phony, and fake going on.

For example, in the year 2018, the most reputable news outlets have been reduced to mere purveyors of propaganda.  The stories they spread are stories of fiction.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The End Of Our Empire Approaches

The End Of Our Empire Approaches

History is clear on where we’re headed

Do you have the nagging sense that our empire is in decline?

If so, don’t be embarrassed by it. Historically speaking, we’re in very good company.  Far larger and longer-lived empires than ours have come and gone over the millennia.

This was hit home for me on a recent trip. I scored a major “dad win” by taking my youngest daughter, Grace, to England for her 18th birthday (we live in Massachusetts, USA).

All on her own, Grace developed an abiding love of mythology at a very young age: Greek, Roman, Norse, Native American, Aztec…you name it.  She’s read the Iliad four times, a different version each time, as each has the biases of the translator subtly woven throughout.

Naturally, her dream mini-vacation involved going to the British Museum where the Rosetta stone lies, along with Viking horde treasures and every possible Roman, Greek and Egyptian artifact one could hope to see.

The British empire came of age at the perfect time to muscle in and “retrieve” the cultural treasures of many different countries. Such are the spoils of empire.

Who knows, perhaps one day we’ll see sliced off segments of the Palace of Westminster on display in Cairo’s main square.  History ebbs and it flows.  Back and forth.  Victors and losers swapping places over and over again.

If the British Museum reveals anything it’s just that.  The long sweep of human history shows us that the more things change, the more things stay the same.

The treasures on display at the British Museum also show us that every race and culture has revered beauty.  The most intricate and delicate and objectively beautiful jewelry and adornments were worn by kings and queens, priestesses, nobles, and warlords alike.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How High Is The Risk of a Currency Crisis?

How High Is The Risk of a Currency Crisis?

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“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”, quipped Mark Twain in response to a newspaper report that said he was on his deathbed. The same could be said about many fiat currencies. Whether we are looking at the US dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen or the British Pound: In the wake of the financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009, quite a few commentators painted a rather bleak future for them: high inflation, even hyperinflation, some even forecast their collapse. That did not happen. Instead, fiat money seems to be still in great demand. In the United States of America, for instance, peoples’ fiat money balances relative to incomes are at a record high.

How come? Central banks’ market manipulations have succeeded in fending off credit defaults on a grand scale: Policymakers have cut interest rates dramatically and injected new cash into the banking system. In retrospect, it is clear why these operations have prevented the debt pyramid from crashing down: 2008/2009 was a “credit crisis.” Investors were afraid that states, banks, consumers, and companies might no longer be able to afford their debt service — meanwhile, investors did not fear that inflation could erode the purchasing power of their currencies as evidenced by dropping inflation expectations in the crisis period.

Central banks can no doubt cope with a credit default scenario: As the monopoly producer of money, central banks can provide financially ailing borrowers with any amount deemed necessary to keep them afloat. In fact, the mere assurance on the part of central banks to bail out the financial system if needed suffices to calm down financial markets and encourages banks to refinance maturing debt and even extend new credit. Cheap and easy central bank funding prompted lenders and borrowers to jump right back into the credit market. The debt binge could go on.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Stop and Assess

Stop and Assess

America has become Alzheimer Nation. Nothing is remembered for more than a few minutes. The news media, which used to function as a sort of collective brain, is a memory hole that events are shoved down and extinguished in. An attack in Syria, you ask? What was that about? Facebook stole your…what? Four lives snuffed out in a… a what? Something about waffles? Trump said… what? Let’s pause today and make an assessment of where things stand in this country as Winter finally coils into Spring.

As you might expect, a nation overrun with lawyers has litigated itself into a cul-de-sac of charges, arrests, suits, countersuits, and allegations that will rack up billable hours until the Rockies tumble. The best outcome may be that half the lawyers in this land will put the other half in jail, and then, finally, there will be space for the rest of us to re-connect with reality.

What does that reality consist of? Troublingly, an economy that can’t go on as we would like it to: a machine that spews out ever more stuff for ever more people. We really have reached limits for an industrial economy based on cheap, potent energy supplies. The energy, oil especially, isn’t cheap anymore. The fantasy that we can easily replace it with wind turbines, solar panels, and as-yet-unseen science projects is going to leave a lot of people not just disappointed but bereft, floundering, and probably dead, unless we make some pretty severe readjustments in daily life.

We’ve been papering this problem over by borrowing so much money from the future to cover costs today that eventually it will lose its meaning as money — that is, faith that it is worth anything. That’s what happens when money is just a representation of debt that can’t be paid back.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Systems Fail

Why Systems Fail

Since failing systems are incapable of structural reform, collapse is the only way forward.

Systems fail for a wide range of reasons, but I’d like to focus on two that are easy to understand but hard to pin down.

1. Systems are accretions of structures and modifications laid down over time.Each layer adds complexity which is viewed at the time as a solution.

This benefits insiders, as their job security arises from the need to manage the added complexity. The new layer may also benefit an outside constituency that quickly becomes dependent on the new layer for income. (Think defense contractors, consultants, non-profits, etc.)

In short order, insiders and outsiders alike habituate to the higher complexity, and everyone takes it for granted that “this is how things work.” Few people can visualize alternatives, and any alternative that reduces the budget, payroll or power of the existing system is rejected as “unworkable.”

In this set of incentives, the “solution” is always: we need more money. If only we had another $1 million, $1 billion or $1 trillion, we could fix what’s broken.

But increasing the budget can’t fix what’s broken because it doesn’t address the underlying sources of systemic failure.

Those benefiting from the status quo will fight tooth and nail to retain their jobs and benefits, and so deep reform is essentially impossible, as the insiders and constituencies of each layer resist any reform that might diminish their security/income.

As a result, new layers rarely replaces previous layers; the system becomes more and more inefficient and costly as every new layer must find work-arounds and kludgy fixes to function with the legacy layers.

Eventually, the system becomes unaffordable and/or too ineffective to fulfill its mission.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Case For a Gold Currency Part 2: Wages and Growth: Higher Under Classical Gold Standard

When the world was on the gold standard, the fastest rate of economic growth happened between 1870 and 1914, when the gold standard was suspended in Europe because of WWI. Not only that, but blue collared workers then saw vast increases in their purchasing power. Had we stayed on the classical gold standard, wages would be higher and the middle class would continue to grow.

For example, in 1915, Henry Ford paid his workers $5 per day. At that time the price of gold was set at $20.67/oz. This means that in terms of gold (which was a legitimate form of payment and was easily redeemable into paper money) a blue collared factory worker was paid 0.242 oz. of gold per day. Assuming a 5-day work week and 40 weeks of work in a year, Ford workers could be paid 48 oz. of gold per year. Today the price of gold is $1200/oz; this means the Ford workers were paid $57,600/year in today’s money. This is significantly higher than what manufacturing jobs pay today.

Similarly, in 1965, the minimum wage was $1.25/hr (5 silver dimes) and under the Bretton Woods Agreement, silver was $1.25 per ounce. Today silver is $15/oz and hence workers would have had a purchasing power of $15/hour in today’s money.

Inflation

This implies that it is government control over a nation’s monetary system, which has allowed the middle class’s income to be eroded by inflation. While the CPI may show us that central banks have kept inflation under control, once we use precious metals as a measurement, the cost of goods and services have gone up much higher than what current inflation would suggest.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Case for a Gold Currency: Part 1

The gold standard is a system where the nation’s money supply is determined by the supply of gold that is mined. Over time we have had different types of gold standard economies and countries have even suspended the gold standard during wars (e.g.: WWI). Until WWI the world had the international gold standard. Under a gold standard, paper money like $ and £ are not money- they are simply substitutes for a specific weight of gold.

History of Gold:

Mankind has used gold for thousands of years as money. However, the modern gold standard system is the most important.

International Gold Standard system (1870-1914) (Classical Gold Standard)

This was when money was redeemable for gold and there were few interruptions. This was the most stable monetary order in the history of gold. Every major currency such as the £, US$ and Franc were all redeemable for gold. Gold was the real money. £ is simply a name to define a weight of gold. Under this system, exchange rates were fixed based on how much weight of gold equalled 1 unit of currency. £1 was 1/4th of an ounce and $1 was 1/20.67th of an ounce, resulting in an exchange rate of $4.86/£.

In the long run, the money supply growth was extremely limited. Money supply could only grow if the amount of gold mined was increased. As a result, this made the value of money very stable. For example, after the 1848 California gold rush, inflation averaged 1.5% per year (according to Larry White), but as the amount of gold mined slowed, then there was gentle deflation. The net result is that between 1800 and 1900, the price level fell slightly. The reason is because as saving and investment increase and technology improved, the output of goods and services grew faster than the money supply, resulting in deflation. However, since 1971, when Nixon ended Bretton Woods, the dollar has lost 82% of its value.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

In The Rush Toward A Cashless Society, The Poorest Are At Risk Of Further Exclusion

“Unless you’re poor, it’s hard to understand what it’s like to be poor.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a grand ambition to make his country into a cashless society. In 2014, he launched a scheme to provide bank accounts to the nearly 40 percent of the population with little or no access to financial services. In November 2016, he withdrew 500 and 1,000 rupee notes ($7.80 and $15.60), the country’s two most common banknotes, from circulation.

The aim was to clamp down on black-market money and get more people into the formal economy, but it had a negative effect on the poor, with micro and small-scale service businesses cutting 35 percent of staff in the first few months, and some families left unable to afford fruit and vegetables.

Cash is on the decline worldwide; non-cash transactions grew 11.2 percent globally in 2015. But for some, the Modi experiment is a sign that cashless societies will hurt the poor, and India is not alone in having poor, unbanked populations. An estimated 7 percent of American households don’t have access to bank accounts, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. And a government study at the end of last year found that the U.S. homeless population had risen for the first time since 2010. Given rising inequality, what happens to those on the margins of the economy when cash is no longer king?

Proponents of a shift away from cash often point to Kenya or Sweden as proof that such a transition can happen without further disadvantaging the poor. In Sweden, which is on track to be the world’s first cashless society, a magazine called Situation Stockholm has equipped its homeless sellers with credit card readers. And M-Pesa, a mobile money service first rolled out in Kenya, has 30 million subscribers and has been credited with raising 2 percent of Kenyan households out of extreme poverty.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bringing My Money Closer To Home

What Happens When Your Money Is Worthless? Living with a Devalued Currency

What Happens When Your Money Is Worthless? Living with a Devalued Currency

This is one of the most important and valued articles to help you prepare. I think it could be useful, based on our experience with the economic collapse and its effects on the currency. Let me tell you what life is really like when your country has a devalued currency that is nearly worthless.

How do you buy things with devalued currency?

These last few days I was asked by a fellow prepper overseas how our internal trading, with such a devalued currency, was going on. He asked if we used silver coins and bartering. I answered him that we use mostly US dollars and Euros for large transactions like vehicles, land, and housing, as far as I know. But the reason people are mostly selling is that they are desperate to get out of the country, and the wealth they have accumulated in previous years vanishes, with the bad deals they seem forced to accept.

On the other hand, for day-to-day payments, bolivars are still used, but the prices go up (always UP by the way) depending on the black market dollar price. This is, though, a perfect evidence that this black market dollar is controlled by the government: look at the evolution price, and you will find it stable just before any important election, political campaigns and such.

This is no surprise, those who benefit the most from this black market are those “companies” that aligned with the dollar river…and nowadays that stream is getting dry.

Bad news for oil industry workers

I received very bad news for those still working in the oil industry. So you can understand what is in store for the employees, I have to explain some background first.

As part of our monthly payment, we received a savings incentive: the company retained the 12.5% of our salary in their accounts until the end of the month, and provided another 12.5% (it sounds like a lot but it is not). So, by the end of the month, we had in the corporative account an additional 25%.

This was one of the main benefits for the oil state workers, and that helped to deal with the high performance demanded by the industry. This money, during better times, was kept there until the end of the year, for a new car, or starting a side business,  some fancy vacations, and stuff. However I never used it for traveling overseas, but invested in land, some prepping gear and equipment, assisting my parents and my wife’s family, and short family trips from time to time to the beach, or my folks’ place and such.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The environmental consequences of monetary dysfunction

The environmental consequences of monetary dysfunction

Dysfunction of the money-system underpins the problems of the world’s multiple converging crises. Discuss.

Might that assertion be taking an ideological position, encouraged by the echo chambers of like-minded twitterati? This piece is an attempt to tease out the nature of the underlying connection, and in doing so describe some of the attack surfaces that are available to those bent on change.

From an environmental perspective the most damaging money-system dysfunction is the misallocation of credit. Commercial banks have been given the responsibility of deciding who should receive loans – for capital investment, mortgages and asset purchases for example – and the privilege of charging interest on those loans. They are largely unconstrained in this process – while there are theoretical constraints, in practice their main concern is making sure they get their full whack of interest due over the term of the loan. They therefore generally prefer lending secured against an asset that they can repossess if necessary than against the uncertain (and difficult to assess – at least for today’s disconnected and centralised account managers) future productive capability of entrepreneurial projects. This is borne out by figures for productive investment which tend to show lending for productive use at about 15%.

The first consequence of this preference is that the banks find themselves in an unholy alliance with asset owners, with a joint interest in ever rising asset prices and a reluctance to moderate activity in asset markets lest their loans lose collateral value. They all know in their hearts that this will eventually mean painful busts. But they also know that when the time comes they will be bailed out by the government, that many of their more savvy and comfortably-connected friends will have disposed of their assets ahead of the peak, and that the greater part of the associated pain will be experienced by less well connected ‘outsiders’. There is no real sanction on the banks or their senior management from buying into this toxic cycle. So we should not be surprised when it repeats. They operate in any case with a sort of herd mentality, and taking a heterodox stance would fail the wine-bar peer-reviews. There is no way that this cycle can avoid the progressive concentration of wealth. (In passing we might note that this in turn puts a misplaced emphasis on philanthropy and volunteerism as means to address society’s ills.)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Money as a Measuring Stick

Money as a Measuring Stick

Imagine if the world’s metre sticks all grew or shrunk a bit each year. That would make for a confusing system of weights and measures, wouldn’t it? Well, that is exactly what happens with money.

We have been measuring the world around us for thousands of years. Units like feet and cubits have been used for distances, pounds and kilograms to measure weight, and dollars and yen to measure economic value. Measuring value, however, is by far the most complicated of the measurements that must be taken. This is because – unlike the other units – the various items that have been used to represent dollars and yen are constantly fluctuating in value.

The British Pound, or lb

Monetary units have always been closely tied up with units of weight. For instance, the word “pound” has been used to describe both the British monetary unit (£) and the weight (lb). The pound weight was originally based on wheat. In 1266, King Henry III decreed that the British unit referred to as the grain should be defined as the weight of a corn of wheat “well dried, and gathered out of the middle of the ear.” Thirty-two grains were to be equal to a pennyweight, twenty pennyweights equal to an ounce, and twelve ounces added up to a pound. So the early English pound, otherwise known as the Tower pound, was comprised of 7,680 “well-dried” grains from the middle of an ear of wheat.

Grains of wheat

The Tower pound wasn’t the only pound weight used in England. The Troy pound, used for gold and silver, contained 5,760 grains, while the Merchant pound was made up of 6,750 grains. To add to the confusion, the avoirdupois pound would contain 7,000 grains.

The Exchequer Standard

Although the grain unit served as the basis for weights, people didn’t go about their regular business of measuring the weights of things by counterbalancing them against tiny grains of wheat. Imagine how awkward it would be to go to the local market to ask for an ounce of meat! The butcher would have had to count out 640 grains and then counterbalance them on a scale against the hunk of meat, an arduous process that would have brought the gears of trade to a near halt. Buyers would have been constantly accusing sellers of not using appropriately dry grains, adding to the confusion.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Central Bank Money Rules the World

Central Bank Money Rules the World

Central bank credit that supports markets — is not just creation of the Fed, but by central banks and institutions around the world colluding together. Global markets are too deeply connected these days to consider the Fed in isolation.

Since last month’s correction, the world has been watching the Fed because its policies have global implications. And worldwide sell-offs sent a clear sign to Fed Chair Powell to relax with the rate hikes.

When fears arise that central bank QE will recede on one side of the world, we see more volatility and rumors of hawkishness. To counter those fears, there will be a move toward dovish policy on the other side of the world.

Central banks operate in collusion. When the Fed signals it is raising rates, or markets over-react negatively to the threat, another central bank steps in. By colluding, other central banks offer even more dark money-QE to keep the party going.

The net result is a propensity toward the status quo in global monetary policy: a bullish, asset bubble-inflating bias in the stock markets and caution in the bond markets.

Here’s what’s going on with some of the most powerful central bankers right now, starting with Japan…

While U.S. markets were correcting earlier this month, Japan’s financial benchmark, the Nikkei 225 index fell more than 1,200 points. At the same time, the rumors of Japan’s central bank curbing its dark money-QE programs are just that.

While investors have speculated that the BoJ could be moving towards an exit from dark money policy (despite the BOJ denying this), we know that central banks are too scared of the outcomes.

In an economic pinch, the Bank of Japan (BoJ), will keep dark money flowing.

Confirming my premise, when Japanese Government Bond prices were dipping too fast, the BoJ announced “unlimited” buying of long-term Japanese government bonds. This is simply the continuation of the policy the BoJ already has in place.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

Repetitive Patterns in the Money Supply – Will Coins Become Extinct?

Inflation over time raises the cost of raw metal and we see that such coins vanish from the money supply. Britain is the latest in line to eliminate the 1 & 2 pence coins. They are costing more to produce than they are worth. I have written about the monetary reform Act of 1857 when the penny was drastically reduced in size. Canada eliminated the penny as well.

The United States dropped copper from the penny in 1982. Today, the penny is made of 97.5% zinc. It is copper-plated to give the appearance that it is still really copper. Throughout history, the supply of copper, gold, and silver, have all risen and fallen at different times based on their own cycle. Where the Persians had excess gold, the Greeks only had silver mines. The Romans had neither silver nor gold and began their monetary system with bronze.

We can see how the three empires began with gold, then silver, and finally bronze and modern society turned to paper starting with the Chinese during the 13th century. The main coin of the Persians was known as the gold Daric, whereas the dominant coinage among the Greeks was the silver Athens tetradrachm known as the Owl. The Romans were the last to depart from the Bronze Age. Their coinage remained bronze until silver was introduced and struck in Greek denominations beginning in 280BC, which was just one 51.6-year wave from Alexander the Great (336-323BC).

As-Decline (1)

We can see the same process of the rising cost of copper that prevailed during the early Roman Republic. The Roman As drops from 280BC with a weight of 341 grams to 10.6 grams by the time of Augustus (27BC-14AD). The drastic decline was been 280BC and 115BC, which was about 19 waves of 8.6-years.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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