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IMF Prepares Financial Revolution – Say GOODBYE to the Dollar

IMF Prepares Financial Revolution – Say GOODBYE to the Dollar

Global reserve currency status allows for amazing latitude in terms of monetary policy.

The Treasury Department understands that there is constant demand for dollars overseas as a means to more easily import and export goods. The petrodollar monopoly made the U.S. dollar essential for trading oil globally for decades.

This means that the central bank of the U.S. has been able to create fiat currency from thin air to a far higher degree than any other central bank on the planet while avoiding the immediate effects of hyperinflation.

Much of that cash as well as dollar-denominated debt  ends up in the coffers of foreign central banks, international banks and investment firms. Sometimes it is held as a hedge, or bought and sold to adjust the exchange rates of local currencies. As much as 60% of all U.S. currency (and 25% of U.S. government debt) is owned outside the U.S.

Global reserve currency status is what allowed the U.S. government and the Fed to create tens of trillions of dollars in new currency after the 2008 credit crash, all while keeping inflation more or less under control.

The problem is that this system of stowing dollars overseas only lasts so long and eventually the effects of overprinting come home to roost.

The Bretton-Woods Agreement of 1944 established the framework for the rise of the U.S. dollar. While the benefits are obvious, especially for the U.S., there are numerous costs involved. Think of world reserve status as a “deal with the devil.” You get the fame, you get the fortune, you get trophy dates and a sweet car – for a while. Then one day the devil comes to collect, and when he does he’s going to take everything, including your soul.

Unfortunately, I suspect collection time is coming soon for the U.S.

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

“We Will Have A Hard Landing At Some Point. I Guarantee You That.”

“We Will Have A Hard Landing At Some Point. I Guarantee You That.”

Can you guess who the quote in the article title is from?  I will give you a hint.  It wasn’t me.  I know that it sounds like it could have come from me, but it actually comes from a very big name on Wall Street.  Ellen Zentner is Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S. economist, and she is the one that said it.  During an interview with CNBC she warned that “the tightening impacts from monetary policy” will have enormous consequences for the U.S. economy in the months ahead…

“We will have a hard landing at some point. I guarantee you that. We’re all wondering: When does that come?” she said. “The point that Dimon makes is that there are these cumulative impacts that build over time, and we are in the camp that we haven’t yet seen all of the tightening impacts from monetary policy,” she added, referring to the impact of Fed rate hikes.

She makes a really great point.

The consequences of interest rate hikes are felt over time.

Higher interest rates have certainly started to cause a lot of problems, but if rates are not brought down soon the level of pain that we are experiencing will begin to go up dramatically.

Unfortunately, the Fed is not likely to reduce interest rates any time soon because inflation continues to run hotter than expected

Inflation increased by the largest amount in almost a year, according to the Fed’s preferred measure – confirming expectations interest rates will not be cut until around June.

The so-called core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index – which excludes volatile food and energy prices – increased 0.4 percent between December and January.

Marko Kolanovic, the chief market strategist for JPMorgan Chase, believes that the U.S. economy could be headed into “something like 1970s stagflation”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Never Ending War on Cash

Never Ending War on Cash

In the last few decades, there has been a global shift towards a “cashless world,” a trend that continues to shape financial autonomy. Physical currency is becoming increasingly rare as the majority of the world’s money supply exists in electronic form. Governments and financial institutions are actively promoting a cashless society, raising concerns about individual financial freedom.

The Federal Reserve’s last annual update on physical currency in circulation reported about 2.2 trillion dollars in physical cash supply. This includes physical coins (dimes, quarters, dollars) and green Federal Reserve notes. Nevertheless, there has been a rapid shift towards electronic funds. In the current era, the total global money supply is predominantly composed of electronic funds, with physical currency representing a diminishing percentage.

The concept of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) in the last year has gained substantial prominence globally. IMF Director Kistalina Georgieva noted in her speech last year that CBDCs have already been introduced in The Bahamas, Jamaica, and Nigeria, with over 100 additional countries (including the United States) currently in the exploratory phase.

The push towards a cashless society is often justified on grounds of enhanced security, with claims that electronic transactions deter terrorism, money laundering, and counterfeiting. However, upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that the primary objective is an attempt to ‘bar the doors’ and keep assets within the US Financial System. Reduced reliance on physical cash facilitates increased monitoring and taxation of financial transactions, aligning with the government’s and central planners’ interests.

Interestingly, even with the diminishing purchasing power of the US dollar, the face value of Federal Reserve notes has also been decreasing. Today, the highest denomination note produced by the Federal Reserve is the $100 note. The elimination of higher denominations, such as $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 notes, began in 1969. Discussions continue, with some advocating for the complete discontinuation of cash.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Central Banks Will Keep Gobbling Gold in 2024

Central Banks Will Keep Gobbling Gold in 2024

The first half of 2023 was a record-breaking moment for central bank gold buying, led by none other than China and Russia. Organizations like the World Gold Council reported a staggering increase compared to 2022:

“On a year-to-date basis, central banks have bought an astonishing net 800t, 14% higher than the same period last year.”

Whether or not The January Effect will apply to the gold price as we finish the first month of 2024, there are plenty of indicators that the central bank buying spree will continue for at least the first half of the new year. Accelerating de-dollarization is just one factor, as powerhouses like China and Russia continue strategically moving further and further from the grips of USD hegemony.

Of course, actions by the Biden administration to isolate Russia with sanctions in the wake of the Ukraine conflict only provide further impetus for the Russians to continue divesting in any way they can from the US dollar. Combined with a volatile ruble and a wave of new American spending to feed its proxy wars in Ukraine and Israel, it only makes sense that Russia’s gold coffers will continue to grow.

You can also bet on China and Russia buying significantly more gold than what gets reported publicly, so the real numbers are always higher than they seem. As Jim Richards has pointed out many times, such as in this tweet from Q1 last year, countries like Russia and China hold gold acquired through off-the-books buying programs that far exceed what they officially claim:

“Central Bank of Russia reported a gain of 30 metric tonnes in its gold reserves. That’s after a year of flatlining more likely due to non-reporting than non-acquisition. Nice to see Russia back in the game.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

“This Is Off The Charts”: Economist Claims 2024 Will Bring ‘Biggest Crash Of Our Lifetime’ In US

“This Is Off The Charts”: Economist Claims 2024 Will Bring ‘Biggest Crash Of Our Lifetime’ In US

An economist who focuses on consumer spending has issued a dire warning about the U.S. economy in the coming year.

Since 2009, this has been 100 percent artificial, unprecedented money printing and deficits: $27 trillion over 15 years, to be exact,” economist Harry Dent told Fox Business on Dec. 19. “This is off the charts, 100 percent artificial, which means we’re in a dangerous state.

“I think 2024 is going to be the biggest single crash year we’ll see in our lifetime.

“We need to get back down to normal, and we need to send a message to central banks,” he said. “This should be a lesson I don’t think we’ll ever revisit. I don’t think we’ll ever see a bubble for any of our lifetimes again.”

A trader looks over his cellphone outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Sept. 14, 2022. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

As Jack Phillips reports at The Epoch TimesMr. Dent, who owns the HS Dent Investment Management firm, told the outlet that U.S. markets are currently in a bubble that started in late 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Things are not going to come back to normal in a few years. We may never see these levels again. And this crash is not going to be a correction,” he said.

It’s going to be more in the ’29 to ’32 level. And anybody who sat through that would have shot their stockbroker,” Mr. Dent said, making references to the stock market crash in 1929 that led to the Great Depression throughout the 1930s.

“If I’m right, it is going to be the biggest crash of our lifetime, most of it happening in 2024. You’re going to see it start and be more obvious by May.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Insanity: Celebrating Rate Cuts At A Shiller PE Of 31x

Insanity: Celebrating Rate Cuts At A Shiller PE Of 31x

Last week ended the way all weeks have been ending: with the stock market raging higher based on future expectations of rate cuts that (1) have not happened yet (2) probably won’t happen until next year, unless a market crash happens first and (3) won’t make their way through the economy for another 18 to 24 months.

But nonetheless, the S&P is looking to finish the year nearing astronomical 20% gains, something that I would have thought to have been impossible with rates raging higher over the last 2 years. But, then again, remember as I wrote in September — rate cuts are usually the signal for the market to crash — not rate hikes: Fed Rate Cuts Should Scare The Shit Out Of You

Is that something I wish I had understood better heading into the last few years? Absolutely. Have I taken an ass whooping betting on volatility and being mostly net short? Absolutely. Does that mean I’m going to be deadass wrong again in 2024?

Not necessarily.

After all, look at gold. As I’ve noted, gold is one of the very few names I’d consider ever being “all in”. And, as I have written about extensively, I find the setup for the precious metal heading into 2024 to be outstanding. I’ve been harping on this since the inception of this blog and it took until this week for gold to hit new all time highs: The Fed Can’t, And Won’t, Nail The Dismount

So let’s just hope it isn’t my analysis that’s wrong, but rather, just my timing.

Anyway I took the time this week to offer up my updated thoughts on Elon Musk and Tesla, after both Musk’s outburst at the DealBook conference and Tesla’s Cybertruck reveal. I explain my thoughts and continued stance on Tesla here: Elon Musk And Dark Forces

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Confetti Dollar End of Ponzi Scheme – Bill Holter

Confetti Dollar End of Ponzi Scheme – Bill Holter

Precious metals expert and financial writer Bill Holter says the recent underreported announcement by the UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti in Switzerland that his bank might need a “rescue” is yet another sign on the short road to the end of the global Ponzi scheme backed by the US dollar reserve currency.  Holter points out, “You’ve got a sick bank (Credit Suisse) that is being bailed out by another bank (UBS) that may turn out to be sick.  My question is who is going to bail out these central banks?  You have got the Fed with a $9 trillion balance sheet.  The last time, the Fed went from $900 billion to $9 trillion.  Can the Fed now go from $9 trillion to $90 trillion?  Who is going to bail out the Fed?  Who is going to bail out the US Treasury?  Who is going to bail out the Bank of England, the ECB or the Bank of Japan?  These central banks have completely blown up their balance sheet and have no ability to save anything.  My question is who is going to save them?”

Can’t they cut interest rates again like they did in 2009?  Holter says, “If they cut interest rates from here, you would see the dollar absolutely crash.  The only reason the dollar has not crashed is interest rates have basically gone from 0% to 5%.   They have done that in a year and a half which is the fastest increase in interest rates in all of history.”

So, rate cuts will devalue the dollar.  Can you pay trillions of dollars borrowed in Treasury Bond back in confetti dollars?  Holter says, “Yes, you absolutely can pay back your debt in confetti.  It’s been done many, many times before as currencies get lost…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The Future for Fiat

The Future for Fiat

The day of reckoning for unproductive credit is in sight.

With G7 national finances spiraling out of control, debt traps are being sprung on all of them, with the sole exception of Germany.

Malinvestments of the last fifty years are being exposed by the rise in interest rates, increases which are driven by a combination of declining faith in the value of major currencies and contracting bank credit. The rise in interest rates is becoming unstoppable.

Do not be surprised to see a US Government deficit exceeding $3 trillion this fiscal year, half of which will be interest payments. And in the run-up to a presidential election, there’s every sign of deficit spending increasing even further.

We now face America and her allies being dragged into another expensive conflict in the Middle East, likely to drive oil and natural gas prices higher; far higher if Iran becomes a target. With the Muslim world united against Western imperialism more than ever before, do not discount the closure of Hormuz, and even Suez, with unimaginable consequences for energy prices.

The era of interest rate suppression is over. G7 central banks are all deeply in negative equity, in other words technically bankrupt, a situation which can only be addressed by issuing yet more unproductive credit. These are the institutions tasked with ensuring the integrity of the entire system of bank credit.

This is not a good background for a dollar-based global credit system that is staring into the black hole of its own extinction.

The end for the dollar is nigh

There are a number of events coming together that suggest we are about to undergo a major upheaval in world economic, financial, and monetary affairs…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

March 9, 2022

Where were you on March 9, 2022, when President Biden signed the death warrant on American freedom?

On that day, in a hushed ceremony at the White House without the approval of Congress, the states or the American people, Biden signed into law Executive Order 14067.

Buried in his order are a few paragraphs, titled Section 4. The language in Section 4 makes Order 14067 the most treacherous act by a sitting president in the history of our republic.

That’s because Section 4 sets the stage for legal government surveillance of all U.S. citizens, total control over your bank accounts and purchases and the ability to silence all dissenting voices for good.

In this new war on freedom, they aren’t coming for your guns. No, they’re thinking much bigger than that.

They’re coming for your money.

And it’s already started. These efforts are stepping up and taking on a nefarious tone that also involves surveillance and loss of our freedoms under the guise of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), or Biden Bucks as I call them.

If you had asked me about this two years ago, I would have said the U.S. is taking a rather studious approach to it. It was too important to not be involved in, but the U.S. did not seem to be in any hurry to actually implement it.

There were studies, and I would have said my estimate at the time would have been, “OK, China has it. Europe, maybe another year. The U.S. might be three or four years down the road because the dollar’s too important. They don’t want to race into it. They want to get it right. There are a lot of ways to mess it up.”

But that’s changed under Joe Biden.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Debt, Currency Debasement & War—The Timeless Pillars of Failure

Debt, Currency Debasement & War—The Timeless Pillars of Failure

Below, we follow the breadcrumbs of simple math and bond market signals toward an oft-repeated pattern of how once-great nations become, well…not so great any more.

Debt Destroys Nations

Debt, once it passes the Rubicon from extreme to just plain madness, destroys nations.

Just ask the former Spanish, British or Dutch empires. Or ask the inter-war Germans. Ask the Yugoslavians of the 1990’s or ask a historian of Ancient Rome or a merchant in modern Argentina.

It’s all pretty much the same story, just different a different stage or curtain call.

Like Hemingway’s description of poverty, the process begins slowly at first, and then all at once.

Part of this process involves currency debasement needed to pay down more desperate issuance of IOUs, a process evidenced by rising rather than “transitory” inflation.

Thereafter, comes increased social unrest, and hence increased centralization from the political left or right in the name of “what’s best for us.”

Sound familiar?

Centralization—The Last, Failed Act

Centralization never works in the long run, but that has never stopped opportunists from trying.

Just look at our central bankers.

In a centralized rather than free market, the very name “central bank” should be a dead give-away as to their real role and profile.

As private central banks have been slowly increasing their hidden power and control over national markets and hence national welfare, the very notion of free price discovery in bonds, and indirectly in stocks, is now all but an extinct financial creature in the neo-feudalism which long ago replaced genuine capitalism.

How the Central Game is Played—From Temporary Prosperity to Permanent Ruin

When central banks like the Fed repress rates and print gobs and gobs of money, bonds are artificially supported, which means their prices go up and their yields are compressed.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Unwinding the Financial System

Unwinding the Financial System

This article looks at the collateral side of financial transactions and some significant problems that are already emerging.

At a time when there is a veritable tsunami of dollar credit in foreign hands overhanging markets, it is obvious that continually falling bond prices will ensure bear markets in all financial asset values leading to dollar liquidation. This unwinding corrects an accumulation of foreign-owned dollars and dollar-denominated assets since the Second World War both in and outside the US financial system.

Furthermore, collapsing collateral values, which are increasingly required backing for changing values in over $400 trillion nominal in interest rate swaps are a new driver for the crisis, forcing bond liquidation, driving prices down and yields higher: we are in a doom-loop.

What action can the authorities take to ensure that counterparty risk from widespread failures won’t take out inadequately capitalised regulated exchanges?

It seems that they acted some time ago by giving central security depositories (The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, Euroclear, and Clearstream) the right to pool securities on their registers and lend them out as collateral. Your investments, which you think you may own can be absorbed into the failing financial system without your knowledge.

This seems particularly relevant, given the appointment of JPMorgan Chase as custodian of the large gold ETF, SPDR Trust (ticker GLD). In a test case in the New York courts concerning Lehman’s failure, JPMC was given legal protection should it seize its customer’s assets.

This important erosion of property rights is poorly understood. But as the financial distortions are unwound, leading to unintended consequences such as bank failures and ultimately the collapse of the dollar-based fiat currency regime, the implication is that holders of physical gold ETFs will be left owning an empty shell at a time when they might have expected some protection from the collapse of the value of credit.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The Coming Collapse of the Global Ponzi Scheme

The Coming Collapse of the Global Ponzi Scheme

money printing

It won’t be long before governments around the world, including the one in Washington, self-destruct.

Strong words, but anything less would be naïve.

As economist Herbert Stein once said, “If something cannot go on forever, it has a tendency to stop.” Case in point: fiat money political regimes. Interventionist economies of the West are in a fatal downward spiral, comparable to that of the Roman Empire in the second century, burdened with unsustainable debt and the antiprosperity policies of governments, especially the Green New Deal.

In the global Ponzi scheme, thin air and deceit substitute for sound money. As hedge-fund manager Mitch Feierstein wrote in Planet Ponzi, You dont solve a Ponzi scheme; you end it.” Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff

made some of their investors a whole lot poorer, but the world didn’t come crashing down as a result.

For that‌—‌for a Ponzi scheme that would threaten to bankrupt capitalism across the entire Western world‌—‌you need people much smarter than Ponzi or Madoff. You need time, you need energy, you need motivation. In a word, you need Wall Street.

But Wall Street alone doesn’t have the strength to deliver a truly cataclysmic outcome. If your ambition is to create havoc on the largest possible scale, you need access to a balance sheet running into the tens of trillions. You need power. You need prestige. You need a remarkable willingness to deceive. In a word, you need Washington.

As Gary North wrote in a brief review of Feierstein’s book, “The central banks have colluded with the national governments in order to fund huge increases of national debt, beyond what can ever be paid off. In other words, [Feierstein] has described government promises as part of a gigantic international Ponzi scheme.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The West Is Losing Control Over the Gold Price

The West Is Losing Control Over the Gold Price

An important change has unfolded in the global gold market. The East has been driving up the gold price, predominantly in late 2022 and the first months of 2023, breaking the West’s long standing pricing power.

turkey goldGold bazaar in Turkey. Pricing power in the gold market has recently shifted to the East.

Until recently, Western institutional money was driving the price of gold in wholesale markets such as London, mainly based on real interest rates. Gold was bought when real rates fell and vice versa. However, from late 2022 until June 2023 gold was up 17% while real rates were more or less flat, and Western institutions were net sellers. Most likely, Eastern central banks, and Turkish and Chinese private demand, lifted the price of gold.

Introduction

For about ninety years, up until 2022, there was a pattern of above-ground gold moving from West to East and back, in sync with the gold price falling and rising. Western institutions set the price of gold and bought from the East in bull markets. In bear markets the West sold to the East. For more information read my article: The West–East Ebb and Flood of Gold Revisited.

If we zoom in on the period from 2006 through 2021 the main reason for Western institutions to buy or sell gold was the 10-year TIPS rate, which reflects the 10-year expected real interest rate (“real rate,” in short) of US government bonds.

The physical gold price was predominantly set in the London Bullion Market and to a lesser extent Switzerland. Gold trade in London can be divided in three categories:

…click on the above link to read the rest…

“No Way Out” for Global Markets Trapped in a Doom Loop of Debt

“No Way Out” for Global Markets Trapped in a Doom Loop of Debt

In this compelling conversation with Wealthion founder, Adam Taggart, Matterhorn Asset Management principal, Matthew Piepenburg, addresses the current and vast range of headline market topics, signals and risks. Inflation, deflation, risk assets, bond stress, cryptos, war, bank failures, CBDC’s rise, trapped policy makers and, of course, the topic of precious metals are all carefully and plainly discussed.

Piepenburg’s broader views on current and future financial conditions are bluntly yet realistically presented as a “no way out” scenario for global economies distorted by cornered central bankers. The bottom line is as simple as it is incontrovertible: The global economy is stuck in a doom loop of debt.

Either central banks raise rates to allegedly “kill inflation” by killing the economy and markets, or they resort to more mouse-click money and kill the currency in your wallet.

Historically, all debt-cornered nations spur collapsing markets followed by collapsing currencies and inflation-driven social unrest. Leaders of all eras and stripes (left or right) then address this unrest with tighter, more centralized controls over our economies and lives. CBDC is a classic and modern symptom of this timeless pattern.  So is war. The current era will be no exception, as history (from ancient Rome to Chairman Mao, or Napoleon to the rise of fascist leaders of the 1930’s) offers no exception.

Piepenburg tracks the current evolution of this trend in a Federal Reserve that has tightened too fast and too high, breaking everything in its path in one dis-inflationary debt or banking crisis after the next, which are inevitably “solved” via more inflationary and mouse-clicked dollars. End result? Currency debasement, for which gold is one obvious and historical solution rather than “gold bug” apology.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Project Icebreaker: The Beginning Of A One World Digital Currency System?

Project Icebreaker: The Beginning Of A One World Digital Currency System?

There has been extensive discussion in the past couple of years within alternative media circles about the dangers of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs); a currency framework very similar to blockchain based products like Bitcoin but directly controlled by central bankers. It’s a threat that some analysts including myself have been writing about for more than a decade, so it’s good to finally see the issue being addressed more in the mainstream.

The Orwellian nature of CBDCs cannot be overstated. In a cashless society most people would be dependent on digital products for exchanging goods and labor, and this would of course mean the end of all privacy in trade. Everything you buy or sell or work for in your life would be recorded, and this lack of anonymity could be used to stifle your freedoms in the future.

For example, say you like to eat steak regularly, but the increasingly authoritarian government decides to list red meat as a health risk and a “climate change risk” due to carbon emissions from cows. They determine by your purchase history (which they have full access to) that you have contributed more carbon pollution than most people by eating red meat often. They declare that you must pay a retroactive carbon tax on your past purchases of red meat. Not only that, but your insurance company sends you a letter indicating that you are a medical risk and they cut off your health coverage.

Products you consume and services you use can be tracked to create a psychological profile on you, which could then become a factor in determining your social credit score, just as CCP authorities do in China today…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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