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Let Them Eat Bugs

Let Them Eat Bugs

A study earlier this year from four prestigious institutions proclaimed that you should eat bugs and spiders.

And not only that. The study — conducted by BI Norwegian Business School (BI), Chuo University, Miyagi University and Oxford University — also said that the way to convince people to do this is to have celebrities do it on YouTube videos.

Like clockwork, they are suddenly everywhere. You are welcome to look them up. I personally find them revolting. As in they make me want to revolt.

These are the same folks who pushed for lockdowns, masking, jabs and a war with Russia. Now they say we have to get used to eating bugs because all the other policies they pushed have dramatically increased world hunger. Indeed, it is reaching a crisis point.

For many people, bug eating will soon be the only answer.

One Step Before Cannibalism

I’m going to take it as a given that the evolution of society selected against bug eating. It is not something people prefer over, for example, eating chicken, fish, beef and vegetables. I would further postulate that most people, in general, would not eat bugs unless they had to.

I’m sure there are many venerable bureaucrats at the UN who would dispute the above, but I don’t care.

There is a name for bug eating: entomophagy. Sounds fancy, but ultimately it means living as if there is a famine going on. It is one step before cannibalism and finally eating tree bark.

Sometimes it happens. We call those periods of history deeply tragic. It’s not what we want. The difference this time is that entomophagy is being pushed by top Hollywood influencers.

When it arrives, the famine will be celebrated on social media.

Food Is Already Scarce

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

Welcome to 1984

I’ve been addressing the war on cash lately, and for good reason. While everyone’s attention is focused on the war in Ukraine, inflation and the Supreme Court, government plans to eliminate cash are accelerating.

For example, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are coming even faster than many anticipated. The digital yuan is already here; it was introduced in China last February during the Winter Olympics.

Visitors to the Olympics were required to pay for meals, hotels, transportation, etc., using QR codes on their mobile phones that linked to digital yuan accounts. Nine other countries have already launched CBDCs. Europe is not far behind and is testing the digital euro under the auspices of the European Central Bank.

The U.S. was lagging, but is catching up fast.

The Federal Reserve was studying a possible Fed CBDC at a research facility at MIT. Now the idea has moved from the research stage to preliminary development.

Fed Chair Jay Powell said, “A U.S. CBDC could… potentially help maintain the dollar’s international standing.”

But this has little to do with technology or monetary policy and everything to do with herding you into digital cattle chutes where you can be slaughtered with account freezes, seizures, etc.

NOT Crypto

First off, CBDCs are not cryptocurrencies. The CBDCs are digital in form, are recorded on a ledger (maintained by a central bank or finance ministry and the message traffic is encrypted. Still, the resemblance to cryptos ends there.

The CBDC ledgers do not use blockchain, and CBDCs definitely do not embrace the decentralized issuance model hailed by the crypto crowd. CBDCs will be highly centralized and tightly controlled by central banks.

The CBDC ledger can be maintained in encrypted form by the central bank itself without the need for bank accounts or money market funds…

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

Nowhere to Hide

Nowhere to Hide

Investors don’t need to be told about the recent stock market crashes. The Dow Jones index is down 12.5% since early January. The S&P 500 is down 16.1% in the same period. The Nasdaq Composite is down an even more spectacular 26.5% this year. It lost more ground today.

This puts the Nasdaq solidly into a bear market (down 20% or more from an interim peak) while the Dow and S&P 500 are both in correction territory (down 10% or more from an interim peak).

The Dow was up slightly today, but the S&P was down again. On current trends, the S&P 500 may break into bear market territory in a matter of days with the Dow not far behind.

This collapse coming so soon after the market crash of March 2020 may surprise some investors, although this outcome was predicted in my last book The New Great Depression, published last year.

We could get into the reasons for the recent market swoon, like the Fed’s taking away the punch bowl, but the reasons almost don’t matter at this point.

What truly is surprising is that the stock market is not alone in its recent dismal performance.

The Great Crypto Crash

U.S. Treasury bonds, foreign currencies, gold and other commodities have all declined sharply side by side with stocks. There are good reasons for this, including the prospect of a recession that could cause stocks, gold and commodities to fall in sync.

Still, the market carnage doesn’t end there. The biggest collapse among major asset classes is in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The price of Bitcoin has fallen over 55% since last November, when Bitcoin peaked at around $69,000. As I write this article, Bitcoin is trading at $29,647.

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

Globalism’s Achilles’ Heel

Globalism’s Achilles’ Heel

Supply chain disruptions have not been resolved, and it’s not clear when they will be. You’re seeing the effects of these disruptions at the store in the forms of shortages and higher prices.

Yet the supply chain is a subject that very few are familiar with beyond a superficial acquaintance.

Most people think the supply chain is just part of the global economy. That’s not entirely true. The supply chain is the global economy.

There isn’t a single good or service of any kind that does not arrive through a supply chain. Not one.

If the global supply chain is broken, then the global economy is broken. That increasingly appears to be the case.

The supply chain difficulties will grow worse. Even more troubling is the fact that the remedies will take years and sometimes decades to implement.

The reasons for this have to do with long lead times in implementing onshoring. For example, the U.S. can cut its dependence on Asian semiconductor imports by building its own semiconductor fabrication plans (fabs).

The problem is that these plants take from three–five years to build, and the scale needed is enormous.

There are impediments to supply chain recovery that are not directly related to particular supply chains that nonetheless hurt the process of adaptation and substitution.

For example, there’s already a labor shortage in America. The causes are complicated.

There’s no literal shortage of potential workers, but many workers prefer to stay home because of some combination of government benefits, child-care responsibilities or inadequate pay offered by employers (who can’t afford to pay more themselves because they’ll go out of business).

A lot of this labor shortage centers on lower-wage jobs such as waiters, store clerks, fast-food staff and office assistants. But there will be a labor shortage coming soon in more high-skilled areas such as engineers, pilots, machinists and medical personnel.

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

Supply Chain Disruptions Will Continue

Supply Chain Disruptions Will Continue

Forty percent of all the cargo into the United States comes through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Offshore, there are thousands of containers stacked up on vessels waiting to get in. How many containers can the ports unload on a normal day?

New containers are coming in. There are daily arrivals. When will that supply chain backlog clear?

The answer is never. If there are more coming in than you can unload and you have an existing backlog that’s getting worse, it will never clear.

But let’s just say that with no new shipments coming in, it would take 30 days just to unload what’s already waiting offshore. Thirty days, by the way, puts you into December and the Christmas rush.

And getting it offloaded in California is just the beginning of the supply chain. You’ve got to put it on a train or a truck and get it to a distribution center and put it on another truck and get it to a store.

But wait, there’s also a trucking shortage. That’s a big part of the supply chain problem. If you can unload the merchandise but can’t transport it due to a trucking shortage, what good is it?

So this is not getting better. That’s probably the understatement of the year.

You may have heard about a semiconductor shortage. But you don’t need a computer, so what’s the big deal? Well, no, there are semiconductors in everything. You have semiconductors in your refrigerator, dishwasher, home entertainment system, etc.

The point is we’re highly dependent on vulnerable supply chains that are currently breaking down. Something radical is going to have to happen. We’re just going to have to stop importing goods. And China may actually oblige us, though not for these reasons…

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

Get Ready for Food Rationing

Get Ready for Food Rationing

It was a very strange moment when this week the spokesperson for the president defended inflation as a high-class problem. She explained that higher prices are merely a sign that economic activity is picking up. People are buying things and that’s good. Of course that pushes up prices, she said. Just deal with it.

At this point, the White House will say anything. Truth, facts, morality — these things matter less and less in current-day America. Your misery is an illusion. Losing your job because you don’t want the jab? Hey, that is the price you pay for noncompliance. Expect no sympathy from anyone in charge.

The Great Rationing

It must have been this flippant dismissal that caused me to go over the top. I wrote that hyperinflation could lead not only to implicit price controls, but also to rationing. Eventually, we could see the government issuing food tickets into bank accounts that allow us only a certain amount of food for the week. One chicken. One pound of hamburger heat. Five rolls of toilet paper.

I wrote that with a worry that I might be going too far here with speculation. This is America, after all, and we don’t do things this way. And yet in the old America we didn’t close churches for Easter, or skip Christmas for fear of a virus. And so on. Yet we know now that in fact we do these things, and easily.

Fear makes anything possible.

And so right on cue — things are moving very fast these days — The Washington Post has published an article by one of its regular contributors (Micheline Maynard) with one message:

GET USED TO IT!

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

Contagion!

Contagion!

There has been a litany of bad news recently, including the U.S. August humiliation in Afghanistan, China’s aggressive actions against Taiwan and increased tensions with Iran, North Korea and Russia.

It will take the U.S. years, possibly decades, to recover from the debacle of August 2021 and the collapse of American prestige. All of these geopolitical events combine to undermine confidence in U.S. power.

When that happens, a loss of confidence in the U.S. dollar is not far behind.

And, perhaps most importantly of all recent bad news, is a market meltdown and slowing growth in China.

Greatest Ponzi Ever

I’ve long advised my readers that the Chinese wealth management product (WMP) system is the greatest Ponzi in the history of the world. Retail investors are led to believe that WMPs are like bank deposits and are backed by the bank that sells them. They’re not.

They’re actually unsecured units in blind pools that can be invested in anything the pool manager wants.

Most WMP funds have been invested in the real estate sector. This has led to asset bubbles in real estate (at best) and wasted developments that cannot cover their costs (at worst). When investors wanted their money back, the sponsor would simply sell more WMPs and use the money to pay back the redeeming investors.

That’s what gave the product its Ponzi characteristic.

The total amount invested in WMPs is now in the trillions of dollars used to finance thousands of projects sponsored by hundreds of major developers. Chinese investors are all-in with WMPs.

Now the entire edifice is collapsing as I predicted it would.

The largest property developer in China, Evergrande, is quickly headed for bankruptcy. That’s a multibillion-dollar fiasco on its own. Evergrande losses will arise in WMPs, corporate debt, unpaid contractor bills, equity markets and unfinished housing projects.

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

The Perfect Storm Is Bearing Down

The Perfect Storm Is Bearing Down

Time, the saying goes, is nature’s way of making sure that everything doesn’t happen at once. So now, maybe, we’re at the event horizon where nature is suspended because everything seems to be happening at once.

The weeks ahead could determine whether we are a coherent society that can function on the basis of a firm consensual reality or just a collection of battling narratives designed to conceal anything that quacks like truth, all veering toward failure.

This is a very nervous country, and for a good reason. The collective sense of reality has commenced a momentous shift, the compass is spinning wildly, things are shaking loose in the national brain-pan, the gaslight has lost its sheen and the once-solid narrative is turning to vapor, starting with the unspooling riddles of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 engineered bioweapon is being used internationally to suppress formerly free citizens of formerly democratic republics. It becomes more obvious each day that everything connected to this extravaganza is other than it appears to be.

The numbers don’t add up, starting with the fact that when you combine the official registered COVID cases (people with acquired natural immunity) with the people who already had some kind of immunity from previous lifelong coronavirus encounters with the number of people vaccinated, you have a population supposedly way beyond herd immunity.

Who’s getting sick now? Mostly people who are all vaxxed up.

A Ticking Time Bomb?

Contrary to the behavior and statements of public health officials and politicians, the news is out that the spike proteins produced by the vax’s mRNA genetic reprogramming are toxic agents that create disorder in the major organs and blood vessels.

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

A Global Liquidity Crisis Is Underway

A Global Liquidity Crisis Is Underway

I’ve been analyzing currency wars for years. In fact, I’ve written a book called Currency Wars, so I have some expertise in the subject.

A new front in the currency wars is emerging, but it has not yet erupted into blatant currency manipulation. That will probably come in early 2022.

First, we’ll likely pass through a major market disruption that will force the dollar significantly higher against other major currencies. When that disruption becomes acute and the strong dollar becomes painful for U.S. exports and export-related jobs, the U.S. Treasury will take steps to weaken the dollar.

Let’s unpack that forecast a bit.

The world has been in a currency war since 2010. That’s when then-President Obama set out to weaken the dollar in order to provide stimulus to the U.S. economy in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis.

The White House and the Treasury knew a weaker dollar would hurt growth in Europe and Japan, but it didn’t matter. The U.S. is the largest economy in the world. If the U.S. goes into recession, it takes the rest of the world with it.

The mission of weakening the dollar was critical to avoid another U.S. recession so soon after the 2007 – 2009 recession. Europe would have to suffer so that the U.S. and the world did not suffer more.

Truce in the Currency Wars

The policy worked. The U.S. dollar hit an all-time low on the Fed’s broad trade-weighted index in August 2011. Not surprisingly, this coincided with gold hitting a then all-time high. The euro surged, and the U.S. economy got the boost it needed.

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

Crisis, Crash, Collapse

Crisis, Crash, Collapse

We have a fine-sounding word for running with the herd: momentum. When the herd is running, those who buy what the herd is buying and sell what the herd is selling are trading momentum, which sounds so much more professional and high-brow than the noisy, dusty image of large mammals (and their trading machines) mindlessly running with the herd.

We also have a fine-sounding phrase for anticipating where the herd is running: front-running. So when the herd is running into stocks, those who buy stocks just ahead of the herd are front-running the market.

When the Federal Reserve announces that it’s going to make billionaires even wealthier with some new financial spew, those betting that stocks will never go down because the Fed has our back are front-running the Fed.

There are two remarkable assumptions at the heart of momentum and front-running: The momentum herd and those front-running the herd base their behavior on the assumption that there will always be other rich people who will sell all the shares they want to buy at today’s prices before the run-up to new highs.

Front-running and the Greater Fool Theory

Since only rich people own stocks, we know that those selling stocks are selling to other rich people and those buying stocks are buying from other rich people. So the assumption of those front-running the market is that there is a large enough sub-herd of rich people who for whatever reason aren’t smart enough to front-run the herd, and who will foolishly sell their stocks just before they double in value.

The second assumption is that there will also be a large enough sub-herd of rich people who will buy all the shares they want to sell at the top, just before the bubble pops and the value of the newly purchased shares falls in half.

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

COVID and the Noble Lie

COVID and the Noble Lie

“Unethical”… “dystopian”… “totalitarian”…

These are the words of the British government’s primary scientific advisory bunch — the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour, by title.

These scientific advisors presently droop their heads in shame. For these are the very words they employ to describe their own conduct.

They concede: Last March their wicked counsel encouraged government officials to wildly inflate the true viral threat.

Only a pitiless torturing of facts — argued these men and women of science — could terrify the public into locking themselves in, locking themselves up, locking themselves down.

The London Telegraph:

In March [2020] the Government was very worried about compliance and they thought people wouldn’t want to be locked down. There were discussions about fear being needed to encourage compliance, and decisions were made about how to ramp up the fear.

Fear came ladling out by the ton.

Millions and millions would perish in agonies scarcely describable, they howled. The hospitals would overflow into the streets, they screeched.

Only the near-cessation of all public life could cage the menace.

The halfway men, the men counseling a measured response… were drummed out of court.

“Using Fear Smacks of Totalitarianism”

Group psychologist Gavin Morgan, confessing his atrocities:

Clearly, using fear as a means of control is not ethical. Using fear smacks of totalitarianism. It’s not an ethical stance for any modern government. By nature I am an optimistic person, but all this has given me a more pessimistic view of people.

A pity, it is, that this fellow is not a Daily Reckoning reader.

We would have squeezed the optimism from him long ago… and pumped in an implacable pessimism.

It would have spared him an awful letting-down, a massacre of his innocent delusions.

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

The Most Powerful Force on Earth

The Most Powerful Force on Earth

If a writer is so cautious that he never writes anything that cannot be criticized, he will never write anything that can be read. If you want to help other people you have got to make up your mind to write things that some men will condemn.” —Thomas Merton

The dissenting voice is perhaps the most potent force on the face of the Earth.

Expressed as an informed opinion, it frequently finds itself at odds with a prevailing worldview, an official government policy, or even the general consensus — some aspects of which may actually be enforced by authorities or gatekeepers in their respective contexts and domains.

Dissent is doubly powerful when it involves the reasoned application of critical thinking in questioning or challenging a dominant or majority view. As such, dissention, by definition, expresses a minority view.

Yet history teaches us that it’s the minority that has always been the motive force in shaping the world; it will prove no less effective in forging the future of human flourishing and freedom we seek to manifest through the actions we take today.

And while motivated dissenters may be few in number, Margaret Mead reminds us, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has!”

Not only is dissent vital to the hard work of making the world a better place, but it is also absolutely essential to our humanity and to realizing our true and full potential.

The critical thinking that empowers dissent is not just good thinking, it’s only the kind of thinking that is able to yield true knowledge, understanding, insight, and wisdom. And on those rare occasions when it is applied in government, dissent contributes to better policy decisions and outcomes.

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

War on Cash: The Next Phase

War on Cash: The Next Phase

With so much news about an economic reopening, a border crisis, massive government spending and exploding deficits, it’s easy to overlook the ongoing war on cash.

That’s a mistake because it has serious implications not only for your money, but for your privacy and personal freedom, as you’ll see today.

Cash prevents central banks from imposing negative interest rates because if they did, people would withdraw their cash from the banking system.

If they stuff their cash in a mattress, they don’t earn anything on it; that’s true. But at least they’re not losing anything on it.

Once all money is digital, you won’t have the option of withdrawing your cash and avoiding negative rates. You will be trapped in a digital pen with no way out.

What about moving your money into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin?

Governments Won’t Surrender Their Monopoly Over Money

Let’s first understand that governments enjoy a monopoly on money creation, and they’re not about to surrender that monopoly to digital currencies like Bitcoin.

Libertarian supporters of cryptos celebrate their decentralized nature and lack of government control. Yet, their belief in the sustainability of powerful systems outside government control is naïve.

Blockchain does not exist in the ether (despite the name of one cryptocurrency), and it does not reside on Mars.

Blockchain depends on critical infrastructure, including servers, telecommunications networks, the banking system, and the power grid, all of which are subject to government control.

But governments know they cannot stop the technology platforms on which cryptocurrencies are based. The technology has come too far to turn back now.

So central governments don’t want to kill the distributed ledger technology behind cryptos. They’ve been patiently watching the technology develop and grow — so they could ultimately control it.

Anyone who controls the money controls political power, the economy, and people’s lives.

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

Wrong… Again

Wrong… Again

The Federal Reserve met last week and voted to keep interest rates unchanged. What a shock!

The Fed also gave an upbeat forecast of economic growth, predicting that the U.S. economy will grow 6.5% this year, its highest rate in nearly 40 years. Its December 2020 forecast projected 4.2% growth.

The Fed also expects that the economy could return to full employment next year and that inflation could hit 2.4% this year before declining again.

In effect, the central bank said they were willing to let the economy run “hot” and risk higher inflation in order to capture the benefits of stronger growth.

Zero rates are essentially a given as far as the eye can see. What about that growth forecast?

The Fed has one of the worst forecasting records of any financial institution in the world. My expectation is that growth is slowing now and will get worse as the year progresses.

I believe this will be especially true as the Biden administration policies of higher taxes, more regulation, and open borders that import cheap labor take effect.

Biden has also shut down new oil and gas exploration and wants to push a Green New Deal that will guarantee higher energy prices. Higher energy prices are a burden on the economy.

Little Cause for Optimism

Where’s the evidence that growth is slower than the Fed expects?

Inflation measures remain weak. The annual core consumer price inflation rate moved down from 1.7% in September 2020 to 1.3% in February 2021.

The overall consumer price inflation rate (including food and energy) rose modestly from 1.4% in September 2020 to 1.7% in February 2021.

On a year-over-year basis, the core personal consumption expenditures rate of increase (the Fed’s preferred index) moved from 1.4% in October 2020 to 1.5% in January 2021.

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

daily reckoning, james rickards, fed, us federal reserve, inflation, price inflation, cpi, consumer price inflation,

Financial Warfare Is Real

In my 2011 book, Currency Wars, I gave a detailed description of the first-ever financial war game sponsored by the Department of Defense. This financial war game took place in 2009 at the top-secret Applied Physics Laboratory located about twenty miles north of Washington, D.C., in the Maryland countryside.

Unlike typical war games, the “rules of engagement” for this financial exercise did not permit the use of any kinetic weapons such as bombs, missiles or drones. The only weapons allowed were financial instruments including stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities and derivatives.

The game was played out over two days in the main War Room of the laboratory using six teams divided into the U.S., China, Russia, Europe, East Asia, and Banks & Hedge Funds. The contestants included about 40 players on the six teams and another 60 participants including: uniformed military, civilian defense officials, observers from the Treasury, Federal Reserve, CIA and other government agencies, think tanks, universities, and financial industry professionals.

In that original financial war game, a scenario involving Russia, China, gold and the destruction of the U.S. dollar was played out against a backdrop of geopolitical events, including the collapse of North Korea and a threatened Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

In May 2015, the Pentagon sponsored a new financial warfare session, which I was also invited to attend. This time the financial war took place inside a secure meeting facility at the Pentagon itself.

This new financial war game exercise was smaller and more focused than the one in 2009. We had about 20 participants. Our group included representatives from the diplomatic corps, military, think tanks, universities, CIA and the National Security Council. I was one of three individuals from the investment management community.

Our scenario this time was not global but was instead limited to a confrontation between China and the U.S. involving disputed jurisdiction in the South China Sea.

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

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