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Turkiye’s Erdogan Flips Syria on its Head

Turkiye’s Erdogan Flips Syria on its Head

erdogan-putin-s400s-turkey

While we are all, rightfully, worried about what’s going on in Ukraine, those sneaky Russians are shoring up their situation on the south shores of the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean.

As reported last week the meeting between Russia, Turkiye, and Syria took place between their Defense Ministers where they all described the talks as ‘constructive’ towards solving multiple outstanding issues like refugees and the backing of radicals.

This meeting was put in motion by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the Moscow Times article notes:

In November, Erdogan said a meeting with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad was a possibility, after cutting diplomatic ties with Damascus throughout the 11-year conflict.

In mid-December, he indicated that he could meet with Assad after the two countries’ defense and foreign ministers meet.

“We want to take a step as Syria, Turkey and Russia,” [emphasis mine] he said at the time.

The issues discussed are especially important for Erdogan as the protracted war is sapping his popularity at home in the face of an ongoing pull out of western capital from Turkey that has seen the lira go through what can only be described as a hyperinflation since 2018.

With elections on the horizon and Erdogan’s position tenuous for the first time in his political career, moves need to be made now to improve things. Allowing the millions of Syrian refugees the opportunity to go home would be a big win for Erdogan politically.

This is also a good use of Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, since he’s not in charge of the operation in Ukraine and hasn’t been since October, with good reason.

Shoigu, I’m sure, has been preparing for this meeting for months, laying the groundwork for talks between Turkiye and Syria that are long overdue.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

EU’s Oil Price Cap Creates a Price Cap… on Stupidity

EU’s Oil Price Cap Creates a Price Cap… on Stupidity

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – DECEMBER 1, 2021: Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova gives a weekly press briefing. Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS

The EU and the US went forward with their long-debated, long-telegraphed move to put a price cap on Russian oil at $60 per barrel.

By believing they can pressure suppliers into not hauling Russian oil lest they run afoul of the sanctions that support the price cap, they believe they can take only Russian oil off the market for the long run.

Because of the way oil is actually traded in the real world, versus the way it trades in Janet Yellen’s head, this policy is actually much harder to implement than it actually looks. You don’t buy oil at the crude oil counter at Target or Wal-Mart.

There isn’t a price tag you can look at and say yes or no too. As Tsvetana Paraskova at Oilprice points out, crude contracts are written based on a discount or premium to a benchmark price at a particular moment in time.

“Physical traders rarely trade on a fixed price,” John Driscoll, chief strategist at JTD Energy Services Pte Ltd, told Bloomberg.

“It’s a much more complex space where they trade on formulas and spot differentials to a benchmark crude for the trading of actual cargoes as well as for hedging that follows,” said Driscoll, who has more than 30 years of trading oil in Singapore.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The Curious Whodunit of Nordstreams 1 and 2

The Curious Whodunit of Nordstreams 1 and 2

The old world broke this week. It was blown up cynically by someone who thought this would advance their agenda the most.

The act of vandalizing a major piece of physical infrastructure, targeting civilian populations, isn’t unprecedented in history, but it does signal that everything we thought we knew about the rules of the current game was wrong.

Well, for most people anyway.

When I spoke in June at the Ron Paul Institute Conference on Foreign Policy I described the game of geopolitics as a seven-player game of the ancient Chinese game, Go.

And in that game we’ve reached an inflection point where some factions are coalescing and others are splintering. The faction that is unwilling to compromise on their future is the most dangerous one at the table.

My conclusion then was that those ‘who think they are entitled to run the world’ will flip the game board.

They will change the rules of the game without remorse or a case in the world for those they harm and the aftereffects of their actions. In fact, the chaos they engender is preferable to them than losing.

We got the first inkling of this when the West didn’t just freeze Russia’s foreign exchange reserves but seized them.

Now undersea assets in international waters are fair game. The good news it that this flipping of the game board was only a couple of gas pipelines. The potential is still for something far more unthinkable, not that that’s off the table.

In the immediate aftermath of proof the pipelines were blown up everyone (including myself) came forward with their theory as to who did it. Sadly, I can construct arguments for nearly every major player in the game having done this.

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

The Big Questions We Should All Be Asking Geopolitically

The Big Questions We Should All Be Asking Geopolitically

To say that current events are ‘messy’ today would be the height of understatement. Everyday the headlines blare at us some new set of contradictory data points convincing us of some lie that serves someone’s purpose.

No matter how hard we try to keep up with things, cutting out the extraneous to find the nuggets of signal from the jungle of noise is more than a full-time job.

Sometimes, however, it’s best to take a few steps back, fall back on first principles and remind ourselves who the players are, what they want and then ask the big question of each of them… are they succeeding?

But to even ask that question we have to ask ourselves honestly the following question:

“What will they be willing to do to survive under present circumstances?”

This is the most uncomfortable question you can ever ask anyone. What would you do to survive? To protect your family? Your position? Your conception of yourself?

Everyone’s morality has limits. Everyone. Everyone has a shadow, a dark side, a place where they retreat to their Hobbesian self and see the world purely in terms of ‘a war of all against all.’ Anyone who refuses to admit this to themselves is someone you should run screaming from.

Those that always claim the moral high ground, who are always “the goodies!” are those without limits on their behavior. As the great H.L. Mencken proclaimed nearly 70 years ago:

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.

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

The Real Reason Behind the EU’s Drive to Embargo Russian Oil

The Real Reason Behind the EU’s Drive to Embargo Russian Oil

This week the European Union is expected to announce a complete import ban on Russian oil. Hungary, in its first real act of defiance, is threatening to veto this; Germany, after some hemming and hawing, has finally decided it can survive such a ban.

Assuming Hungary’s objections are eventually overcome, at first blush this looks like yet another energy “own goal” by the people obsessed with soccer. The U.S. has already issued this ban.

Because European industry is heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas, the conventional wisdom is that the EU Commission is just petulant and incompetent.

Are they petulant? Yes. Incompetent? Possibly? But only if you think in conventional terms of doing the right thing for their people. What is clear to any serious observer of EU politics is that they are not interested in what their people have to say or want.

Theirs is an agenda which will brook no opposition, even if it means destroying its own economy to bring a rival to its knees.

That said, I sincerely doubt there will be a “buyers embargo” on natural gas because there is no viable substitute for it.

Hungary is using the need for unanimous consent within the European Council to block any ‘gas ban’ in any new economic sanctions package. There are at least three other countries which are happy Hungary is willing to suffer Brussels’ wrath.

But banning Russian oil, on the other hand, is different.

So, it is interesting that Hungary would do this, given they import no oil from Russia. {Ed. this is wrong, Hungary imports 65% of its oil through the Druzhba pipeline} This veto was predicted by me the morning after the Hungarians overwhelmingly rejected George Soros’s anti-Viktor Orban coalition and handed it an ignominious defeat.

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

The Ins and Outs of Whose Money is it Anyway?

The Ins and Outs of Whose Money is it Anyway?

“Inside, Outside…. Leave me alone!
Inside, Outside … Nowhere is home!
Inside, Outside … Where have I been?
Out of my brain on the 5:15…”
— The Who

There’s been a massive reaction to Credit Suisse analyst Zoltan Poszar’s note about the birth of a new Bretton Woods agreement.

Every investor in the world should read it. Zerohedge posted (behind their paywall) a lengthy analysis of Poszar’s musing along with some reactions from Wall St. It is well worth your time.

The people most freaked out about this note are the Keynesians who worship at the altar of what Poszar calls Inside Money — money that only exists inside the financial system, bonds, credit, dollars, euros, etc.

Austrians, like myself, have always understood that eventually Inside Money fails because it is ultimately nothing more than a Ponzi Scheme built on top of Outside Money — money that exists outside the financial system, like commodities and bitcoin.

Poszar makes his early case and then goes through the mechanics of what is happening in the financial plumbing of the world economy right now to prove the stresses are real and building quickly towards an implosion of Inside Money and an explosion of Outside Money.

Again, anyone with a passing acquaintance with Austrian business cycle theory and Mises’ Theory of Money and Credit always knew this day was coming.

Today’s “Inside Money” standard, known colloquially as the Dollar Reserve standard, is actually what I like to call “Milton Friedman’s Nightmare.” It is nothing more than a system of competitively devalued and inflated debt-based scrips running around drinking each other’s milkshakes until everyone’s glass is empty.

FYI, there are a lot of empty glasses around the world right now and more are being created everyday as the financial system turned predatory after the Lehman Bros. collapse in 2008.

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

Putin Ushers in the New Geopolitical Game Board

Putin Ushers in the New Geopolitical Game Board

Up until February 23rd, 2022, the powerful countries of the world played a very rarified game.

Too many people try to analyze geopolitics like it is a game of chess. Move, counter-move. Push a pawn? Threaten a knight, that type of thing. It’s easy to understand and makes for good copy.

In the past I’ve tried to liken it to a multi-player version of Go, with anywhere from four to 6 different colored stones on the board trying to take territory. It was a better metaphor but nearly impossible to describe adequately. In fact, at times, it was exhausting.

The reality is that neither of these metaphors are explanatory.

Because the only accurate model for geopolitics is actually Calvinball.

You know that game. That’s the one from Calvin & Hobbes.

Contrary to your memory of the legendary comic strip, there were rules to Calvinball that went something like this: Calvin got to make the rules up as he went along.

In geopolitics it pretty much comes down to whoever is the strongest player got that power.

Here’s the thing. Up until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (and yes, it is an invasion, justifiable or otherwise) there was something called the ‘rules-based order’ promoted mainly by the US but also supported directly by the European Union and the Commonwealth.

The rules of the ‘rules-based order’ were simple. We make the rules, you follow them. We reserve the right to change the rules whenever we want to suit our purpose.

It was the geopolitical equivalent of Sam Francis’ idea of ‘anarcho-tyranny,’ which boils down to, “rules for thee, but not for me.”

We’ve heard the Russian diplomats complain about this for years. Why have these rules if they are not ever enforced?

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

Bitcoin, 2022 and the Real Story Behind COVID-9/11

Bitcoin, 2022 and the Real Story Behind COVID-9/11

I don’t necessarily like to do so-called ‘annual prediction’ posts. Having written a ton of them for the newsletters I’ve written over the years, looking back on them is always a bit cringe-inducing. But 2021 was a crazy year and one where so much happened that changed the landscape it looks like one of those necessary evils for 2022.

In fact, I may wind up doing more than I normally do.

After being on Bitcoin Magazine’s Fed Watch podcast in December, I was asked to do a 2022 Predictions article for them.

It just dropped over there.

IS 2022 THE YEAR BITCOIN PROVES ITSELF ON THE WORLD STAGE?

It was a fascinating year for cryptos. One in which no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep up with everything that happened. Going to Bitcoin 2021 in Miami and seeing the clash of OG bitcoiners with the gold rush mentality of the industry it reminded me of the best of times at your typical precious metals conference.

Hey, even Ron Paul was there, which is always a treat.

But that said, 2021 was as strange as any year I’ve ever experienced. The real clash wasn’t in the various crypto fiefdoms per se, but what the emergence of crypto as a full-fledged investible asset class meant that grabbed and held my attention all year.

It was beyond the regular bull market mentality that morphed into mania by mid-year. It was the realization that bitcoin and crypto would begin asserting its potential as a safe-haven asset that was finally proven to more than just us fringe Austro-libertarian types.

Because of this the responses from what Michael Malice calls The Cathedral and what I call The Davos Crowd is what the real story was in 2021.

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

There is No Getting off Europe’s Elevator to Hell

There is No Getting off Europe’s Elevator to Hell

The European Union has been, in the immortal words of Private Hudson from Aliens, “… on an express elevator to hell, going down,” for a long time now.

From the day of then ECB President Mario Draghi’s “We will do whatever it takes” speech in July 2012 to today, the EU has chosen a path of fiscal, foreign and monetary policy insanity that has lead it directly to where it is today, the sick man at the geopolitical table.

The most recent missive from the great Alistair Crooke over at Strategic Culture Foundation has some very choice words for Europe as well as his always trenchant analysis.

“Two events have combined to make a major inflection point for Europe: The first was America’s abandonment of the Great Game ploy of attempting to keep the two Central Asian great land powers – Russia and China – divided and at odds with each other. This was the inexorable consequence to the US’ defeat in Afghanistan – and the loss of its last strategic foothold in Asia…

Crooke lays out the fundamentals which led to the formation of AUKUS and the recent application of a more rapid depreciation curve for NATO.

Underscoring the divisions within the U.S. policy establishment which left Europe, especially France, twisting in the wind with the shift in priorities, Crooke quotes George Friedman of Stratfor, who argued recently on Polish television that NATO serves no real current purpose for a U.S. that finally acknowledges China, not Russia, as its biggest threat.

Since Friedman and Stratfor are as deep state as they come, you should always read Friedman’s publicly available ‘analysis’ as an operations manual for U.S. foreign policy.  It’s the real official policy said out loud.

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

From the Notebook – Will Germany Finally Start the EU Breakup?

From the Notebook – Will Germany Finally Start the EU Breakup?

We’ve all been so focused on the internal divisions in the U.S. and with Davos trying to run the table here that we’ve neglected somewhat old theses about the potential breakup of the European Union.

The EU is a mess.  Everyone knows this. Its banks are zombies.  Its bond markets oxymorons.  Its trade relations with the world degrading.  And its relationship with the people it nominally governs is turning toxic.

Moreover, it is led by a bunch of unelected, horrific women who are all the very definition of midwits and ideologues. These are the faces that you want to look at when you consider why women shouldn’t run countries, companies or even school boards.

Hell, the older I get, the less I think women should even vote, but we’ll leave my wife’s wisdom aside for now.

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           (H/T Martin Armstrong for the picture here)

Honestly, the only woman not pictured here who should be is French President Emmanuel Macron.

These women were all placed in these positions by Klaus Schwab and George Soros to effect the transformation of the EU from a loose quasi-government into a full technocratic police state.  Reading Armstong’s comments (linked above) leads you to believe that there is no internal resistance to this plan.

They intent to default on all public debt and replace even pensions with Guaranteed Basic Income. They are moving toward these end goals step by step so the people do not realize what is taking place.

For now, there is still the short-term risk that the dollar rises because Europe has utterly been destroyed and Schwab is in full control. Every strategic person in a key position is also on his board at the WEF.

I do not think, however, that this is the case.

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

The Fed Says, “Let Me Squeeze Your Dollars…5 Basis Points at a Time”

The Fed Says, “Let Me Squeeze Your Dollars…5 Basis Points at a Time”

I still maintain no one will mark June 16th, 2021 as the day the world changed. Watching the dollar surge into this weekend thanks to a breakdown in the euro only validates that conclusion in my mind.

Remember, on June 16th Presidents Biden and Putin met for a summit which altered the course of geopolitics forever, agreeing to disagree about Nordstream 2 and reversing the worst of U.S./Russian relations among other things.

While that was happening the FOMC met and reversed the flow of dollars globally.

I told my Patrons something was up on June 18th. Then I did 2 hours worth of podcasts on it (herehere, and here) after thinking it through. Finally, after fully digesting it I wrapped it all up in a lengthy post on July 3rd.

The Fed’s decision to pay 5 basis point on Reverse Repos was the subtlest but most effective way to taper without tapering, tighten without tightening and undermine the WEF’s Great Reset while seemingly still supporting it.

I can hear the howls from the gallery who think otherwise so I’ll address them first.

Yes, normie macro-guys, the bond market has been screaming at the Fed that inflation is soaring and they need to raise rates.

Yes, first year domestic policy students, the Fed looks like it is putting pressure on Republicans to cave to Nancy Pelosi’s hardball over the Infrastructure, Budget and Debt Ceiling deadlock, so far to no avail.

Yes, second year geopolitics students, the Fed is forcing China to respond to soaring commodity prices while simultaneously trying to defend the yuan.

Yes, these are all effects of the Fed’s move in June.

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

The Fauci Files, The WuFlu and the War to Come

The Fauci Files, The WuFlu and the War to Come

Isn’t is amazing how quickly things seem to change when it’s in the interest of those that think they run the world? For years we’ve been trying to get access to Hillary Clinton’s missing e-mails as Secretary of State but to no avail. However, at the most opportune time in the collapsing COVID story, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails are uncovered and broadcast to the world.

The same mechanism, FOIA, that Hillary has stonewalled us on for six years uncovers Fauci’s emails in six weeks?

Doesn’t that strike you as just the slightest bit odd?

Fauci was the hero bureaucrat facing down the evil and ignorant President Trump over COVID-19. He became a national celebrity playing down treatments like Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin, flip-flopped on wearing masks and running cover for a corrupt WHO/CDC while whitewashing his own involvement in COVID’s origin.

For all intents and purposes this lying, evil, Janus-faced troll set policy for the entire country.

And from the moment anyone broke a story about the origins of COVID-19, the damage control began behind the scenes and the public shaming and deplatforming began.

And democrats of all stripes cheered him on, simply because he came with the right credentials and an antipathy to Trump.

As the face of the the scientific establishment, he terrorized millions into submission of Americans using fear over a virus not much more deadly than the annual flu. His constant changing the goalposts on ending lockdowns and spread prevention guidelines while needing to remain in front of the narrative kept people crazy with imaginary death statistics, fraudulent models and overwrought case counts while elevating the prevention principle beloved by state-worshipping Boomers and their younger ‘adjacents’ to its most ludicrous extreme.

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

From the Notebook: A Critical Shift in the War for Oil

From the Notebook: A Critical Shift in the War for Oil


Davos really do think they are too clever by half. Despite prognostications to the contrary, negotiations with Iran over a new JCPOA are nearing completion which Biden/Obama will sign off on after putting up a bit more token resistance to lifting sanctions.

Why do I say this? Nordstream 2.

Biden backed down on Nordstream 2 and, at The Davos Crowd’s insistence, he will back down on the JCPOA.

Davos needs cheap energy into Europe. That’s ultimately what the JCPOA was all about. The basic framework for the deal is still there. While the U.S. will kick and scream a bit about sanctions relief, Iran will be back into the oil market and make it possible for Europe to once again invest in oil/gas projects in Iran.

Now that Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer going to be leading Israel, the probability of breakthrough is much much higher than last week. The Likudniks in Congress and the Senate just lost their raison d’etre. The loss of face for Israel in Bibi’s latest attempt to bludgeon Gaza to retain power backfired completely.

U.S. policy towards Israel is shifting rapidly as the younger generations, Gen-X and Millennials, simply don’t have the same allegiance to Israel that the Baby Boomers and Silent generations did. It is part of a geopolitical ethos which is outdated.

So, with some deal over Iran’s nuclear capability in the near future, Europe will then get gas pipelines from Iran through Turkey as well as gain better access to the North South Transport Corridor which is now unofficially part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

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

Market Weekly: Game Stop Revolution or the Matrix Reloaded?

Market Weekly: Game Stop Revolution or the Matrix Reloaded?

I have to say as revolutions go, this one is hilarious.

Game Stop opened this morning above $330 per share, a sentence I never thought in a million years I’d ever write.

This open nearly ensures that all the attempts yesterday to push the price back down to bail out the hedge funds desperately short have failed spectacularly.

There’s options expiration today which will fundamentally change the way we look at markets if Game Stop closes in this range.

Because it shows that when people act in the aggregate they can overwhelm the attempts by a few central planners to control you.

Your best proof that this is at least a part of what’s going on is the way Wall St. and the regulators in D.C. are reacting. Because they are screaming that this is outrageous, that we need stronger enforcement tools to ‘ensure the integrity of our markets.’

That’s just code for ‘only we’re allowed to game the markets not the little people.’

And with options expiring on Game Stop nearly every week in February and March this game isn’t over by any stretch of the imagination.

Populist is a Four-Letter Work

In fact, It’s the beginning of a new form of populist revolt.

We’ve seen what they think of populist revolts. They have utter disdain for them. They squash them and hope to ignore the consequences.

Vote for Trump? Can’t have that happen again.

Speak out against any facet of the Great Reset? Get censored.

Try to build a new platform not controlled by them? Get deplatformed.

Show up at the Capitol to peacefully assemble? Get caught up in a false flag to justify arresting you and shaming you into submission.

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

From a Hamilton Moment to Perpetual Debt Slaves: This Is the True Face of the EU

From a Hamilton Moment to Perpetual Debt Slaves: This Is the True Face of the EU

Over the summer while the U.S. was mired in the worst kind of color revolution with race riots, economic shutdowns and the worst kind of divisive politics, the European Union was celebrating its great achievement.

A seven-year budget and COVID-19 bailout package that was heralded as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Alexander Hamilton Moment.” Because that legislation, meant to be the cornerstone of Germany six-month stint as the president of the European Council finally granted the European Commission the ability to issue debt, collect taxes and disburse funds.

That would be the way the COVID-19 relief funds would be raised and distributed. It was the first moment of fiscal integration under a central EU body that would bypass the individual member states as the means by which to raise capital.

It would be the first step in the process of consolidating debt issuance and euro creation under the control of Brussels, rather than continuing to carry out the fiction of individual sovereign debt.

The euro is a fatally flawed currency because of this and if it is to survive deeper into the 21st century having only one central issuer of it, the EU itself via the European Commission and the European Central Bank, with one aggregated risk profile (interest rate) is necessary.

The current leadership of the EU was put in place to make this happen on powerful Germany’s watch. And in July is looked like it was done. The markets loved it. The media hailed Merkel as the great leader of Europe. Some countries balked, the so-called Frugal Five, but eventually they signed off on the draft legislation once they were no longer directly on the hook for any more wealth transfers from them to perpetual problem children like Italy, Greece and Spain.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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