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Would Returning to the Gold Standard Resolve Our Most Pressing Monetary Problems?

Would Returning to the Gold Standard Resolve Our Most Pressing Monetary Problems?

We all know the problem with fiat currency: the temptation to print more currency is irresistible, but ultimately destructive.

Money in all its forms attracts quasi-religious beliefs and convictions. This makes it difficult to discuss with anything resembling objectivity. But given the centrality of money (and its sibling, greed) in human affairs, let’s press on and ask: would returning to the Gold Standard (i.e. gold as money / gold-backed currency) resolve our most pressing monetary problems?

The conviction that the answer is “yes” is widespread. In this view, President Nixon “closing the gold window,” in 1971, i.e. ending the convertibility of the US dollar to gold in international foreign exchange (FX) markets, is the Original Sin that doomed us to the inflationary Hell of fiat currency, i.e. currency unbacked by anything tangible such as gold or silver.

In this view, the only way to avoid the consequences of this Original Sin–the eventual reduction of fiat currency to zero value via hyper-inflation as the currency is “printed” without restraint–is to return to the gold standard.

So far, so good, but from here on in it gets tricky. We have a long history of precious metals being the only form of money in various economies, and an almost as long history of paper money augmenting precious-metal “real money” (in China, for example) and the issuance of copper coinage to grease small transactions.

Gold-backed currency rolls off the tongue rather easily, but what exactly does this mean? In theory, it means every unit of paper / digital currency in circulation can be converted on demand to a physical quantity of gold or silver at an exchange rate either set by the nation-state’s government or by the market.

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Is Hyper-Inflation that Destroys a Currency a “Solution”?

Is Hyper-Inflation that Destroys a Currency a “Solution”?

This contrarian sees a strong consensus around the notion that hyper-inflation is the inevitable end-game of nation-states / central banks issuing fiat currencies, i.e. currencies that are not restrained by being pegged to tangible assets such as gold reserves. The temptation to issue (via “printing” or borrowing new currency into existence by selling sovereign bonds) more currency becomes irresistible to politicians and central bankers alike. as the means to mollify every constituency, from elites to the military to commoners dependent on state-funded bread and circuses.

This unrestrained creation of new money far in excess of the expansion of goods and services (i.e. the real economy) devalues the currency, as “all the new money chases too few goods and services.” Gresham’s law kicks in–bad money drives good money out of circulation–as precious metals, fine art, gemstones, etc. are hoarded and the depreciating currency is spent as fast as possible before its purchasing power declines even further.

The Cotillion Effect also kicks in: those closest to the spigot of new money get first dibs on converting the depreciating currency into tangible goods, leaving the non-elites to sweep up the “trickle-down” shreds left as the currency loses purchasing power daily.

The consensus holds that there is no way to stop this decay of purchasing power to near-zero, i.e. hyper-inflation, once it starts. As in a Greek tragedy, the fatal flaw of the protagonist–in this case, fiat currency–leads inevitably to its destruction.

In the real world, things having to do with money tend to occur because they benefit powerful interests. This leads us to ask of hyper-inflation: cui bono, to whose benefit? Exactly which powerful interests benefit when a currency’s purchasing power plummets to near-zero?

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How to Collapse: Hyperinflationary Depression

How to Collapse: Hyperinflationary Depression

How crop failure leading to a 20% caloric deficit might cause a financial crisis.

It’s Wednesday. You wake up, let the dog out for a piss, shower and drag yourself to work. Eight to ten hours of pointless grin-fucking pass by and you’re ready to collapse on your sofa with a mind-bending substance to stare at the idiot box for the rest of the night.

If you’re lucky, you have a companion with whom to share your misery.

The joy you once had for life has turned to drudgery and you wonder where you went wrong. The thing is, for most of us this is life now.

The weekly jaunts to a family restaurant: gone. Too expensive.

The desire to achieve greatness at work: that died with your youthful vigor.

Extended family: torn apart by tribalism.

A home to call your own: Only for the rich. 80% of Canadians believe ownership is now only for the wealth.

It wasn’t always like this. I can’t pinpoint when this all began, but it feels like everything started deteriorating at the turn of the century.

There are many causes and symptoms, but two deeply scarring events helped tip the West into decline. September 11th, 2001 cracked the veneer of trust within America. Enabled by new technologies, governments salivated at the ability to wrest control in the name of security. The surveillance state reached maturity.

The global financial crisis also gave us a peak behind the curtain of capitalism. It demonstrated how the winners and losers of capitalism were demarcated, with captains of industry bailed out while individuals were held to account. Wealth and power became inseparable, forging an impenetrable barrier beyond which most will never reach. The wealthy – still unhealthily revered by most – gained more control and extended the moat between them and the unwashed masses.

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The Specter of Hyperinflation Looms over the Economy

The Specter of Hyperinflation Looms over the Economy

money going down hole

The threat of hyperinflation has haunted fiat money economies throughout history. Although past empires crumbled under the weight of unrestrained money printing, modern bankers at the Federal Reserve assure us that today’s financial system is immune to such a fate. Austrian business cycle theory, however, reveals that current economic stimulation may be propelling us toward a crisis of catastrophic proportions: a crack-up boom that marks the dramatic end of this boom-and-bust cycle. When a central bank expands the money supply to reinflate bubbles, it destroys the currency’s purchasing power. This endgame, in which the monetary system crumbles beneath a weak economy, represents the ultimate failure of interventionism. Once the public expects prices to keep rising, hyperinflation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Expanding Boom-and-Bust Cycle Ends in a Crack-Up Boom

To comprehend the precarious state of America’s monetary system, we must first review the boom-and-bust cycle as formulated by Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian school. The Austrians observed that the artificial suppression of interest rates by a central bank initiates an unsustainable economic boom by promoting malinvestment. Pushing rates below natural market levels sends a distorted signal to businesses that long-term capital investment is more profitable than the economy can actually support. In the euphoric boom phase, jobs multiply and GDP grows with investment. But the investments lack economic merit, so the house of cards eventually collapses.

With the liquidation of malinvestments, the bust phase emerges: unemployment soars, output contracts, and a recession begins. Since the investments were built on quicksand, they must unwind. Each failed business further curtails consumer spending, rippling the bust through the economy. But rather than letting liquidation and market corrections occur, policymakers add stimulus, setting up a larger bubble and more painful bust down the line.

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Is the U.S. Banking System Safe?–15 Years Later


“We’ve got strong financial institutions…Our markets are the envy of the world. They’re resilient, they’re…innovative, they’re flexible. I think we move very quickly to address situations in this country, and, as I said, our financial institutions are strong.” – Henry Paulson – 3/16/08

The next financial crisis: Why it looks like history may repeat itself Silicon Valley Bank is shut down by regulators in biggest bank failure since global financial crisis

“I have full confidence in banking regulators to take appropriate actions in response and noted that the banking system remains resilient and regulators have effective tools to address this type of event. Let me be clear that during the financial crisis, there were investors and owners of systemic large banks that were bailed out . . . and the reforms that have been put in place means we are not going to do that again.” – Janet Yellen – 3/12/23

With the recent implosion of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, the largest bank failures since 2008, I had an overwhelming feeling of deja vu. I wrote the article Is the U.S. Banking System Safe on August 3, 2008 for the Seeking Alpha website, one month before the collapse of the global financial system. It was this article, among others, that caught the attention of documentary filmmaker Steve Bannon and convinced him he needed my perspective on the financial crisis for his film Generation Zero. Of course he was pretty unknown in 2009 (not so much anymore) , and I continue to be unknown in 2023.

The quotes above by the lying deceitful Wall Street controlled Treasury Secretaries are exactly 15 years apart, but are exactly the same. Their sole job is to keep the confidence game going and to protect their real constituents – the Wall Street bankers. And just as they did fifteen years ago, the powers that be once again used taxpayer funds to bailout reckless bankers. Two hours before the only solution the Feds know – print money and shovel it to the bankers – Michael Burry explained exactly what was about to happen.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Hyperinflationary Hell: Lebanese Central Bank Devalues ‘Lira’ By 90%

Hyperinflationary Hell: Lebanese Central Bank Devalues ‘Lira’ By 90%

Cash is now king in Lebanon, where a three-year economic meltdown has led the country’s once-lauded financial sector to atrophy and turned the country into a Venezuelan-esque hyperinflationary hell. The country has been hit hard by events over the past few years, starting with COVID.

In August 2020, the city of Beiruit was practically destroyed by a massive blast which killed at least 200 people and triggered as much as $15 billion in damage

In March 2021, violent protests erupted across Lebanon as the currency collapse accelerated and with it the economy and people’s living standards.

And most recently, In December 2022, the Lebanese parliament failed for the eighth consecutive time to elect a new president, as a majority of lawmakers opposed the options laid on the table.

The prolonged power vacuum only exacerbates the situation, as Beirut is currently unable to enact sweeping reforms demanded by international lenders as a condition for releasing billions of dollars in loans.

All of which has sent the ‘parallel’ FX rate to a stunning 60,000/USD (compared to the official Pound – often nicknamed ‘Lira’ – rate of 1500/USD)…

Source: LiraRate.org

As Reuters reports, Zombie banks have frozen depositors out of tens of billions of dollars in their accounts, halting basic services and even prompting some customers to hold up tellers at gunpoint to access their money.

This has prompted bank runs…

Not a week goes by without Lebanese depositors storming their own banks in a desperate attempt to access savings frozen after the country’s economy collapsed.

Banks began imposing draconian limits on withdrawals and transfers in 2019, leaving depositors able to access only a fraction of their savings in dollars and Lebanese pounds.

and heists…

The National has recorded 27 depositor bank “heists” since the start of the year, including armed and unarmed hold-ups and sit-ins.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Hyperinflation Hits Europe

Hyperinflation Hits Europe

The Pause…

I have frequently described “Project Zimbabwe” as a highly inflationary cycle where both fiscal and monetary stimulus go into insanity mode. While I sincerely hope we don’t go hyperinflationary like Zimbabwe, I certainly think we see an elongated period of substantial and debilitating inflation. When this cycle finally ends, society and our financial system will have been irreparably changed. For those who are aware of where we’re heading, this is going to be the golden age of inflection and Event-Driven investing. For everyone else, it will be absolutely miserable.

One point that I made last year, was that “Project Zimbabwe” will be a process. It will not be linear. Look back at old charts of Weimar Germany, they all look like parabolas, however that is quite deceptive—there was actually a whole lot of volatility. There were multiple deep pullbacks that bankrupted speculators who knew what was coming on the inflationary side but got over-levered or overstayed their welcome in the various rolling bubbles of the period. Looking into the weeds and ignoring the parabolas; there were frequent sector rotations, speculative bubbles that crested and collapsed, and multiple 50% or greater pullbacks. As I have said many times, the trick to managing “Project Zimbabwe” is to be as long as possible, without getting taken out during one of these pullbacks—especially as the increased level of stimulus warps the market’s ability to price securities, leading to violent and often arbitrary movements.

Let’s go back a century to Weimar. Most speculators knew that the government had lost control and that the only path forward was to print money. However, occasionally the politicians would try and arrest the inflation—as inflation crushes voters. Sometimes, it was an offhand quote from a government official, sometimes it was concrete action…

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Concurrent Deflation and Hyperinflation Will Ravage the World


FLATION will be the keyword in coming years. The world will simultaneously experience inFLATIONdeFLATIONstagFLATION and eventually hyperinFLATION.

I have forecasted these FLATIONARY events, which will hit the world in several articles in the past. Here is a link to an article from 2016.

With most asset classes falling rapidly, the world is now approaching calamities of a proportion not seen before in history. So far in 2022, we have seen an implosion of asset prices across the board of around 20%. What few investors realise is that this is the mere beginning. Before this bear market is over, the world will see 75-90% falls of stocks, bonds and other assets.

Since falls of this magnitude have not been seen for more than three generations, the shockwaves will be calamitous.

At the same time as bubble assets deflate, prices of goods and services have started an inflationary cycle of a magnitude that the world as whole has never experienced before.

We have seen hyperinflation in individual countries previously but never on a global scale.

Currently the official inflation rate is around 8% in the US and Europe. But for the average consumer in the West, prices are rising by at least 25% on average for their everyday needs such as food and fuel.


So the world is now approaching calamities on many fronts.

As always in periods of crisis, everybody is looking for someone to blame. In the West most people blame Putin. Yes, Putin is the villain and it is his fault that food and energy prices are surging. Nobody bothers to analyse what or who prompted Russia to intervene, nor do politicians or main stream media understand the importance of history, which is the key to understanding current events.

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

Kim Dotcom Breaks Down the True Scale of US Government Debt

New Zealand tech CEO, Kim Dotcom did the math on the United States’ sovereign debt and he tweeted a thread about it, saying it may the most important thread that he may ever make.

Kim explains that US spending and debt have spiraled out of control and the Government can only raise the money it needs by printing more of it, which means that hyperinflation is guaranteed.

He says this has been going on for decades and there’s no way to fix it and that the US got away with this for so long, because US dollar is the world’s reserve currency. When the US Government prints trillions, it is thereby robbing Americans and the entire world in what he calls the biggest theft in history.

He says the total US debt is at $90 trillion, which together with $169 trillion in US unfunded liabilities totals $259 trillion, which is $778,000 per US citizen or $2,067,000 per US Taxpayer.

Now, the value of all US assets combined: every piece of land, real estate, all savings, all companies, everything that all citizens, businesses, entities and the state own is worth $193 trillion.

Our total debt, $259 trillion minus our total net worth, $193 trillion equals negative $66 trillion of debt and liabilities after every asset in the US has been sold off.

So even if the US could sell all assets at the current value, which is impossible, it would still be broke.

This is where the ‘Great Reset’ comes in and he asks, “Is it a controlled demolition of the global markets, economies and the world as we know it? A shift into a new dystopian future where the elites are the masters of the slaves without the cosmetics of democracy?”

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

Coming Up For Air


“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” – Originally attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but the actual author is now in question.

 “That’s another (fine) mess you’ve gotten me into.” – Laurel & Hardy catchphrase.

Even though I’ve written about our collective insanity for well over 10 years now, to actually witness it’s metamorphosis from slow burn to raging wildfire is both frightening and breathtaking in scope and intensity. Unfortunately, we have many miles to go before some semblance of sanity returns, both collectively and individually. We are truly living in interesting times.

Those who still struggle to maintain some sense of sanity during these times are at a distinct disadvantage when dealing with raw unfiltered insanity. “We the Somewhat Sane” rely upon clearly defined rules of social, political and emotional decorum. We call this civilization, with a strong emphasis on being civil.

But we are severely (self) constrained when dealing with others out of a debilitating belief in the right of all to their own beliefs and self-determination. And expect others do the same with us. Normally this works reasonably well, at least in a civil society where the lunatics aren’t running the insane asylum. Or at least the transgressions are kept down to a dull roar, as my mother used to say.

We who are reasonably sane are self-constrained, those who are not are not. And to be perfectly frank, the unconstrained are quite alarming when witnessed up close and personal. It’s a proximity thing. A bear seen in the distance is an entirely different animal than one seen loping through the front lawn while you’re lounging on the porch. Or worse, you round the corner and find yourself between mama bear and her cubs.

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

Fed Rate Hike Will Cause Hyperinflationary Great Depression – John Williams

Fed Rate Hike Will Cause Hyperinflationary Great Depression – John Williams

Economist John Williams says the economy is in deep trouble, and the Fed knows it.  Williams says the Fed talking up “robust economic growth” that is causing inflation is “nonsense.” Williams explains, “The one thing that is not causing inflation is ‘robust economic growth.’  So, when they talk about raising interest rates to kill this robust economic growth that’s triggering the inflation, that’s absurd, and the Fed knows it. . . . If the Fed foolishly raised rates as reflected in the payrolls as not being fully recovered, you are going to have a sharp downturn, a double dip depression here.  At the same time, you are still going to have the inflation.  You are going to end up with an inflationary depression or a hyper-inflationary Great Depression.”

According to Williams’ forecast, “In terms of a crash, I am looking for much higher inflation, maybe hyperinflation, and I am looking for the economy to crash.  You can address the inflation by personally holding physical gold and silver.”

So, jobs are going to disappear?  Williams says, “They already have, but hopefully all the effects of the pandemic will disappear, and people will get back to work, but that is not happening now.  There is no sign of it getting better.  In fact, the numbers are indicating it’s getting worse. . . . The holiday retail economy in November and December declined at the worst pace since the Great Recession.  You had a negative holiday shopping season.  That’s not a booming economy.”

On top of that, Williams says the real inflation rate is 14.8 %, if you disregard all the gimmicks the government uses to make inflation look less than what it really is.  Williams says, “That’s the highest inflation rate since the Truman Administration.”

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

Arguing The Un-Consensus On Today’s Macro & Inflation

Arguing The Un-Consensus On Today’s Macro & Inflation

In a YouTube video Mike Green, Chief Strategist at Simplify Asset Management, attacks the idea of hyperinflation and inflation. He is not alone in pushing back on the idea inflation is about to run rampant. Despite the price rises we have been seeing, many economists claim that while inflation is likely to remain elevated for the near future we are now seeing projections it will peak in the first half of this year.During an amazing, almost two-hour video interview,  Green shares his macro view of the economy, inflation, markets, and the dynamics of today’s equity and fixed income markets. In the video titled; The Un-Consensus on Today’s Macro & Inflation, Green claims the base effects driving inflation are becoming more challenging and will not allow for it to remain elevated. He also shares his view of how stock markets have become less efficient and more ‘inelastic’ due to the proliferation of passive index investing, and where that might lead.

While price is said to be located at the intersection of supply and demand, manipulation and interventions have muddied this picture. Green keys in on the fact that price shocks and distortions have a way of working through the system, when prices rise in the capitalist system, we generally see an increase in the supply of that commodity or service. He also points to the strong role demographics play in the economy. It is important to remember while price hikes can appear inflationary they are not a big issue if they last only a short time. The price of gas from 2000 until today is an example of how wildly prices can swing. In short, if prices do not stay elevated or continue to climb, they do not add to inflation.

See the source image
We Have Witnessed Wild Price Swings In Gas Prices Over The Years

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How Inflation Could Crash The Economy In 2022

How Inflation Could Crash the Economy In 2022

It’s understandable if you’re tired of hearing about rising inflation. But it has become an economic mainstay in the Biden Administration. And each month seems to bring fresh records not experienced in decades.

For Baby Boomers who lived through the Carter years, 2021 might feel like déjà vu. That’s because inflation rose 6.8% again in November 2021, which is the highest level since June of 1982.

That’s bad enough. And that’s not the worst of it…

When we look higher up the product pipeline, inflation at the manufacturing level is even higher. U.S. producers are dealing with inflation of their own, clocking in at an incredible 9.6% in November. That means prices on all manufactured goods, from coffee mugs to SUVs, are still going up. And we haven’t even experienced the sticker shock yet. Producer prices are a forecast of rising prices just down the road.

Things have gotten so bad that Bloomberg recently published an “inflation survival guide” after interviewing a number of Argentines (who routinely struggled with 50% inflation). Those who survived Argentinian hyperinflation know paper money is worthless.

Here’s their advice, lightly edited for clarity:

  • Spend your paycheck immediately (particularly on big-ticket items like houses and cars in the U.S.) – In a high-inflation economy, money that sits in the bank is losing value. Each day, those dollars on deposit buy a little, or a whole lot, less.
  • Borrow as much money as you can – When we borrow money to finance those big purchases, we’re getting credit at a rate below That means all the debt we take out is actually being devalued month after month. Eventually, we can always pay it off with otherwise-useless paper money.

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

The Criminalization of Preppers in Turkey: Will Our Country Be Next?

The Criminalization of Preppers in Turkey: Will Our Country Be Next?

History has shown us that collectivism detests the individual. The man who can exist independent of the system, who thinks for himself, who is not easily swayed, and who has values rooted in absolute truth which he refuses to give up – this is the enemy of collectivism.

But if we take a closer look at one aspect of the individual – his ability to exist independent of the system – is it not clear this is an end goal of prepping?

Is that not what a prepper strives for – the ability to exist independent of the world around them so that disaster does not affect them in the way that it affects others?

It is, and this is why collectivism criminalizes preppers over and over again.

We’ve seen it before and we’re seeing it right now, most notably in Turkey.

Turkey is cooked, and we all know it.

For those who keep a fairly accurate pulse of world events, you know that the fiat currency of Turkey – the lira – is collapsing.

As of this year the lira has lost approximately 40% of its value, and from all appearances, it shows no signs of stopping its downward spiral anytime soon.

Inflation is rapidly leading to hyperinflation within Turkey and the Turkish citizens have recognized this. People began attempting to step away from the lira and delving into cryptocurrency in an attempt to protect themselves.

And then the Turkish government made crypto illegal as a form of payment on April 30, 2021. This was done to prevent “irreparable damage.” What’s ironic about this is that the Turks said this was because cryptocurrencies were “neither subject to any regulation and supervision mechanisms nor a central regulatory authority.” [source]

That’s a fun train of logic from the people that are in the process of destroying their own currency.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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