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What We’ve Lost

What We’ve Lost

This is only a partial list of what we’ve lost to globalism, cheap credit and the Tyranny of Price which generates the Landfill Economy.

A documentary on the decline of small farms and the rural economy in France highlights what we’ve lost in the decades-long rush to globalize and financialize everything on the planet— what we call Neoliberalism, the ideology of turning everything into a global market controlled by The Tyranny of Price and cheap credit issued to corporations and banks by central banks.

After Winter, Spring (2012) was made by an American who moved to a small village in the Dordogne region of France to recover something of her childhood on a small Pennsylvania farm.

The farmers–self-described as paysanspeasants in English, (a translation I don’t consider entirely accurate, for reasons too complex to go into here)– describe the financial difficulties of earning enough to survive without outside jobs.

One young farmer who is taking over the family dairy from his aging parents encapsulates the economic reality of small farms: in the 1960s, they had 3 or 4 cows, now they have 100, but their income is the same.

Corporate mega-farms can produce huge quantities of agricultural products of questionable quality because they have the scale, access to cheap credit and expertise to deal with the voluminous bureaucratic paperwork imposed by the EU and the French government. (One slip-up on a form and you’re sunk if you’re a one- or two-person operation.)

Artisanal producers can’t compete, and will never be able to compete in a global marketplace where there is always a cheaper source. (Up to half a small farmer’s income comes from EU subsidies, which the EU is trying to cut.)

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

The Fed is Lying to Us

The Fed is Lying to Us

“When it becomes serious, you have to lie”

The recent statements from the Federal Reserve and the other major world central banks (the ECB, BoJ, BoE and PBoC) are alarming because their actions are completely out of alignment with what they’re telling us.

Their words seek to soothe us that “everything’s fine” and the global economy is doing quite well. But their behavior reflects a desperate anxiety.

Put more frankly; we’re being lied to.

Case in point: On October 4, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell publicly claimed the US economy is “in a good place”. Yet somehow, despite the US banking system already having approximately $1.5 trillion in reserves, the Fed is suddenly pumping in an additional $60 billion per month to keep things propped up.

Do drastic, urgent measures like this reflect an economy that’s “in a good place”?

The Fed’s Rescue Was Never Real

Remember, after a full decade of providing “emergency stimulus measures” the US Federal Reserve stopped its quantitative easing program (aka, printing money) a few years back.

Mission Accomplished, it declared. We’ve saved the system.

But that cessation was meaningless. Because the European Central Bank (ECB) stepped right in to take over the Fed’s stimulus baton and started aggressively growing its own balance sheet — keeping the global pool of new money growing.

Let’s look at the data. First, we see here how the Fed indeed stopped growing its balance sheet in 2014:

And we can note other important insights in this chart.

For starters, you can clearly see how in 2008, the Fed printed up more money in just a few weeks than it had in the nearly 100 years of operations prior.

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

Monetary failure is becoming inevitable

Monetary failure is becoming inevitable 

This article posits that there is an unpleasant conjunction of events beginning to undermine government finances in advanced nations. They combine the arrival of a long-term trend of rising welfare commitments with an increasing certainty of a global-scale credit crisis, in turn the outcome of a combination of the peak of the credit cycle and increasing trade protectionism. We see the latter already undermining the global economy, catching both governments and investors unexpectedly.

Few observers seem aware that an economic and systemic crisis will occur at a time when government finances are already precarious. However, the consequences are unthinkable for the authorities, and for this reason it is certain such a downturn will lead to a substantial increase in monetary inflation. The scale of the problem needs to be grasped in order to assess how destructive it will be for government finances and ultimately state-issued currencies.

Introduction

Water graph

Listening to recent commentaries about the repo failures in New York leads one to suppose there is insufficient money in the system. This is not the real issue, as the chart below of the fiat money quantity for the dollar clearly shows. 

The fiat money quantity is the amount of fiat money (in this case US dollars) both in circulation and held in reserve on the central bank’s balance sheet. Before the Lehman crisis, it grew at a fairly constant compound growth rate of 5.86%. Since the Lehman crisis, it has grown at an average of 9.45%, even after the slowdown in its rate of growth that started in January 2017. FMQ is still $5 trillion above where it would have been today if the massive monetary expansion in the wake of the Lehman crisis had not happened. If there is a shortage of money, it is because the process of debt creation to fund current expenditure is spiralling out of control.

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

Japan’s Monetary System is a Warning to Modern Society

Japan’s Monetary System is a Warning to Modern Society 

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; My friend who retired from the Bank of Japan told me you had recreated the monetary system of Japan and that was how you could predict the yen would go below par back in 1995 and again in 2011. Could you please publish the chart on the yen showing the full monetary system from the Meiji reform?

Thank you

AH

ANSWER: Japan has been through a truly wild ride when it comes to currency. The emperors would devalue the outstanding money supply when they came to the throne and reduce it to 10% of its former value. This allowed the new emperor to issue coins as if he were beginning anew. By the time the third emperor pulled this stunt, the people simply refused to accept the coins of the emperor ever again.

The Japanese resorted to using bags of rice as money and Chinese coins. Eventually, they also used ingots of silver or gold for larger transactions by the 18th to 19th century.

This is actually a very good reference point because Japan lost the ability to issue money for 600 years until the Meiji reform in 1870 when the yen was born. The last official Japanese coin issue was in 958 AD.

The Meiji Reform of 1870 set the yen at par with the US dollar based upon a silver yen which was the equivalent of the US silver dollar.

This is an important point because as governments today try to eliminate their currency in the hunt for taxes, people are hoarding US dollars exactly as the Japanese began to hoard Chinese coins. Governments should look well at what they are proposing for they can lose the confidence of the people and they will lose the right to issue money.

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

For the sake of life on Earth, we must put a limit on wealth

For the sake of life on Earth, we must put a limit on wealth

It’s not just the megarich: increased spending power leads us all to inflict environmental damage. It’s time for a radical plan

 Illustration: Bill Bragg

It is not quite true that behind every great fortune lies a great crime. Musicians and novelists, for example, can become extremely rich by giving other people pleasure. But it does appear to be universally true that in front of every great fortune lies a great crime. Immense wealth translates automatically into immense environmental impacts, regardless of the intentions of those who possess it. The very wealthy, almost as a matter of definition, are committing ecocide.

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from a worker at a British private airport. “I see things that really shouldn’t be happening in 2019,” he wrote. Every day he sees Global 7000 jets, Gulfstream G650s and even Boeing 737s take off from the airport carrying a single passenger, mostly flying to Russia and the US. The private Boeing 737s, built to take 174 passengers, are filled at the airport with around 25,000 litres of fuel. That’s as much fossil energy as a small African town might use in a year.

Where are these single passengers going? Perhaps to visit one of their superhomes, constructed and run at vast environmental cost, or to take a trip on their superyacht, which might burn 500 litres of diesel an hour just ticking over, and which is built and furnished with rare materials extracted at the expense of beautiful places.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that when Google convened a meeting of the rich and famous at the Verdura resort in Sicily in July to discuss climate breakdown, its delegates arrived in 114 private jets and a fleet of megayachts, and drove around the island in supercars. Even when they mean well, the ultrarich cannot help trashing the living world.

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

Suffering the Profanity of Plentiful Cheap Money

Suffering the Profanity of Plentiful Cheap Money

What if the savings in your bank account lost 55 percent of its value over the last 12 months?  Would you be somewhat peeved?  Would you transfer some of your savings to another currency?

That was the favored approach in Argentina – where the official inflation rate’s 55 percent.  But no more.  On September 2, President Mauricio Macri resorted to capital controls to preserve the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves and prop up the peso.  What gives?

Just fifteen months ago Macri secured the biggest bailout in the International Monetary Fund’s history.  Now Argentina’s delaying payment to its creditors and is rapidly approaching what will be its third sovereign default this century.  On top of that, Macri’s Peronist rival Alberto Fernández will likely take his job come election day in October.

Alas, for Macri and his countrymen, a painful lesson is being exacted.  You can’t solve a debt problem with more debt.  Eventually the currency buckles and you’re left with two poisons to pick from: inflation or default.  With Macri’s latest capital controls scheme he’s choosing to take swigs of both.

Make of Argentina’s woes what you will.  Central bankers in the United States are also guilty of programs of mass money debasement.  They may have a bigger economy to better mask their malice.  But despite what the MMT delusionals say the day of reckoning always arrives – and always at the worst possible time.

Indeed, the U.S. dollar hasn’t lost 55 percent of its value over the last 12 months.  However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ own inflation calculator, the dollar’s lost 55 percent of its value since 1988.  In other words, it takes $1 to purchase what $0.45 could buy during President Reagan’s last year in office.

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

Currency Which Expires – That’s the Solution – Or Just Cancel it all?

Currency Which Expires – That’s the Solution – Or Just Cancel it all? 

Back during the Great Depression, there were people who theorized that gold hoarding was preventing economic recovery. There is always this same theory that people who save hoarding their money and are not spending it results in the lack of a recovery suppressing demand. This theory has been around for a very long time. It assumes a recovery is always blocked by people hoarding their money and saving for a rainy day.

Back during the American Civil War, the federal government issued paper currency for the first time after the Revolution. Much of this currency paid interest. Some were in the form of virtually circulating bonds with coupons for the interest payments. Some were backed by gold. Others offered a table on the reverse providing a schedule. The interest baring notes remained valid currency, but the interest expired within a specific time period. Hence, one would redeem the note since it would no longer pay interest beyond a specific date.

The rumbling behind the curtain I am hearing is a growing idea of making the currency in Europe simply expire. I have explained before that in Europe currency routinely expires – even in Britain. The United States has never canceled its currency so a note from the Civil War is still legal tender. But that is not the case in Europe.

Europeans are accustomed to having their money simply expire. This is not limited to paper currency. They also cancel the coins. The proposal being whispered in the dark halls of Europe is that perhaps the way to impose negative rates to force people to spend is to just cancel all the currency and authorize only small notes for pocket change. They want everyone to be forced to use bank cards and this is the new theory to revitalize the economy.

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

28 Signs Of Economic Doom As The Pivotal Month Of September Begins

28 Signs Of Economic Doom As The Pivotal Month Of September Begins

Since the end of the last recession, the outlook for the U.S. economy has never been as dire as it is right now.  Everywhere you look, economic red flags are popping up, and the mainstream media is suddenly full of stories about “the coming recession”.  After several years of relative economic stability, things appear to be changing dramatically for the U.S. economy and the global economy as a whole.  Over and over again, we are seeing things happen that we have not witnessed since the last recession, and many analysts expect our troubles to accelerate as we head into the final months of 2019.

We should certainly hope that things will soon turn around, but at this point that does not appear likely.  The following are 28 signs of economic doom as the pivotal month of September begins…

#1 The U.S. and China just slapped painful new tariffs on one another, thus escalating the trade war to an entirely new level.

#2 JPMorgan Chase is projecting that the trade war will cost “the average U.S. household” $1,000 per year.

#3 Yield curve inversions have preceded every single U.S. recession since the 1950s, and the fact that it has happened again is one of the big reasons why Wall Street is freaking out so much lately.

#4 We just witnessed the largest decline in U.S. consumer sentiment in 7 years.

#5 Mortgage defaults are rising at the fastest pace that we have seen since the last financial crisis.

#6 Sales of luxury homes valued at $1.5 million or higher were down five percentduring the second quarter of 2019.

#7 The U.S. manufacturing sector has contracted for the very first time since September 2009.

#8 The Cass Freight Index has been falling for a number of months.  According to CNBC, it fell “5.9% in July, following a 5.3% decline in June and a 6% drop in May.”

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

The Guide To Real History

The Guide To Real History

In the last two centuries, all wars have been machinations orchestrated by bankers pursuing two very simple objectives: profit and a world domination that bears a name: the New World Order.

Education and medias are the main culprits to blame for keeping the important role of bankers in the dark shadows of history. The genuine relevance of Rothschild, Rockefeller, Warburg, Morgan and their peers is voluntarily kept hidden from public scrutiny, so that any investigator that digs in the realms of our past can easily be discredited as a «conspiracy theorist». Author Carroll Quigley once had full access to the Council on foreign relations documents and he confirmed the very real world banking conspiracy designed to dominate the world, in his book «Tragedy and hope».

Bizarrely, education and medias prefer to bring everything back to public figures and politicians like Churchill, Hitler or Stalin, but they will never tell you that these charismatic monsters had no money, nor created it. Hitler was a failed artist that built the most formidable war machine the world had seen in 6 years only, in a near-bankrupt country deprived of any oil production, so do you think he might have had some help?

The Grand Scheme

Before 1971, bank loans were based on their gold reserves, but no bank really owned the value in gold of the money it lent over the years, so the scheme wasn’t very different than today’s fractional system of money creation, in which banks have to own 1/10th of their loans. For example, if bank A has a million dollar, it can lend 10 millions to bank B, which can lend 100 millions to a country, since bank B owns 10 millions. This is basically how the world ended up owing 184 trillion dollars (184 000 000 000 000$) to private banks as of today.

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

The Real “Helicopter Money”: Since 2009, China Has Created $21 Trillion Of New Money, More Than Double The US

The Real “Helicopter Money”: Since 2009, China Has Created $21 Trillion Of New Money, More Than Double The US 

Back in the days of the Fed’s QE, much of thinking analyst world (the non-thinking segment would merely accept everything that the Fed did without question, after all their livelihood depended on it), was focused on how massive, and shocking, the Fed’s direct intervention in capital markets had become. And while that was certainly true, what we showed back in November 2013 in “Chart Of The Day: How China’s Stunning $15 Trillion In New Liquidity Blew Bernanke’s QE Out Of The Water” is that whereas the Fed had injected some $2.5 trillion in liquidity in the US banking system, China had blown the US central bank out of the water, with no less than $15 trillion in increases to Chinese bank assets, all at the behest of a juggernaut of new credit creation – be it new yuan loans, shadow debt, corporate bonds, or any other form of debt that makes up China’s broad Total Social Financing aggregate.

Now, almost six years later, others are starting to figure out what we meant, and in an Op-Ed in the FT, Arthur Budaghyan, chief EM strategist at BCA Research writes about this all important topic of China’s “helicopter” money – which far more than the Fed, ECB and BOJ – has kept the world from sliding into a depression, and yet is blowing the world’s biggest asset bubble. 

Budaghyan picks up where we left off, and notes that over the past decade, Chinese banks have been on a credit and money creation binge, and have created RMB144Tn ($21Tn) of new money since 2009, more than twice the amount of money supply created in the US, the eurozone and Japan combined over the same period. In total, China’s money supply stands at Rmb192tn, equivalent to $28 TRILLION. Why does this matter?

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

Silver prices with explosive upside

Silver prices with explosive upside 

Silver prices have lagged gold prices since 2017 which has pushed the gold-to-silver ratio close to the all-time high. Silver prices are also significantly below what is predicted by our pricing model. We think that the reasons for this subdued performance are transitory and that silver will outperform gold again as the next precious metals cycle continues to rapidly unfold. 

In spring 2017, we introduced a framework for understanding the formation of silver prices (Silver price framework: Both money and a commodity, March 9, 2017). In this report we are going to use this framework to analyze the recent performance of silver and give an outlook for where we think silver is heading over the coming months. In our framework piece, we concluded that silver is both money (store of value) and an input commodity and thus the impact of both industrial and monetary demand needs to be taken into consideration:

  • On the one hand, silver is a counterparty-risk-free form of money where replacement costs set the lower boundary for prices – the same energy proof of value that underlies gold prices. Thus, silver should be impacted by the same drivers as gold prices: Real-interest rate expectations, central bank policy, and longer-dated energy prices.
  • On the other hand, silver is a commodity with extensive industrial applications. Hence, changes in industrial activity should impact the price of silver as well.

In our framework note, we also discussed the two main reasons why we think that silver tends to outperform gold in bull markets and underperform in bear markets:

  • Because the value of global silver stocks is much smaller than that of global gold stocks – which is the result of silver being used in industrial applications – a rise in monetary demand for silver has a disproportionally large effect. In other words, when demand for metals increases as an alternative to fiat currency, there is simply less silver around to change hands.

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

Will They Take All Your Money?

Will They Take All Your Money?

money

Why not? It’s not yours.

Most people assume that, if they have money on deposit in a bank, they own that money. That’s not necessarily the case. Decades ago, some of the world’s most powerful countries began to pass legislation that, if you deposit money in the bank, it becomes the property of the bank. In those countries, if you open a bank account and make a deposit, you sign off legal title to that cash. It becomes an asset of the bank.

The reason they got away with this obvious “theft through legislation” was that the banks were required to henceforth regard your deposit as a debt in your favour. So, technically, you were still owed the money as a bank liability, even though it was no longer truly yours.

On the surface, the change of ownership may seem to be a moot point, as, surely any bank would allow you to withdraw whatever you have deposited, or there would be a run on the bank and the bank would fail.

Well, that’s a definite “maybe.”

What if there were a financial crisis, such as in Greece, where an anticipated run on the banks was circumvented by freezing all accounts, then partially reopening them? If that were the case, the bank in question could allow small amounts of cash to be withdrawn by its depositors each week or each month until the crisis had been safely averted.

Surely, that would be a good thing to do, yes?

Well, there might be a problem there. It’s just possible that the bank would decide that it was enjoying the revised relationship, that it would like to continue to take in deposits the normal way but only pay out “allowances” to depositors as it saw fit.

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

The Fed’s Dangerous Game: A Fourth Round of Stimulus in a Single Growth Cycle

The Fed’s Dangerous Game: A Fourth Round of Stimulus in a Single Growth Cycle

The longer the signals in capital markets go haywire under the influence of “monetary stimulus,” the bigger is the cumulative economic cost. That is one big reason why this fourth Fed stimulus — in the present already-longest (but lowest-growth) of super-long business cycles — is so dangerous.

True, there is nothing new about the Fed imparting stimulus well into a business cycle expansion with the intention of combating a threat of recession. Think of 1927, 1962, 1967, 1985, 1988, 1995, and 1998.

This time, though, we’ve seen it four times (2010/11, 2012/13, 2016/17, 2019) in a single cycle. That is a record. Normally, a jump in recorded goods and services inflation, or concerns about rampant speculation, have trumped the inclination to stimulate after one — or at most two — episodes of stimulus.

Also we should recognize that the length of time during which capital-market signaling remains haywire, is only one of several variables determining the overall economic cost of monetary “stimulus.” But it is a very important one.

Haywire signaling is not just a matter of interest rates being artificially low. Alongside this there is extensive mis-pricing of risk capital. Some of this is related to the flourishing of speculative hypotheses freed from the normal constraints (operative under sound money) of rational cynicism. Enterprises at the center of such stories enjoy super-favorable conditions for raising capital.

There are also the giant carry trades into high-yielding debt, long-maturity bonds, high-interest currencies, and illiquid assets, driven by some combination of hunger for yield and super-confidence in trend extrapolation. In consequence, premiums for credit risk, currency risk, illiquidity, and term risk, are artificially low. Meanwhile a boom in financial engineering — the camouflaging of leverage to produce high momentum gains — adds to the overall distortion of market signals.

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

The Rise of Insanity

The Rise of Insanity

Everybody is trampling all over themselves to raise bullish targets. $SPX 3,300, $SPX 3,350, $SPX 3500, do I hear Dow 31,500? Yes I am. The big driver of course the Fed and central banks cutting rates again to save the global economy.

And amid all the hype and excitement you see headlines like this:

Bullish U.S. Stock Buyers Are Positioning for a Giant Windfall

  • Equity options strategy could deliver a 13-fold return…
  • …If the S&P 500 gains another 11% by the end of this year

The free money excitement is great.

But I have a question:

I also have an answer and it’s an unpleasant one. Because by bailing out markets and economies at every sign of trouble over the past 10 years central banks have given politicians license to do nothing. And nothing is what you get as political discourse fragments and majority solutions are impossible to come by.

But not only are majority solution impossible to get nobody even wants to even talk about them. Why? Because they involve pain. Voters don’t want to hear pain. Hence all you hear is free money. Tax cuts in 2016. Now we hear free college, health care and debt forgiveness for 2020 and who knows maybe more tax cuts.

Nobody wants to campaign on pain. I get it. But does anyone really think solving the structural problems that are behind slowing growth after 10 years of monetary stimulus are easily solvable?

Heck, they may not be solvable at all, hence it’s easier to create a political climate of hate, division, distraction and outrage.

Everybody talks about the outrage of the day, it’s a hyped up atmosphere by design. Because the architects of the conversation know the truth, and that is: As long as people are distracted by outrage, fear, anger and emotion they will not think about how the system is actually utterly screwed.

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

The Four Dimensions of the Fake Money Order

The Four Dimensions of the Fake Money Order

A Good Story with Minor Imperfections

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there,” is a quote that’s oft misattributed to Lewis Carrol. The fact that there is ambiguity about who is behind this quote on ambiguity seems fitting. For our purposes today, the spirit of the quote is what we are after. We think it may help elucidate the strange and confusing world of fake money in which we all travel.

Consumer price index, y/y rate of change – the Fed is not satisfied with the speed at which monetary debasement raises everybody’s cost of living lately. And no, they don’t think said speed should be lowered. [PT]

For example, the monetary policy outlook immediately following last month’s FOMC meeting was as clear as a flawless (FL grade) diamond. The principal message, if you recall, was that inflation was muted and the Fed, after suffering an overt beating from President Trump, would soon be shaving basis points off the federal funds rate. You could darn near take it to the bank.

Wall Street took the news and acted upon it with conviction.  Investors piled into stocks and bonds without pausing to take a closer look for imperfections.  Why worry when fortune favors the bold?

From June 19 through Wednesday July 3, everything held up according to plan.  The S&P 500 rallied 2.5 percent to close at a new all-time high of 2,995. The yield on the 10-Year Treasury note, over this period, dropped 13 basis points, as mindless buyers positioned to front run the Fed.

But then, in the form of Friday’s job’s report, several feathers of imperfection were identified.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 224,000 jobs in June. This far exceeded the consensus estimates of 160,000 new jobs.  As this week began, doubt and hesitation crept into the market.  What to make of it?

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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