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Will Coronavirus End the Fed?

Will Coronavirus End the Fed?

September 17, 2019 was a significant day in American economic history. On that day, the New York Federal Reserve began emergency cash infusions into the repurchasing (repo) market. This is the market banks use to make short-term loans to each other. The New York Fed acted after interest rates in the repo market rose to almost 10 percent, well above the Fed’s target rate.

The New York Fed claimed its intervention was a temporary measure, but it has not stopped pumping money into the repo market since September. Also, the Federal Reserve has been expanding its balance sheet since September. Investment advisor Michael Pento called the balance sheet expansion quantitative easing (QE) “on steroids.”

I mention these interventions to show that the Fed was taking extraordinary measures to prop up the economy months before anyone in China showed the first symptoms of coronavirus.

Now the Fed is using the historic stock market downturn and the (hopefully) temporary closure of businesses in the coronavirus panic to dramatically increase its interventions in the economy. Not only has the Fed increased the amount it is pumping into the repo market, it is purchasing unlimited amounts of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities. This was welcome news to Congress and the president, as it came as they were working on setting up trillions of dollars in spending in coronavirus aid/economic stimulus bills.

This month the Fed announced it would start purchasing municipal bonds, thus ensuring the state and local government debt bubble will keep growing for a few more months.

The Fed has also created three new loan facilities to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in credit to businesses. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has stated that the Fed will lend out as much as it takes to revive the economy.

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

Be wary of overreaching government responses to coronavirus: Ron Paul

Be wary of overreaching government responses to coronavirus: Ron Paul

The Capitol Dome is seen silhouetted by the rising sun on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Governments love crises because when the people are fearful they are more willing to give up freedoms for promises that the government will take care of them.

After 9/11, for example, Americans accepted the near-total destruction of their civil liberties in the PATRIOT Act’s hollow promises of security.

It is ironic to see the same Democrats who tried to impeach President Trump last month for abuse of power demanding that the Trump Administration grab more power and authority in the name of fighting a virus that thus far has killed less than 100 Americans.

Declaring a pandemic emergency on Friday, President Trump now claims the power to quarantine individuals suspected of being infected by the virus and, as Politico writes, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease.” He can even call out the military to cordon off a US city or state.

State and local authoritarians love panic as well. The mayor of Champaign, Illinois, signed an executive order declaring the power to ban the sale of guns and alcohol and cut off gas, water, or electricity to any citizen. The governor of Ohio just essentially closed his entire state.

The chief fearmonger of the Trump Administration is without a doubt Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Fauci is all over the media, serving up outright falsehoods to stir up even more panic. He testified to Congress that the death rate for the coronavirus is ten times that of the seasonal flu, a claim without any scientific basis.

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

Is the Draft Coming Back?

Is the Draft Coming Back?

During recent increased US-Iran confrontation, so many people viewed the Selective Service website to find out about the draft that the website crashed. People were right to be concerned about a return of the draft.

With the ongoing military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan unlikely to end any time soon, and the possibly of the US being neoconned into war with Iran and possibly even Russia or China, the demand for troops is likely to rise. At the same time, soldiers return home with lifelong medical problems, including psychological problems, causing a horrifying number of veterans to commit suicide. All this can make it more difficult for the military to attract recruits. And it can leave a Congress unwilling to pursue nonintervention with a choice: increase spending on troops’ pay and benefits or bring back the draft. A Congress facing an over 25 trillion dollars debt may reinstate the draft instead of further increasing spending on the troops.

Any future draft will probably include women, thanks to judges, politicians, and feminists who think women should have the “opportunity” to be forced to join the military.

A military draft violates the principle that individuals have inalienable rights that no government should violate. A draft also puts all of our rights at risk. If we accept that the government has the legitimate authority to force individuals to fight, kill, and die in a war, then how can we argue that the government cannot force citizens to pay high taxes, purchase health insurance, or submit to TSA screenings? How can we argue against the government forbidding people from smoking marijuana or owning “assault” weapons? Many traditional conservatives, including Ronald Reagan, opposed the draft, pointing to its threat to individual rights.

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

How Congress and the Federal Reserve Stole Christmas

How Congress and the Federal Reserve Stole Christmas

The bickering over impeachment did not stop the president and Congress from coming together last week to avert a government shutdown by passing a 1.4 trillion dollar spending package.

The bipartisan agreement has something for everyone — a 22 billion dollars increase to bring total spending on militarism to 738 billion dollars, and a 27 billion dollars increase to bring total spending on domestic programs to 632 billion dollars. It also imposes a national ban on selling tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under 21.

The agreement was split into two bills. Both bills were unveiled last Monday afternoon. The bills passed the House on Tuesday, so only the House leadership and the members of the Appropriations Committee (and their staffs) who helped write the over 2,000-page deal had any idea what was in the bills. But most members voted for the spending bills because they were fearful of backlash over another Christmastime government shutdown. House leadership simply “waived” the rule requiring that all legislation be available at least three days before being voted upon.

The modern practice of funding the government via gigantic omnibus bills that are rushed into law puts the growth of government on autopilot. This practice also gives the president more influence over the budget, violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution’s grant of authority to Congress to appropriate funds, which was intended as a check on executive power.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues pumping billions into the repurchasing market. When the Fed began injecting money into the market in September, it said intervention was a temporary measure to address a short-term liquidity shortage. Three months later, the Fed is not only continuing to bail out the repurchasing market, it is preparing for other bailouts. This is further evidence that we are on the verge of another Fed-created economic crisis.

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

Is The ‘Mother of all Bubbles’ About to Pop?

Is The ‘Mother of all Bubbles’ About to Pop?

When the New York Federal Reserve began pumping billions of dollars a day into the repurchasing (repo) markets (the market banks use to make short-term loans to each other) in September, they said this would only be necessary for a few weeks. Yet, last Wednesday, almost two months after the Fed’s initial intervention, the New York Federal Reserve pumped 62.5 billion dollars into the repo market.

The New York Fed continues these emergency interventions to ensure “cash shortages” among banks don’t ever again cause interest rates for overnight loans to rise to over 10 percent, well above the Fed’s target rate.

The Federal Reserve’s bailout operations have increased its balance sheet by over 200 billion dollars since September. Investment advisor Michael Pento describes the Fed’s recent actions as Quantitative Easing (QE) “on steroids.”

One cause of the repo market’s sudden cash shortage was the large amount of debt instruments issued by the Treasury Department in late summer and early fall. Banks used resources they would normally devote to private sector lending and overnight loans to purchase these Treasury securities. This scenario will likely keep recurring as the Treasury Department will have to continue issuing new debt instruments to finance continuing increases in in government spending.

Even though the federal deficit is already over one trillion dollars (and growing), President Trump and Congress have no interest in cutting spending, especially in an election year. Should he win reelection, President Trump is unlikely to reverse course and champion fiscal restraint. Instead, he will likely take his victory as a sign that the people support big federal budgets and huge deficits. None of the leading Democratic candidates are even pretending to care about the deficit. Instead they are proposing increasing spending by trillions on new government programs.

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

Forget the Russians: It’s the Federal Reserve Seeking to Meddle in Our Elections

Forget the Russians: It’s the Federal Reserve Seeking to Meddle in Our Elections

The US Constitution never granted the federal government authority to create a central bank. The Founders, having lived through hyperinflation themselves, understood that government should never have a printing press at its disposal. But from the very beginning of America’s founding, the desire for a crony central bank was strong. 

In fact, two attempts were made at creating a permanent central bank in America prior to the creation of the Fed. Fortunately, the charter for The First Bank was allowed to expire in 1811, and President Andrew Jackson closed down the Second Bank in 1833.

But, unfortunately, a third attempt was successful and the Federal Reserve was unconstitutionally created by Congress in 1913. Americans have been living under a corrupt and immoral monetary system ever since. The Federal Reserve is the printing press that has financed the creation of the largest government to ever exist. Endless welfare and endless military spending are both made possible by the Federal Reserve. The Fed can just print the money for whatever the US establishment wants, so those of us who long for a Constitutional and limited government have few tools at our disposal.

Despite all the propaganda claiming “independence,” the Fed has always been a deeply political institution. Because the Fed is a government-created monopoly with key government-appointed employees, its so-called “independence” is a mere fiction. However, the US Congress created the Fed with legislation; it can also abolish the Fed with legislation.

Last week, the facade of Federal Reserve “independence” was dealt a severe blow. Ironically, the person who broadcast to the world that the Fed is anything but “independent” was ex-New York Fed President Bill Dudley. Dudley wrote that, “Trump’s re-election arguably presents a threat to the United States’ and global economy, and if the goal of monetary policy is to achieve the best long-term economic outcome, the Fed’s officials should consider how their decisions would affect the political outcome of 2020.”

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

Ron Paul: The Fed Is In The Stock Market And They Don’t Want Us To Know The Details

Ron Paul: The Fed Is In The Stock Market And They Don’t Want Us To Know The Details

On Tuesday September 3, 2019, former Texas congressman Ron Paul appeared on an episode of the Quoth the Raven podcast to weigh in on the state of equity markets, the media’s role in indoctrinating the masses with Keynesian theory, how Tulsi Gabbard “isn’t getting a fair shake” and his view on the second amendment.

Here’s the former presidential candidate’s most recent take things, and the full podcast interview below. 

On The Current State of the Market

When first talking about the state of the Fed and equity markets, Paul unloaded on Central Bankers:

“I think it’s historic. I think it’s coming to an end and I think we’re going to see a real real big bust in the economy because I think until we admit we are bankrupt both financially and morally, there can be no answers.”

He also commented that he believes the Fed understands the catastrophic path we are currently on:

“A lot of people know there’s problems. Even members of the Federal Reserve I think are much more aware of what’s happening than they’re willing to admit…”

“…the Fed will get rid of itself, because it’s not viable…”

On Gold

Paul also spoke about a breakfast meeting he had with Paul Volcker decades ago, who he said was overtly concerned with the price of gold at the time. Paul said about gold: 

“Gold is real money. Paper money only exists when you can fool the people…gold is the ultimate measurement of value. They know that…”

On Helping Main Street Understand Austrian Economics

When asked about how to empower the ordinary citizen with knowledge of Austrian economics, Paul responded:

“It has to be by word of mouth, it has to be through education…because it’s ideological. The idea is that the universities are not the answer.” 

He continued:

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

Are Recessions Inevitable?

Are Recessions Inevitable?

Stocks fell last week following news that the yield curve on Treasury notes had inverted. This means that a short-term Treasury note was paying higher interest rates than long-term Treasury note. An inverted yield curve is widely seen as a sign of an impending recession.

Some economic commentators reacted to the inverted yield curve by parroting the Keynesian propaganda that recessions are an inevitable feature of a free-market economy, whose negative effects can only be mitigated by the Federal Reserve. Like much of the conventional economic wisdom, the idea that recessions are caused by the free market and cured by the Federal Reserve is the exact opposite of the truth.

Interest rates are the price of money. Like all prices, they should be set by the market in order to accurately convey information about economic conditions. When the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates, it distorts those signals. This leads investors and businesses to misjudge the true state of the economy, resulting in misallocations of resources. These misallocations can create an economic boom. However, since the boom is rooted in misperceptions of the true state of the economy, it cannot last. Eventually the Federal Reserve-created bubble bursts, resulting in a recession.

So, recessions are not a feature of the free market. Instead, they are an inevitable result of Congress granting a secretive central bank power to influence the price of money. While monetary policy may be the prime culprit, government tax and regulatory policies also damage the economy. Many regulations, such as the minimum wage and occupational licensing, inflict much harm on the same low-income people that the economic interventionists claim benefit the most from the welfare-regulatory state.

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

Ron Paul Warns: “Hapless” Guaido Now “Worth More Dead Than Alive” To Washington’s Venezuelan Coup-Creators

Ron Paul Warns: “Hapless” Guaido Now “Worth More Dead Than Alive” To Washington’s Venezuelan Coup-Creators

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido failed to kick-start a military uprising on Tuesday. After this fizzle, RT reports that his life may be in danger from his own CIA backers, the director of the Ron Paul Institute argued in a debate.

Daniel McAdams and Ron Paul, the former libertarian representative from Texas, discussed the repeated attempts by Guaido to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with the backing from the US government. Despite all the efforts, Maduro remains in power, supported by many Venezuelans and in control of its military and police forces.

Paul said he was concerned that the Latin American country may be plunged into large-scale violence by some provocation.

“The big danger is a hard war breaking out. I’d still bet it won’t be too bad, with thousands of troops moving. But it could be a guerrilla war or something like that. If there is a false flag or some important official on either side gets killed, you can’t tell what might happen,” he said.

McAdams pointed out that Guaido himself, with his record of failing to mobilize the protest against the Maduro government, could be a target for such a provocation.

He has been a kind of a hapless figure so far. He calls for mass protests and no one shows up. I don’t think he realizes right now that he is actually now worth more dead than alive not only to the CIA, but also to his own opposition people. A shot in the crowd or something like that to take Guaido out. It might shock you, Dr. Paul, but the CIA is pretty good at this kind of things.

He said Tuesday’s events, when Guaido declared a military-backed coup to be underway in Caracas which as of now seems to have led to little consequence for Maduro, seemed like an act of desperation.

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

Is Trump Really About to Attack Venezuela?

Is Trump Really About to Attack Venezuela?

Last week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered the last of the US diplomats out of Venezuela, saying their presence was a “constraint” on US policy toward the country. The wording seemed intended to convey the idea that the US is about to launch military action to place a Washington-backed, self-appointed politician to the presidency. Was it just bluster, designed to intimidate? Or is the Trump Administration really about to invade another country that has neither attacked nor threatened the United States?

While US Administrations engaged in “regime change” have generally tried to mask their real intentions, this US-backed coup is remarkable for how honest its backers are being. Not long ago the National Security Advisor to the president, John Bolton, openly admitted that getting US companies in control of Venezuelan oil was the Administration’s intent. Trump Administration officials have gone so far as mocking the suffering of Venezuelans when a suspiciously-timed nationwide power failure heightened citizens’ misery.

According to media reports, Vice President Mike Pence is angry with the Venezuela coup leader, Juan Guaido, because he promised the whole operation would be a cake walk – just like the neocons promised us about Iraq. Guaido said hundreds of thousands of protesters would follow him to the Colombian border to “liberate” US aid trucks just over the border, but no one showed up. So Pompeo and the neocons made up a lie that Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro’s thugs burned the aid trucks to prevent the people from getting relief from their suffering. Even the pro-war New York Times finally admitted that the Administration was lying: it was opposition protesters who burned the trucks.

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

Interview: Ron Paul and the Never-Ending Story of Empire

Interview: Ron Paul and the Never-Ending Story of Empire

The other day was felt like the fulfillment of a life goal. Sitting down to talk politics, economics, and climate with the irreplaceable Ron Paul was beyond a thrill, it was an honor.

It’s been a long time coming. This blog and the content I produce is the culmination of a fifteen year journey towards this. It began innocently enough with reading one article at Lewrockwell.com back in 1999, right after the site went live. 

Then I read the rest of them. That day and pretty much every day for years. It took me six years to get up the courage to submit a piece to Lew for publication.

For me discovering LRC, the Mises Institute and Dr. Paul were like a lot of young men today discovering Jordan Peterson. 

It was life-affirming. And it gave the next phase of my life something it was missing to that point — direction, shape and purpose. 

I was there in 2008 when Ron Paul did the bravest thing I’ve seen a politician ever do, stand up to the bully Guiliani on the world’s biggest stage and criticize our foreign policy. It was the spark that lit the fire that led to where we are today.

It showed a strength and depth of character that leapt off the screen and galvanized the silent majority to be silent no longer. And the rest was a refutation of the end of history.

Today we stand on a point in the continuum, a possible inflection point in the direction the world will go. Embrace the tired and ugly Marxist filth that destroyed hundreds of millions of people in the twentieth century (and altered the trajectory of history) or reject it whole cloth and build new institutions learning from those incalculable mistakes and horrors.

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

Trump’s Venezuela Fiasco

Trump’s Venezuela Fiasco

Last week President Trump announced that the United States would no longer recognize Nicholas Maduro as president of Venezuela and would recognize the head of its national assembly, Jose Guaido, as president instead. US thus openly backs regime change. But what has long been a dream of the neocons may well turn out to be a nightmare for President Trump.

Why did Trump declare that the Venezuelan president was no longer the president? According to the State Department, the Administration was acting to help enforce the Venezuelan constitution. If only they were so eager to enforce our own Constitution!

It’s ironic that a president who has spent the first two years in office fighting charges that a foreign country meddled in the US elections would turn around and not only meddle in foreign elections but actually demand the right to name a foreign country’s president! How would we react if the Chinese and Russians decided that President Trump was not upholding the US Constitution and recognized Speaker Nancy Pelosi as US president instead?

Even those who would like to see a change of government in Venezuela should reject any notion that the change must be “helped” by the United States. According to press reports, Vice President Mike Pence was so involved in internal Venezuelan affairs that he actually urged Guaido to name himself president and promised US support. This is not only foolish, it is very dangerous. A Venezuelan civil war would result in mass death and even more economic misery!

Regime change has long been US policy for Venezuela. The US has been conducting economic warfare practically since Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, was first elected in 1998.

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

Fire the Fed?

Fire the Fed?

President Trump’s frustration with the Federal Reserve’s (minuscule) interest rate increases that he blames for the downturn in the stock market has reportedly led him to inquire if he has the authority to remove Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Chairman Powell has stated that he would not comply with a presidential request for his resignation, meaning President Trump would have to fire Powell if Trump was serious about removing him.

The law creating the Federal Reserve gives the president power to remove members of the Federal Reserve Board — including the chairman — “for cause.” The law is silent on what does, and does not, constitute a justifiable cause for removal. So, President Trump may be able to fire Powell for not tailoring monetary policy to the president’s liking.

By firing Powell, President Trump would once and for all dispel the myth that the Federal Reserve is free from political interference. All modern presidents have tried to influence the Federal Reserve’s policies. Is Trump’s threatening to fire Powell worse than President Lyndon Johnson shoving a Fed chairman against a wall after the Federal Reserve increased interest rates? Or worse than President Carter “promoting” an uncooperative Fed chairman to Treasury secretary?

Yet, until President Trump began attacking the Fed on Twitter, the only individuals expressing concerns about political interference with the Federal Reserve in recent years were those claiming the Audit the Fed bill politicizes monetary policy. The truth is that the audit bill, which was recently reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and will soon be reintroduced in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), does not in any way expand Congress’ authority over the Fed. The bill simply authorizes the General Accountability Office to perform a full audit of the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy, including the Fed’s dealings with Wall Street and foreign central banks and governments.

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

Rough Times Ahead, But Liberty Can Still Win

Rough Times Ahead, But Liberty Can Still Win

While Congress and the president fight over funding a border wall, they continue to ignore the coming economic tsunami caused by the approximately 22 trillion dollars (and rapidly increasing) federal debt. President Trump may not be troubled by the debt’s effect on the economy because he believes he will be out of office before it becomes a major problem. However, the crisis may come sooner than he, or most people in DC, expects.

The constituency for limited government, while growing, is still far outnumbered by those wanting government to provide economic and personal security. From lower-income Americans who rely on food stamps, public housing, and other government programs, to middle-class Americans who live in homes they could not afford without assistance from federal agencies like Fannies Mae and Freddie Mac, to college students reliant on government-subsidized student loans, to senior citizens reliant on Social Security and Medicare, to billionaire CEOs whose companies rely on bailouts, subsidies, laws and regulations written to benefit politically-powerful businesses, and government contracts, most Americans are reliant on at least one federal program. Many programs are designed to force individuals to accept government aid. For example, it is almost impossible for a senior citizen to obtain health insurance outside of Medicare.

The welfare state is fueled by the Federal Reserve’s easy money policies, which are also responsible for the boom-and-bust cycle that plagues our economy. The Federal Reserve’s policies do not just distort our economy, they also distort our values, as the Fed’s dollar depreciation causes individuals to forgo savings and hard work in favor of immediate gratification. This has helped create an explosion of business and individual debt. There has been a proliferation of bubbles, including in credit card debt, auto loans, and student loans. There is even a new housing bubble.

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

Ron Paul: The Market Correction Could Make Things ‘Worse Than 1929’

Ron Paul: The Market Correction Could Make Things ‘Worse Than 1929’

Former presidential candidate, Dr. Ron Paul says that the current market conditions are ripe for a correction of 50% and Wall Street is vulnerable to depression-like conditions in the next year. “It could be worse than 1929,” Dr. Paul said recently in an interview.

Paul said Thursday on CNBC‘sFutures Now that “Once this volatility shows that we’re not going to resume the bull market, then people are going to rush for the exits.”  Paul added that “it could be worse than 1929.”  He was referencing the fateful day in October of 1929 when the stock market crashed, and the United States was flung into the Great Depression that lasted ten years. During that year, a worldwide depression was ignited because of the U.S.’s market crash.  The stock market began hemorrhaging and after falling almost 90 percent, sent the U.S. economy crashing a burning.

And of course, no one believes it could happen again. But Dr. Paul is continuously warning against the media’s constant optimism. As well-known Libertarian, Paul has been warning Wall Street that a massive market plunge is inevitable for years. He’s currently projecting a 50 percent decline from current levels as his base case, citing the ongoing U.S.-China trade war as a growing risk factor. “I’m not optimistic that all of the sudden, you’re going to eliminate the tariff problem. I think that’s here to stay,” he said. “Tariffs are taxes.”  And these tariffs are a direct tax on the American economy and consumer.

Paul places the blame for the inevitable future crash on the Federal Reserve’s “easy money policies” also known as quantitative easing.  He contended the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing has caused the “biggest bubble in the history of mankind.” And this time, it’s an everything bubble.

…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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