Germany has used the EU For its own ends. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me.com:
The crisis in Europe will come from Germany. Germany has entered a period of political crisis that, as yet, has not exploded.
But the pyre is built, the torches lit and all that remains is dragging Chancellor Angela Merkel up and setting the whole thing on fire.
For those that want to understand the fundamental impulses which have led the European Union to where it is today and Germany’s central role one really needs to read Bernard Connolly’s “The Rotten Heart of Europe.”
It’s a book that damns pretty much everyone in their monomaniacal drive for the European Project but, Germany, in particular, to me, comes across the worst.
Brandon Smith is dead on, warning that cryptocurrencies could well be a Trojan horse for the cashless society, where governments, or a one-world government, and central banks or central bank know every unit of currency you spend. From Smith at alt-market.com:
A fundamental pillar of true free markets is the existence of choice; the availability of options from production to providers to purchase mechanisms without interference from governments or corporate monopolies. Choice means competition, and competition drives progress. Choice can also drive changes within society, for if people know a better or more secure way of doing things exists, why would anyone want to stay trapped within the confines of a limited system? At the very least, people should be allowed to choose economic mechanisms that work best for their particular situation.
This is NOT how our society functions today, and free market do not exist anywhere in modern nations including the US. Whenever I hear someone (usually a socialist) blame free market “capitalism” for the oppressive ailments of the world, I have to laugh. The alliance between governments and corporate monopolies (what Mussolini called national socialism or fascism) makes free markets utterly impossible. What we have today is an amalgamation of socialist economic interference and corporatocracy. Our system is highly restrictive and micro-managed for everyone except the money elites, who do not have to follow the same rules the rest of us do.
If US trade policy forces China to sell down its dollar reserves accumulated from its trade surpluses, the US will have to find someone else to finance its budget and trade deficits, or finance them via Federal Reserve debt monetization. That option would destroy the dollar. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:
America’s tariffs against China are already showing signs of undermining the global economy and will create a funding crisis for the Federal Government when it leads to foreigners no longer buying US Treasury debt and selling down their existing dollar holdings. A subversive attempt by America to divert global portfolio investment from China by destabilising Hong Kong will force China into a Plan B to fund its infrastructure plans, which could involve actively selling down her dollar reserves and hastening the introduction of a new crypto-based trade settlement currency.
The US budget deficit will then be financed entirely by monetary inflation. Furthermore, the turn of the credit cycle, made more destructive by trade tariffs, is driving the global and US economy into a slump, further accelerating all indebted governments’ dependency on inflationary financing. The end result is America’s trade policies have been instrumental in hastening the end of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, ultimately leading to its destruction.
For almost two years President Trump has imposed various tariffs on imported Chinese goods. He advertised his tactics as hardball from a tough president who knows the art of the deal, taking his business acumen and applying it to foreign affairs. He even proudly described himself as a tariff man.
His opening gambit was to impose tariffs on some goods to get leverage over the Chinese, with the threat that if they didn’t cooperate, then further tariffs would be introduced. The Chinese declined to be cowed by threats, introducing tariffs themselves on US imports, particularly agricultural products, to bring pressure to bear in turn on President Trump.
Posted in banking, Business, Currencies, Debt, Economics, Economy, Financial markets, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Trade
Tagged Budget Deficit, China, Debt monetization, Inflation, Trade War, US trade deficit
The price of goods and services tends to go to their marginal costs of production, which in the case of fiat currencies is virtually zero. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:
“Inflation” occurs when the creation of currency outruns the creation of real wealth it can bid for… It isn’t caused by price increases; rather, it causes price increases.
Inflation is not caused by the butcher, the baker, or the auto maker, although they usually get blamed. On the contrary, by producing real wealth, they fight the effects of inflation. Inflation is the work of government alone, since government alone controls the creation of currency.
In a true free-market society, the only way a person or organization can legitimately obtain wealth is through production. “Making money” is no different from “creating wealth,” and money is nothing but a certificate of production. In our world, however, the government can create currency at trivial cost, and spend it at full value in the marketplace. If taxation is the expropriation of wealth by force, then inflation is its expropriation by fraud.
All the so-called economic growth we’re getting is debt-funded. From John Mauldin at interest.co.nz:
John Mauldin sees an ugly conflict coming soon to the US as their official debt levels become unsustainable and they face a “Great Reset”. Will a better wealth and policy balance rise from the impending shambles?
Nothing is forever, not even debt.
Every borrower eventually either repays what they owe, or defaults. Lenders may or may not have remedies. But one way or another, the debt goes away.
One of Western civilization’s largest problems is we’ve convinced ourselves debt can be permanent. We don’t use that specific word, of course, but it’s what we do and is why government debt keeps rising. We borrow faster than we repay previous borrowing—and I mean governments everywhere, China as well as the US.
Our leaders have no real plan to reduce the debt, much less eliminate it. They just want to spend, spend, spend forevermore. And most citizens are okay with that. As I will note below, the Republican Party I grew up with, which back then seemed to constantly talk about deficits and debt, is now comfortable with 5% (and growing) of GDP deficits.
Doug Casey makes the case for speculating in gold stocks. From Casey at caseyresearch.org:
My regular readers know why I believe the gold price is poised to move from its current level of around $1,460 per ounce to $2,000… $3,000, and beyond.
Right now, we are exiting the eye of the giant financial hurricane that we entered in 2007, and we’re going into its trailing edge. It’s going to be much more severe, different, and longer lasting than what we saw in 2008 and 2009.
In a desperate attempt to stave off a day of financial reckoning during the 2008 financial crisis, global central banks began printing trillions of new currency units. The printing continues to this day. And it’s not just the Federal Reserve that’s doing it: it’s just the leader of the pack. The U.S., Japan, Europe, China… all major central banks are participating in the biggest increase in global monetary units in history.
These reckless policies have produced not just billions, but trillions, in malinvestment that will inevitably be liquidated. This will lead us to an economic disaster that will in many ways dwarf the Great Depression of 1929–1946. Paper currencies will fall apart, as they have many times throughout history.