Category Archives: Financial markets

Inflation Is The Kryptonite That Will End Our Decades-Long Monetary Policy Ponzi Scheme, by QTR’s Fringe Finance

There is no pain-free way out of the inflation mess. From QTR’s Fringe Finance via zerohedge.com:

The linchpin that allows the world’s nefarious central banking model to be so effective is that the commonfolk – the plumber, the electrician, the teacher, the bartender, bus driver or barber – don’t understand it.

Countless times, I have reminded my readers and listeners that the inflationary “machinery of night” blankets the most regressive tax possible upon the people who can least afford it, and does so in an extraordinarily convenient way for elites, politicians, central bankers and central planners whose titles and “jobs” hinge upon nobody questioning them and/or figuring out how the system works in the first place.

Today, the fabric of our modern banking world is held together by a logical fallacy of a system, wherein central banks are afforded the asinine luxury of being able to print infinite amounts of “money”, which is then disproportionately distributed toward the ruling class, billionaires, and elites, instead of the people who need it the most.

This shows up, literally, as a widening gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” that has widened consistently since the late 1970’s.

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Bitcon . . .? By Eric Peters

Call Eric Peters Bitcoin skeptical. From Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

One of the problems with “crypto” is just that – no one seems to know exactly what it is.

Or at least, no seems able to explain what it is.

Somehow, a digitized online representation of a “coin” has immense value, though what gives it any value is difficult to understand. It is not backed by precious metals. It is not issued by a bank.

It’s just there, on the screen.

The willingness of a sufficiency of people to accept that it has value is what gives it value. Dirt could work on this principle. To be fair, crypto is not materially different from U.S. dollars, which have value chiefly because people accept them as having it.

The pieces of paper themselves, have no more intrinsic value than the digitized representation of a “coin” online.

And that of course is the primary danger of both. They have value only because someone (speaking figuratively here) assigned it to them and because others agree to that estimation of value, which isn’t moored to anything, really.

We all pretend the “dollars” – or “coins” – themselves are things of tangible value. That works just as long as it does. Which probably won’t be for very long.

Now, the pieces of paper issued by the private cartel of banks that control their supply are “backed” by the “full faith and credit of the United States,” for whatever that’s worth. And it is probably worth something. Not much, given the value of a “federal” dollar has declined by more than 90 percent since the “federal” reserve began issuing these pieces of paper more than 100 years ago. The value of “crypto” has generally tracked in the opposite direction, a phenomenon that has made it very attractive to people trying to figure out a way to staunch the seemingly unstoppable bleeding out of the value of their money. It’s tempting to transfer “dollars” into “coins” when “coins” seem to hold rather than hemorrhage value.

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Fourth Turning 2022 – Bad Moon Rising, by Jim Quinn

When does a society hit bottom during a Fourth Turning? From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

In Part 1 of this article I laid out how the global elite have used this covid flu to manipulate the weak minded into a fear induced mass psychosis as a key element in their Great Reset plan to control the world and keep you technologically enslaved under lock and key. Now I will try to decipher how this mass hysteria might play out over the course of 2022 and beyond.

“Americans today fear that linearism (alias the American Dream) has run its course. Many would welcome some enlightenment about history’s patterns and rhythms, but today’s intellectual elites offer little that’s useful. Caught between the entropy of the chaoticists and the hubris of the linearists, the American people have lost their moorings.” Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

Federal Reserve Just Declared the American Dream is Dead for Most Americans

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” ― George Orwell

The American Dream, where all Americans, no matter the circumstances of their birth, had a legitimate opportunity to live a better life than their parents, based upon their own intelligence, work ethic, and good fortune, is an illusion in today’s world. The ruling elite have stolen the wealth of the nation and its citizens. This was not an accident, but a plan implemented over many decades, accelerating after Nixon closed the gold window and opened the door to unlimited amounts of debt being created out of thin air and backed by nothing.

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The Mayhem Below the Surface of the Stock Market Seeps to the Surface: Now it’s the Giants that Topple, by Wolf Richter

Eventually even the market stalwarts get sold in a bear market. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

The market finally gets it: The Fed is going to tighten to get a handle on its massive inflation problem.

Since February last year, the hottest most hyped stocks, many of them recent IPOs and SPACS, have been taken out the back and brutalized, either one by one or jointly. The stocks that have by now crashed 60%, 70%, 80%, or even 90% from their highs include luminaries such as Zoom, Redfin, Zillow, Compass, Virgin Galactic, Palantir, Moderna, BioNTech, Peloton, Carvana, Vroom, Chewy, the EV SPAC & IPO gaggle Lordstown Motors, Nikola, Lucid, and Rivian, plus dozens of others. Some of these superheroes are tracked by the ARK Innovation Fund, which has crashed by 55% from its high last February.

This mayhem has been raging beneath the surface of the market since February last year, and in March, I mused, The Most Hyped Corners of the Stock Market Come Unglued. They have since then come unglued a whole lot more. But the surface itself remained relatively calm and the S&P 500 Index set a new high on January 3 this year because the biggest stocks kept gaining or at least didn’t lose their footing.

But now even the giants too are going over the cliff. Combined by market cap, the seven giants, Apple [AAPL], Amazon [AMZN], Meta [FB], Alphabet [GOOG], Microsoft [MSFT], Nvidia [NVDA], and Tesla [TSLA] peaked on January 3, and in the 13 trading days since then have plunged 13.4%. $1.6 trillion in paper wealth vanished (stock data via YCharts):

The Cult of Speculation Is a Cult of Doom, by Charles Hugh Smith

We can’t all gamble our way to prosperity. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Surely the Fed gods will affirm the cult’s most revered articles of faith. But false gods eventually fail, even the Fed.

Every once in awhile the zeitgeist sets up an either / or: either the zeitgeist is crazy or I’m crazy. (OK, let’s agree I’m crazy; see, it’s not that hard to find something to agree on, is it?)

What strikes me as crazy is the global Cult of Speculation which has recruited virtually the entire human populace in a bizarre cult in which speculating wildly is now the accepted norm, a norm papered over with fine-sounding phrases such as “investing for the future,” “hold on for dear life,” “conviction trade,” “new paradigm,” and so on, all variations on the time-honored “this time it’s different.”

But speculative frenzies that sweep up everyone with a few quatloos to place on the gaming table are not different, they are the norm. Humans love gambling, winning, windfalls, something for nothing, being ahead of the pack (“the new paradigm,” etc.) and the excitement of running with the triumphant herd, all of which are fulfilled by speculative frenzies.

All the speculative free-for-all is lighthearted fun on the way up, but there is a much bleaker reality that few are willing to recognize, much less discuss: now that the global economy is in thrall to the top 0.1% and the foundations of widespread prosperity crumble into dust, the ladder to wealth, power and prestige has few rungs left.

Most of the few remaining open slots in the top tier have already been taken by insiders and the offspring of the already-wealthy, and so the only way to get ahead is to speculate and win–not just win, but win big.

In other words, the fundamental driver of this speculative frenzy isn’t just greed, it’s desperation. For the vast majority of the world’s population, speculating and winning is their only chance to escape debt-serfdom or wage-slavery.

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The Greatest Crackup the World’s Ever Known, by MN Gordon

This is going to be the crackup to end all crackups. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

By now, anyone with half an inkling of curiosity about why prices and values don’t add up has traced the divide back to the money itself.  It’s not hard to see.

Asset prices, like houses and the major stock market indexes, have lost all visible connection with the underlying economy.  However, wage growth has stagnated; over the last 40 years low level wages have only increased by $0.32 per hour in real inflation adjusted terms.  Stocks and residential real estate, at the same time, have gone to the moon.

Even with the NASDAQ’s 11.2 percent decline from its all-time closing high set on November 19, the index is still up over 110 percent from its March 2020 low.  What will it take for the NASDAQ to crash back to earth?

Something else that has gone to the moon is government debt.  In 1980, the national debt was $908 billion.  Today it’s over $29.8 trillion.  That’s an increase of over 3,181 percent.  Over this time, however, gross domestic product (GDP) has only increased 632 percent – from $2.86 trillion to $20.94 trillion.

Of course, these are merely the facts and figures.  The effects to countless Americans are hard to measure.  But, by and large, the last 40 years have been a great disappointment for the American worker – and an absolute boon for the political elites.

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This Is Your Last Chance, Part Two, by Robert Gore

SWITZERLAND-POLITICS-ECONOMY-WEF

The biggest trend change in history.

Part One

Supposedly collectivists will reap the rewards of the only things they produce—destruction and death. After the collapse, a global collectivist government will replace the current multiplicity of collectivist governments. Most of the collapse’s survivors will become slaves living on subsistence doled out by the small aristocracy that will rule the planet. The real work will be done by artificially intelligent machines. The slaves will be pacified chemically and electronically through ubiquitous virtual reality technologies and monitored ceaselessly while the aristocrats live in unimaginable splendor. Those who resist pacification and enslavement will be “corrected,” or if that fails, murdered.

This is simply a straight line projection of the present and recent past that ignores a fully evident counter-trend still gathering steam. After a centuries-long, bull-market run, government as an institution has topped out. The plans and predictions of the global totalitarians are the overconfident rationalizations of newly minted millionaires at the top of bull markets—the “permanently high plateau” in 1929, the “new economy” in 2000, “house prices only go up” in 2007, and “the Fed’s got our backs” now.

We already have shining examples of totalitarian collectivist failure in really big countries with lots of people—the Soviet Union and Communist China. The former collapsed after tens of millions died, the latter made a mid-course correction towards more freedom after tens of millions died.

Blithering idiots attribute those failures to incomplete control by the totalitarians or claim collectivism can only work when the whole world is completely enslaved. They ignore the core quandary of collectivist control—it produces nothing. Collectivist governments steal, they don’t produce. A global collectivist government will produce exactly what the current multiplicity of collectivist governments produce: nothing. Yet, this government will supposedly build the world back better from the ashes of financial, economic, and political collapse.

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Choose One, But Only One: Defend the Billionaire’s Bubble or the U.S. Dollar and Empire, by Charles Hugh Smith

The dollar and empire come first. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The Empire is striking back, protecting what really counts, and the Billionaire Bubble sideshow is folding its tents.

One of the most enduring conceits of the modern era is that the Federal Reserve acts to goose growth and therefore employment while keeping inflation moderate (whatever that means–the definition is adjustable). This conceit is extremely handy as PR cover: the Fed really, really cares about little old us and expanding our ballooning wealth.

Nice, except it doesn’t. The Fed’s one real job is defending the U.S. dollar, which is the foundation of America’s global hegemony a.k.a. The Empire.

One thing and one thing alone enables global dominance: being able to create “money” out of thin air and use that “money” to buy real stuff in the real world. The nations that can create “money” out of thin air and trade it for magnesium, oil, semiconductors, etc. have an unbeatable advantage over nations that must actually mine gold or make something of equal value to trade for essentials.

The trick is to maintain global confidence in one’s currency. There is no one way to manage this, as confidence in a herd animal such as human beings is always contingent. Once the herd gets skittish, all bets are off.

The herd is exquisitely sensitive to movements on the edge of the herd, where threats arise. There are various tricks one can deploy to maintain confidence: pay a higher rate of interest on bonds denominated in one’s currency, so global capital flows into your currency; treat this capital well with a transparent set of tax laws and judiciary / regulatory oversight, maintain a deep pool of liquidity so capital can enter and exit without stampeding the herd, and having at least a semi-productive, diverse economy that generates goods, services and income streams to support the currency.

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This Is Your Last Chance, by Robert Gore

This is Part One, Part Two will be posted 1/21.

The indictment is long and strong. A cabal of politicians, governments, courts, medical authorities, pharmaceutical companies, multinational agencies, the mainstream media, academics, and foundations, particularly the World Economic Forum, have concocted responses to a virus and its variants that have robbed the people of rightful liberties, are a mechanism for the imposition of global totalitarianism, and have amplified rather than reduced the virus’s dangers, inflicting severe injury and death that will last years, perhaps decades, and afflict millions, if not billions, of victims (See “The Means Are The End,” Robert Gore, SLL, November 13, 2021).

This is their last chance. They can reverse course and pray to whatever demonic deity they pray to that it’s enough to prevent the retribution they deserve, or they can perish in the destruction they’ve created. They will reap what they have sown, their time is up.

This is it, the last gasp of the psychopaths who express their contempt and hatred for humanity by trying to rule it. Compulsion, not voluntary and natural cooperation. Power, pull, and politics, not incentives, competition, honest production, and value-for-value trade. From each according to his virtue to each according to his depravity.

The Last Gasp,” Robert Gore, SLL, March 24, 2020

Their time is up. This assertion may appear as recklessly foolish as Luke Skywalker’s ultimatum—“Jabba, this is your last chance, free us or die!”—did to Jabba the Hut at the Sarlacc Pit. It’s not, but to understand why requires an understanding of slow moving (on human time scale) but enormously powerful forces. Most history studies the wrong things and most predictions are straight line projections of the present and recent past.

The linchpin of history is innovation, not governments and rulers. We don’t know who ruled whom when humanity lived in caves, but we do know that someone tamed fire, someone planted seeds and cultivated them for food, and someone invented the wheel. With such steps humanity emerged from the caves and began building civilization. Even at this early stage one thing was clear: innovation creates new capabilities and opportunities and serves as the basis for further innovation.

Government is the acquisition of resources that enables those who govern to exercise control over those whom they govern. This presupposes resources, which presupposes production. Government is always subsidiary to production, yet most history focuses on the former and treats the latter as a secondary matter. This is looking down the telescope from the wrong end. Before a government can take someone must make.

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The Fed Has Triggered A Stagflationary Disaster That Will Hit Hard This Year, by Brandon Smith

The smart money bet is that the stock and bond markets don’t cope well with a stagflationary disaster. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

I don’t think I can overstate the danger that the U.S. economy is in right now as we enter 2022. While most people are caught up in the ongoing drama of Covid-19, a REAL threat looms over the nation in the form of a stagflationary tidal wave. The mainstream media is attempting to place the blame on “supply chain disruptions,” but this is a misrepresentation of the issue.

The two factors are indeed intertwined, but the reality is that inflation is the cause of supply chain disruptions, not the result of supply chain disruptions. If we look at the underlying stats for price rises in essential products we can get a clearer picture.

Before I get into my argument, I really want to stress that this is a precarious time and I suggest that people prepare accordingly. In just the past few months I have seen personal expenses rise at least 20% overall, and I’m sure it’s the same or worse for most of you. Stocking necessities and safe-haven investments with intrinsic value like physical precious metals are a good choice for protecting whatever buying power your dollars have left…

Higher prices everywhere

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is officially at the highest levels in 40 years. CPI measurements often diminish the scale of the problem because they do not include things like food, energy and housing which are core expenses for the public. CPI calculations have also been “adjusted” over the past few decades by the government to express a more positive view on inflation. If we look at the inflation numbers at Shadowstats, calculated according to the same methods they used in the 1980’s, we see a dramatic increase in CPI which paints a more dire (but more accurate) picture.

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