Category Archives: Money

Bill Gates Wants to Realize Global Vision in His Lifetime, by Joseph Mercola

Few people know how many pies in which Bill Gates has his greedy fingers. From Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:

“Bill Gates — What You Were Not Told,” a segment of the Plandemic documentary,1 reviews the personal and professional background of the Microsoft mogul, Bill Gates. Contrary to popular myth, many see Gates as more of an opportunist than a genius inventor, and the video touches on several of the less honorable moments of his career.

After years of building a reputation as a “ruthless tech monopolizer,” Bill Gates 2.0 was launched with the creation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With this foundation, he reinvented and rebranded himself as one of the world’s most generous philanthropists.

Gates’ Charity Is Not What It Seems

Alas, as noted by AGRA Watch,2 Shiva Vandana, Ph.D., and others, Gates’ brand of philanthropy creates several new problems for each one it solves and can best be described as “philanthrocapitalism.” As noted in the AGRA Watch article, “Philanthrocapitalism: The Gates Foundation’s African Programs Are Not Charity,” published in December 2017, advocates of philanthrocapitalism:3

“… often expect financial returns or secondary benefits over the long term from their investments in social programs. Philanthropy becomes another part of the engine of profit and corporate control. The Gates Foundation’s strategy for ‘development’ actually promotes neoliberal economic policies and corporate globalization.”

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The Dangers Lurking behind a Digital Euro, by Thorsten Polleit

A digital fiat currency is still a fiat currency, with all the drawbacks of a fiat currency without a fiat currency’s one virtue: cash. From Thorsten Polleit at mises.org:

Neosocialist China does it, Sweden does it, and many other states want to do it, too: to issue digitized central bank money for everyone. The European Central Bank (ECB) is also working on such a scheme. It wants to launch “digital euro central bank money” as soon as possible. Many economists praise the project as an “innovation,” as an important and indispensable step in an increasingly digitized world.

The ECB is also keen to make its intentions known, declaring that a digital euro will be accessible for everyone, robust, secure, efficient, and compliant with applicable law. However, it should be clear that the path to becoming a surveillance state regime will accelerate considerably if and when a digital euro is issued. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

A digital euro is not “better money” than the euro that is already in circulation today. The planned digital euro is fiat money, just as much as euro cash and euro bank balances represent fiat money: they are all created “out of nothing” by the ECB, which has the monopoly of euro production. Just as is the case with the existing euro, the quantity of digital euros can be increased at any time, it is backed by nothing, and the digital euro carries a 100 percent risk of devaluation. As noted earlier, a digital euro would be a fiat euro.

The digital euro can either be “account based”—you keep it in an account held with the ECB—or it can be “token based”—money users receive a “token” that can be transferred from smartphone to smartphone via an app. Hoping for “anonymity” in payment transactions would be futile in both cases, one has to fear.

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Are You Easy Prey? by Jeff Thomas

Broke governments, particularly the broke American government, are growing increasingly rapacious. Unfortunately, the only way to protect yourself may be to leave the country. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

easy prey

For many years, I’ve been predicting the coming of a crisis of epic proportions. I’ve focused on the economic and political aspects, although the social aspects will be no less severe.

This is not the stuff of crystal balls, nor is it mere guesswork. The fundamentals for economic crisis have remained essentially the same for thousands of years, and if we’re diligent enough to study history and analyse the present, we can identify the fundamental ingredients of a crisis in the making. Once we’ve done this, the actual prediction of the event itself is no more inspired than recognising that if we have a bomb filled with explosives and we light the fuse, it will go off.

The predicted bomb was long in coming, but in 2020, it arrived on our doorstep and the fuse is lit.

Governments understand that, if they wish to give the shaft to their own citizens and still remain in power, they must deflect blame for their actions to another party.

In 2020, they outdid themselves by creating perhaps the most ingenious distraction ever created. Whether or not the coronavirus was consciously created and/or consciously released, governments’ handling of it has been brilliant.

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Can Governments Stop Bitcoin? by Alex Gladstein

Governments probably can’t stop Bitcoin, and some of them may not want to. From Alex Gladstein at quillette.com:

Since its creation more than 12 years ago, Bitcoin is undefeated. Its price has leaped from $5 to $50 to $500 to $5,000 to now past $50,000. The number of global users has eclipsed 100 million. The system’s network security, number of developers, and new applications are at all-time highs. Dozens of companies including Tesla and Square have started to add Bitcoin to their corporate treasuries.

This worldwide success doesn’t mean that people haven’t tried to stop Bitcoin. The digital money project has in fact survived a variety of attacks which in some cases threatened its existence. There are two main vectors: network attacks on the software and hardware infrastructure, and legal attacks on Bitcoin users. Before we explore them and consider why they failed, let’s start at the beginning.

In January 2009, a mysterious coder going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin, an open-source financial network with big ambitions: to replace central banking with a decentralized, peer-to-peer system with no rulers. It would use a programmable, highly-fungible token that could be spent like electronic cash or saved like digital gold. It would be distributed around the world through a set-in-stone money printing schedule to a subset of users who would compete to secure the network with energy and in return, get freshly minted Bitcoin.

Initially, most were understandably skeptical, and very few paid attention. There had been attempts at creating “ecash” before, and all had failed. No one had been able to figure out how to create a decentralized, incorruptible mint, or how to grow a system that couldn’t be stopped by governments.

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The future of money is gold, by Alasdair Macleod

If the future of money is gold, the future may be golden. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:

This article explains why the successor money to failing fiat is gold, not cryptocurrencies. Cryptos can only act as stores of value so long as fiat exists. I describe how a world transacting with monetary gold and properly constituted gold substitutes works. It explains how and why unbacked bank credit expansion, which in natural Roman law was ruled to be fraudulent 1,800 years ago, can and should be eliminated in a post-fiat world, thereby ending destructive credit cycles.

Gold exchange standards, which are comprised of gold-backed money administered by the state, worked extremely well when properly implemented, and it is the siren songs of inflationism that are at the root of the current crisis. If the transition from worthless fiat back to gold standards is handled properly, an initial recovery to fully functioning economies need not take more than a year or so.

The pressure on future governments to reject inflationism in favour of free markets and sound money should not be underestimated. It is not rocket science. All we need are politicians in whose interests it is to see the light and have the determination to take their electorates with them. It will require them to hand back to individuals the responsibility for their own actions, enabling the requisite cuts in government responsibilities and expenditures to be made.

That child of fiat money, the welfare state and all the government actions to protect it will have to end, with the exception of the absolute basics.

The politicians to facilitate these changes do exist, though their voices are not heard. But the moment fiat collapses, we have good reason to believe they will re-emerge from under the misguided consensus they had been elected to deliver. It will be in their clear interest to do so, and monetary collapse giving birth to civil disruption can be avoided.

Introduction

While there is a growing consensus that the days of fiat currencies are finally drawing to a close, the debate about their successor is misinformed due to a lack of understanding about the qualities required of money. This growing consensus is still a minority view, triggered by cryptocurrencies and bitcoin in particular, with enthusiasts claiming bitcoin to be the money of tomorrow.

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Government Money Destroys Everything it Touches, by Freed Radical

To paraphrase George Harrison: everything government money touches turns to crap. From Freed Radical at theburningplatform.com:

A business friend asked me to attend a meeting where he was pitching a life saving device to an elder care facility’s management. This was a system designed to help prevent grandma from hurting herself accidentally. So there we were with the campus administrator and a couple other people, one of whom was the staff federal government insurance expert.

As my friend glided through slide after slide of how this innovation was going to save lives, save money, and avoid lawsuits, with every new feature the head administrator looked at the insurance expert and asked one question: “Is this reimbursable under Medicare?”

The administrator asked us no questions whatsoever. There was no concern over how much money they would save, how easy the system is to use, what it costs, or what reduction in lawsuits could they expect. No, the only question was, would the taxpayers pay the bill?

Then last year I made an appointment for a physical at a doctor’s office where I was a new patient. The lady asked me on the phone for my insurance information. I told her I would pay cash. Silence. “Hold on.”

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By Big Government For Big Government, by MN Gordon

Inflation is a tool of big government. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

One of the notable byproducts of the current age of unreason is the popularity of lies as a matter of public policy.  We’ll clarify this claim in just a moment.  But first, some context is in order…

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.3 percent in January.  Not bad, so long as you didn’t have to drive anywhere.  If you did, you may have noticed your dollars didn’t get you as far.  The gasoline index increased 7.4 percent in January.

What’s going on?

Over the last 10-months the price of oil has quietly recovered from an extreme negative in April of 2020 to over $58 for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude.  And the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index is at its highest level since July 2014.  The main factors contributing to its rise are increases in grain prices.

Our hunch is that consumer prices will rise much further and faster in 2021 than the bean counters at the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipate.  In the interim, manufacturers of consumable products can mask price inflation by reducing product size, while keeping price the same.  The ruse of shrinkflation is not new to the marketplace.  However, when governments over issue their currency it becomes much more prevalent.

Just last week, for instance, Nutella confirmed that it will reduce its 400 gram jars to 350 grams due to rising production costs.  But that’s not all.  In 2020, packages of Nathan’s Pretzel Dogs were reduced from five hotdogs to four.

Other common products that shrunk in 2020 include: Downey Unstoppables (10 oz to 8.6 oz), Charmin Ultra Strong (286 sheets to 264), Dawn (small bottle, 8 oz to 7 oz), Lay’s Potato Chips (party bag, 15.25 oz to 13 oz), Keebler Club Crackers (13.7 oz to 12.5 oz), Charmin Mega roll (reduced by 20 sheets), Powerade (32-oz to 28 oz), Puffs (56 tissues to 48), and Hershey’s kisses (family size bags reduced from 18 oz to 16 oz).

Of course, manufacturers are just playing the hand they’ve been dealt.  They know consumers are more likely to limit purchases due to a rise in price verses a reduction in weight.  They’re merely reacting to the rising price of raw goods and materials.  But what’s driving this?

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Crazy days for money, by Alasdair Macleod

You may be buying and selling with gold- and silver-backed money sooner than you think. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:

This article anticipates the end of the fiat currency regime and argues why its replacement can only be gold and silver, most likely in the form of fiat money turned into gold substitutes.

It explains why the current fashion for cryptocurrencies, led by bitcoin, are unsuited as future mediums of exchange, and why unsuppressed bitcoin has responded more immediately to the current situation than gold. Furthermore, the US authorities are likely to suppress the bitcoin movement because it is a threat to the dollar and monetary policy.

This article explains why growth in GDP represents growth in the quantity of money and is not representative of activity in the underlying economy. The authorities’ monetary response to the current economic situation is ill-informed, based on a misunderstanding of what GDP represents.

The common belief in the fund management community that rising interest rates are bad for gold exposes a lack of understanding about the consequences of monetary inflation on relative time preferences. Rising interest rates will be with us shortly, and they will burst the bond bubble with negative consequences for all financial assets and the currencies that have inflated them.

In short, we are sitting on a monetary powder-keg, the danger of which is barely understood by policy makers and which could explode at any time.

Introduction

We have entered a period the likes of which we have never seen before. The collapse of the dollar and dollar assets is growing increasingly certain by the day. The money-printing of the dollar designed to inflate assets will end up destroying the dollar. We know this thanks to the John Law precedent three hundred years ago. I last wrote about this two weeks ago, here. In 1720, it was just France and Law’s livre. Admittedly, the British had their South Sea bubble at about the same time, but it was the Mississippi bubble which proved that if you print money to puff up asset prices, you end up destroying the currency when the bubble bursts. The Bank of England didn’t make that mistake, but today led by the Fed that is precisely what most central banks are doing. John Law has become global.

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Is This The Biggest Financial Bubble Ever? Hell Yes It Is, by John Rubino

It’s hard to argue with John Rubino; this is undoubtedly the biggest financial bubble ever. From Rubino at dollarcollapse.com:

If you’re over 40 you’ve lived through at least three epic financial bubbles: junk bonds in the 1980s, tech stocks in the 1990s, and housing in the 2000s. Each was spectacular in its own way, and each threatened to take down the whole financial system when it burst.

But they pale next to what’s happening today. Where those past bubbles were sector-specific, which is to say the mania and resulting carnage occurred mostly within one asset class, today’s bubble is spread across, well, pretty much everything – hence the term “everything bubble.”

When this one pops there won’t be a lot of hiding places.

Way too much money
Most bubbles start when an influx of outside cash sends the price of something up dramatically. This captures the imagination of the broader investing public and the process takes on a life of its own, culminating in an orgy of bad decisions and eventually a wipe-out of the easy fortunes made on the way up.

So to understand the everything bubble, let’s start at the beginning with that influx of outside money. This time it’s coming from the Federal Reserve in what can only be described as the mother of all print runs. M2, a medium-broad measure of the US money supply, has more than tripled so far in this century, and lately the arc has gone vertical, rising by nearly a third in just the past year.

M2 everything bubble

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The GameStop Saga Unravels Stakeholder Theory, by Jeff Deist

If a corporation is the property of everyone who claims to be a “stakeholder,” then true property rights, the hallmark of human progress and individual rights, are obliterated. From Jeff Deist at mises.org:

The GameStop saga shows some “equity” movements are more equal than others.

Stakeholder theory, the corporate version of social justice, attempts to install this hopelessly amorphous concept of “equity” in the business world. Equity, unlike equality, demands different treatment of individuals and different distribution of resources based on need, identity, and historical injustices. But now equity has evolved beyond a political buzzword, and finds growing support in calls for stakeholder capitalism. The animating impulse in big corporate boardrooms today requires cultivating an image of social responsibility. Under this theory business firms should entertain all kinds of noneconomic goals and outcomes. No longer may owners simply concern themselves with profit or loss, but instead must consider the broader societal implications of everything their business does. Whether corporate leaders concern themselves with social justice out of genuine desire or merely to avoid backlash is an open question, but the events of 2020 clearly changed the conversations in boardrooms.

Under the old conception, businesses have four primary elements, namely owners, managers, employees (or vendors), and customers. All four have skin in the game, which is to say their own money or income is involved. The notion of stakeholders inverts this paradigm and grants a degree of power over ostensibly private businesses to those who take no risks and provide no benefit. By undermining the suddenly old-fashioned idea of profit and loss as the guiding principle for business, stakeholder theory calls into question the very existence of millions of businesses big and small—in fact their grubby and narrow focus is simply to make money.

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