Category Archives: Money

Broke billionaires (and other ridiculous signs of the top), by Simon Black

A lot of what’s counted as wealth these days will simply vanish when collapse sets in. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

File this one away under ‘completely ridiculous’.

You might have heard that Elon Musk was on trial last week in Los Angeles; he was being sued because he claimed (multiple times) that British spelunker Vernon Unsworth was a pedophile. (He’s not.)

It’s generally damaging to one’s reputation when a world-famous billionaire erroneously calls you one of the worst things anyone could possibly be.  So Unsworth sued for defamation.

Defamation in the United States is actually quite difficult to prove.

In order to win a defamation case in the US, the claimant has to demonstrate that you knowingly said something false, or that you completely disregarded whether or not something was false.

It’s pretty clear that Musk knew his comments were false; he acknowledged that Unsworth is not a pedophile.

But winning a defamation case in the US also requires proving that Musk had the deliberate intent to harm Unsworth’s reputation.  And that’s tough to do.

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The Destruction of Civilization – Implications of Extreme Monetary Interventions, by Claudio Grass

Take interest rates to zero or negative, and you’ve rendered time worthless, at least in a monetary sense. That threatens one of the foundations of civilization. From Claudio Grass at lewrockewell.com:

When I was asked to write an article about the impact of negative interest rates and negative yielding bonds, I thought this is a chance to look at the topic from a broader perspective. There have been lots of articles speculating about the possible implications and focusing on their impact in the short run, but it’s not very often that an analysis looks a bit further into the future, trying to connect money and its effect on society itself.

Qui bono?

Let us begin with a basic question, that lies at the heart of this issue: Who profits from a loan that is guaranteed to pay back less than the amount borrowed? Obviously, it is the borrower and not the lender, which in our case is the government and those closely connected to it. Negative rates and negative yielding bonds, by definition favor the debtors and punish the savers. In addition, these policies are an affront to basic economic principles and to common sense too. They contradict all logical ideas about how money works and they have no basis and no precedent in any organic economic system. Thus, now, in addition to the hidden tax that is inflation, we also have another mechanism that redistributes wealth from the average citizen to those at the top of the pyramid.

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Fiat’s failings, gold and blockchains, by Alasdair Macleod

Alasdair Macleod is the best writer on monetary economics on the Internet. From Macleod at goldmoney.com:

The world stands on the edge of a cyclical downturn, exacerbated by trade tariffs initiated by America. We know what will happen: the major central banks will attempt to inflate their way out of the consequences. And those of us with an elementary grasp of economics should know why the policy will fail.

In addition to the monetary and debt inflation since the Lehman crisis, it is highly likely the major international currencies will suffer a catastrophic loss of purchasing power from a new round of monetary expansion, calling for a replacement of today’s fiat currency system with something more stable. The ultimate solution, unlikely to be adopted, is to reinstate gold as circulating money, and how gold works as money is outlined in this article.

Instead, central banks will struggle for fiat-based solutions, which are bound to face a similar fate with or without the blockchain technology being actively considered. The Asian and BRICS blocs have an opportunity to do something with gold. But will they take it?

Introduction

Central banks around the world are praying that there won’t be a recession, and if there is that a further monetary stimulus will ensure economic recovery. Their problem is Keynesian theory says it will work, but last time it didn’t. In fact, it has never worked beyond a temporary basis. The big surprise this time was the lack of officially recorded price inflation. But this is due to the system gaming the numbers, making it appear there has been some moderate growth when a proper deflator would confirm most Western economies have been contracting in real terms for the last ten years.

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Revenue Collection and Something Else, by Eric Peters

Tickets use to be revenue collection devices. Now they’re part of a design to make driving as painful as possible. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

It used to be that roadside mulctings were primarily, even exclusively, motivated by simple money-lust. Traffic enforcement as a kind of random tax-raising effort.

Many towns and even cities in the United States are extremely dependent on the “revenue” – as it is styled – which is generated by the fleecing of motorists. This is why there are so many “infractions” – and it is why many of them are deliberately contrived so as to assure almost every motorist will be “guilty” of at least one “violation” every time he drives.

Examples include absurdly under-posted speed limits that are often functionally impossible to comply with – unless you want to get run over. And pedantic requirements about exactly where one must stop at a stop sign – and how long one must stop. The touching of a yellow line, etc.

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Climate and the Money Trail, by F. William Engdahl

There’s a lot of green (money) in green (environmental politics). From F. William Engdahl at New Eastern Outlook via lewrockwell.com:

Climate. Now who wudda thought. The very mega-corporations and mega-billionaires behind the globalization of the world economy over recent decades, whose pursuit of shareholder value and cost reduction who have wreaked so much damage to our environment both in the industrial world and in the under-developed economies of Africa, Asia, Latin America, are the leading backers of the “grass roots” decarbonization movement from Sweden to Germany to the USA and beyond. Is it pangs of guilty conscience, or could it be a deeper agenda of the financialization of the very air we breathe and more?

Whatever one may believe about the dangers of CO2 and risks of global warming creating a global catastrophe of 1.5 to 2 degree Celsius average temperature rise in the next roughly 12 years, it is worth noting who is promoting the current flood of propaganda and climate activism.

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See You On the Dark Side of the Moon, by Jim Quinn

Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking, blockbuster album, The Dark Side of the Moon, had much to say about contemporary conditions…46 years ago! From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform:

And if the cloud bursts thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

 Brain Damage, Pink Floyd


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And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

Brain Damage, Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd’s 1973 Dark Side of the Moon album is considered one of the greatest albums of all-time. It stayed on the Billboard 200 charts for 937 weeks. Roger Waters concept was for an album that dealt with things that “make people mad”. The Dark Side of the Moon’s themes include war, conflict, greed, the passage of time, death, and insanity, the latter inspired in part by former band member Syd Barrett’s worsening mental state.

The five tracks on each side reflect various stages of human life, beginning and ending with a heartbeat, exploring the nature of the human experience, and empathy. The themes of this album are timeless and are as germane today as they were forty-six years ago, if not more relevant. The country and world are awash in conflict, driven by the greed of evil men. Decent, law abiding, hard-working, critical thinking Americans see the world going insane as the passage of time leads towards the death of an American empire.

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The Fed Detests Free Markets, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

The Fed is head of the US banking cartel. The last thing it wants is free markets, especially in interest rates and banking risk. Interest rates are to be suppressed, and banking risk socialized. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

To be completely honest, I wrote -most of- the second part of this a while ago, and then I was thinking this first part should be part of the second, if you can still follow me. But it doesn’t really, it’s fine. I wanted to write something to address how little people know and acknowledge about how disastrous central bank policies have been for our societies and economies.

Because they don’t, and they have no clue, largely and simply because of the way central banks are presented both by themselves and by the financial press that covers them. Make that “covers”. Still, going forward, we will have no way to ignore the damage done. All the QE and ZIRP and NIRP will turn out to be so destructive for us all they will rival climate change or actual warfare. That’s what I wanted to talk about.

You see, free markets are a great idea in theory. Or you can call it “capitalism”, or combine the two and say “free market capitalism”. There’s very little wrong with it in theory. You have an enormous multitude of participants in an utterly complex web of transitions, too complex for the human mind to comprehend, and in the end that web figures out what values all sorts of things, and actions etc., have.

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