Category Archives: Economics

September 11th, and why Money does not Exist

9/11/2015 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

September 11th has become a day of remembrance in what was formerly the land of the free.  The horrific spectacle of the events that unfolded in New York and Washington that infamous day will be forever etched in the memory of our generation.  While we did not realize it at the time, it was the day that the United States lost a great deal of freedoms.

The external restrictions that have been imposed on society post 9/11 are well documented.  The passage of the Patriot Act has given the government carte blanche when it comes to surveillance and disregard for due process.  While these practices have always been employed to some degree, the Patriot Act in a sense legitimized them.

Perhaps more devastating, however, has been the mental shift that 9/11 caused in the thought of US Citizens.  Pre 9/11/2001, the US was a place where truly anything was possible, it was the Land of the Free, the sky was the limit.  Humankind had just “survived” the Y2K non-catastrophic event and credit flowed freely.

More importantly, though, our minds were free.

Naturally, we can only speak of our own experience, but we would be willing to bet that many who lived these events would agree.  Pre 9/11, the United States was a completely different country.

Ironically, 9/11/2001 was the day after we had been laid off from our first job.  We had cornered ourselves in Internal Audit, which for the uninitiated, is the first department to get the axe when cost cutting measures are employed.  Really, who wants to pay people to tell them what they are doing wrong all day unless they can justify the expense?

We received the memo and our final check on the 10th.  On the 11th, we woke up to the first day of freedom that we could recall, turned on Good Morning America, and watched the events unfold.  At that point they were speculating that the first tower was some sort of small aircraft accident.  A caller from New Jersey was on and said, with a grave seriousness in his voice, that it was not a small aircraft, but a commercial airliner.   Then, on live television, the second airplane hit the second tower.  We are embedding a YouTube video of this moment for those who did not see it.  Please be advised that it is indeed disturbing and skip it if you do not want to be shocked:

It was at that point that we knew something bigger than ourselves was occurring, and God had set us there to PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT WAS GOING ON!  We were new to Christianity, true Christianity, and had begun to truly commune with God over the past several months.  To those who have not had similar conversations with the creator, this will sound strange, but God does speak quite clearly to those who are paying attention.

Anyway, God said, “It’s time.”

This has set our life on a completely different course, one that you, fellow taxpayer, are now a part of.

Ah yes, we were going to explain why money does not exist, at least not in the sense that most understand it.

The Federal Reserve is set to meet in September.  There is an expectation that they will raise interest rates.  However, there is also a sense that the economy is somehow still in a funk.  What is the Fed to do?

We postulated earlier this year that the Fed would sooner raise interest rates than end its QE money printing programs.  We were wrong, QE ended before rates increased.  However, we hold out the spectre that, eventually, perhaps this month, the Fed will need to increase its target rate.  When it does, it will cause big problems for large banks.   Banks will need a buyer for the masses of Treasuries they have to hold as a result of Dodd-Frank.  The Fed will buy them at cost (not market, as their market value will be dropping), effectively reinstating their QE program.

They will raise rates on the short end and work to maintain lower than natural long rates.  Anything else would spell disaster for the economy.

Why can the Fed employ QE (electronic money printing) in the first place?  Because money does not exist.  What we use as money is really credit.  Credit and Money are opposite elements in the realm of economics.  They should cancel each other out.

Now that Money is credit, the productive activities of humankind are aligning themselves in direct conflict with the needs of the natural world.  And the chasing of non-existent money is causing humankind to strip mine the earth.

Will we learn in time?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for September 11, 2015

Copper Price per Lb: $2.43
Oil Price per Barrel:  $44.79

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.62
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.19%
Bitcoin price in US:  $240.28
FED Target Rate:  0.14% 
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,106

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):   0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,330
M1 Monetary Base:  $3,132,300,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $12,088,500,000,000

Our Latest Audio Book and Why the Fed will take Baby Steps

6/6/2015 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Bitcoins: What they are and how to use them
Bitcoins: What they are and how to use them

Recently we have been working with some wonderful producers to make many of our volumes here at The Mint available in audio format.  The experience has been great as those with talent in the voice department, such as Robert Fox, who brought our newest audio offering, Bitcoins:  What they are and how to use them, to life.

We imagine the producers get a good chuckle as they read our prose, to which Long-suffering readers of The Mint are accustomed.  We know we do!

Why the Fed will take Baby Steps when it comes to raising rates

The US Economy added 280,000 jobs in May of 2015, which was positive no matter how you slice it.  To our readers, this should come as no surprise, every one of our key indicators indicates an economy that is roaring ahead.  Take the price of oil, which continues to hover near the $60 per barrel mark.  While to some, a lower oil price may signal weakness in demand due to a slowdown in underlying activity, we see it as incredibly positive for US consumers, as oil, which translates into gasoline prices, acts as a quasi tax for many consumers whose demand is relatively inelastic.

We also see the steady prices of copper, around $2.70 per ounce, and corn, clocking in at $3.60 per bushel, as signs that the United States economy is on extremely solid footing looking ahead.  These prices tend to tank when bad omens are on the horizon.

The only negative (depending upon who you are), as reflected in the Jobs report, is that wages have not risen at a healthy pace.  This is great for employers and the Fed, who can maintain their margins on the backs of the working class, but not so good for those employed.

We sense this will change, as the productivity gains of the past several years are not likely to replicate themselves over the next several.  The economy is transitioning to the second half of the chessboard (as Thomas Friedman would say) and it will take a ton of work to get it there.  Once it is there, we will see hyperactivity in the economy, it will be a whirlwind that people will either embrace or run direct the other way from.  To an extent, humankind will benefit, but mother nature will suffer perhaps a fatal blow.

If proletariat wages remain low, then why has the stock market reacted negatively to what would otherwise be considered most excellent news?  We can only guess that equity traders, who at times are clairvoyant to their own detriment, look around at the plethora of good news and smell a Fed rate hike on the horizon.

They are correct, of course.  However, we believe that the Fed learned its lesson back in 2008.  The blind 0.25 per month basis hikes that were implemented to cool off the sizzling post 9/11 economy were blunt and oversized for the sheer breadth of the Fed’s economic sphere of influence.  It is doubtful we will see such blunt and misguided policy from the current Fed.

Instead, we see baby steps, increases of 0.01 basis points emitted over time so that the economy can absorb the shocks in a manageable way, rather than taking them square on the kisser as it did in 2008.

Will it work?  Only time will tell, but for the moment the US economy looks like it’s running full speed ahead, and nobody at the Fed is interested in being the next Ben Bernanke.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for June 6, 2015

Copper Price per Lb: $2.69
Oil Price per Barrel:  $59.13

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.60
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.40%
Bitcoin price in US:  $227.55
FED Target Rate:  0.13%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,172

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.5%
Inflation Rate (CPI):   0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  17,849
M1 Monetary Base:  $3,029,600,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,853,900,000,000

Obama comes to Portlandia

5/7/2015 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

For those unaware, the Portland metro area is playing host to President Barack Obama.  While we had no idea why he is here, we have been made keenly aware of the traffic perils that await us over the next 24 hours.  Highways randomly shut in both directions, entire areas of the city impassable by car, rail, or bicycle (perish the thought).  Such is the cost of playing host to the world’s most heavily guarded human being.

Obama Ponders the lubricant of free trade that the TPP will unleash
Obama Ponders the lubricant of free trade that the TPP will unleash

After some careful research (roughly 40 characters typed in a google search) we now know that he has come to promote something called the “Trans-Pacific Partnership,” which we have heard described as “NAFTA on steroids.”  He has chosen the Nike campus, which is a mere 10 minute walk from where The Mint resides, to tout what would be his crowning achievement, a free trade agreement that exterminates what remains of US-based manufacturing once and for all.

His choice of Nike, who in a sense pioneered the practice of exploiting cheap overseas labor, has drawn reactions of shock and awe from socialists and unions alike.

First, the Daily Kos, where an author known as “davej” lays out the case against Nike by alluding to sweatshops and child labor, and feigns disgust at the irony that Obama would choose Nike to hold his rally there.  For good measure, the article ends with instruction on where to meet at Nike to stage a protest as the President speaks.

The AFL-CIO produced a video enlisting not only American workers but also workers from other countries throughout the Pacific Rim to denounce TPP as a job killer and an enemy of organized labor.  You can see it below:

Finally, Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Socialist and current 2016 Presidential candidate, bemoans the fact that a $320 pair of LeBron XII Elite iD shoes can be sold in America but not made in America.  Comrade Sanders, we admire your zeal yet find your logic vexing.

We have no clue what the TPP will do, but generally speaking, free trade is good, and will ultimately benefit everyone.  However, circa 2015, there is a fly in the ointment that makes Free Trade act as a lubricant on the once slow-moving machinery of global warming:  Debt based currency.

Federal Reserve Notes:  A License to Strip Mine the Earth

While it is fine and well the TPP will enable American consumers to consume at theoretically better prices that those that they already enjoy thanks to pioneers like Phil Knight and Sam Walton, all of this consumption comes at a steep price, both in terms of human suffering and the environmental impact of removing barriers to trade.

While we would love to appeal to a moral high ground, such as the author at the Daily Kos and the AFL-CIO do in their opposition to the TPP, we cannot.  Instead, we appeal to our own at times infallible logic on the matter.

The TPP and the associated increase in trade along the Pacific Rim that it will enable will cause an unprecedented amount of debt based currency to come into being and begin to circulate.  While most persons have been trained to think of debt based currency as money, we offer a new definition:

Debt based currency is a license to strip mine the earth, and entirely too many of them have been issued already.

Yes, when you circulate debt based currency (and on the planet today it is nearly impossible not to) by buying and selling in it, you are sending an erroneous economic signal to the rest of humanity.  When you purchase the above mentioned Lebron James Michael Jordan wannabe shoes from Nike, you simply want the shoes to put on your feet.  However, what you are saying to Phil Knight and his minions is, “design a shoe that I and 50 of my closest friends will drool over, then drill deep into the earth and extract petroleum with which to run the machines that will make the shoe, then hire labor as cheaply as possible to run the machines and assemble the shoe, kill some cows for leather, pull latex from plants or manmade processes, create dyes to color the shoe just so, and do whatever it takes to bring together the raw materials by which to bring my dream shoe into being.”

Now the production of the shoe and all of the related activities that it spawns would be fine and well were the shoes to be paid for with real money.  However, consumers, no matter what country they are in, pay for things in debt based currency, meaning currency which comes into being on a whim, and derives its value by acting as a hot potato, causing any number of unnecessary or non-beneficial activities to be envisioned and carried out by mankind on a daily basis without a natural counterbalance to said activities.

In layman’s terms, when one is purchasing a product using debt based currency, they are by no means engaging in “fair trade,” despite what the label says, they are trading nothing for something, something that the earth and its inhabitants had to be strip-mined and enslaved to create.  For the wants and needs of mankind are limitless, and, when enabled by a limitless supply of debt based currency, cause a chain reaction of 1) increased human activity which leads to 2) increased impact on the environment without a counterbalancing activity of resource replenishment, human or natural, elsewhere in the broad swath of economic activity on the planet.

Federal Reserve notes and their foreign counterparts are nothing more than a license to strip mine the earth and its inhabitants of resources well ahead of their ability to replenish them.  Mother Nature is now in the second half of the Chessboard, will we turn in our license before it’s too late?  Or will we drive nature and ourselves off of the proverbial cliff?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for May 7, 2015

Copper Price per Lb: $2.90
Oil Price per Barrel:  $58.72

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.57
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.18%
Bitcoin price in US:  $236.53
FED Target Rate:  0.13%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,184

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.5%
Inflation Rate (CPI):   0.2%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  17,924
M1 Monetary Base:  $3,100,000,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,824,300,000,000

The US Economy Turns Green in Time for St. Patrick’s Day

3/17/2015 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

1 oz .999 Fine Silver Round Irish Green Enamel Four-Leaf Clover With Display Box
1 oz .999 Fine Silver Round Irish Green Enamel Four-Leaf Clover With Display Box

A Happy early St. Patrick’s Day to our long-suffering readers of The Mint, who know we have an affinity for the color green, specifically the tone which can be found on the coin pictured to the left.

We have been buried deep in a classic accounting “busy season” of our own design, as, along with our regular duties, we have stumbled upon a vein persons ready to move their accounting systems into the cloud along with a cadre of brilliant entrepreneurs who need solid advice in terms of accounting and systems.  This work has gone nicely with our goal of mastering the tax trade this winter and spring.  We have also managed to produce our first audio version, What is Truth?  On the Nature of Empire (check it out here).

Together, it has made little time for reflection.  Alas,  this is the life of a farmer. When the season to work comes over us, we work day and night, knowing a season of rest waits.

Due to our numbers related tarries, the last time we took a glance at the US economy for long enough to write about it was October 3rd of last year, according to our records.

At that time, when the stated Unemployment rate was 5.9%, we sensed back then that it did not matter as the FED was set on continuing its Zero Interest Rate Policy until its member banks were safely in the clear, and that the US Labor market was getting extremely tight.

In case you are wondering, ZIRP and tight labor markets, taken together, is a recipe for explosive economic growth.  Five short months later, it appears that the feast is nearly ready, and the US economy is about to eat it.

First, let’s check in on Unemployment, which stands at 5.5%. According to the March 9th jobs report, US Job Creation has never been stronger:

US Job Creation
US Job Creation

And that momentum in the labor market is hotter than it was in 2005 – 2006:

Labor Market Momentum
Labor Market Momentum

And you have a labor market that has not been seen since the end of WWII.

But what about Wage Growth? It is tame, a 0.2% drop, in fact, if the BLS is to be believed. However, the NFIB Compensation Plans Indicator and the Employment cost Index are on the rise, meaning American workers are enjoying a rare (long overdue, we might add) post 1971 gain in real wages before the CPI, which clocked in at 0.7% (still well under the FED’s target), overtakes them.

Wage growth and Inflation
Wage growth and Inflation go hand in hand

And this chart seems to indicate that the tightening rental market may be the match that starts the Wage/Price spiral in motion:

Tight Rental Market
Tight Rental Market

We’re not sure about other metro areas, but rental and housing markets in Portland are ‘en fuego,’ with apologies to Dan Patrick.

What does it all mean? No one can be certain, but here are a couple of guesses:

1) The US Economy will once again become the envy of the world, despite itself. Yes, even with Obama care and other political and economic landmines strewn around it, the US economy is on pace to surpass the growth rates of developing nations, soon to be known as last decade’s darlings:

US to blow past emerging markets
US to blow past emerging markets

2) US Workers are likely to get healthy wages from healthy companies. Unhealthy companies will be gutted in this brain drain and fail.

3) Paradoxically, corporate profit margins will continue to increase as productivity gains continue.

4) Housing premiums, in terms of rent and home sales, are about to soar.

5) Interest rates will not go up until the markets yank them up by their shirt collar and hold them up against the wall, the FED will keep short-term rates low and allow the banks to recapitalize on the backs of the US economic miracle:

No Rate Hike coming
No Rate Hike coming

6) There will be no “Grexit” to spoil things.  Despite European claims to clairvoyance, it was the US who established the Euro zone (and its predecessor treaties) as the vital space for a revitalized German industrial base in the wake of WWII (more on this in our upcoming review of “The Global Minotaur” which was ironically written by a Greek economist).  Circa 2014, the Euro currency zone exists for the sole benefit of Germany and to an extent France.  The rest of Europe would be better off without it, which is why Germany and the pan euro banks will hold it together with an iron fist, not matter how futile the effort, or how far they have to bend the rules.

7) The Chicago River will turn green, and a record amount of beer will be sold tomorrow in honor of St. Patrick

Be safe out there as the Luck of the Irish and the ignorance of the FED paints the US Economy green for the foreseeable future!

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Key Indicators for March 16, 2015

Copper Price per Lb: $2.65
Oil Price per Barrel:  $43.68

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.79
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.10%
Bitcoin price in US: $289.87
FED Target Rate:  0.11%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,154

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.5%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.7%

Dow Jones Industrial Average:  17,977
M1 Monetary Base:  $3,069,400,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,883,100,000,000

Digital Silver

1/11/2015 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

A belated happy new year to our fellow taxpayers. While the pages of The Mint have been quiet, The Mint himself has been pressing forward on a number of initiatives. Perhaps the most notable being our renewed interest in Tax Planning and preparation, which is a natural complement to our virtual CFO and associated services. More to come on that.

Long-suffering readers of The Mint are well aware of our views on monetary theory. Throughout the ages, true money has generally taken the form of gold and/or silver. However, for roughly 44 years now, mankind has been on an extremely dangerous experiment in which debt has come to take the place of money in everyday transactions. While it may seem a completely normal manner of transacting business today, it is lost on most that money and debt are actually polar opposites. They are meant to cancel each other out in trade and, in doing so, maintain the quantity of one another and by extension all of world trade and economic activity, in balance.

However, when money becomes debt, then debt can only be cancelled by the issuance of more debt, which means that the primary impulse of all economic activity is not a well thought out response to the laws of supply and demand, but a response to whether or not the supply of debt instruments in the world is increasing or decreasing.

The period between 2008 and 2013 has been marked by a relative stagnation in what was until then a steady wave of increasing credit post 1971. This stagnation was almost fatal to the debt based monetary system that, by definition, counts on an infinite expansion in the quantity of debt for its very existence.

The current expansion, which began in 2014 and is set to accelerate through 2015 and beyond, is already causing cosmic shifts in the economy. Old, established companies and brands are being supplanted by a phenomenon that is best exemplified by social media platforms: Hyper focused content delivery and a wholesale fragmentation of what were, just five years ago, long-established norms around consumer behavior. Large brands are losing the edge as consumers can increasingly tailor the content that passes by their eyeballs on social media and, further, consume almost any type of media on demand.

This shift is once again propelling a large wave of growth, which means that soon, consumers will begin to demand increasing amounts of credit so that they can underwrite their various individual activities necessitated by this shift.

What place does Silver have in this brave new world? At $16.57 an ounce, physical silver is taking a short breather as the world’s best investment. However, a new form of Silver is rising to take its place.

Silver Money
Digital Silver in the form of unsecured credit at your fingertips

Silver Money Service is a simple mobile app that filters hundreds of credit card offers to help you find unsecured credit that suits your needs. While at first this may seem an elementary concept, the utility of the Silver app, which is currently available for Android and iPhone, cannot be overstated.

As much as we are loath to admit it, most consumers will need to increase their credit footprint over the coming year in order to keep pace with inflation. What the Silver app does is simply save consumers tens if not hundreds of hours sifting through credit card offers in the mail and on the internet.  By asking a few simple questions, Silver guides the user to the current credit card offerings that are best suited to their needs.

How does it work?  As we mentioned above, the app asks the user a simple, multiple-choice question:

  1. Which type of card are you looking for?
    • Rewards
    • Cash back
    • Low Interest
    • Bad Credit

From there, it asks the user a second, again multiple choice question based on their response to the first in order to tailor its results to the user’s unique credit needs.  The app then presents a list of the relevant credit card offers alongside buttons that allow the user to contact the credit card provider directly via telephone, email, or directly at their website.


Silver’s refreshingly simple and intuitive approach to assisting consumers in expanding their credit footprint.  You can download this handy app that the Google Play store and the iPhone App Store today and get a head start on your peers.

While physical silver will always be a safe harbor, the Silver app may prove more useful over the coming years as a way to fund the next wave of credit expansion. Even if you are a gold or silver bug, you can use the Silver app to get a credit card to get ahead of the curve by ordering your next tube of rounds or silver bars from your favorite bullion dealer.

For in the blow off phase, it won’t matter how much unsecured debt one has to pay back, but what real assets one has on hand to confront the gradual disintegration of the real economy.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Key Indicators for January 11, 2015

Copper Price per Lb: $2.79
Oil Price per Barrel (WTI):  $47.58

Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.00
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.97%
Bitcoin price in US: $276.80
FED Target Rate:  0.12%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,225

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.6%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.3%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  17,737
M1 Monetary Base:  $3,157,800,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,769,400,000,000

The Bank of Russia Dwarfed in Oil Price War

12/3/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

In case you haven’t been following our key indicators lately, the price of oil has taken a nosedive over the past three months, falling nearly 30% from late September. If you drive an SUV or run an airline, this is great news. If you are Russian or in some way invested in or employed by US based shale oil operations or work extracting oil from the Alberta Tar Sands, this is bad news.

First, let’s take a look at the effects on Russia, which have dominated the headlines. The Russian economy is heavily reliant on oil and has one of the largest petroleum industries in the world. It has the world’s eighth largest oil reserves and is the largest exporter of oil in the world in absolute numbers. Since the chart below, which highlights the rise of Russia’s productive capacity and post cold war era export capacity, was produced in by Plazak back in 2013, Russian production has continued its study rise through 2014, posting a post-Soviet record of 10.61 million barrels per day in September.

Russian Oil Production
Russian Oil Production Chart By Plazak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Further, Russia produces approximately 73 barrels of oil per day per 1,000 inhabitants, compared with approximately 37 barrels of oil per day produced in the US per 1,000 people.

Oh yes, and it has been reported that the 2015-2017 budget forecast of the Russian Government was based on the assumption of oil being priced at $100 per barrel (they are now revising it to around $85, $20 some dollars ago in the real world). Unlike the most of us in the US, that is a revenue assumption for them.

Financial markets are watching this and licking their chops, Russia is a short no matter how you slice it. Their oil industry and economy live in a world that ceased to exist about the time the price of oil spiked and drove the world’s largest consumers, the US, to search for alternatives.

The Russian Central Bank has spent at least $82 Billion in its foreign exchange reserves through October of 2014 in what has proven a feeble effort to prop up the Ruble. It spent $700 million on Monday alone, and it is not working. Were the heads of the Russian Central Bank thinking a bit more clearly, they may have been wise to carefully intervene in the oil markets before their currency got lashed. Alas, the Central Bankers of the World are seldom blessed with the gift of clairvoyance.

Bank of Russia
The Bank of Russia should have bought oil

But what about the US? As the world’s largest oil producer at nearly 12 million barrels a day, won’t the United States economy fall victim to the latest drop in oil prices as well? That is the premise of Michael Snyder, writing over at The Economic Collapse blog:

Guess What Happened The Last Time The Price of Oil Crashed Like This?…

While Snyder does make some compelling points about the 1.7 million jobs that the fracking boom has produced, the US is nowhere near Russia in terms of oil price dependency for its economic health.

We have three concrete reasons that we place forward for your inspection, fellow taxpayer, as to why the impact on the US will be minimal or even positive:

1) While the US produces 12 million barrels per day, it consumes 18.8 million barrels. As such, the higher price of oil still works as a quasi tax on the US as opposed to a concrete revenue source.

2) The US economy is the most dynamic on the planet. As long as credit is available, it will create jobs.

3) The Fed is still in a mode of underpinning the economy and has maintained its unconditional guarantee of the post financial crisis stock and bond markets. They would quickly contain the oil based junk bond issue that Snyder brings up.

The US economy is eternally susceptible to one thing and one thing only, a sustained decrease in consumer credit and government debt, neither of which is likely in the near term. While the Fed has hinted at raising rates, the current crisis in Russia, if anything, gives them sway to keep their various stimuli in place or on the ready as the crisis is feeding dollar strength, so the Fed doesn’t have to.

It will not always be so, as the Fed itself will one day implode on its own merits (or lack thereof). For the moment, it is the Bank of Russia playing the jester in this play.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Key Indicators for December 3, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $2.92
Oil Price per Barrel (WTI):  $67.10

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.68
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.29%
Bitcoin price in US: $377.28
FED Target Rate:  0.13%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,205

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.8%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  17,880
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,765,000,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,607,000,000,000

What created the Bolivian Economic Miracle?

10/27/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

For those who do not follow Bolivian Politics, Evo Morales has one a third term as President of the South American nation we are happy to call our second home.

Evo Morales - President of Bolivia in Brazil 2007
Evo Morales – President of Bolivia, photo taken December 17, 2007 in Brazil by Marcello Casal Jr. of Agencia Brasil http://www.agenciabrasil.gov.br/media/imagens/2007/12/17/1840MC44.jpg

As Morales is seen as a Socialist hero, his reelection coincided with a deluge of praise for his hand in the Bolivian Economic miracle that has unfolded over the past 10 years from the left.  It seemed to start with an article from the New York Times back in February, which highlights Morales’ success and the paradox that it presents.  On one hand, he is a, well, a proclaimed Socialist.  On the other, he runs a balanced budget and has largely rejected the advice of the IMF and other financial overlords of the world:

Turnabout in Bolivia as Economy Rises from Instability

Then, a widely read article in the Guardian, where the author makes the bold claim that “socialism doesn’t damage economies,” which sparked a swift reaction from the neo-con/neo-lib right.

Evo Morales has proved (sic) that socialism doesn’t damage economies

It is true that the Bolivian economy has grown at a mighty pace over the past 10 years, however, to simplify this miracle to solitary policy changes such as the legalization of coca farming, a deeply personal matter for Morales, or other various social policies noted by the authors is to miss the point completely.

As a public service, we present to you today the short list of reasons why Bolivia is experiencing an economic miracle in the eyes of many Westerners:

  • Benford’s Law, which would account for Bolivia’s rapid relative growth. As a country, it was near the bottom of many world measures in terms of economic statistics.  As such, things tend to go up from a low level quickly on a relative basis.
  • Currency policy: The Boliviano trades tightly with the USD similar to the Yuan.  This is due to the fact that much of the country’s savings are held in dollars.  Currency stability = real growth
  • Legalize it: While the legalization of coca is controversial, the removal of regulations has opened up a wild west of trade and attendant economic activity.
  • Anarchy reigns: Ever since Simon Bolivar freed it from Spanish rule in 1825, Bolivia has had 81 Presidents and been ruled by various “Juntas” or forms of military rule 9 times.  By contrast, the US has been around for 50 years longer and had just 44 Presidents.  If our theory that Anarchy produces stability holds, it would follow that the Bolivian economy is one of the most resilient on the planet, one that cannot help but grow from a solid base.
  • Evo’s Charisma: While Evo Morales is often chided, he is simple and lovable at heart, an anomaly in the cesspool of modern politics.  He has drawn a great deal of positive attention to Bolivia as the first indigenous President in the nation’s history.  This has given Bolivia international exposure not before seen.
  • The Open Letter: While it is a longshot, perhaps Evo has read our open letter to him and is secretly implementing our policy proposals.
  • While Bolivia was extremely poor in the eyes of the world, yet rich in so many ways.

We love Bolivia, it is one of the most precious, pristine, and complicated places on the planet and we are honored to call it our second home.  While speculation as to what has caused the current economic miracle there will continue, we know one thing to be true:

It is Bolivia’s time.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Key Indicators for October 27, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $3.08
Oil Price per Barrel (WTI):  $80.66

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.63
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.26%
Bitcoin price in US:  $350.95
FED Target Rate:  0.09%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,225

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):   0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,818
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,747,700,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,514,900,000,000