Category Archives: The Mint

The ECB negative rate announcement is a cannibalistic non-event

6/22/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

On June 5th, the European Central Bank made modern Central Banking history by providing the world with its first announcement of what they call a negative interest rate. For those who may be scratching their heads at the concept of a negative interest rate, we offer the following layman’s definition:

It is a commission that is charged every month for holding too many Euros in the wrong place.

In the mind of the clever central banker, a negative interest rate provides a simple disincentive to hoard Euros. In his or her mind, the way to invigorate the European economy is to force Euros into circulation by turning them into a sort of hot potato, though at -0.10% the analogy is more akin to a potato emanating scarcely enough heat to melt a pat of butter.

Following the infallible logic of the central banker, the banks will take the money and lend it, as putting 100% of deposits at risk via a loan in a terribly disjointed economic zone is clearly a better alternative that loosing a guaranteed 0.10% annually by parking it overnight at the ECB.

This would be a brilliant solution were the simple hoarding of Euros the only thing ailing the Euro system. Unfortunately for the ECB and indeed, Euro holders in general, the problem with the Euro is that it is dying a strange death at the hands of deflation and strangulating the European economy in the process. Following this set of facts, it would hold that the safer bet for those who find themselves holding excess Euros would be to pay down higher rate liabilities in lieu of holding Euros overnight at the cannibalistic ECB, whose actions, while for the moment are foreseen to be a non-event, will ultimately lead to an implosion of the 15 year-old Euro currency.

What is lost on the European central bank is that they are managing a debt-based currency that looks like money but smells something much different. While charging a commission on bank deposits in hopes of getting currency flowing again may seem a good idea, the dynamics of the debt-based currency make this strategy akin to economic suicide.  Fabian for Liberty appears to take a slightly different slant on the subject and arrives at the same conclusion:

Debt is the lifeblood of modern currency, and a large part of what gives debt based currency its allure is the illusion of getting something for nothing in the form of usury. On June 5th, the ECB pierced the veil on interest rates and the illusion of getting something for nothing along with it. This has never been attempted by a modern monetary authority, and once again the ECB has shown that if there are errors to be made in the management of debt based currency, they are willing to make it.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for June 22, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $3.10
Oil Price per Barrel:  $106.83

Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.53
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.62%
Bitcoin price in US: $599.07
FED Target Rate:  0.10%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,315

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  6.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.4%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,947
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,728,900,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,306,300,000,000

The Great Work of Janet Yellen

3/29/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

“…Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, ‘Come, let us meet together in the villages in the plain of Ono.’ But they intended to harm me.

            I sent messengers to them, saying, ‘I am doing a great work, so that I can’t come down.  Why should the work cease, while I leave it, and come down to you?’  They send to me four times like this; and I answered them the same way…”

– Nehemiah 6:3

Nearly 30 days and nights have passed since our last correspondence, fellow taxpayer, and we, like Nehemiah, have only one excuse:

We are doing a great work.

Nehemiah’s great work, referred to above, was to rebuild Jerusalem, the Holy City.  He found that, though he had been given authority to perform the work, on the ground, he often encountered hostility and detriments to the work that came from quarters where he had reason to expect help or, at a minimum, indifference.

Our great work at the moment, fellow taxpayer, is to concurrently rebuild a Fiscal department and restore an accounting record that has fallen into disrepair, all while undergoing an annual audit and responding to the day-to-day tasks and myriad of reporting requests which come with the territory of modern financial management.

{Editor’s Note:  While it is a subject for another day, we must comment on the tool of the trade that is being employed in the great work, the Yardi Voyager accounting software.  We last touched Yardi over 10 years ago and, while the software retains many of its origins, the current version is a beast in terms of cloud processing.  We reckon that, given the correct tactician at the helm (which we humbly consider ourselves to be), accounting records in Yardi can be administered by considerably fewer finance staff than many competitors.}

For the moment, we face no hostility and, generally speaking, the finance profession is free from mortal danger.  However, there is great interest in the work as there are ultimately a great number of interested parties, and we find that, like Nehemiah, we are often called to the ‘villages in the plain of Ono’ for other matters.

There are risks in undertaking any great work, and there is also great exhilaration in making progress and ultimately, after facing all of the difficulties and suffering through the doubts of naysayers, doing the impossible.

Janet Yellen’s Great Work

Janet Yellen came onto the job as the Federal Reserve’s first Chairwoman on February 3, 2014, just 10 days after we began our great work.  Unlike ourselves, Yellen has had the benefit of watching her predecessor hone his craft as Vice Chairman for four years and has enjoyed the benefits of the revolving door between government and academia since the early ’80s.

In other words, Yellen has no real world experience, which is a prerequisite to serve in any high-ranking office in America, circa 2014.

A Shameless plug on our volume dealing with the constant unity of Capitalism and Socialism
A Shameless plug on our volume dealing with the constant unity of Capitalism and Socialism, click to purchase

According to her dossier, it counts among her previous great works a study dealing with East Germany’s integration into the German economy upon the reunification of the country. {Editor’s Note:  For those to young or indifferent to recall such matters, the East German integration was a major windfall for West Germany at the time, who then (1990) was jockeying for position in what was to be the European Union.  The reunification caused 16 million more Germans to appear overnight, giving the unified Germany a considerable voice in the negotiations.}  Beyond this, Yellen is given credit for a form of clairvoyance regarding the financial crisis in 2007, apparently seeing something amiss from her post as the President of the San Francisco Fed (she must have seen Jim Cramer’s rant in July).

Janet Yellen now has a new great work to undertake as Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.  While she was likely performing many of Bernanke’s tasks from at least October of last year when President Obama nominated her as Bernanke’s successor, one task that could not be delegated was that of the press conference.

As such, Yellen took the stage on March 19th, 2013 and dutifully attempted to explain the rationale for the decisions of the Federal Reserve’s FOMC regarding short-term interest rates and its Quantitative Easing programs.

The press conferences, which began under Ben Bernanke, were meant to clear up any confusion, which may have been read into the numbers and written statements provided by the FOMC which had until then served as the primary window for the outside world into the machinations of the committee which decides how much credit will be conjured out of thin air.

For some reason, perhaps the novelty, the press conferences have taken on a life of their own.  The reason for this is that, while the FOMC may have deliberated and arrived at a consensus regarding their curious task, the person who gives the press conference ultimately has the last word and, though the event is meant to be carefully scripted, it cannot help but introduce an element of uncertainty into a process (the conjuring of credit out of thin air) which already defies the laws of economics and indeed works in direct opposition to nature herself.

At minute 20, which we have clipped below, Jon Hilsenrath of Wall Street Journal calls out the fact that there is an upward drift in a dot plot reflecting expectations for short-term interest rates of the individuals on the committee, and how one should reconcile that with the guidance given in the FOMC statement.

Yellen deflects Hilsenrath from the dot plots and then goes on to target the end of 2016 as the time when rates will likely rise.  She also calls out 6.5% as the target for the unemployment rate, and reiterates the eternal 2% target for inflation as triggers for tightening.  As you can see below, unemployment clocked in at 6.7%, meaning tightening could be around the corner.

This degree of upside uncertainty, which Yellen interjected as part of her great work at the press conference, managed to spook markets, as, while 2016 may be a long ways off in Yellen’s mind, as it would be when one is waiting to obtain their driver’s license, for those who are writing bonds today based on the Fed’s guidance, 2016 is in many cases a thing of the past, and Yellen’s utterances shattered a countless number of assumptions that the bond market had begun to hold dear.

Conjuring credit out of thin air is risky business as it is, and when those who are primarily responsible for it attempt to explain their actions, things can become incoherent in a hurry.

In the near future, we may hear Yellen uttering Nehemiah’s refrain the next time she is called to the press conference,

“I am doing a great work, so that I can’t come down.  Why should the work cease, while I leave it, and come down to you?”

For the last time Yellen came down, fixed income nearly imploded.  The risky business of conjuring credit out of thin air is best performed in the dark, if at all.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus!

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for March 29, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $3.02
Oil Price per Barrel:  $101.07
Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.92
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.71%
Bitcoin price in US:  $501.24
FED Target Rate:  0.08%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,295
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  6.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,323
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,694,800,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $11,229,900,000,000

The Division of Labor Gives Rise to the Monetary Premium

2/8/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Today we find ourselves, along with the rest of the inhabitants of the Willamette Valley, enjoying what has been dubbed “Snowpocalypse 2014.”  The valley’s residents are now three days into this rare event and, while much in the way of normal transit has been disrupted (truly, it does not take much snow to paralyze Portland).  We do not have a solid measure of just how much snow has fallen and whether or not the event lives up to its name, what is unmistakable is that the snow is beautiful and is has revealed many a great sledding hill in our midst.

Some of our faithful readers will recall that back in December, we began exploring the Monetary Premium, the portion of an item’s relative value owed to the utility of an item as money (those new to The Mint can glance back at these essays for a thorough exploration of the definition of money).  In that essay, we presented the portion of the Monetary premium that arises as a result of an Imperial authority demanding tribute in said currency.  Logically, it may also be said that laws declaring what is legal tender or any law which dictates the monetary unit in which debts are to be cancelled in an economic zone will also give rise to the monetary premium.

Of Money and Metals by David MIntGiven the above example, it may appear that the primary drivers for an economic good to carry the monetary premium are related to imperial or government action.  However, this is decidedly not the case, for the ultimate origin of and primary factor contributing to the monetary premium of any economic good has nothing to do with the government or what is used as money, rather, the Monetary premium comes into being as a result of an increase in the division of labor.

For those not familiar with the term, the division of labor is what makes urban society possible.  While perhaps the most easily understood metaphor is that of the assembly line, where each individual worker dedicates him or herself to completing one facet of the production process, relying on their counterparts on either side of them to ensure that the chain of production, of which they form part of, remains unbroken.

Economic systems are, in a sense, a collection of interconnected assembly lines both large and small, with each member of the system dedicating themselves to a set of tasks; the more time and energy that each individual is allowed to dedicate to their task, the more efficient each individual generally becomes.  The fact that each individual dedicates an increased amount of time and energy to a specific task gives rise for other members of society to pitch in and specialize in tasks that others cannot do for themselves given the specific scope of their labors.

The division of labor, if allowed to rise and sort itself out on its own, is generally good for economic output, as increased efficiencies translate into increased outputs.  However, as individuals increasingly specialize in certain tasks, they increasingly rely upon other members of society to fulfill their need.  As logic would follow that the increased division of labor does not allow much time for barter transactions, an increase in the division of labor always gives rise to the need for a monetary premium to both emerge and expand, attaching itself not only to traditional transmitters but giving rise to new ones as well.

Once the monetary premium expands, it gives rise to an increase in the division of labor, and in this way the dynamic between the two drives real economic growth.

Limitations on the Division of Labor and Monetary Premium

After reading the above, it should be clear that both the division of labor and the monetary premium are generally good for humankind, and that both factors driving real economic growth, if left to operate unhindered would eventually run up against and adapt to the limitations of the natural environment.

However, today, circa 2014, both the division of labor and monetary premium are hindered not by natural limitations, but by limitations placed upon them by well meaning legislators.  While all legislation tends to have either a direct or indirect effect on economic activity, there are two kinds that are particularly harmful to economic growth as they cut off the lifeblood of economic expansion:  The dual expansion of the division of labor and the monetary premium.

The first are laws dealing with minimum wages.  While minimum wages laws strive to guarantee a living wage for all members of society, they never achieve this goal and, in the process, serve to directly hinder the expansion of the division of labor when actual wage rates for certain activities are below the minimum wage rate, and serve no purpose when wage rates are above it.

The second set of laws are those referenced above; legal tender laws.  While Legal tender laws strive to codify what serves as money in a society, they invariably serve to direct an inordinate amount of the monetary premium into instruments that are not worthy of serving as money on a grand scale.  In the process, they serve as a severe limitation on what can carry the monetary premium and, by extension, the expansion of the monetary premium and the division of labor.

We all suffer to some degree due to manmade hindrances to the expansion of either the monetary premium or the division of labor; however, it is those farthest from monetary spigots, as defined by legal tender laws, who suffer the most.  In order for peace and prosperity to accrue to the greatest possible number of persons, it is critical that we grasp the importance of encouraging the division of labor to operate unhindered.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for February 8, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $3.26
Oil Price per Barrel:  $99.88

Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.44
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.68%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $680.00
FED Target Rate:  0.07%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,267

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  6.6%
Inflation Rate (CPI):   0.3%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  15,794
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,752,800,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $10,968,700,000,000

How Money is Made

1/13/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

We were fortunate to have the video below brought to our attention recently.  As you can see, this brilliant video presentation of what is wrong with the current monetary system does in 30 minutes something that we have taken lengthy stabs at expressing via the written word over the past three years, and it does so with some nice animation to boot!

Enjoy this presentation of “How Currency is Made, How Debt is Created, and How you are Impoverished,” the fourth video in a series on the monetary system courtesy of Liveleak.com:

We are especially fond of the scene where the workers shovel the currency into the piggy bank, only to have a large bird swoop down, pick it up, and fly it to the offices of the tax authority.  It is truly something that nearly all of our fellow taxpayers can related to, and this depiction drives the point home.

For better or worse, this is the monetary and taxing regime in which we live.  Getting out of it is as simple as changing your mind with regards to such matters.  The difficult part is changing the minds of others so that meaningful advances towards monetary freedom can be made.  For if you act alone, you are merely a prepper, but if you act in concert with all of those in your community and circle of trade, you are a history maker.

One way or another, we will all find ourselves in the latter camp, but, like campsites on the fourth of July weekend, the best spots will go to those who get there early.  Will you be one of them?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

On 2013, the year of the Crypto Currency, and Long term Unemployment Benefits Social Programs made Necessary by Debt based Currency

12/28/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

As 2013 winds down, it must be acknowledged that in the financial and monetary world, the story of the year has been crypto currencies.  Our own awareness that Bitcoin may be something more than a passing fad, our monetary epiphany, if you will, came in March of this year, when we were contacted for assistance in forming a business plan for an exchange.  The episode, while it has yet to be fully capitalized on, caused us to look deeply into Bitcoin.

Our Bitcoin Guide Available at Smashwords and Amazon

What we found was astonishing.  You can read the details in our eBook on the subject but the jest is that it is digital gold.

As the crypto currency gained in price and popularity, many have been the detractors who have dismissed it on the grounds that it is “nothing”, or a “Ponzi scheme.”. What such detractors fail to realize is that it is they that do not comprehend the very nature of money.

Money, in any form, is nothing more than a concept.  All that Bitcoins do is capture this concept, that we refer to as the monetary premium, in its purest form.

JPMorgan Steps Into the Fray

The latest news on the crypto currency front is that JPMorgan is dusting off a patent it filed in 1999 in what is surely a heavy handed effort to exert its primacy in the crypto currency space.  Whether or not they will succeed remains to be seen, but one thing is clear, the digital currency space is divided into those who want to mainstream these currencies and being them under sovereign control, and those who do out.

These types of philosophical divisions are as old as time itself, that of the anarchist and the statist, and the schism will remain, though the thought of anarchists and statist sharing a blockchain is interesting indeed.

Dogecoin

Another development worth following is the rise of the Dogecoin, which is all at once a joke and a serious foray into the crypto currency space.  You see Dogecoin is one of many cryptos that we foresaw coming into existence back in April and is further proof that the fiat currencies of the world are wholly inadequate and act as a restraint on human trade rather than a facilitator of it, which is really their only redeeming quality.

It is a beautiful irony that a fellow Portlander had a hand in creating it.

Why Long Term Unemployment Benefits Must be Extended

Those who have suffered through The Mint for any amount of time are likely aware of our Libertarian and Anarchist philosophical sympathies.  As such, it may come as a surprise that we believe that most Social Safety nets should be maintained.  As such, we think that lawmakers are making a grave error in failing to extend the emergency extensions to the Federal unemployment programs that have recently expired.

It is not that we champion sloth or laziness, as our position may cause some to assume, (though we admit that at times, our own inner-laziness gets the best of us).

Our reasoning behind this position is that poverty, joblessness, the skyrocketing cost of living and the like are largely a result of the current, insane debt based monetary system in which the United States and much of the world have been forced to live for over a century now.

As one looks back on the origins of what has become known as the Social Contract, it must be noted that they occurred in the 1930s after the great depression had ravaged the country.  What the politicians realized was that they had a very big problem on their hands, the workforce was severely “dislocated,” to use today’s terminology.  What they did not realize that the cause of this was the currency act that had been signed back in 1913, when debt, in the form of Federal Reserve Notes, became money.

The mandate for the American populace to use this system amounted to a cosmic shift in everything the American workforce knew about money and how to make it.  The economic rules had been turned on their head, and it would take a very long time for an honest and hard working people to understand that in the new system, the only way to get rich was to severely indebt oneself.

Indeed, today many still do not get it.  However, the debt based currency system must keep growing in order for it to remain viable, meaning that contrary to the beliefs of some, the Federal Government will always run a deficit, or at least strive to, and the largest companies will be the ones who are able to indebt themselves faster than their rivals and convince others to do so.

Using debt as currency changed the entire societal paradigm, making Social Safety nets a necessary part of the landscape, not because people were better off or well cared for as a result of them, rather, because the debt based currency system requires every member of society to participate in order for it to perpetuate itself.  Even those who are unemployed must be given some currency to circulate so that they stay attached to the game.

Otherwise, if too many of them stayed out of the game for too long, as is the case now with youth in much of Europe and even here in America, they may just realize that there is much work to be done outside of the currency system, and that, in fact, the debt based currency system acts as a giant straight jacket on human potential.

If they dwelt upon the above clever metaphor, as you may find yourself doing now, fellow taxpayer, they might understand that Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and other crypto currencies are the latest attempt by humanity to break out of the straight jacket.

If efforts to hinder them, such as JPMorgan’s patent filing, ultimately fail, as we believe they will (at least in practice), the straight jacket of debt based currency will be off and the systems of the nation state which supported them will become relegated to the second class status they so richly deserve.

The very concept of Unemployment is made necessary by debt based currencies, as such, it is right that they should provide Safety nets to catch those who fall out of the workforce.  At this stage, it is inconceivable that the current Congress would cut these benefits, for to do so is to plant but one more nail in the coffin of the current debt based currency system, and to encourage a new and better understanding of money, one that will benefit both humankind and the creation itself.

Stay with us, there is much more to come.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for December 27, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.35
Oil Price per Barrel:  $100.32

Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.28
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  3.01%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $779.89
FED Target Rate:  0.08%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,214

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.0%
Inflation Rate (CPI):   0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,478
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,620,500,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,050,600,000,000

The Greatest North American Holiday is Upon Us

11/27/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Inflation in asset prices is beginning to appear at a breathtaking pace, and, while $1000 Bitcoins and 10% month over month increases in the London property market appear to scream “bubble,” the truth of the matter is that we are just getting starting.  The Federal Reserve and every other Central Bank on the planet have given up on any sort of meaningful restraint, and there are Trillions of fiat currency units that are just looking for a reason to stir up what passes for economic activity circa 2013.

There will be plenty of time to watch numbers tick higher and even more plentiful opportunities to be had for ventures of all sorts in the weeks and months ahead.  Today, we must pause, reflect, and give thanks.

For tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe
“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe

Thanksgiving is the Greatest North American Holiday, for, in an age where most holiday traditions can be only dimly observed beyond the lights of commercialism, it is one of the few that most purely reflects its heritage.

And what a heritage it is.  While the general idea of “Thanksgiving” has existed in religious and other faith centered communities from time immemorial, the Thanksgiving that we will celebrate tomorrow traces its origins to a three day feast held on the Plymouth Plantation in November of 1621, which was the culmination of a series miraculous events that came to pass for a group of Pilgrims who boarded the Mayflower in mid-July, 1620 and brave companions from the Speedwell who were determined to carry on despite the Speedwell springing a leak and being forced to turn back to England.

The Mayflower, like many ships of the day, was a trading ship, and the Pilgrims, who were English Dissenters (to give one an idea of conditions in England, Guy Fawkes Night had occurred a mere 15 years earlier, and religious tolerance was non-existent on the isles), were on their way to freedom having been financed by merchants eager to tap the riches of the New World.

The journey was perilous, and the storms in the North Atlantic took a heavy toll on the ship and its passengers.  At least twice during the more difficult stages of the journey the idea of returning to England was debated.  Frankly, anyone who has been on a journey that has become imperiled by weather conditions will understand the nature of such conversations.

The Mayflower, as we now know, pressed on and landed in the New World on November 11th, 1620.  After a difficult journey, they had now arrived on land, and their true perils were about to begin.

After failing to find land suitable for a settlement, the advance party again boarded the Mayflower and sailed down to what is now known as Plymouth Rock, where they found an area that was ideal for both settlement and agriculture.  As it turns out, the Patuxent tribe had inhabited this land until a plague wiped out all but one of its members just four years earlier.

The surviving member of the Patuxent tribe was named Squanto, and he was to play a key role in making the first Thanksgiving possible.

In November of 1620, the Pilgrims set about the first order of business to be tended to before the winter would set in, building a common house (in what turned out to be our own strange homage to this event, we spent today racing against the winter rains to complete a tree house/play structure/deck in our backyard).

Over the winter and early spring, 49 of the 101 who had made the journey on the Mayflower (during the journey, two perished at sea and one baby was born) had perished, and the prospects for the coming spring were grim, as there were now just 20 adults and 30 children.

It was then that a series of miracles began to occur.

First, a Native American named Samoset, who spoke English well enough to communicate, came to the settlement to welcome the Pilgrims.  Samoset then went to get Squanto, who was at first hesitant to come near to the settlement, as he had been captured and sold into slavery twice by English ships prior to this encounter.  However, he had been observing this group of Englishmen and found them to be quite different than the others.

{Editor’s Note:  You can read a bit more of Squanto’s fascinating story here.}

Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn and other key survival tactics to the new inhabitants of his native land, who he now called his people.  He then brought Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoag and the leader of the tribes of the region.  Massasoit provided foodstuffs to the Pilgrims and agreed to a peace treaty with them that would last for 50 years.

With the aid of the Native Americans, the Pilgrims survived and, in the fall of 1621, had a bountiful harvest.  They declared a feast of Thanksgiving that lasted for three days and was attended by Massasoit and 90 other Natives.  It was a feast of Biblical proportions in the sense that it was a true tithe, where the first fruits of the season were brought together and enjoyed by all in the community.

Massasoit and governor John Carver smoking a peace pipe
Massasoit and governor John Carver smoking a peace pipe

And the rest, for better and for worse, is history.

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the miracles that occur in the lives of each and every one of us.  It is a time to reflect upon the people and the providence that have provided for us in miraculous ways throughout the year.

For each circumstance in which we live is a miracle simply because it is, and our lives are tapestries that are woven together by the Creator of such awe inspiring beauty that any difficulties encountered along the way simply pale in comparison to the whole.

Thanksgiving is a time to step back and celebrate this tapestry with the Creator, and, when contemplated along with the abundance that fills our lives if we would only pause, reflect, and open our eyes, join together with our loved ones and all of humanity, lifting songs of praise and Thanksgiving to the Father of us all.

As it was at Plymouth in the fall of 1621, so let it be with us tomorrow, for it is what our present circumstances call for each and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 27, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.18
Oil Price per Barrel:  $92.25

Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.17
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.75%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $1,067.29
FED Target Rate:  0.09%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,238

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,097
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,516,700,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $10,921,000,000,000

An Ode to the Veterans We’ve Known

11/11/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

2012 - Another defeat to the Land of the Free
A Salute to the Veterans we have been privileged to know

With most of the markets we follow taking a breather for the holiday, save the Bitcoin, which bows to no sovereign and raced up to $383 today, we turn our gaze and tip our hats once again to veterans, not just those of the United States, which has specifically set aside this day to honor them, but of all men and women who have thrown themselves into the face of danger and worked in extremely difficult conditions to defend a national ideal that they believed in with all of their heart.

Here at The Mint, we wish to honor them by remembering the four veterans that we have known, three have passed on and one remains.  Each story is woven in with our own, and has changed the course of history for us.

First, there is our Grandfather Collins, who, as World War II raged on, managed to memorize the eye chart so that they would allow him to enlist in the Army.  While leaving our grandmother behind with countless other young women in the same situation at an Army base in Kansas, he boarded a troop transport which zigzagged its way across the Atlantic Ocean, dodging German U Boats, while sleeping on a rack with many other men, packed in like sardines for roughly 18 days until they safely reached their destination in England, where, as an ambulance driver he witnessed first hand the casualties returning from the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

“They didn’t tell us, but you could see they were mounting something big,” he told us of the preparations for D-Day.  He mentioned that they would ride bicycles 20 miles for a beer at the Pub on weekends.

When VE day arrived, he said they were allowed to stay in some of the finest hotels in Paris, but he was extremely anxious to get home to his young bride and could not enjoy it as one might imagine in retrospect.

Next, there is our other Grandfather, Victor, who enlisted in the Army early on in World War II and was sent to the Pacific Theater of operations.  While all of the Veterans we knew passed for difficult things, it was he who had the most difficult time.  He was an excellent baseball player in the Army and had the bad fortune of rupturing his spleen while playing ball in Hawaii.  While the surgeons were able to successfully remove it, they sewed up his abdomen with a sponge still inside!  The incision became so infected that they shipped him back to San Francisco to be operated on once again as he was close to dying.

When he recovered from this ordeal, he was sent into back to the Pacific Theater and, from what the family knew, contracted malaria and got lost in the jungle.  It was not until much later, after he had passed away, that we found out that he had actually been a Japanese POW and, at the end of the war, weighed just 98 pounds and again was at the brink of death.

They sent him on a train to his uncle’s farm in western Nebraska, where, fortunately, he was nursed back to health.

Third comes Edgar, our Grandfather Victor’s brother (our great uncle), who fought Germany’s Rommel, the Desert Fox, in Northern Africa.  Uncle Ed’s observations of the war that he related to us were that dentistry in the field involved a drill that was powered by a stationary bike.  As such, it was best to have a cavity filled when the men with the best bicycle legs were able to help.

He also observed that water was scarce, and it vexed him as to how the villages they visited during the war, who seemed short of water then, had grown to tens of thousands of people some 40 years later.  He and his wife, Ethel, were featured in the Reader’s Digest as a letter Ed sent to Ethel was found among a bag of US Army mail that had been found 40 years later.  It had words cut out of it to prevent the letters from giving away troop positions and planned movements that the servicemen may have inadvertently included in the letters to their sweethearts.

Ed often said that if any of us youngsters were drafted, he would pay for us to go live in Canada.  After the events of 9/11, he recommended that we read The Haj in order to understand Arab culture.

These three brave men above went on to live long, full lives and, while we have recounted some of the difficult things they were called to live during World War II, they did not doubt the call of duty which was given to their generation, and were glad to have served, and even gladder to be home when it was over.

The final veteran that we’ve known is a friend and former colleague who left the company before we did to occupy a UN post in Geneva.  We went to visit him once and he led us on a hike through some of the hills leading up from Ouchy, a nearby village, where at the top, we took in a pot of fondue and enjoyed the views over Lake Geneva.

We knew that Ryan, our friend, had been in the military before we knew him.  During our ascent over short rock walls and past cows donning bells, we took the opportunity to ask him about his experiences.  He was the leader of a tank unit in desert storm in 1991, and recalled how he would have to run up to holes in the sand to see if there were any Iraqi soldiers that had survived in their foxholes in the desert as the tank units advanced.  Not for the faint of heart.

The sacrifices of men like Collins, Victor, Ed, and Ryan all too often go unrecognized and, even more often, are not recounted, even by the very men who lived through the horrors of war to their immediate families.

We tip our hats to them and to all veterans across the United States and throughout the world of all nations, for they have demonstrated that at times it requires uncommon valor to keep the light of freedom burning in this world.

May they be remembered fondly and often, and may those who made the ultimate sacrifice rest in peace.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 11, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.25
Oil Price per Barrel:  $94.87

Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.29
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.75%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $383.00
FED Target Rate:  0.08%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,282

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.2%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  15,761
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,515,000,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $10,867,000,000,000