Tag Archives: Congress

Watch “Judge Judy – Here’s Who You Support With Taxes” on YouTube

Judge Judy tells it like it is. It is important to note that the complaintants statements could apply if two Fed member bank CEOs were in their place and the issue were TARP!

Huddled Masses of European Capital Fly to US Shores

7/6/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The crisis in the Eurozone is getting too big to ignore.  The gig is up, the Greek Government is in default, and Portugal and a host of private lenders, amongst them the ECB itself, are on their way there as well.  So certain is this fact that Moody’s even went on record and took the small step of downgrading Portugal’s debt.

Naturally, the Europeans  can’t believe it.  Don’t they pay good money for these ratings?

Whatever Moody’s reasons for stating the obvious, the news is having the effect of sending money fleeing across the Atlantic to US Markets any which way it can.  Commodities, Stocks, Bonds, even Real Estate are being bid up today as the European Bond Market collectively exhales capital.

For the moment, inflation on this side of the pond is only moderately accelerating as much of the cash is trapped on the Ellis Island of the US Banking system at the FED member banks.

Send me your tired, wadded up Euro capital looking for a home!

But as any banker knows, if you can’t lend the money then excess cash begins to crush your balance sheet.  This is why it is probable that the US will participate in a Eurozone bailout.  Even the threat of US intervention should get this newly immigrated capital looking for a new home shortly after arriving.

The trillion dollar question is now begging to be answered, will the US avoid default and keep the mushroom shaped debt sponge intact or will the current stalemate in Congress finally put the squeeze on the debt sponge and unleash the 500 year inflationary flood onto American shores from which there is but on escape (buy gold, silver, or anything real)?

We may know the answer sooner than we think!

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

P.S.  For more ideas and commentary please check out The Mint at www.davidmint.com

Key Indicators for July 6, 2011

Copper Price per Lb: $4.30
Oil Price per Barrel:  $97.21

Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.47
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  3.10%
FED Target Rate:  0.08% JAPAN HERE WE COME!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,529 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.00%
Unemployment Rate:  9.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.2%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,626 TO THE MOON!!!
M1 Monetary Base:  $1,954,300,000,000 RED ALERT!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,098,400,000,000 YIKES!!!

*See the MINT Perceived target Rate Chart.  This rate is the FED Target rate with a 39 month lag, representing the time it takes for the FED Target rate changes to affect the real economy.  This is a 39 months head start that the FED member banks have on the rest of us on using the new money that is created.

A US Default? Into the Great Unknown

6/29/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Much has happened in the financial markets in this past week, and much will happen in the coming weeks.  But perhaps what is most notable is what has not happened.

Namely, the US Congress has not raised its self imposed credit card limit.  For an entity that is already $14.3 Trillion in debt ($4 Trillion of which reportedly comes due in the next 12 months) with no realistic plan to pay for it, this is suicide.  What are they thinking?

The two parties are in agreement one count, they need to save $2 Trillion dollars over 10 years.  Why this sum has been identified as the cure for what ails the country’s finances is anybody’s guess.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, there is no agreement as to how to get there.

Where will they find $2 Trillion? Tax the rich, screams Obama, repeating the eternal populist sentiment.  Stop spending, say the Republicans, using the circumstances to make a push for “limited government.”

Editors Note:  There is no hope for limited government with the current two party system in place, therefore the Republican’s stance is entirely a façade.

The President has taken the extraordinary step of asking Congress not to recess over the Fourth of July, as is their custom, calling their lack of agreement akin to his daughters not completing their homework.  While the President makes a quaint metaphor, we believe that Obama’s daughter’s homework is probably more challenging than Congress’s task of balancing the budget.

Obama Admonishes the GOP to stay and do its "homework

Balancing a budget is simple.  It just takes courage.  It seems that courage is in short supply in Washington DC these days.

Without internal fortitude to press the Americans along, a little external pressure is beginning to be applied.  First, the Treasury’s latest 7 year bond auction did not go as well as planned as investors demanded 2.43% to hold US paper for a sabbath cycle.  Without the FED at the table, it is hard to imagine how it could have gone well.  Bond Market participants are beginning to wring their hands.

Then comes word that the IMF is beginning to apply pressure, eloquently reminding the Americans of what they should do and why they should do it.  It is worth noting that the IMF appears to be the last to know about such things so we will excuse their apparent surprise at the lack of inaction (they are most likely not informed MINT readers like yourself):

“…the federal debt ceiling should be raised expeditiously to avoid a severe shock to the economy and world financial markets,”

Yeah, tell us something we don’t know.  And then, true to their holier than thou, infallible status, they give the Americans advice on how to do it:

“We see early political agreement on a comprehensive medium-term consolidation plan based on realistic macroeconomic assumptions as a cornerstone of a credible and cyclically appropriate fiscal adjustment strategy,”

Great!  Thanks for the incomprehensible and totally impractical advice.  This type of drivel simply solidifies our opinion that the IMF is a worthless institution and could be categorically ignored if it were not so insistent upon meddling in financial matters on a global basis.

Meanwhile, we are getting to see first hand what happens to a country that gives up control over its currency and then listens to the IMF for advice and is forced to take a loan from them. Greece, is giving the world a glimpse at how popular austerity is with the masses.

The scene that was carried out in the Middle East in the Spring is set to take place in Europe and England over the summer months.

How long until it crosses the Atlantic?

Another event that may occur as interested parties begin to reduce exposure to US Treasury debt is a liquidity crunch that will start in early July.  Apart from the debt ceiling uncertainty, the Dodd-Frank financial reform rules are set to begin to do their damage to the financial system on July 15th.

If they do not forestall these rules as many banks are begging them to do, the US and global economy will take their first tender steps into the great unknown, a world without political or real capital to act a a backstop for failures.

It will be dangerous and exciting.  And, just like a fireworks show, will be best enjoyed from a safe distance.  Keep your money close at hand, meaning out of banks and preferably in precious metals or anything tangible, and enjoy the show!

Stay Fresh!

P.S.  If you enjoy or at least tolerate THE MINT, please share us with your friends and family!

Key Indicators for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Copper Price per Lb: $4.20
Oil Price per Barrel:  $94.93 A FAILURE TO INFLATE, WILL TREND LOWER

*See the MINT Perceived target Rate Chart.  This rate is the FED Target rate with a 39 month lag, representing the time it takes for the FED Target rate changes to affect the real economy.  This is a 39 months head start that the FED member banks have on the rest of us on using the new money that is created.

The FED to Drop Money From Helicopters

With consumer credit in a long term downtrend, the US Congress unable to come to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, and the Euro system on the verge of collapse, The FED appears desperate.  Our speculation is that they are now plotting something we call “Helicopter Phase.”

Helicopter Phase happens when money is literally showered on the American people in a desperate attempt to keep the currency regime from disintegrating.  Ben Bernanke attempts to describe it in his own words in the latest edition of Mint Finger Puppet Theatre:

Helicopter Phase will most likely take the form of the stimulus checks that have been mailed out to taxpayers in the past as giving away money to the banks, defense contractors, and other special interests has failed to create any long term growth.

In rural areas, however, we suspect that Ben Bernanke‘s famous helicopter method is likely to prove useful:

So keep your eyes on the sky and Stay Fresh!

Inflation set to Bloom, Bernanke Resorts to Desperate Pleas to Raise the Debt Ceiling

6/14/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The Rose Festival has dominated the city’s waterfront park for the past two weeks.  Carnival rides have been up since Memorial Day weekend and an assortment of ships from the US and Canadian Navy (affectionately known as the “Canavy”) arrived late last week.  After no fewer than four parades, the annual Dragon Boat Races rounded out the festivities.

The Festival usually marks the beginning of summer, which is defined as the absence of rain for four delightful months, here in Portland.  While the rain seems to have done its part, the weather remains colder than one would expect.

This year was the first year that anyone can remember the roses not being in full bloom during most of the festival.  An uncharacteristically cold spring has caused many of the plants to hold back here from showing off their blooms.  When they do finally bloom, it tends to happen quickly and spectacularly.

For some reason the plight of the roses has us worrying about inflation.  We have been certain that inflation is on the horizon for some time now, and while there has been an uncomfortable rise in food and gasoline prices, it is hardly the degree of inflation that we had been anticipating.

Are we early or just plain wrong about inflation?  The question is troubling.  What is certain is that many of the things that we have speculated would happen are coming to pass.  Most significantly, the US Government appears to be approaching a moment of truth regarding its dire finances.  The simple question of whether or not to raise the debt ceiling has opened a Pandora’s box of questions about the nation’s spending priorities.

Now the 2012 election cycle is beginning and US lawmakers have rushed out the door to the campaign trail and have left Pandora’s box wide open on the Capitol floor with its questions racing about the room:

Should we cut entitlements?

Enact more economic stimulus?

Will the Government really go bankrupt on August 2nd?

Is the activity on Twitter accounts really open to the public?

With the national political circus about to go into full swing, any hope of a serious discussion about a realistic budget or debt ceiling is gone.  What we are now left with are desperate pleas for action from none other than Ben Bernanke, the ace lobbyist for the nation’s largest banks.

Today’s plea was made by Bernanke at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s appropriately titled annual conference: “The Debt Ceiling, Fiscal Plans, and Market Jitters, Where Do We Go From Here?

Mr. Bernanke, in his classic, diplomatic style, told the Republican leadership in attendance that he appreciated what they were trying to do in trying to get the nation to live within its means, but that their use of the debt ceiling as a hostage was not an appropriate tool for the job.  Instead, he advocates deficit reduction goals which trigger automatic cuts if they are not met.

Leading Lobbyist for the Banking Sector

The United States is one of the few countries with a congressionally mandated debt ceiling.  Contrary to Mr. Bernanke’s belief (which we must say defies logic), the debt ceiling is the perfect tool to use if a lawmaker wants to put an end to out of control spending but doesn’t have the time to gain consensus for a reasonable budget plan.  It is the ultimate way to “trigger automatic cuts.”

Perceptive readers will note that what Mr. Bernanke’s proposes is the same fiscal spending control model that has worked spectacularly in Europe. Just ask the Greeks!

Still, the question remains, where is the inflation?  Our simple analysis led us to believe that under current circumstances the FED would print money to give both to its member banks and to the US Treasury until things either got better or the dollar was completely worthless in exchange for goods.  Our money is on the latter passing before the former.

It now appears that the US government has temporarily thrown a wrench in those plans.

But this should come as no surprise.  As Henry Hazlitt so eloquently explains in his book Economics in One Lesson, government intervention in the economy always fails to achieve its desired ends and almost uncannily brings about results contrary to those that the government intended.

Would it not make sense, then, that the current efforts to produce price inflation turn out to be dramatic failures as well?

Then, long after the government has abandoned its inflationary policies, a tidal wave of cash will appear quickly and spectacularly, not unlike the rose blooms in Portland this year.

This inflation will occur when the US Government, whether on its own or under compulsion from the bond markets, turns its clumsy machinations towards austerity.  In other words, when it least wants or expects it.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email:  davidminteconomics@gmail.com

P.S.  If you enjoy or at least can stomach The Mint, please share us with your friends, family, and colleagues!

Key Indicators for Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,524 MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.25%
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,005,800,000,000 STARTING TO DRY UP?  NOT!

*See FED Perceived Economic Effect Rate Chart at bottom of blog.  This rate is the FED Target rate with a 39 month lag, representing the time it takes for the FED Target rate changes to affect the real economy.  This is a 39 months head start that the FED member banks have on the rest of us on using the new money that is created.

The US House of Representatives, Unable to Function, Waffles on Derivatives Rules and Libya Resolution

The US House or Representatives, Unable to Function, Waffles on Derivatives Rules and Libya Resolution

6/1/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The leadership of the United States finds itself publicly handcuffed to the interests of the banks and defense contractors and at this point appears effortless to free itself.  Two glaring and pertinent examples have appeared in this week in what can only be described as an utter and complete failure to act on behalf of the people.  This inability to govern, as a QE program is evidence of the failure of a currency regime, is evidence of the very failure of a government.

Both examples are from the US House of Representatives:

Exhibit A of House Dysfunction: House Financial Services Committee Votes to Delay Derivatives Rules

For the uninitiated we offer a humble and intentionally oversimplified explanation of what this means.

You may recall that In 2008, The United States gave a $700 Billion blank check to the financial services industry (commonly known as TARP) with few, if any, questions asked.  When the inevitable, albeit insincere political backlash from the masses began to surface, the taxpayer was pacified with a piece of legislation called the Dodd-Frank Act.

The Dodd-Frank Act is a fictional attempt to regulate the financial markets.  Its passage was meant to put to rest any doubts that the US Government knew what it was doing when it immediately and blindly ceded over 5% of GDP to the sharks of the financial industry.

Senators Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were going to make sure that the financial markets never put the US Government in the uncomfortable position of having to bail them out again.

The main culprit was identified as the OTC derivatives market, presented to the people as a clandestine exchange where financial companies freely traded promises that they couldn’t keep for money that their counter parties didn’t have.  The whole thing was a fraud to begin with.

Unfortunately, passage of the Dodd-Frank Act has simply legitimized and encouraged this fraud.  Now, nearly two years later, Congress is having trouble implementing rules with teeth to apply the fairy tale derivatives market which is now reportedly worth $600 Trillion dollars, or roughly 10 TIMES GLOBAL GDP.

The failure to write rules for this worthless piece of legislation simply underscores how far the money lenders have infiltrated the US Government.

Meanwhile, large cap companies continue to raise large amounts of cash in preparation for a complete breakdown of traditional credit markets which could occur later this summer, no matter what the authorities do.

A New Sign Soon to grace the US Capitol Building?

Exhibit B of House Dysfunction: House puts off Vote on Libya Resolution

In what is perhaps an even more shocking example of how far the defense contractors have infiltrated the US Government, we have this report of a House resolution being pulled for fear that it will pass.  From the Associated Press:

“The GOP leadership had scheduled a vote Wednesday on the resolution by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, that “directs the president to remove United States Armed Forces from Libya … not later than 15 days after the adoption” of the measure. The vote was delayed as the leadership and Obama administration realized frustrated lawmakers likely would support it.”

If this is to be believed, there is widespread support in congress for the US to immediately cease and desist all military activity in Libya.  At The Mint, we had speculated that the US had no business intervening in Libya.  It appears that the House of Representatives agrees.

But as appears to be the case with the Dodd-Frank Act, a mysterious force seems to be impeding the US Government from following the simple guidelines laid out for it in its own founding document, the long since forgotten Constitution of the United States of America.

With the government quickly running out of money and virtually impotent to do anything, let alone carry out its basic functions of protecting the life and property and its citizens, a time of “adjustment” (chaos in the financial markets) appears to be rapidly approaching on the horizon.

Are you prepared?

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email:  davidminteconomics@gmail.com

P.S.  Please check out our latest 72 Hour Call at www.davidmint.com

Key Indicators for Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Copper Price per Lb: $4.09
Oil Price per Barrel:  $99.82

10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.97%
FED Target Rate:  0.10% FED IN DESPERATION MODE!!!!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,539

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.25% INFLATION HERE WE COME!!!!
Unemployment Rate:  9.0%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.4%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,290
M1 Monetary Base:  $1,892,800,000,000 THE CRACK-UP BOOM BEGINS!!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,036,600,000,000 MORE FUEL FOR THE CRACK-UP BOOM!!!!

*See FED Perceived Economic Effect Rate Chart at bottom of blog.  This rate is the FED Target rate with a 39 month lag, representing the time it takes for the FED Target rate changes to affect the real economy.  This is a 39 months head start that the FED member banks have on the rest of us on using the new money that is created.