Tag Archives: inflation

Negative rates and the no bid Repo: It’s not your father’s overnight funding market

7/14/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

A great deal has occurred since our last correspondence, most of it bad news for what passes today as monetary policy.

Fellow taxpayers have no doubt noticed that our once faithful correspondence has been less than faithful over the past several months. While explanations amongst chums the likes of which we have become are unnecessary, we offer a brief glimpse as to how The Mint has been spending his precious time as of late.

For starters, we have been frantically reconstructing 2013 and making various systems upgrades on our most recent assignment. Now that the work has been done and passed audit, we are moving through regular compliance reports and are about to begin the second part, (our personal favorite) of our not quite patented one/two accounting and treasury systems overhaul: The treasury overhaul part of the program.

Here we digress into what we consider our unique philosophy on data processing with regards to accounting information systems. If you could care less about such matters, please scroll to the next bolded heading to return to

A mere 11 years ago, we considered ourselves an accountant. We acted like an accountant, worked like an accountant, even smelled like an accountant (if indeed accountants can be said to have a smell about them.

Then we went to Spain, and had nothing short of an epiphany, which is as follows: Real business people could care less about proper accounting, they simply want the accounts collected and the bills paid, a steady stream of cash in the bank, and they want to get real-time financial metrics which will let them both know how their past decisions have fared and, more importantly, allow them to make better decisions about the future.

With this epiphany fresh in our mind, we realized that most accounting systems, while built by programmers to serve the business person, had been hijacked by accountants when they were set up, in most cases rendering the information the business person was to receive subject to seemingly infinite torture by the accountants before it could be presented, at which time the information was neither timely or useful to the business person.

With this realization, we developed our two-step approach to assisting business people in reclaiming their accounting data. The first step involves ensuring that the accounting system they are using is both adequate (it may come as a shock that many companies pay too much for systems that are no longer a good fit for them) and set up to capture and report the business’s financial data in a way that facilitates high level decision-making.

The second step involves addressing the issue of the timeliness of the data. We realized that in a great majority of transactions, the bank received the data before the accounting department did, and much valuable time and effort was wasted by waiting for the accounting department to input data into the accounting system, much of which was provided by the bank rather than internal sources, and then reconciling the system to the bank statement. The entire process was backwards, so we decided to perform data processing directly in the banks’ treasury management systems, where the transactions are initiated, approved, and executed, and have the bank data be easily uploaded into the accounting system, where it can be matched with vendor and client data and properly classified.

There you have it, it is much easier said than done, but once our program is complete, most companies we engage can get by with half of the accounting/fiscal personnel they had before, get their data in a timely and coherent manner, and usually end up saving money on their systems to boot.

In any event, between earning our daily bread in the above manner, watching the World Cup, and editing a taxonomic paper on Central American land crabs (which can be seen here: http://biodiversitydatajournal.com/articles.php?id=1161), we have been following the disintegration of the debt based currency system from a comfortable distance. Our observations on the most recent ruptures follow:

The No bid Repo: It’s not your father’s overnight funding market

In the late 1980’s, the Federal Reserve had just begun what would be a series of automatic bailouts to the larger financial system. After Black Tuesday in 1987, it became clear to most sober observers that the Fed would do everything in its power, which at the time was limited to rigging short-term interest rates, to ensure that financial markets remained liquid at all costs.

Perhaps not coincidentally, in the late 1980’s, Oldsmobile ran a series of commercials with the tagline, “it’s not your father’s Oldsmobile,” which seemed to be a vain attempt to minimize the “Old” and emphasize the “mobile” part of its name. In case you don’t remember how exhilarating it was, videoarcheology.com brings it to life for us once again:

What did the strategy of the Fed and the strategy of Oldsmobile have in common? They both assumed that demand for their product, no matter how unappealing it was, would be infinite. Oldsmobile gave up the ghost in 2004, maybe people did want their father’s Oldsmobile after all.

The Fed is still hard at work, but their product, the debt-based currency used by most financial institutions in the United States and indeed throughout the world, is going the way of the Oldsmobile.

The Federal Reserve got by for nearly 95 years by monopolizing the ability to provide something for nothing, something that appealed to governments, companies, and consumers alike. They substituted debt for money, and in the process opened up a world of possibilities never before fathomed.

The plan went well, people began to circulate the debt in place of money, with those closest to the Fed paying the least and those furthest way paying more, and people toiled day in and day out to move further up the food chain.

Sure, using debt as money left the occasional sinkhole in the economy, on those rare occasions when more debts were being cancelled than issued, but the Fed simply lowered interest rates to provide adequate incentive for people to demand more debt, lowering the perceived price of getting something for nothing.

Now, circa 2014, the Fed has lowered interest rates to zero and has taken the extra step of creating even more debt of its own to circulate. While things should be going gangbusters at the Fed factory, we open the pages of the financial news to find that:

a) The Fed can no longer control the interest rate mechanism as it did before and;

b) The Repo market, which funds $1.6 trillion in short-term loans every business day, is going no bid on an increasingly regular basis thanks to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which was supposed to fix these sort of problems.

{Editor’s Note:  For a primer on the Repo Market, read this paper by the NY Fed:  Key Mechanics of the U.S. Tri-Party Repo Market, we dare you}

The Federal Reserve’s debt based monetary system has reached its theoretical limit. While the ECB has toyed with the idea of negative interest rates, the US market, specifically US Treasuries which are sucked into the Repo Market nightly, is rendering negative rates on its own, and the Fed is powerless to stop it.

In layman’s terms, the game has flipped on the Fed, and now people and companies are essentially saying “lend me $100 today, and I’ll pay you back $97 in a year and we are square.” Crazy as it may sound, this is the reality on the fringe of the credit markets, and it is the price of continuing to deal in a debt-based currency that is passed its prime.

Let’s face it, Oldsmobile wasn’t cool in 1988. They had tinkered with it to such a degree that it would never again be your father’s Oldsmobile, and that was not a good thing. In the same way, between QE, Operation Twist, and near zero short-term rate targeting, Ben Bernanke has so severely mangled the Fed’s balance sheet with his tinkering that maintaining the integrity of the US dollar and US Treasuries as any sort of measure of reliable benchmark is all but impossible.

Now, the engine of the Fed’s debt based currency is beginning to lose speed via negative nominal rates, and Janet Yellen is looking into the toolbox, only to realize that Ben left most of the tools rigged in the engine of the Fed’s Balance sheet, and that moving any one of them will cause a catastrophic failure of the currency. Not to mention that long-awaited, highly inflationary wage – price spiral is about to kick in.

Academic economists will one day struggle to explain what is happening now, while inflation rises, interest rates continue to dip further, going negative at the top of the financial food chain, and the Fed is left with nothing but rhetoric with which to attempt to execute monetary policy. This is likely to get ugly and, if possible, defy the laws of finance and perhaps even mathematics before the game is up.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for July 14, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $3.25
Oil Price per Barrel:  $100.51

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.78
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.52%
Bitcoin price in US: $618.00
FED Target Rate:  0.09%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,339

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  6.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.4%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,944
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,961,000,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,284,500,000,000

 

More Evidence of the Impending Wage/Price Spiral Appears

4/2/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The wage/price spiral.  It is a nasty economic phenomenon where the labor market suddenly tightens, causing a chain reaction of relative scarcity of output, which leads to higher prices for goods, which leads workers to demand higher wages, which employers pay for by raising prices and attempting to increase output, which finds itself back staring back at the tight labor market, where each available worker now knows he or she is worth much more.

The wage/price spiral, which is generally only possible on a broad scale in times like our own, when credit passes as money, appears to be accelerating.

Graphic courtesy of Deutsche Bank Research
Graphic courtesy of Deutsche Bank Research

The tightness in the US labor market has been happening in near stealth mode.  While the Unemployment rate remains above 6.5%, the line drawn in the sand by the FED for consideration of tighter monetary policy, what is lost in the data is that Baby Boomers are retiring.  While it is true that their overall consumption will likely decrease, it is also true that their staggering output as a generation is falling even faster, leaving fewer workers to fill the gaps, especially in highly skilled positions.

What does it mean?  If you are a worker feeling squeezed by higher prices, ask your boss for a raise.  If they won’t comply, start looking for another employer.  Chances are, by the time you have found a better offer, your current employer will realize what is happening, and make you an even better offer to stay.  This is a hypothetical situation, of course, and each person must carefully consider their own situation.  However, when this spiral takes off, you will want to be well ahead of the curve.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus!

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for April 2, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $3.04
Oil Price per Barrel:  $99.20
Corn Price per Bushel:  $5.05
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.80%
Bitcoin price in US:  $469.48
FED Target Rate:  0.06%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,292
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  6.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,541
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,694,800,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $11,229,900,000,000

The Mint Money Supply Digest for May 7, 2013

5/7/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The Dow has briefly touched the 15,000 mark once again and frankly, from a money supply standpoint, it may just be getting started.  Ditto for the S&P 500, which is cruising past 1,600 and shows few signs of looking back.

The stock market is front running something.  Conventional wisdom, that of seven years ago, would say that it is front running the economy, that a brighter future is on the horizon.

Here at The Mint, we see the stock market as an indicator of the bloat in the money supply and the default primary beneficiary of those who are unloading the monetary premium embedded in the US dollar.

From the dawn of time, up until 1994, the M2 money supply ran ahead of the stock market.  Logically, money needed to be created before it could be invested.  Then, in 1995, the Glass-Steagall act, which had created a chasm between the commercial and investment flavors of banks since 1933, was effectively repealed as Citicorp and Travelers merged, forcing (or anticipating) the effective repeal of 28 firewalls that Glass-Steagal had set up between the banking sectors.

Graph of Normalized DJIA and Gold assets classes vs. M1, M2, and Federal Funds Rate measures
Graph of normalized DJIA and Gold assets classes vs. M1, M2, and Federal Funds Rate measures

This repeal allowed commercial banks to fund purchases of “Section 20” affiliates, effectively unleashing the credit of the Commercial banking sector into the stock market, and stock indices have front run the M2 money supply ever since (with one notable exception at the height of the 2008 crisis right before the FED threw caution to the wind regarding monetary policy).

The FED will not make the same mistake again.  They have embedded expectations that they are willing and able to print money in quantities necessary to avoid another wholesale collapse in the nominal price of financial assets, what we call the chocolate disaster.

However, the FED cannot avoid a collapse in the relative value of financial assets, which is currently underway.  While the Dow may be headed to 17,000 before its next scheduled breakdown, the wise among us (that’s you and I, fellow taxpayer), must move our gaze to the diminishing relative value of those 17,000 Dow points.

Take the example of gold.  Despite its recent collapse in price, gold, which may have yet another leg down, has shown itself to be incredibly resilient in the face of insurmountable odds, for the same credit mechanism that is used to shamelessly juice the stock market is also used to shamelessly short precious metals.

What is surprising, then, should not be that gold has collapsed some $350 in recent months, but that it has bounced back at all against a financial enemy with an unlimited supply of ammunition.

The physical supply of gold is another story.  As anyone who has attempted to source gold or silver at these rock bottom prices can attest, it has been difficult to say the least, and it will be mid summer before supplies recover from the recent price shock.

Another non productive asset that is gaining on the Dow in relative terms is the Bitcoin.  While the digital currency continues to be too volatile to trade, it is still attractive anywhere under $80.  While not the panacea that many believe it to be, the Bitcoin fulfills a human need that will not soon go away.

Finally, corn, which took a similar early April bath along with a number of commodities, is raging back as well.

It will be an interesting summer indeed as the vanilla disaster continues to pile up.  Soon, owning real assets will be not simply a luxury, but a necessity, as gains in the stock indices are dwarfed by real inflationary pressures.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for May 7, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.26
Oil Price per Barrel: $95.80
Corn Price per Bushel: $6.79
10 Yr US Treasury Bond: 1.79%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US: $105.20
FED Target Rate: 0.15% ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,449 THE GOLD RUSH IS STILL ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*: 0.25%
Unemployment Rate: 7.5%
Inflation Rate (CPI): -0.2%
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 15,012
M1 Monetary Base: $2,565,500,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base: $10,571,400,000,000

On Debt Jubilees and the Fed’s Inflationary Crazy Train

2/21/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

It has been an exciting couple of days in the financial markets.  We almost can’t bear to watch.  From what little we can tell, the out-sized effects of short-term funds, which are jittery in nature, are determined to drive anyone who is taking a long view on the market mad.

Most of what passes as equity investing today is done with short-term funding provided by the Federal Reserve.  No matter how much propaganda the Fed puts out promising to maintain their QE programs in full force or keep the pedal to the metal on ZIRP, it is an inescapable fact that funds at many of the Primary Dealers are short-term and can be pulled by the Fed on a whim.

Lately, between the sequester threat and the Federal Reserve meeting notes which can only be described as anti-inflationary propaganda, the short-term funds have been taking flight.  How long this will last is anyone’s guess, but it is and always has been the Fed’s prerogative.  Whatever market participants anticipate that they will do with the regards to the money supply flashes through the equity markets, as equities are essentially on the margin of visible economic activity.

Today we wish to bring two things to the attention of our fellow taxpayers, unfortunately both of them are somewhat ominous.  They are nothing new, mind you, but as the warning signals of the next crisis and its probable outcome begin to appear on the horizon, we thought it best to keep interested readers informed.

First, Lee Adler over at the Wall Street Examiner, who performs a great service to the economic world by slicing through the economic propaganda to analyze the true data, shared this piece which is worthy of reading.  It explains how the mountains of customer deposits are piling up at Commercial banks.  If, and more probably when these deposits begin to be deployed in the real world, asset bubbles and inflation will begin to pop up in the US economy like lava flowing down the side of a volcano.

His article can be read here:

Bloomberg Reports Biggest Story of All Backwards As Fed Blows Dangerous Deposit Bubble

If Mr. Adler is correct, the Fed’s inflationary crazy train may be about to leave the station.

We are compelled to warn you that the next quote, from a piece by Jeff Neilson at www.gold-eagle.com, may be enough to make your blood boil if you are not one of the privileged classes (in other words, most of us) that he believes will likely benefit from the upcoming “Debt Jubilee,”

So what will our 21st century Debt Jubilee look like? With History’s most-corrupt governments, expect the most-corrupt “solution.” The debts of our governments, the Big Banks, and the wealthiest Oligarchs will be totally erased. We will be told they are doing this to “save us” from drowning in their (reckless/fraudulent) debts.

However, the Little People will face a somewhat different future. Their debts will be maintained at 100-cents-on-the-dollar. The bankers, politicians and Oligarchs (via their Corporate Media) will tell us that this is necessary to “protect the integrity of the System” (their System).

Think this level of perversity/injustice is impossible? We already have precedent. After the Wall Street banks had caused (created?) the Crash of ’08 (with their reckless fraud/gambling); and after they took their $15+ trillion from the U.S. government in assorted hand-outs, 0% loans, tax-breaks, and “loss guarantees” (i.e. more hand-outs); the Wall Street banksters kept their massive bonuses.

We were told this was because of “the sanctity of contracts.”

Then after this massive give-away; various U.S. governments began unilaterally hacking-and-slashing the wages, pensions, and benefits of their own workers – which had been freely/fairly negotiated in their own contracts. The reason? After giving $trillions to the bankers; the workers were told the government “couldn’t afford” to honor their contracts.

The sanctity of contracts is important, as all that men and women ultimately have in this world is their word.  Unfortunately for most of us, we may soon find out just how much the government’s word is worth.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for February 21, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.55
Oil Price per Barrel:  $93.03
Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.90
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.98%
FED Target Rate:  0.15%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,577 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,881
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,384,300,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,419,300,000,000

The GDP and Unemployment Red Herrings

2/1/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

As we begin the month of February, it would appear that the US Economy has suffered from a couple of data shocks, which, taken at face value, would call into question the validity of the current rally in nearly every asset class (save bonds) and give rise to fears of the US slipping into another Recession or worse.

First, the Gross Domestic Product read came in at a negative 0.1% for the fourth quarter.  The GDP is mostly a bogus data point in an economy with a debt based currency.  At this point, the negative data, like most data that will appear this year, will give the Federal Reserve the statistical cover they need to continue QE and decimate the dollar.

The Unemployment rate, which inched up slightly, falls into the same category.  Given the paradigm shift that the US workforce is undergoing as the internet makes geography a non issue for anyone who works from a computer, and the demographic shift as the Baby Boomers ease into retirement make it hard to say what would constitute an appropriate amount of Unemployment at this time.

Full employment has always been a slippery concept, and at this point, the BLS statistics can be counted on to err on the side of covering the inflationary consequences of QE as well.

What has not changed is that people, when given the chance, will tend to spend more money than they have.  This tendency is again being allowed to manifest itself as credit restrictions are easing in the US and soon, even your cat will begin to receive credit card offers as they did in the good old days of 2005.

The Federal Reserve and every Central Bank on the planet have stuffed every orifice of the financial system with cash, so much so that they must lend gobs of it out to remain solvent.  The consumers are taking the bait, and the wave of inflation is now rolling through stocks and commodities.  It will not stop until QE stops.

And given the propaganda that passed as economic data prints this past week, QE will be with us for quite some time.  Plan and invest accordingly.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for February 1, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.75
Oil Price per Barrel:  $97.77
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.36
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.01%
FED Target Rate:  0.15%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,667 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  14,010
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,455,100,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,412,500,000,000

The Repo man goes Basel on funding markets

1/25/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

We have been remiss in our regular correspondence to you, fellow taxpayer, and we pray you will forgive us.  We have completed and published the first two volumes in our series, called “Why what we use as Money Matters.”  It is our humble attempt to explain, well, why what we use as money matters.  The volumes are currently available on Amazon’s Kindle as wells as in various eBook formats on Smashwords and can be accessed at the following links:

What is Money? – Volume I – Free until February 7, 2013 at Smashwords

What is Money? By David Mint

Of Money and Metals -Volume 2 – Free until January 31, 2013 at Smashwords

Of Money and Metals by David MInt

Our objective in writing the series is to convince humanity of two truths:

1.  That if the activities of the earth are to be in balance with the available resources, money must be something natural, in other words, not debt or a sort of promise or idea.

2.  That Anarchy is an ultimate given, and that Capitalism is the best response to this given.

The governments of the world, as we have known them, are disintegrating, but this will be addressed in our upcoming volumes in the series.

We would be honored if you would give them a read and keep watch for the upcoming volumes, for these ideas are exceedingly important.

Back to finance

While the Fiscal cliff and subsequent fallout have taken a toll on the average working American to the count of 2% right where it counts, there is a something altogether wonderful and dreadful knocking at the door:

Inflation

The wave of inflation that has been on the horizon ever since Federal Reserve monetary policy gave us new acronyms such as ZIRP and QE, appears to be breaking and will soon wash ashore.  Now that it is breaking, the only thing that stands between it and the average working American is some flavor of collective default by the nation’s banks.  Thanks to the programs which are represented by the above mentioned acronyms, this is highly unlikely.

At this point, then, the only entities whose default could cause such a chain reaction are the Federal Reserve, US Treasury, or possibly the ECB.  However, here at The Mint we believe that the tidal waves of cash that have been unleashed may even make the default of one of these institutions manageable.

The Federal Reserve has succeeded in the sense that they have flooded the system with so much cash and have repeatedly stated in no uncertain terms that they will backstop the Treasury and MBS market until the US Dollar’s last dying breath.  While for a time, maturing debt obligations were mopping up the liquidity that the FED was pumping in, most consumers have now moved to extend maturities via refinancing or, on the conservative end, have closed out both cash and debt positions by paying off mortgages with savings which had been “ZIRPed” into dormance as an income producing asset.  This collective action has put the economy in a sort of warped reset where the fiat currency debt monster can run amok for the foreseeable future, with the attendant fatal real world consequences.

Oddly enough, as the FED begins to claim victory over the financial crises which its own policies have made possible, the double whammy of the Basel accords and Dodd-Frank regulatory regimens may eventually eliminate many of the financial institutions which today are household names.

The Repo man cometh

In what is perhaps an unintended consequence, the afore mentioned regulations have given what is known as a REPO contract its walking papers.  In our oversimplified understanding of the matter, for simplicity is a virtue here at The Mint, the REPO arrangement, which is a glorified demand deposit, has allowed banks to hold their client’s funds on their balance sheet as Tier I capital.

In 2017, these arrangements will be forced to be properly classified as demand deposits, and many of the wiser financial institutions, who already have a long way to go to reach the Basel Tier I requirements, are already steering their clients away from these arrangements.

How much capital will this pull out of the banking system?  Nobody knows.  But what is for sure is that unwinding these REPO positions will leave some institutions exposed and unprepared.  They will probably become aware of their exposure via the classic individual financial panic mechanism:

The margin call.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for January 25 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.64
Oil Price per Barrel:  $95.88
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.21
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.95%
FED Target Rate:  0.15%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,659 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.8%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,896
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,397,900,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,501,100,000,000

Open Debauchery of the Money Supply

12/21/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

As the world carries on we offer a glimpse of what is to come.  Two playful headlines that have appeared in the past two days which is essentially an advertisement that inflation has taken hold and will not soon go away:

U.S. Mint testing new metals to make coins cheaper

This article confirms what metals watchers have known for some time now, that the US Mint will have to change the content of pennies and nickels, at a minimum.  The Nickel inflation hedge we’ve mentioned before is about to go into effect.  You can read the gory details in the US Mint’s 2012 Biennial Report to Congress on the matter.

Next, we see that, strangely it seems, demand for $100 bills has begun to pick up.

Cash is King:  Printing of $100 Bills Soars

It appears that the dollar debasement is hitting main street.  To keep tabs on the matter, we refer you to the M2 money supply which we present below in our Key Statistics.

The debauchery of the US currency is now hitting the street, which may mean its days are numbered.  Once the moronic Fiscal Cliff and the upcoming Debt ceiling redux in March 2013 are resolved, the party will begin in earnest.

We reckon that over the next few months there will be a narrow window to get precious metals at what, in retrospect, will be a bargain price.  We look for the price to rise in fits and starts from early January through March, then take off through May.  Part of this is seasonal, and part of it is the debauchery related above.  However, it is the debauchery which will punctuate the upcoming move.

We would like to take this opportunity to send you all a big hug and wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season from us here at the Mint!

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for December 21 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.55
Oil Price per Barrel:  $88.66
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.02
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.75%
FED Target Rate:  0.17%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,657 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,190
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,374,000,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,428,000,000,000

Perpetuation of the Trillion dollar coin solution to US Debt

As our site name implies, we have more than a passing interest in monetary theory.  As such, ideas for new types of coin and currency are of special interest.  When the value of the coins proposed contains an insane amount of seigniorage, we are compelled to call it out.

 

The Fiscal Cliff melodrama playing out in the halls of US Federal Government’s Capital has given rise to the above mentioned monetary insanity.

As the so called, moronic “Fiscal Cliff” false alarm approaches, it becomes more common for those of a Socialist/Statist leaning philosophy to search for easy solutions to what amounts to enabling catastrophic policy failures, out of control spending, and unsustainable debt pacts.

This is not surprising, as Socialism and economics are incompatible philosophies. Anyone who claims otherwise either mistakenly applies small system theory to large scale systems or is a shill. From one of these insane theorists comes the idea of the US Treasury coining a trillion dollar platinum coin to deposit at the FED, who would then cancel the Treasury’s debts.

This will not happen, first and foremost, because the insane monetary system relies on debt as its lifeblood, as such, any debt cancellation by the underlying foundation of US Treasury debt is out of the question.

Second, it must be recognized that coining a trillion dollar coin, theoretically equal to 1/60 of global GDP, that anyone other than the FED would accept at face value, is impossible, it simply flies in the face of reason.  The FED has been paying 100 cents on the dollar for the MBS toilet paper that banks have sold to them for years now, as such, any concept of value left the halls of the Federal Reserve years ago.

The third reason is that the US debt at the FED has already been largely canceled via the FED’s various QE operations over the past several years. For the reasoning as to why the official US Debt held by the FED hasn’t been lowered to better reflect its true drag on GDP, we refer fellow taxpayers back to reason one.

We will present more data to back this claim in the coming week. In the meantime, if someone offers you a trillion dollar coin, be sure to check the spot price of platinum before making a more reasonable counter-offer. In any event, you are better off holding the platinum, as someday it will be worth are least a trillion Federal Reserve notes, the shills at the FED and Treasury have assured it.

The Inflation Mega Trend/Commodity Super Cycle is alive and well

10/19/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

At the bottom of every Mint, we include a handy set of data which we consider so important that we have named the compilation ‘Key Indicators.”  Taken apart, they are just numbers.  They are neither good not bad, they are simply data points.

Taken together, they tell a story.  The story of The Mint’s Key Indicators is one of what Nadeem Walayat, over at the Market Oracle, refers to as the “Inflation Mega-Trend.”  The phenomenon, in other corners, has been referred to as the “Commodity Super Cycle,” and other superlatives.

The driving factor behind the narrative is that the monetary authorities across the globe are in the process of causing inflation, via direct electronic money printing and intervening in debt markets to create the illusion of low borrowing rates, on a scale once thought impossible.

What makes their inflationary actions all the more sinister is that they are continually trumpeted in the media as necessary due to fears of deflation.

The Inflation Mega Trend, if it indeed is intact, has serious implications for investment strategies.  First and foremost, fixed income is dead.  Most governmental and institutional debt instruments are issued today at negative real interest rates, meaning that those purchasing them are agreeing, up front, to a loss in purchasing power of the funds.

The classic way to invest in this environment, has been to purchase precious metals, other hard commodities, real estate, and, as one analyst put it, “plastic silverware, toilet paper, really anything real.”  Equities have also been a good place to invest as long as the trend is intact, preferably those stocks which are components of the indices which are targeted to rise by the monetary authorities, such as the Dow Jones and S&P 500.

If one is following this investment strategy, the question that must be asked, day after day, year after year, is the following:

Is the Inflation Mega Trend still in place?

The Mint’s Key Indicators are presented to respond to this question.  The following is a table which compares each Key Indicator to its level on the same day during the past two years, along with a one word interpretation as to what the annual change in the indicator is telling us:

The Mint's Key Indicators on October 19
The Mint’s Key Indicators on October 19

What is striking about this graphic is that, of the three indicators which do not indicate that inflation is continuing, two are, at this point, directly controlled by the Federal Reserve’s actions, the 10yr US Treasury Yield and the FED Target Rate.

Folks, despite deflationary propaganda to the contrary, the Inflation Mega Trend is alive and well.  Don’t believe the hype and invest accordingly.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for October 19, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.71
Oil Price per Barrel:  $92.03
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.60
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.83%
FED Target Rate:  0.15%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,742 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.8%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,549
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,334,000,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,199,400,000,000

QQE – Quantum Physics meets Central Banking

10/4/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

There is much confusion amongst economists regarding the effects of the various programs which are currently being run by the largest of the Western Central Banking cartels known as Quantitative easing, better known by its keystroke saving acronym, QE.

For the uninitiated, QE involves the Central Bank issuing currency in exchange for government debt and all other manner of otherwise worthless financial assets provided to it by the banking class.  In the best of cases, it provides liquidity for what would be a temporary hiccup in an otherwise healthy economy.  In the worst of cases, which most who have taken a sober look at the financial industry would agree we are in, it serves as a backstop for financial asset prices, placing an artificial floor under the price of what passes as collateral in the financial system.

In any case, the Central Bank agrees to swap the wine of its currency for the sewage on bank balance sheets.  As anyone who has put this theory to the test will tell you, if you add a teaspoon of wine to barrel full of sewage, you get sewage, while if you add a teaspoon of sewage to a barrel full of wine, you get…sewage.

Wine barrels
QE – Sewage in disguise

Following this analogy, the existence of QE means that the currency of all of the Western world is now sewage.

While the pure, hard money Austrian school analyst sees it as a prelude to a hyperinflationary event, the Keynesian sees it as a necessary evil.  At this point, there is no real argument that QE, by definition, is inflationary.  However, the perverted feedback loop between the Central banks’ issuance of currency, the Governments’ issuance of debt, and the banking sector serving as an increasingly weak middleman, has managed to keep a large portion of the freshly created currency parked in either the Treasury or at the Central Bank in the form of excess bank reserves.

As the logic of the Central Bank goes, once the storm blows over, the stars will align and all of the sewage will turn back into wine.  The currency created as a part of QE will simply disappear, as it never really left the FED anyway.

Simple logic, right?  You can almost cut the naivety with a knife.  The fact is that the freshly minted currency is here to stay.  As long as the Governments, Central banks, and banking cartel exist in their present form, none of them can afford for even a cent of the sewage they have created to disappear.  It is there for the long haul.  All the average man or woman can hope for is that the sewage doesn’t spill off of their balance sheets or work its way to the water supply of the real economy.

All of this is old hat to fiat currency hounds and bond vigilantes.  The dangerous new twist which is just now in its infancy is the application of quantum theory to the mix.

Here, we must turn to the razor sharp intellect of Mr. Walayat, whose analysis over at The Market Oracle is on the cutting edge and generally spot on.

Walayat, along with Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner, are amongst the handful of analysts with a true understanding of the banking system and the motives and logical consequences of the actions of the Central banking cartel.

As the currency event in Iran unfolds, those of us in the “secure” West would do well to read up on what awaits as the Western Central banks throw their inflationary machines into overdrive, what Walayat refers to as “The Quantum of Quantitative Easing, or the keystroke saver: QQE.”

The operation of QQE is simple and predictable, yet unnecessarily mind-boggling.

As in a standard QE operation, it begins with the Government issuing debt which is purchased by members of the banking cartel in exchange for currency, which it then spends on any number of pet projects.  The Central Bank then buys the Government debt from the banks and receives the interest which is paid by the Government.  The Banks park the currency they have received from the Central Bank at the Central Bank and earn interest on it.

QQE ensues when the Central Bank then returns to the Government the difference between the interest paid by the Government on its own debt and the interest paid out to the Banks to keep them afloat.  As the Central Bank will never take a nominal loss on their debt holdings, and the Government will never default as long as QE remains in place, The Government is not borrowing at the implied interest rate that it auctions its debt at, rather, it is effectively borrowing at the rate that the banks earn on their reserves deposited at the Central bank, less the cost of the Central Bank’s operations!

Is your head spinning yet?  Stay with us, it gets better.  The longer that the policy of QE continues (and it will continue until the currencies of the world blow up, as the Iranian Rial is in the process of doing,) the Government is effectively swapping out its old debt, issued 30 years ago at anywhere between 11 and 14%, for new debt at an effective rate of 0.25%!  Those interest savings on the rollover are the rocket fuel of QQE.  They are what will allow the Governments to both ramp up spending and reduce the relative size of their balance sheet.

By the way, those “savings” come at the expense of every person and organization which holds the currency as a savings vehicle.

In order to gain a fuller understanding of just what is going on, read the articles linked in the above paragraphs at your leisure.  They will help to make sense of what is occurring as we begin to see the paradox of increased government spending and reduced or stable levels of national debt.

Oh yes, and double digit real inflation rates, despite the irrelevant claims of the BLS propaganda machine.  Plan accordingly, this is not a drill.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for October 4, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.77
Oil Price per Barrel:  $91.45
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.57
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.67%

FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,790 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,575  
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,355,800,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,070,300,000,000

The Bernanke Ka-Put

9/19/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Most of the world who bothers to keep up with monetary matters, as we at The Mint are tasked with doing, have now digested and “evacuated” (to use the medical terminology) the jest of the FED’s last communication to the world.  Amongst other things, the FED’s public image, Ben Bernanke, indicated

Ben Bernanke Testimony
Bernanke’s Put will leave a painful mark on household budgets

that the all knowing Federal Reserve Bank, protector of the US currency and guarantor of full employment for all, will take the following actions:

1.  The FED will keep the FED funds rate target zero bound through 2015.  Since the FED funds rate has been zero bound for over three years now, the FED has taken to increasing the year at the end of this statement, in this case 2015, since they are reluctant to target a negative interest rate.  Think of the year as just another decimal point in this absurd equation.

2.  They will take Quantitative Easing (QE) to a whole new level.  Starting with $40 Billion in free funds to holders of mortgage notes and other rehypothecated asset backed (the astute will note the oxymoron) trash each month, for the rest of their existence.

This is not a drill.

The FED has tipped their hand so far that even most bankers (save Morgan Stanley) and government officials now understand what is going on.  We are witnessing what will come to be known as the Bernanke Put, or Ka-Put, as we now refer to it.

As Ira Epstein eloquently put it in his most recent Gold Report:  “Basically, the Fed threw the kitchen sink at the market.”

The Bernanke Ka-Put, taken together with the recent comments by Mario Draghi of the ECB and the ruling of the German High Court, which further sealed the Euro currency’s inflationary demise, leave no room for doubt as to what the MO of the world’s Central Banks is.

What does it mean?  The FED will print money to prop up the system no matter what happens.  Rampant price inflation and intermittent panics (due to the malinvestment which is occurring as a result of the FED’s money printing) must now be assumed in any financial model and household budget.

Additionally, contingency planning, with the assumptions of the disruption of services and supply lines, must now take place.  Malinvestment means that things will begin to “not work” (an understatement, to be sure) in the real world as a result of the financial engineering being practiced by the FED and every other Central Bank and banking cartel on the planet.

Again, This is not a drill.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for September 19, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.77
Oil Price per Barrel:  $94.57
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.40
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.77%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,771 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,609
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,470,800,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,103,400,000,000

Soybean prices exploding

The price of corn and soy have been exploding in recent weeks:

image

Is it just seasonal factors, or is Dr. Bernanke’s inflationary storm hitting main street? One thing’s for sure, the price of beef will drop will drop in the short term.  See the full article at the Business Insider.

G7 Meet to Stop Yen’s Dramatic Rise and the BLS Calls BS on its Broad CPI Measure – A Mint Classic

Over the past year, the Bank of Japan has tried numerous times to Kamikaze its currency and has failed miserably.  As of the writing of this classic Mint, the USDJPY exchange stood at about 80:1.  Check today to see how the Bank of Japan has fared.
 
As for the other theme, if anyone still believes in the BLS’ headline inflation number, they probably work at the Federal Reserve and watch I-Pad prices for signs of inflation!

Enjoy!
 
3/18/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
 
The G7 Central Bankers have called an emergency meeting to “do something” about the “skyrocketing Japanese Yen.”  This meeting is simply their latest attempt to combat reality.  The reality of the situation in Japan is that they are dealing with a catastrophe.  When one is dealing with a catastrophe, the next prudent step, after all of the immediate crises have been contained, is to take stock of the situation.  By taking stock, we mean that one takes note of what was lost and, more importantly, what one will need in order to restore things to an acceptable level of comfort.Comforts cost money.  In Japan, to replace these comforts the average person needs Yen.  They will either get this Yen by making a claim with their insurance company or selling assets to raise cash.  With damages of nearly $15 Trillion Yen (roughly 3% of Japan’s GDP) and counting you can imagine how the demand for Yen is, well, about to skyrocket.

 
The Japanese people are still dealing with the catastrophe.  Speculators in the currency markets are, as always, one step ahead of what must happen and are sapping liquidity, in terms of Yen, at a rapid pace.  This activity, taken at face value, will presumably wreak havoc for Japanese Government Bond prices, the prices of stocks traded on the Nikkei, and the US Dollar.
 
These three markets will crash if nature is allowed to take its course.  You see, in the tipsy turvy world of currencies, to buy a yen more often than not means that a US dollar, a JGB, or a stock listed on the Nikkei is sold on the other side of the trade.
 
The most sought after currency in the world, at least until the G7 meet tomorrow
 
The accelerated selling of dollars, as Jim Rogers points out, could cause the endgame scenario for the US currency to swiftly come upon the world.  Mr. Rogers goes so far as to call this a “Moment of Truth for the dollar.”
You can see the brief interview by clicking here.
 
Of course, as Mr. Rogers points out, it may be time to buy the dollar, if for some reason it is to survive as a top tier currency.  We have lived just long enough to know that anything is possible.
 
The G7 meeting today is VERY IMPORTANT.  It should not be, if only the world had not left the embrace of sound money 40 years ago, but unfortunately, it is.  For the G7 will essentially decide whether to keep the Dollar on life support or to pull the plug.
 
What will they do?
 
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the legion of bureaucrats who are charged with cranking out data in order to support FED policy, appears to be starting its own form of political protest against the loose dollar policies followed by the Federal Reserve.  After faithfully cranking out the core CPI, a key statistic here at The Mint, for years and watching it slowly become distorted into the puppet statistic that it now is, they came out with a data point in 2002 called the “Chained Consumer Price Index” which takes into account a rolling average of food and fuel costs, which the core CPI now blatantly ignores.
 
This index hit a record high in February, confirming what most average Americans already know:  It has never been more expensive to live in the Land of the Free.
 
Will we be Brave enough to return to sound money?  You, fellow taxpayer, can take a step in that direction with just a few simple keystrokes.  APMEX, our affiliate, is running a contest.  They are giving away one 1 oz gold eagle coin each month.  All you have to do to enter is register by clicking this link and filling in the blanks.  You can register to win once per month.  If you so desire, click here and Register at APMEX.com Today!
 
By definition, the black hole of debt will always grow at a more rapid pace than the worthless currency that is printed in an attempt to fill it.  If the black hole collapses (i.e. widespread default occurs), hyperinflation will occur quickly.  If currency becomes scarce, people will find another medium of exchange, likely gold and/or silver.
 
Either way, the world will be out of this mess before long, so hold on to your hats, it is bound to be a wild ride to the other side!
 
Stay Fresh!
 
 
 
P.S.  If you enjoy or at least tolerate The Mint please share us with your friends, family, and associates!
 
Key Indicators for Friday, March 18th, 2011
 

US Debt Ceiling Vote to Ignite Armageddon in Bond Markets? Key Indicators all Point to Inflation – A Mint Classic

Today we are taking a break en route to Bolivia.  Breathing in La Paz is hard enough, let alone attempting to dissect what is occurring in the World economy.  As such, we offer a look at things which we wrote about 14 short months ago which came to pass just 8 short months ago.  A much ignored number which is peculiar to America, the debt ceiling.
 
Today, the number is mostly ceremonial but it is important to remember that the US is likely to breach the $16.2 trillion symbolic limit in the near future.  Will we have  repeat of the events we described?  Enjoy!
 
1/18/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
 
For some months now we have been wrestling with the notion that there will be a major collapse in the Bond Markets.  We have speculated as to the causes and possible effects in these chronicles, comparing the coming events to the battle of Armageddon, famously prophesied by John in the book of Revelation, Chapter 16.  Bondholders have been lured into a valley, and our guess is that they are about to get slaughtered.
 
When and how will this occur?  This is the subject of our speculation today.  Be forewarned, fellow Gambler, that we do not have any sort of inside information.  Rather, we rely on our own wild imagination and questionable powers of deduction.  Actual events may differ dramatically from what we imagine, and we pray that they will!
 
Our current speculation has its origin in digesting the reality of the upcoming Congressional vote as to whether or not to raise the debt ceiling.  In the past, this would barely have been news.  The government almost always, without fail, spends more money than it takes in. This is one of the few things that you can count on a democratically elected government to do.  To cover the deficit, the government must issue debt.  Since there is almost always a deficit and there is almost always interest to be paid on existing debt, the amount of debt owed by the government must always increase.  This is the basis of our current insane monetary system.
 
 But wait!  Along comes a group of Congressmen and women that either don’t understand the game or are unwilling to play along any longer.  They appear, at least from their rhetoric, to be set to vote AGAINST raising the debt ceiling (the total amount of debt that the US Government can officially borrow).  In theory, this would mean that Government expenditures would have to be immediately reduced by $1 Trillion, the projected deficit for current fiscal year, and further reduced to give them the ability to roll over the roughly $3 Trillion dollars worth of US Treasury debt that is set to mature in 2011, even assuming that it can be rolled over at 0% interest.  Both of these are plausible but highly unlikely scenarios.
 
 
As an aside, you can watch all of the dizzying US Debt statistics here.  We advise you to take some Dramamine beforehand.
 
However, a “NO” vote on raising the debt ceiling would make these highly unlikely scenarios not only likely but absolutely necessary.  A “NO” vote would likely trigger a sell-off not only in the US Treasury Debt Markets but also in every fixed income and equity market on the planet.  This sell-off would lead to an unprecedented amount of cash chasing around a finite number of real goods.  
 
In short, the end result of a “NO” vote would be a paralyzed Government and hyperinflation.
 
On the other hand, a “YES” vote is no picnic either.  Many of these Congressmen and women were around the last time they had to vote on a measure with such broad reaching financial implications.  Does the TARP Fiasco of 2008 ring a bell?
 
On the bright side, a “NO” vote would bring an abrupt end to the insanity of the present world monetary system.  A system that is based on debt, not real money, which causes the productive forces of mankind to cannibalize themselves.  After the initial shock, a “NO” vote would be a great thing for mankind.  Do today’s politicians have the backbone to do this?  Only time will tell, but here at The Mint, we believe that at this point a “NO” vote or a stall tactic (which is practically the same thing) may in fact be likely to occur this spring.  We are not alone in this boat, as back in November former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin alluded to this vote as a possible “trigger for a “rout in the Treasury Market.”
 
While all signs in the Bond Markets point to an implosion, either this spring or at some unspecified date in the future, all of our Key Indicators here at The Mint are continuing to point to Inflation.  It is for this very reason that we observe them daily, to ensure that our hypothesis is correct.  These are the “cards” the we hold as gamblers.  Each one merits in depth study as to its economic significance but we will spare our fellow gamblers this depth for now and jump directly to the practical application. 
 
At the end of every Mint, we present the Key Indicators.  We encourage you to compare them with the Key Indicators from previous Mints.  If the Key Indicators are generally higher (with three exceptions) than they have been in the past, we expect inflation, maybe a lot of it.  If they are lower, we would expect deflation.  The magnitude of the inflation or deflation depends upon the magnitude of the changes in the numbers.
The three exceptions, of course, are the “FED Target Rate”, the “MINT Perceived Target Rate”, and the “Inflation Rate (CPI).”  In the case of these three indicators, if the number is lower than it has been in the past, we can expect inflation.  If they are higher, we would expect deflation.   
 
You may also click on each data point below for a link to its source to better perform trend analysis.
The timing of what is to come is a mystery.  Based on recent data, inflation is walking up the drive but still a ways from the door.  If we had to guess, we would expect inflation in full force by January 2012.  If Congress pulls the trigger with a “NO” vote this spring, it could arrive quite a bit sooner.
 
As Kenny Rogers wisely said, “Know when to walk away and know when to run!”
 
Stay Fresh!
 
 
 
 
P.S.  If you enjoy or at least tolerate The Mint please share us with your friends, family, and associates!
 
Key Indicators for Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
 
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  4.5%
Unemployment Rate:  9.4%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.5%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  11,787
M1 Monetary Base:  $1,954,500,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $8,881,000,000,000 (this numbers stands roughly $2 trillion higher today, about the same amount that the debt ceiling was ceremoniously increased back in August.  Coincidence?  we think not!)

Bernanke Sends the US Dollar on a Suicide Mission

2/7/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

We have been cooking up a project here at The Mint and have been remiss in our faithful correspondence to you, fellow taxpayer.  For this, we offer you our humble apologies. 

With our mission partially accomplished, we are back in the saddle and riding the monetary range.  The days have been uncharacteristically sunny here in the Northwest, and it should come as no surprise that the outlook has cleared up, along with the skies.  While Europe remains in the dual grip of debt and cold, the US is once again tying its shoes and heading out to dance.

Official unemployment is down and inflation is nowhere to be seen according to the government.

Yes, fellow taxpayer, all signs indicate that a Keynesian socialized monetary system has saved the day.

Yet no matter what the official statistics say, there is something much more important occurring as we write, something that will adversely affect every person who is long the current US Dollar via holding the currency directly or indirectly via some vague promise to have the currency delivered in the future (Read:  Bonds, MBS, and any derivative of such).

The fateful occurrence is this:  The US Dollar is about to carry out its suicide mission.

Suicide mission?  Wouldn’t the Government inform us of something as important as the severe devaluation of the currency?

Yes and no.

Allow us to explain.  First and foremost, the Government, who, behind the banks in the Federal Reserve system, gain the most from a weak dollar, have a tremendous incentive to devalue the dollar as well as a tremendous incentive to hide this fact.

However, the truth can easily be deduced by simply observing what the stated Federal funds rate is at any given time and waiting approximately three years for the effects of that rate to hit main street.

39 months, to be exact, but here at The Mint there are no extra points given for accuracy.

Where were we, something about a suicide mission, ah yes…

Join us, fellow taxpayer, on a journey back to the lazy days of August and September of 2007.  The world could not have been brighter.  Everything seemed to be turning up roses, which in retrospect should have been the first sign of trouble.

 

"Benky" sends the US Dollar on its final quest

 

In early September, Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, has just parked his avatar, “Benky” and logged off of World of Warcraft after completing a quest during his third day of “work” after a much undeserved vacation when the phone in his office rang.

“It’s time,” said the voice on the other end, and Bernanke slowly hung up the phone.  Nothing more needed to be said.

The Federal Reserve was finished; it was only a matter of time.  100 years of subtle confiscation was about to go into the history books, and it was time to execute the plans which had been laid for its chief agent, the US Dollar, to go out in spectacular fashion. 

Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues held a cursory open market meeting to say a tearful goodbye to the currency which they had been sworn to defend.  They then set in motion a series of rate cuts which to this day have not been reversed.

The US Dollar was off on its suicide mission.

It had been on many similar missions before, all with overwhelming success in what were increasingly high risk operations against multiple targets, and it had always returned to its home shores with the spoils of war in its train, stronger and more arrogant for the experience.

But this mission was unheard of.  Delving into short term interest rate depths never before attempted by a currency its size.  Infiltrating foreign bases and confiscating wealth on an unimaginable scale.  Only this time, it was not foreseen that it would return.  A bigger, stronger, and more efficient model was waiting in the wings to swoop in and bring the spoils, which the US Dollar was to so painstakingly confiscate, home.

The mission, as in the past, was to take three years.  Beginning at the FED, it would make a slow and steady descent through the short term funding markets and then plunge, in the span of 15 months, to the unexplored bottom.  There it would lurk, setting mines and nets for the next 39 months which would confiscate the wealth of not just individuals and corporations, but of nations and multinationals as well.

It would be a grand climax to an illustrious career.

For their part, Bernanke and his colleagues at the FED would provide all of the cover fire they could muster in order to give the US Dollar as much time as possible to carry out its terrible work.  In the end, however, there was little doubt that the currency would be found, tried, and executed during this tour of duty.

So certain was this fact, that neither provision nor measure was to be taken by anyone at the FED to rescue the US Dollar.  No further resources would be used in its rescue, save the empty words of Bernanke and his colleagues. 

The US Dollar’s orders were clear:  To remain at the ultimate depths of short term funding markets, laying as many traps as possible, until it expired in this effort.

It is a grim mission, to be sure, with a grim outcome for those who are long the US Dollar and, ultimately, for the dollar itself.

Circa February 7, 2011, it appears to the greater world that the US Dollar has descended to the 1% level, the exact level it had been perceived to be at on that fateful day in late summer of 2007 when Mr. Bernanke got the call.  For most people, it feels that all has returned to normal after four years of what can only be described as an economic nightmare.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

For in one short month, it will be clear that the US Dollar, rather than returning to base at the FED, as it has for nearly 100 years, has gone deeper and further into the pockets of the world than any currency has ever dared go before.

And it is about to pick each and every one of them.

If there was ever a time to own real assets instead of US Dollars, it is now.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for February 7, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.85
Oil Price per Barrel:  $98.55

Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.42
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.99%

FED Target Rate:  0.11%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,742 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  1.00% DROPPING LIKE A ROCK INTO MARCH!!!
Unemployment Rate:  8.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,881

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,198,400,000,000 RED ALERT!!!  THE ANIMALS ARE LEAVING THE ZOO!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,686,800,000,000 YIKES UP $1 Trillion in one year!!!!!!!

Disturbing economic trends continue into 2012

1/9/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

2012 has gotten off to a relatively uneventful start on all fronts.  Stock and Bond markets continue on autopilot and are completely underwritten by central banks at this point.  Commodity prices seem to be following the inflationary path that the central banks support of the stock and bond markets has set them on.  Meanwhile, productivity, real output, appears stable and poised to climb, which should further fuel inflation as the money supply begins to overwhelm the supply of real goods and labor.

The assault on civil liberties continues.  The United States surrendered its status as a free country when it approved the NDAA, assuring that they government could detain anyone, anywhere, for as long as they want, without ever having to produce charges.

 

 

 

Finally, widespread corruption continues unabated.  Officials at MF Global are still loose after robbing $1.2 billion of client funds in a desperate attempt to stave off a margin call which brought down the firm as the CME washed its hands of the situation, leaving traders everywhere wondering if their univested brokerage funds are safe or even truly exist.

Now, from Switzerland, the bastion of financial morality, comes word that the wife of Philipp Hildebrand, now former Chairman of its central bank, made a substantial purchase of US Dollars just weeks before her husband and his colleagues shocked the world by surrendering the Swiss franc to the same fate as the doomed Euro.  Coincidence?  It would appear not.

 

The Swiss National Bank Courtesy of Baikonur

 

In short, there is nothing in the data to disprove the hypothesis that the world’s financial system and by default the nations which are currently charged with it are headed to hell in a hand basket. 

This, fellow taxpayers, should be cause for hope.  For only when it is acutely understood by all involved the incredible destruction which is being wrought every single day by the current, insane, “debt is money” financial system under which we live, can things finally begin to get better.

 

We hope and pray that the day of collective acute understanding is near, and that the transition to a new system passes peacefully.

 

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for January 9, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.39
Oil Price per Barrel:  $101.40

Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.52  
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.96%

FED Target Rate:  0.07%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,611 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.00%
Unemployment Rate:  8.5%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  11,995  

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,290,800,000,000 RED ALERT!!!  THE ANIMALS ARE LEAVING THE ZOO!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,718,900,000,000 YIKES UP $1 Trillion in one year!!!!!!!

Revolution Fire Continues to Rage, What’s wrong with Anarchy?

For your weekend enjoyment we offer another classic Mint in its original form.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

2/24/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Today we can hardly believe our eyes.  What appeared to be a simple revolution in a remote land, Tunisia, has begun a chain of events that may touch every person on the planet before it is through.  We will call it the “Fire” of revolution, at it seems to be catching everywhere.  The grievances of a generation are beginning to be aired in public forums from Tripoli to Madison, Wisconsin.  As you are aware, we are of the opinion that the spark for this fire began it what may appear to be a very far away place.  Washington, D.C.  
 
While many conspiracy theorists have their own, well, theories, we believe that this is collateral damage from the Federal Reserve’s misguided attempt to leave no debt unpaid by simply printing the money up to pay them.  It is simple enough to do in their ivory towers, but the consequences in the real world, in the form of trade and production imbalances, which are sometimes referred to as “Malinvestments,” are absolutely and totally destructive to balance in society.
 
The consequences of printing money are generally felt in two forms.
 
The most obvious form is what is being seen in Greece and now Wisconsin.  In these cases the government made promises to workers, retirees, and other constituents that they cannot honor.  The governments appear to be doing the honest thing and are effectively defaulting on these promises.  However, they are attempting to default at exactly the wrong moment, as the increased money supply begins to pinch workers in the developed world.  In both cases, many public workers are simply being asked to give up privileges such as the ability to take a long holiday at the beach.  In both cases, we are seeing sometimes violent evidence of just how hard it is for the government to default on its promises.
 
The less obvious and more damaging form of consequences are what we are seeing in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain and Libya.  In these cases, the governments are not technically defaulting on promises, rather, they are seen as the scapegoats for rapidly rising food costs which threaten to drive many to the point of starvation.  These rising food costs are the indirect result of the governments in the developed world attempting to give their public employees holidays at the beach.  Naturally, with the stakes higher in the developing world, a sense of desperation has set in and the pace of and violence involved in the uprisings is markedly higher.
 
Today we will go one step further at the risk letting the FED off the hook for sparking these revolutions with their insane monetary policy.  That step is to postulate that the cause of the flood of money and credit which has lead to higher food prices stems from people’s unwavering faith in their leaders and/or elected governments.  This unwavering faith, which stems from people’s need to feel secure, generates an inertia towards demands for a nanny state, in which the government is expected to take care of every legitimate and some illegitimate needs presented to them by the people. 
 
This arrangement appears to work very well as long as the government and/or leader appear to have the means to provide for these needs.  This arrangement is also the very reason that the government and/or leader will never have the means to provide for these needs indefinitely.  You see, this arrangement generally discourages productive activity and encourages unproductive activity (commonly known as freeloading and currently justified by vague appeals to any myriad of “rights”) which eventually leads to the shortages and imbalances that are at the root of the revolutionary fires that are currently raging.
 
Is Anarchy the Answer?
Central Banks like the FED are simply the enablers of this dangerous “Social Contract” that is being defaulted upon globally before our very eyes.  Their motivation for enabling is that the arrangement is extremely profitable for their member banks.  When stripped of its veil of legitimacy, the arrangement more resembles a drug cartel than a productive banking system.
 
So if the desire for government is truly the root of the problem, as we have speculated, then would not anarchy be the solution?  No!  You say!  Anarchy is chaos and destruction!  But is it really?  In the strict sense of the word, Anarchy simply means the absence of government.  In the absence of government, people would quickly understand that they would need to protect and provide for themselves.  This understanding would be quickly followed by the realization that in order to do this they will need to deepen their productive cooperation with their fellow man or woman.
 
When theft is no longer publicly sanctioned, suddenly the Golden Rule would become the law of the land, with its fruits of peace, freedom, and abundance following soon thereafter.
 
Until people realize that they need God more than they need a government, we will watch violent struggles to fill the vacuums of power currently being created.  Struggles that often give us such esteemed leaders such as Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, whose loyal tribesmen chose to ditch multimillion dollar aircraft in the desert rather than follow his orders to bomb the opposition, and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, who apparently has not mastered the use of caller ID or plain old fashioned voice recognition.
 
Stay Fresh!
 
 
 
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Key Indicators for Thursday, February 24th, 2011