Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

The Greatest North American Holiday is Upon Us

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

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

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

For tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Thanksgiving

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 27, 2013

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

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

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

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

On Thanksgiving, a glimmer of hope for Peace in the Middle East

11/21/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Today, the rockets around grounded in the Holy Land.  For how long, is anybody’s guess.  It appears, as most negotiations are, to be a mixed outcome, as both Egypt and the US are involved in the role of policing the agreement.

The current cease fire, which has, for the moment, halted aggressions between Hamas and Israel, appears to call for the Egyptian government to guarantee the conditions are being met with big brother, the United States, monitoring the situation.

If indeed the rockets, in particular the longer range Fajr-5s, remain neutralized, Israel will have gained a key objective.  However, according to Stratfor, it appears that, for the moment, only Hamas and Israel have assented to the cease fire.  The Palestinian Jihad remains a variable, and how long the cease fire will last likely hinges upon their willingness to observe it, as any projectile launched into Israel from Gaza will likely trigger the imminent Israeli ground invasion.

It is difficult to tell if Israel is strategically better off assenting to what is being reported as a tentative cease fire.  While humankind benefits, this will slow progress towards what we perceive to be the Israeli’s ultimate goal with this operation, the disabling of Iran’s nuclear program.

On the other hand, Israel now has the US firmly engaged, raising the odds that US assets will be called into the region.  In a sense, they have been hovering there for the past 11 years.

The United States has a gigantic problem of its own, namely, a Fiscal train wreck which is nearing impact with an ETA of January 1.  The train wreck has already done a great deal of damage, as assumptions across the board are being reset in anticipation of Washington punting or worse, bungling the situation.

Unfortunately, it is the type of problem that the Keynesians who dominate economic thought at the highest levels have openly advocated war, the ultimate economic stimulus in a self destructive, insane, “debt is money” system, as a remedy.

As the winds of war continue to swirl about the Middle East, let us be thankful for the gesture made by Hamas and Israel, and pray that it will bear the fruit of an everlasting peace in the region.  For in the deepest despair lies the potential for the greatest hope, and consequently the greatest good.

At this hour there have been few specifics as to what the terms of the cease fire are, but the mere fact that the hostilities have ceased comes as a great relief and gives those of us celebrating Thanksgiving, the wonderful, unique, and perhaps purest holiday celebration that we know of, an extra reason to celebrate tomorrow.

We continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and beyond, for peace is merely a matter of erasing borders and choosing to forgive.

For a lasting peace to prevail, the deadly “Might Makes Right” mentality must be renounced in favor of IMMEDIATE FORGIVENESS, and it is up to each one of us to choose to forgive and be forgiven.  Only then, when there is peace in our hearts, will the world know peace.

Happy Thanksgiving, may you and yours dine on forgiveness and drink in grace this Holiday Season.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 21, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.47
Oil Price per Barrel:  $87.65
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.41
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.69%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,729 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,837
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,458,800,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,333,800,000,000

Rockaway Beach, Jaca, and the illusion of Market Homeostasis

11/29/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

We are back from a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday spent with family in lovely Rockaway Beach, Oregon.  Rockaway Beach is a gem of a town on the Oregon coast which straddles Rock Creek as it descends from the Coastal Range and violently collides with the Pacific Ocean.

We were fortunate to awake each morning with a front row seat to this raging battle.  At low tide, the creek appeared to make headway as it made its final run into the great unknown.  The beach was immense and inviting, and seagulls roamed the sands to find what the sea had left behind as an appetizer.

At high tide, the sea was angry.  The creek’s advances were violently thrust back again and again as the full weight of the Pacific came in against it.  The beach and its inhabitants disappeared and we were glad to be looking down on the raging waves from the third floor of the townhouse.

We now understand why navigating the mouth of the Columbia River was a fool’s game for centuries.

The central Oregon coast is unique.  It is never quite warm enough, no matter what time of year one visits, to be a suitable substitute for the tropics.  Nor is it ever quite cool enough to be easily categorized as Nordic.  It permanently exists in a state somewhere between these two extremes.

The State of Oregon declared the entire coast a state highway in 1913 and affirmed the beaches as public lands via passage of the Oregon Beach Bill in 1967.  These two actions have kept the coast both accessible to the public and in generally pristine condition. 

Essentially, these are no private beaches in Oregon   For this, we are grateful, as the coast may be one of the most peaceful and photogenic places on the planet.

Rockaway Beach
Sunset at Rockaway Beach

Our time in sleepy Rockaway Beach was pleasant.  Apart from seven miles of coastline, the town has a park and a number of antique and craft dealers.  On Friday evening we were treated to the annual town Christmas tree decorating and lighting ceremony along with an old fashioned sing-a-long led by the school choir.

Rockaway Beach
A Family enjoys the sunset at Rockaway Beach, Oregon

Songbooks and cookies were passed around and the choir took requests from the crowd.  The last time we experienced such an expression of civic merry making was in the mountain town of Jaca in Aragon.  As we arrived in Jaca, it was dark and persons were flocking to the green in front of the Castle of San Pedro.  They appeared to jump at our car as if from nowhere.

Once settled in to our accommodations, we joined them and were invited to a sing-a-long in the early autumn evening in the Spanish Pyrenees.  But that is a story for another day.  We are having a hard enough time returning from our vacation bliss.  If we reminisce on our time in Spain we may be on permanent vacation.

Homeostasis?

We love the word homeostasis.  It is a complicated way of saying that an organism, or in our case, an economic system, is in balance, in touch with its inner Chi.  We think of a frog sitting on a log, slowly breathing.  Perhaps it is an image burned into our minds by a biology text we once read.  Whatever images the word conjures in your mind, fellow taxpayer, it is unlikely to trigger a flight or fight response.

We seem to have returned from the raging coastline to a market which appears to have achieved a sort of homeostasis.  The rise and fall of equities, many times over 200 points a day as measured by the Dow, should evoke a fight of flight response from market participants.  Yet now commentators and participants barely blink an eye at such moves. 

After trillions of dollars of stimulus, dozens of government bailouts and guarantees, and collectively learning to think the unthinkable, the market must finally be achieving equilibrium, right?

Oh fellow taxpayer, if only it were true.  Unfortunately, the very perception that the market may be at homeostasis may be the indication that we are at an intermission before the dramatic final act of the play in which we all find ourselves unwilling participants, gets underway.

In the final act, the sovereign debt debacle that first appeared in Greece and is now enveloping France and perhaps Germany finds its way across the ocean to the United States of America.  At that point, the US will succeed where Europe, until now, has failed.

As the financial world trains its binoculars on the equity and bond market indicators, they will continue to declare that all is well, the homeostasis that the American authorities so desire will appear to have been achieved.  US bond yields will remain steady and the equity indices will steadily rise.  Even housing may begin to march forward after its long slumber.

No, the US will not default in the traditional way, as Europe is on the verge of doing.  In fact, perceptive fellow taxpayers will quickly point out that the US has been in the process of defaulting for some time now via quantitative easing (QE).

In markets as in a biological system, all of the actors are always pursuing a state of homeostasis.  Yet the rub of homeostasis is that it is impossible to achieve by unilateral force.  It is something that must collectively be achieved.  It is something that only Anarchy, the absence of the State, can bring about.

The final act of this play will be the ultimate display of unilateral force.  In an increasingly desperate attempt to keep bond and equity indices steady, the Federal Reserve will lose control of the currency in what historians will call a hyperinflationary blow off.

Then modern Central Banking, Western Governments, the warfare/welfare state, and all of its grotesque machinations will take a bow and exit stage left…or they will jump off the stage and attack the crowd.

Come to think of it, we may just leave after this intermission.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 29, 2011

Copper Price per Lb: $3.38
Oil Price per Barrel:  $99.34

Corn Price per Bushel:  $5.98  
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.00%

FED Target Rate:  0.08%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,715 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.00%
Unemployment Rate:  9.0%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  11,556  

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,095,600,000,000 RED ALERT!!!  THE ANIMALS ARE LEAVING THE ZOO!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,664,500,000,000 YIKES UP $1 Trillion in one year!!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! The Mint’s Debut at the Moral Liberal

Happy Thanksgiving from The Mint!

We are pleased to let you know that we have contributed the first of what we hope will be many articles for publication at The Moral Liberal.  The first of which you can see by clicking here:

The Tenets and Benefits of True Capitalism

We are grateful for Steve Farrell, who has given us a rare opportunity to contribute to a forum in which we find ourselves aligning ideologically on a great number of issues and are excited for the opportunity to share and further the ideas of freedom and liberty with a greater audience.  Please take time to browse their site as it is full of interesting articles.

Observant readers will notice that our submission has been modified slightly from its original form to remove references to Anarchy, which the Moral Liberal is strictly against.  It is a subtle difference in ideology which we are quite comfortable with.  The general debate, as it has been amongst Libertarians for a good while now, is whether or not the Government must necessarily exist.

Our position here at The Mint is that Anarchy is man’s natural state apart from God.  Government has jumped in to fill the void which naturally begs to be filled in the absence of structure.  We agree with The Moral Liberal that Anarchy is not a desirable nor sustainable state of affairs, but we cannot ignore the fact that it is man’s natural state in the absence of structure.  However, it is not not essential to advancing the cause of true freedom and we respect The Moral Liberal’s position with regards to Anarchy.

We are grateful to Mr. Farrell and everyone over at The Moral Liberal for the privilege of contributing to their site and hope that together we can continue to share ideas which will change the world.