Tag Archives: UN

A taste of Autumn, Greece remains on the hot seat, the US budgets to end wars?

9/19/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
We’ve had our first taste of autumn here in the Pacific Northwest.  We found ourselves strangely welcoming the overcast sky and constant humidity.  It is the type of weather that is pleasant for a month or two.  Unfortunately, we get about 8 months of it here which requires some sort of escape to the sun, either Hawaii or California, for it to remain tolerable.
But still, the first taste was sweet and provided a warm feeling that all was well with the world, despite constant reports to the contrary.  Fortunately for us, the sun looks as though it will return this week.
On the whitewashed shores of Greece, where the sun seems to perpetually shine, there is now intense pressure from which there seems to be no escape.  The Prime Minister was called back from a trip to the US after receiving an emergency call from the Finance Minister as he stopped over in London.  The poor chap had to be on a conference call with creditors and the troika and didn’t want to take the lashing alone.
As if to give the world a taste of things to come, the Greek Government passed an emergency property tax which is to be collected via the citizens’ electricity bill to help ensure compliance.  Apparently the folks at the electric company are not happy about adding tax collection to their duties and are pushing back on the order.
The Greeks never have been good at collecting taxes, either that or their citizens are especially adept at avoiding paying them.  Either way, the combination makes for low tax revenues which makes servicing public debt, well, difficult.
We offer a suggestion to the Greeks, privatize the electric company and then enact an enormous tax on consumption.  At least then the riots would be staged at the electric company and not at parliament.
Meanwhile, before departing for New York in perhaps the least understood yet most important peace-keeping mission the US will ever embark upon, President Obama gave yet another clinic on teleprompter reading during his speech on, what else, government finances.  His proposal was to save $1.5 Trillion over the next 10 years by in large part by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Will Palestine Become a UN Member?
We do not have any statistics, but we are willing to bet that this is not the first time that ending these wars has been proposed as a deficit reduction measure.  What is truly astonishing to almost every thinking person is that these two military adventures have continued for so long and have become such a drain on the public treasury  that ending them now would save $1 Trillion.
Less war, more money, what a novel idea!  It is as straightforward as it is unlikely to happen.
We sense that both this speech and bath time for Greek creditors will be interrupted by the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN this week.  The Middle East has not seen a moment like this since Israel vied for statehood in 1949.  Let us pray that this moment passes in a peaceful manner.
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
Stay Fresh!
Key Indicators for September 19, 2011
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,779 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,101,100,000,000 RED ALERT!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,540,500,000,000 YIKES!!!!!!!

Bernanke fires up the Helicopters and Precious Metals Blast off!

7/13/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Today Bernanke went before the US Congress and gently laid down the gauntlet.  If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling soon (by August 2nd, we are told), it could have catastrophic effects on the economy

Given that nearly the entire banking system on the planet depends upon the US Treasury being Grade A debt, Mr. Bernanke may again be credited with the understatement of the year!

We pity Mr. Bernanke.  He is like a pilot flying an Airbus aircraft that is stalling at extremely high altitute.  We don’t know much about aircraft but we understand that Airbus aircraft, with their European design slant, do not give a pilot much freedom to override the plane’s automated systems.  It assumes that all of the necessary corrective actions can be pre-programmed and, if the plane begins to stall, the computers take over to attempt to correct the problem.

Actual Airbus pilots are free to dispute the merits of our oversimplification.  We just needed a metaphor.

Back to Bernanke, with the autopilot mechanism failing, the pilot does not know what to do.  If the US Congress had dutifully raised the debt ceiling as it had 94 times in the past, as the Airbus autopilot manual said it would, Bernanke’s reaction to the most recent US jobs report would have been to simply propose a third round of quantitative easing (read: money printing or counterfeiting of currency).

On the Airbus, he would get on the intercom and say “please fasten your seatbelts until we pass through this patch of rough air.”

However, the failure of the US Congress to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling has thrown a wrench in his plans.  What is his plan now?  Think helicopters, Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono.

Mr. Bernanke is going on a safari!

Yes, fellow taxpayer, with each day that passes, it is becoming clearer to the majority that Mr. Bernanke is unwittingly following in the footsteps of none other than Gideon Gono.  Some may recall that Mr. Gono, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, was forced to “do extraordinary things that aren’t in the textbooks,” meaning that he oversaw the printing of large amounts of his country’s currency which produced an amazing modern example of hyperinflation.  

In an interview with Newsweek in early 2009, Gono offered an explanation for his actions and predicted that the US would do the same, as it has:

“I’ve been condemned by traditional economists who said that printing money is responsible for inflation. Out of the necessity to exist, to ensure my people survive, I had to find myself printing money. I found myself doing extraordinary things that aren’t in the textbooks. Then the IMF asked the U.S. to please print money. I began to see the whole world now in a mode of practicing what they have been saying I should not. I decided that God had been on my side and had come to vindicate me.”

The hyperinflation in Zimbabwe led to shortages of real goods and destroyed the economy.  Why would Mr. Bernanke’s experiment end any differently?

Meanwhile, over in the Eurozone, the Airbus is in rapid descent and everybody on the plane is offering ideas as to what went wrong and how to fix it.  Its auto-pilot has not been programmed to deal with the failures the plane is experiencing and as the pilots and passengers engage in a heated debate, none are able to grab the controls much less safely land the aircraft.

 it will not be long before impact and the smarter passengers are starting to grab for the parachutes made of Gold and Silver.  Gold closed up almost 1% to a record of $1,583 and Silver gained nearly 6% on the day.

Back in the US, whether or not Congress passes legislation to raise the debt ceiling is irrelevant.  The US Treasury will borrow and the FED will print even without Congressional approval.  That is what makes modern Government fun, if you don’t like a rule, just ignore it and claim that you were exercising “Leadership.”

All of the countries in the Eurozone will soon surrender their sovereignty to Germany and the IMF in exchange for the “privilege” of using Euro as currency.  The ideological divide that is being exposed in the US may eventually lead to civil war.

But these events may be small compared to what is occurring in the Middle East.  Iran opened its own international Crude Oil exchange today which is akin to declaring war on the western governments and banking interests.

And keep your eyes on Palestine.  The UN vote on Palestinian statehood in September is eerily similar to the vote 62 years ago when the UN accepted Israel as an independent state.  Our guess is that this vote will spark events there that will capture the attention of the whole world.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

P.S. 

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Key Indicators for July 13, 2011

Copper Price per Lb: $4.35
Oil Price per Barrel:  $97.83

Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.26  
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.89%
FED Target Rate:  0.07%  JAPAN HERE WE COME!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,582 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.00%
Unemployment Rate:  9.2%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.2%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,492  TO THE MOON!!!
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,020,000,000,000 RED ALERT!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,112,300,000,000 YIKES!!!!!!!

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