An article on the emergence of new trading and commerce platforms in the Orient and middle east: http://www.silverdoctors.com/jim-willie-the-coming-isolation-of-usdollar/
According to reports on Chinese imports of gold from Hong Kong, the People’s Republic is on track to import more gold bullion in 2012 than the entire official holdings of the ECB. What does it mean for us, fellow taxpayer? Our guest contributor Brad Evans, who is writing on behalf of BullionVault, explores this economic trend and possible implications for your portfolio in the following insightful editorial. Enjoy and stay fresh!
Should You Accumulate Gold Like China?
In recent years, much has been written and speculated about the idea of Chinese authorities buying up massive amounts of gold bullion. Indeed, the amount of gold going to China has increased notably over the course of the past few years, and it certainly seems as if the country is making a concerted effort to accumulate a great deal of the precious metal resource. Is this just a passing trend, representative of independent economic movements, or a greater strategy with implications for the worldwide economy? Ultimately that remains to be seen, but one result of China’s accumulation of gold bullion is clear.
With many of the world’s dominant economies located in the United States and the Euro zone, the U.S. and countries that use the Euro generally prefer to keep the cost of gold low, if possible, so as to avoid the strengthening of the resource against their respective currencies. As things stand now, and have for some time, the U.S. dollar and the Euro are generally seen as popular reserve currencies, meaning that people in other economic zones frequently turn to the U.S. dollar and the Euro as the ultimate safe haven. As long as the price of gold remains relatively low, the dollar and Euro remain strong as reserve currencies. Therefore, it is plain to see why China buying up massive amounts of gold bullion may lead to an unwanted shift in gold prices that could take the focus away from the reserve currency status that U.S. dollar and Euro enjoy.
Perhaps more important for many people is how this economic strategy of China’s could affect your finances. World economic trends will come and go, and economies will strengthen and weaken accordingly – but can you benefit from buying up gold bullion in your personal life, on a smaller scale, in the same way that China hopes to benefit in the long run internationally? While you certainly can’t hope to influence any worldwide economic trends on your own – accumulating gold bullion may not be a bad strategy to consider if you feel that the price of gold will be rising relative to other assets in the coming years.
Buying gold bullion is simple enough. You just need to head to a precious metal trading site such a s BullionVault, where you can buy and sell gold as you please according to constantly updated world prices. These sites also offer you various convenient and secure storage options, meaning that if you want to you can easily accumulate a great deal of gold bullion. However, before making this or any investment decision it is important to formulate a sound investment strategy. For example, if you are looking for short-term stability or gains, gold investment may be risky at the moment, as the dollar is strengthening and gold may be weakening. But for long-term gains, this may be a strategy worth considering.
This has been a guest post on behalf of BullionVault, written by freelancer Brad Evans.
2/15/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
The fruits of Central Planning, via the socialized monetary and credit system which is currently managed by the World’s Central Banks, are beginning to ripen, and the whole world is witnessing the latest social harvest of this doomed philosophy in Greece.
From the Associated Press:
“Tensions between Athens and other European capitals have hit new highs this week. While the European Union is officially still warning of the far-reaching dangers of a disorderly default by Greece, some politicians have in recent weeks downplayed the effects of such an event.
… While the Parliament in Athens faced down violent protests over the weekend to approve a far-reaching new austerity package, the cabinet of ministers remained locked in talks Tuesday evening over how to save an extra euro325 million demanded last week by the eurozone.”
It seems that the Greeks are having trouble accepting the well intended budgetary advice which their credit “counselors” (read overlords) in the north are so generously imposing upon them. Now that the Greeks appear to be balking at their inevitable slide towards a vassal state, the folks in the north are getting restless as their banking syndicates have quite a bit riding on the events unfolding on the shores of the Aegean Sea.
On the other side of the Atlantic, it appears that the similarly indebted US government will escape the fate of externally imposed austerity which Greece is now suffering. The Federal Reserve has made it clear that it will print money to monetize the deficits of the US Government for as long as necessary, and the Republican budget hawks have had their wings clipped with their latest capitulation on the extension of the Payroll tax holiday.
These two events, taken together, indicate that the US intends to go for broke and fully embrace the Keynesian dream of printing its way to full employment.
The obvious solution, then, would be for the Greeks to reject the Euro in favor of not the Drachma, but the infinitely flexible US Dollar.
Unfortunately for the US, and the Greeks, should they choose to join them, the Keynesian dream is quickly becoming a nightmare as the folly of central economic planning begins to express itself in the form of runaway inflation. The policy tools used in the past have succeeded only in stripping the earth and its people of the ability to make productive economic decisions. What now awaits the world is the inevitable adjustment which is likely to lead to a lower standard of living.
At this prospect, Athns burned on Sunday night, and it appears that the last bastions of austerity in the US capital threw in the towel and, for the moment, Washington is not burning.
The tragedy unfolding in Europe is a painful reminder that the power to mint money was never meant to be given, by edict, to an elect few.
Will the rest of the world learn this valuable lesson before it is too late?
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
Key Indicators for February 15, 2012
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.
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.
Key Indicators for February 7, 2012
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,742 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
12/7/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
Today we continue to watch the relative calm in both the stock and bond markets with our jaw hanging just inches from the floor. In our estimation, the calm, or homeostasis, is perhaps the only thing that is completely inexplicable under the current state of affairs.
Just what is that state of affairs, you ask? A few off the top of our head:
– Downgrades or the threat of downgrades to nearly every sovereign bond on the planet
– A resulting dearth of quality assets to be used as collateral in the financial system
– A debt based economy collectively attempting to live within its means
– The resulting collapse of the debt based economy
– An imminent war in Persia
But these are simply large events that are leading to a great number of small decisions which are in turn causing more unforeseen large scale events, etc. The result being that, much to the chagrin of the financial authorities, a majority of the world is embracing frugality.
A quick recap for those are joining us for the first time, the powers that be, the current currency regime, rely on an ever expanding amount of debt in order to continue to function. It is a system that is based on trust and blind faith, for it offers nothing of lasting value.
In the short term, the system, if functioning properly, allows a great deal of power to be centralized. It also encourages, albeit indirectly, nearly every sort of vice and shuns virtue. The system tends to reward bad behavior and to promote into leadership those who are least likely to possess a moral compass.
The system is no longer functioning as designed. The reach of the currency regime is shrinking and will continue to shrink until the only ones who maintain faith in it are the most morally decrepit individuals and institutions on the planet. They will continue to trade their increasingly worthless paper until they realize that they are simply shuffling paper amongst themselves, long after they have completely lost any semblance of control that they had on the situation.
Much of this paper shuffling is running through the stock and bond markets, and seemingly these markets are calm. However, the illusion of stability is being maintained at the cost of trillions of new dollars and Euros being created which are rapidly losing value against anything tangible.
In the United States, the dollar will begin to significantly deteriorate sometime in March, according to our crude calculations. The Euro, whose handlers have been late to start the game of shameless currency debasement, is more likely to implode with the European banking system as they gag on the sewage of assets that are on their balance sheets.
The great irony of the current currency regime is that a currency which has attempted to maintain its value will become extinct, shunned for one whose value is plummeting.
The Euro and US Dollar are showing the world the two paths that a currency regime can follow to destruction. It will be interesting to see which car ceases to operate first, the motor that runs out of gas or the one that has its gas tank overflow and goes up in flames.
Either way the economy, which is the motor of the vehicle in the metaphor we have just jumped to, is currently being retooled to run on another type of combustible, one that will last much longer than the current blend of currency gasoline which is nothing more than flammable vapors. If the currency, and the assets which back it have real value, the economic motor will be allowed to run at a more even pace.
Gold and Silver, ready or not, here we come. Until then, the economy is sputtering and running on fumes.
We cannot let today pass without a few brief words about Pearl Harbor. Like 9/11, Pearl Harbor served as a national wake-up call. Both served as the justifications for the largest military actions and suppressions of freedom (which seem to go hand in hand) that America has known.
As this day that lives in infamy passes, we pause to honor those who perished in these events and the subsequent military actions which occurred as a result of these events. May they rest in peace, and may mankind learn to avoid the suffering and sacrifices they had to endure at all costs.
War is not necessary and must be undertaken only after every other attempt to engage and deter an aggressor has been exhausted. It is an act of desperation, not a form of economic stimulus, and it troubles us that the widespread loss of life and property has been referred to as the force which lifted the US out of the great depression.
Those who hold to such a theory are not only following an indefensible logic, they are hurling the ultimate insult to men and women who have fought to defend Freedom throughout history. For any “stimulus” which has been observed is not the result of the decision of a politician to go to war, rather, it is a result their tireless efforts and indomitable spirits which lifted this and many other countries from the ashes of war.
We pray that more of these heroic efforts and indomitable spirits will not be squandered in Persia.
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
Key Indicators for December 7, 2011
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,742PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
10/5/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
In Europe, the sumo wrestlers have resumed their battle royal on the edge of the cliff. In this metaphor, the wrestlers conveniently represent the various banks, semi-sovereign governments, central banks, and other unproductive, parasitic organizations with the words “Monetary Fund” in their name.
Up until now, with the exception of some jeering from the spectators, the battle royal has been good natured fun. Each time one of the wrestlers has tumbled towards the cliff, several of his benevolent fellow competitors have come to his rescue.
First Greece, then Ireland, Northern Rock, Anglo-Irish, and The Bank of Ireland. Now Alpha, Spain, Caja del Sol, Portugal, Italy, and Dexia.
Each time, they get up, dust each other off, and go back at it.
But the competitors are getting weary, as are the spectators. With each new stumble towards the cliff, more competitors and even some spectators are required to jump in to avert certain disaster. If this continues, when one of the weary wrestlers finally tumbles over the cliff, it is increasingly likely that he will take the rest of his competitors and a decent number of well meaning spectators over the edge with him.
Now things are starting to get interesting as BNP Paribas, SocGen, and France herself began to stumble towards the edge. Who will save them? Certainly not the Swiss National Bank, which last month stumbled to the edge of the ring and ironically may be the first to fall off.
Any sober observer will quickly point out that this is an insane pastime. Why would a group of sweaty fat men repeatedly try to push each other from a ring along the edge of a cliff?
We can only venture a guess, and our guess is along the lines of “they somehow believe that they must.”
It doesn’t make sense, neither do a great number of things that occur in the current, insane, “debt is money” currency system in which we live.
People and institutions are trained to make decisions regarding money based on the assumption that money in and of itself has value. This assumption, under which the world currently toils, was debased along with the US Dollar back in 1971. Money today has very little in common with the money our fathers grew up with. Peter Schiff, the outspoken CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, has gone as far as to call modern currencies the “hidden portfolio risk.”
Our father’s money was based on the assumption that men were dishonest, and what they used as money (gold and silver) served to keep them honest. Today, money is widely assumed to be honest, a fact which has served to make a great number of men dishonest.
Debt is not money, the proof
The only way that the illusion that debt is money can be perpetuated is when debt, and therefore the perceived money supply, is increasing. First of all, who has ever been known to turn down free money? When the exponential increase in the perceived money supply is occurring, it creates the welcome illusion of wealth.
Second, people quickly learn that the easiest way to make money is to position oneself as close as possible to the creation of new debt. This is essentially the business model of Goldman Sachs and every other consumer and investment bank on the planet.
The money is so easy that no one stops to consider what would happen if aggregate debt were to begin to decrease, in turn decreasing the money supply by the same multiples with which it was created.
It will never happen, right? People will never turn down free or almost free money.
Yet they are. It turns out that people have a propensity for austerity when they have no choice. If money were based on something real, austerity would be extremely healthy for the economy which would be accumulating a capital base from which to make the next series of technological advances.
In the current, insane, debt is money currency regime austerity (the reduction of aggregate debt) removes the life blood from the monetary system and causes the underlying economy to die a slow, then sudden and altogether painful, death.
The mirage of the debt fueled economy quickly vaporizes and the debtors and creditors in the system find themselves in the middle of an economic desert with a long road ahead of them.
There will be much struggle along the way, and their only hope is to walk together.
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
Key Indicators for October 5, 2011
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,640 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
9/28/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
We have taken a small breather here at The Mint. What has occurred in the past week simply boggles the mind. Precious metals have taken a beating and it is our guess that they will continue through tomorrow. The most interesting reasoning for the drop in Gold and Silver that we have heard is that there will be an announcement on October 4th limiting short positions on the COMEX.
Guess who has a huge short position in silver that needs to be covered this week? JP Morgan, to the tune of 121 million ounces. We can only guess at the machinations but needless to say, it would be very convenient for them to be able to cover their positions at a discount. Hence the increase in margin requirements at the COMEX last Friday which has shaken out the weak long positions this week.
Across the board in commodities, current prices reflect a rush to cash, not changing fundamentals.
Some interesting reading on the current, sorry state of employment in the US from US News:
It is much worse than most imagine.
Other than that, chaos is reigning as the dollar funding markets for banks in Europe are apparently non-existent. As September 30, 2011 approaches, banks are holding on to cash in the absence of clear direction from the Eurozone as to how they intend to bail out their large institutions.
In the meantime, the FED has apparently opened up swap lines (read printing presses) to provide dollars to these banks. According to a report that we saw from Bloomberg, the FED has gone from its role as the lender of last resort to a role as the lender of ONLY resort.
We take this to mean that nobody is willing to lend US Dollars at any price to the largest banking institutions in the world.
Does this indicate that, at long last, the US Dollar system has technically collapsed?
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
Key Indicators for September 28, 2011
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,610 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY