Another week – Another Disaster (Mon 11/11/2013)

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As we learn of Typhoon Haiyan which thrashed through the Philippines over the week-end, totally devastating that country, On this Remembrance Day, we would do well to perhaps think also of those poor souls who lost their lives – Over 10,000 by the latest reckonings – and no doubt this figure will rise as the latest information comes in, With Vietnam now on the receiving end of the now tropical storm, we need also to consider what the costs will be to the wider economy.

Many purchasers of tech products will no doubt have seen “Made in Vietnam” or “Made in the Philippines” stamped, if not on the outside of the box, then on components and sub-assemblies on the insides.

Global supply chains now extend over many countries, and particularly in South-East Asia, with the skills and abilities of the people to build and repair the many damaged factories and logistics chains perhaps unavailable as these people are occupied just surviving and re-building their own lives and homes – will this affect global markets?

This may have devastating consequences for Global Corporations with facilities in the area of the Storm.

Insurance corporations too, may well be hard hit, as the strongest storm ever recorded with wind speeds in excess of 320Kph were recorded. With Hurricane Sandy still so fresh in Americans minds, Katrina of a few years ago, and now the most recent of these storms causing billions of dollars worth of damage, many will be questioning, “What do we need to do to stem these devastating events?”

One answer maybe to take personal responsibility and to slow consumption of oil-based commodities – particularly those which do not get re-cycled. Though even here, one has to consider whether the amount of energy spent in re-cycling, exceeds that which would be used to produce another product of like or greater capability – “What’s the point of re-cycling my old phone, if I also need a new one, which uses less energy to produce and uses energy more efficiently going forward, and recycling would use more energy than that retrieved?” we might ask.

One also has to consider the cost of capital and energy used in building the plant and equipment used to carry out the re-cycling with efficiency.

In a world of limited money (as was the case before the world of elastic currencies) the users of capital would compete for scarce funds, and this would drive up interest rates, as happened in 1906 when the San-Francisco earthquake caused devastation to that city, and Insurance corporations had to disburse to companies and individuals to help in the re-building process, which caused a liquidity trap, and helped precipitate the 1908 financial crisis, which eventually ushered in the Federal Reserve some 5 years later.

These are not easy questions to answer. Without the statistics readily to hand, individual consumers cannot make these decisions easily. This therefore places greater emphasis on transparency and full-disclosure made available by enforcing legislation at the State and International levels.  European legislation here therefore has a bigger role to play in proposing and enforcing these legislative practices.

But we might also wonder, if some countries return to commodity backed currencies (Precious metals being the most likely) then the chance of that happening again increase unless savings increase in line with interest rates. BUT, what would rising interest rates do for the Western economies, given how much has already been borrowed from the printing presses of the Federal Reserve and PBOC and Banks of England and Japan? 

The South East Asian area has had more than its fair share of disasters in recent years too, with the Boxing day Tsunami of 2004, and the one which devastated Fukushima in Japan in October 2011, and to make matters worse, there is increasing volcanic activity in the region with explosions and plumes in Sumatra, and Sunda Islands of Indonesia, Papua New-Guinea and all along the edge of the Australasian tectonic plate.

Is this the start of an era which calls upon the whole world to come together, to assist one another, or are we going to revert to type and become protective of our individual territories and economies, that resulted in the events of the early 20th Century? 

We shall see…

W.

 

 

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The State and the Dollar (Wednesday 6th November)

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So, who’d have thought it? Our very own Guy (Guido) Fawkes being raised as the flag-bearer against oppressive and unjust governments.  In the U.S., people have been wearing the Guy Fawkes mask and adopted it for their Occupy Wall Street protests, against what they see as an oppressive Executive, Congress and Senate that exists merely to serve the interests of the Corporate State – BIG Business and Big Banks…

It is perhaps too easy for Governments, eager to please their political pay-masters, to believe that serving business, serves wider society’s interests too…

It seems so nice and simple.

The President can have a nice cosy fireside chat with the CEO of one large company or other, and reach a conclusion and both part feeling like they’ve resolved or headed off some crisis or other.

Rather than consult more widely, making laws or giving access to one or other CEO, can help one company at the demise or sufferance of thousands of others who, because they don’t command major public presence on National Newspapers or in National Media Corporations, don’t have their particular problems addressed.

When one company has a large dominant position in the economy, political figures can occasionally appear to bend over backwards trying to protect that business, because headlines that shout “1,000 employees to be laid off” as happened here in the UK by BAe, can drive many people, ignorant of the bigger picture that is being hidden behind the financial news, to seek simplistic solutions.

Charles Mackay’s Book, “The Madness of Crowds” should be required reading for all – especially politicians.

And Banks and Senior Bank Executives and those who ultimately decide the fate of Governments through their control of the Money supply with their claim on your taxes via the national debt is just one more example of this, as people scream: “The government must do something to help”, when quite often the actual long term solution is to do precisely the opposite.

In Britain we the people owe over £1 TRILLION and Central Bank Governor Carney, seems only too keen to add to this.

To use that American Phrase – Economics 101 (meaning the first course of an economics degree at level 1, year 1) teaches us that our income equals our expenditure over our lifetime,  I = E.

The only way we can spend more than we earn is by borrowing, and that borrowed money takes spending power away from the person or institution from whom the money is borrowed. If we borrow at the national debt level, we borrow not from rich people who have the money sitting idle, but we borrow from our children.

And in so doing we impoverish THEM.

THEY will have to work, and pay taxes to pay the Principal plus the Interest (P+I) the principal being the sum borrowed, for those not familiar with the term. The plutocracy (those with immense wealth who influence the political systems from behind the curtains) merely watch their immense wealth grow, as THEY OWN THE BANKS.

The Federal Reserve – set up in 1913, was deliberately so named to avoid the name “Central Bank” and is owned by these plutocrats. Those who were involved were the immensely wealthy Banking families of early 20th Century America, – JP Morgan, the Seif family of Israel, the Warburgs of Switzerland, the Baker, Rockefeller and Rothschild Banking families of Europe.

These powerful interests were whisked off in a private rail-car in the dead of night on November 22nd 1910 and then onto a motor launch to a small Island – Jekyll Island, off-shore Virginia where they could plot their Banking futures – sorry – they could devise a system, and drive the legislation to create the most powerful organisation on the Planet – The Federal Reserve.

At the head of this cabal of Bankers was a politician, Senator Nelson Aldrich who had been tasked with setting up a system to manage the currency of the U.S. by being appointed head of the National Monetary Commission.

A system that had already been decided upon in its founding constitution was to have ONLY GOLD AND SILVER as money, and Certificate’s of Deposit (CODs) and Gold and Silver Certificates as its currency.

BUT, Gold and Silver don’t grow on trees, and these metals merely hinder wealth creation when you don’t control the supply of them – as the Bankers don’t.

So, the goal of the Federal Reserve was to rid the world of monetary metals.

WHY?

Its true goal was best summed up by George Howard Earle, Jr. of the Real Estate Trust Company.

In 1908 he wrote:

A Central Bank as a Menace to Liberty

The solution of the problem of a central bank, with power to control the currency of the United States, to be at all adequate, must depend upon and be controlled by ultimate political principles.
The same principle that underlies the never-ending conflict between the advocates of a strong centralized government and what are called “states rights,” governs this question.
Taught in the school of experience and adversity, the early English and American patriots learned the salutary lesson that the development of peoples, as well as their happiness, depended more upon liberty – that is, the power to control and govern themselves, rather than to be controlled or governed by anybody else – than upon any other single thing; and they, therefore, in drafting our Constitution, always viewed government as an evil made necessary by the weakness and defects of human nature, and never extended it beyond that necessity.
Under the plan of freedom, of self-reliance, self-dependence, self-government, we have become the greatest, the happiest, the most powerful people of the world.

So without freedom, without liberty,  there is no happiness. (I will return to this in a future post)

But by giving one segment of the population a clear preference, a clear assistance or help, you inevitably steal a little from someone else.

By giving the NSA the power to snoop, into people’s lives, you force people who wish, for whatever reason, to remain private, to use less efficient methods of communication or to be devious in other ways.

And that can only end one way, with the slow strangulation of the economy.

Ultimately, this will end in the demise of the currency as it is currently operated. people will always strive for freedom and liberty.

China has been steadily accumulating Gold and Silver since the mid 1970s, and they have been producing Gold in increasingly larger quantities for themselves. In 2012, they mined over 300 million ounces of Gold, and imported over 1,000 metric tonnes of the yellow metal in preparation for the currency being internationalised. When that happens, the dollar will be replaced as an international reserve, and the price of all commodities will rise significantly.

People adapt to laws, and people use their ingenuity to sidestep legislation they deem unworkable, unjust or just plain not in their interests. The changes take effect over time as people adapt their behaviours, and it is changes like these that slowly affect the economy then the elastic snaps causing the unemployment we see today. A free currency system that allows people to use the monetary metals as they were intended, will raise all ships. But that will take the people by surprise as politicians and the media hide the realities from the people.

As Mao Tse Tung once cleverly stated – “A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step”

The battle between east and west may be bloody, and at its heart will be the value of money. A fiat currency like the dollar? Or one backed by precious metals, as used for upto 5,700years?

Until next time.

W.

PS: You can read more on this topic in my e-book “The Coming Battle”.

Monday Matters… (Weekend musings)

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So, It’s Monday again, the weekend is behind us, fun over for another 5 days of slog…

And after thinking about my week-end, I got to thinking about money, and recent posts I’d made. Thanks too to those now following events here…

As I recently mentioned IBM, I’ll kick off with that.  As I previously mentioned, IBM’s sales in China are down 40% on last year, and that begs the question.., What is happening with the other American Tech behemoths?  

If you’re a stock-market Trader, or Options, CFD’s, or Spread-Trading specialist, this might be the time to do a little digging to see if there are shorting opportunities. (I know this is contentious for some people, but it provides liquidity, and makes prices lower to buy, or sometimes just exposes risks that are not yet so widely known)

Anyway, this whole NSA scandal is making news, as a European Parliament commission headed over to the U.S. last week, for talks with legislators to get answers to questions, and raise concerns of Privacy, Security, and Industrial Espionage – after all, with so much technology in use worldwide, if one country can just skim the internet for traffic, and store that away in some digital bunker, while they sift through it, because they have the technological edge, then the rest of the world might begin to mistrust that country, and that can affect international trade, and also spark developments outside the country, which might in itself lead to the very concerns that led to WW2, in the aftermath of WW1…

We already know that many middle-eastern countries mistrust the U.S., and the Russians, and Chinese have a long standing concern over American dominance, it is not outside the bounds of possibility that if unemployment rises world-wide, through lowering of trade, this will not only affect stock-markets worldwide, but also likely increase QE*, which many already believe is anathema, and lead to digital isolationism, protectionism or worse. 

We have to remember though, that the Americans are becoming just a little paranoid – the Twin Towers attack, was the modern equivalent of the Pearl Harbour attack, and that woke the slumbering beast, with disastrous consequences for the country that did it… (I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the reason that the Americans dropped the two bombs on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, was because of feelings of retribution…  Anyway perhaps we shall see in the fullness of time)

Some say that the U.S. isolationism, is at the heart of their problems, because so few Americans travel overseas they lack perspective. I worked there in the Tech-boom, at Dell HQ, in Roundrock, Texas, and to be honest the people I worked with were lovely – especially a certain lady, half of European ancestry, and half Native-American – If you’re out there – I’d love to hear from you btw, but their media, was only interested in the U.S., or if the President ventured overseas. It’s a no wonder George Dubya, struggled with his geography. (amongst other things)

So back to money matters. The U.S. gained prominance on the back of its technology. The DARPA agency  (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) began research into the use of computer communication in 1969, which ultimately led to the internet, and to U.S. dominance of the tech-sphere, but it could be coming to an end, as India and China now have space exploration programmes, and their high-tech grads are making serious intellectual improvements – I heard recently that India has a Mars mission planned, so perhaps some research into Indian Space Technology Corporations is in order. (If you get a sniff of any, perhaps you’d let the rest of the followers here know – NO mere plugging though without supporting information)

Anyway, this post has rambled on for far longer than I imagined, so Until next time.

 

W.

 

 

* QE – Quantitative Easing if you’re not already aware – A euphemism for printing more money to dilute the buying power of all existing currency by debasing the currency and thus raising the cost of goods through price inflation. Incidentally, for non-historians – Germany, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia, Austria, and Argentina, have all tried that to detrimental effect with Hyper-inflation.

(Read my book mentioned below if you want a fuller explanation – mentioned in one of the later chapters)

Kicking the Can – Again (Thurs 31 Oct, 2013)

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So, as the Hurricane passed over the UK, on Sunday, and into Monday, we counted the cost.  It took a day or so for the damage control systems to take account of the damage, and we learned there had been further major traumas to several people, and even the death of one woman.

Our sympathies extend to their friends and families.

No doubt the Insurance companies  providing insurance to these property owners will be looking for ways to shave off a few thousand pounds of disbursements as the claims start coming in with immediate effect.  And those whose properties have been damaged will be spending their disbursements having their properties refurbished to get their businesses back up to productive use, adding to GDP, and if that involves materials imported from overseas, and value added here in the UK, then also GNP – but we won’t be any better off.

On the other side of the Atlantic today, we learn that the Fed (Federal Open Market Committee) met to discuss the U.S. economy, and decided to take no action, leaving in place another further dilution of the nation’s wealth by a further $85 BILLION – $1,940,639.25 per minute, raising the Fed’s balance sheet to almost $4 TRILLION. ($4,000,000,000,000).

I find it peculiarly confusing, that the Central Bankers can print out another $85,000,000,000 and no-one bats an eyelid, but we learn that in the U.K., a man who had decided to make his own U.K. British Pound coins (allegedly upto £1.5 milion including blanks) and that man got 8 years in prison (currently up for appeal)

So rich bankers can do it, and give themselves large bonuses for doing so, but poor folks can’t… Doesn’t sound fair to me?

Which is why originally, money was just gold and silver… (and Copper of course for pennies)

In other words the only people who used to make money – legally – were the miners, who sold it to the lawful mint, to be coined into legal tender.

Ah!  Yes, but there’s the rub, the Banks don’t get their cut when that happens.

And that’s why the price of Gold and Silver is manipulated using paper derivatives. If the sheeple* were allowed to see the REAL value of Gold and Silver, more and more would likely begin to buy it, and that means currency, that the Fed would like to have put into risk assets, such as property and stocks and shares (and to a lesser extent T-Bills) rather than a lump of metal, that gains in value but doesn’t employ people, would leave the economy.  (and prop up miners in foreign climes)

Makes you wonder why foreign governments and miners aren’t kicking up a fuss about it?

W.

* The word ‘Sheeple’ is a derogatory term used to define the great uneducated and uninformed masses, who follow the rest of the herd, rather than get educated and think for themselves.

Monday 28th October 2013

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As Southern England recovers from the overnight ‘breeze’ – OK, wind speeds DID reach almost 100MPH, but as reports come in, apart from the 14year old boy who was dragged from a harbour wall by a passing wave yesterday – Sincerest condolences to his family btw, – no-one else has been reported as killed or injured, though trees were blown over, and there appears to be little long-term effect.

I was working in Southern England the last time that a Hurricane (that wasn’t – at least according to Michael Fish) passed by.

As the aftermath unfolded back then, and Britain counted the costs of fallen trees and debris strewn streets – Sevenoaks in Kent, lost six of the seven oaks of their namesake,  the stock market, which had also been at record highs back then began to fall just two days later… (If you’re a Technical Analyst – check out the weekly RSI figures, as this suggests that the market is “toppy”)

Look out below. 

And as the spat between Germany’s Angela Merkel, and the US’s, NSA, continues, the spy saga takes another turn. In a recently read column, in which the writer discussed things technological with LINUX originator – Linus Torvalds, he as good as confirmed that the NSA had asked him to insert a “back-door” into the kernel of the operating system – LINUX.

This begs the question whether Microsoft, Apple, Google, Oracle, and other Tech giants have had similar requests, and whether these software giants complied with them… 

Maybe those outside of the U.S. might be reconsidering their technological options.

IBM, once known for its computer hardware and now principally its software and services has already reported a 40% decline in its Chinese business, down from last year’s highs.  Perhaps Edward Snowden’s  releases will have the biggest effect on America’s global dominance, as people outside America eschew American technology for security reasons.

There seems to be a growing distrust of all things American, and this can not do the US dollar any good in the longer term. As China recently suggested we need to see a “de-Americanised” world, perhaps this might be the straw that broke the Camel’s back as the saying goes.

The USD/EUR rate currently stands at 1:1.3810, and the GBP/USD is 1:1.6196 (as at 09:25).

We shall see where these trend to in the medium term. And if the dollar does decline, this can only strengthen those other alternatives to currency – REAL MONEY – Gold and Silver.

Gold currently stands at $1350.34, and Silver at $22.58 both down slightly on the day, but up from recent days.

Until next time.

W.

BOOK REVIEW

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I’ve been working on a book, which is almost complete. For now it’s available as a PDF for FREE (I’d appreciate though a review of it here if you do download  and read it)

The book tells the history of our current Banking System, and it’s main protagonists, it’s influence on the economy, and some of the major events that have disrupted the economy in recent decades.

The final chapter looks at ways you can grow your wealth, and makes some general suggestions as to products and services that are likely to make a major impact in the coming years.

 

http://wa1-marketing.webs.com/pdfs/TCB-2013-FreeEd.pdf

 

W.

JP Morgan Bank reaches $13Bn DoJ settlement

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So, the latest is that Bank – JP Morgan-Chase, has reached a settlement with the Department of Justice in the amount of $13 BILLION in response to claims of breaches of regulation for “wrong-doing” however you wish to define that.

Of course if those “wrong-doings” were done by you or me, then we’d be sitting in the slammer facing a long jail stretch, but if you’re one of the biggest banks in the world – if not THE biggest – then it’s a slap on the wrist, and we’ll let you settle out of court, providing you promise us you won’t do it again…

Except Banks like JPM,  have been stiffing the population, and the economy for almost three hundred years.  There’s a great recently updated e-book that covers this called “The Coming Battle” that  goes into the details of some of their “misdemeanours” over the years, and even has some investment ideas in the final chapter… HERE

Have your say…