Banking

When the Music Dies…

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Long, Long time ago,
I can still remember,
How the music used to make me cry.
I can’t remember if I cried,
when I read about that widowed bride,
but something touched me deep inside,
the day the music died.
So, “Bye Bye, Miss American Pie.
Drove my Chevvy to the Levy but the Levy was dry.
Them good ol’ boys are drinking whisky and rye.
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die.
This’ll be the day that I die.
The day, the music died.”

The Gold market is at the moment a bit like the old parlour game of yesteryear, when we all played ‘Musical Chairs’ after dinner on sundays, before wall to wall TV, and other distractions began to isolate us from each other – except via digital means.

The game – for those who don’t know – involves putting together enough seats for all the participants, while playing music, and then removing one chair.

When the music stops, the last one to sit, is out.

The game continues until all the participants are out as each turn gradually reduces the number of chairs to one.

The gold market is gaily playing the game, blissfully unaware that the gold (Chairs) are being continually reduced and one day soon, the Bullion Bank Gold Vaults, will be empty, and one of the big players will want to walk away from the game, with their chair, (Gold) and the chair won’t be there.

The day that that happens, will be like the day in the song above.
For those unaware, the song was a reference to the crash in 1959, when Buddy Holly, and the other musicians Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. They disappeared off the radar on a snowy journey on February 3rd.

The evidence is stacking up for all to see. Those with even a small stash of Gold and silver will be the lucky ones.

Exhibits A, B, C, and all the rest are from a web-site I visit on occasion, but which in recent days has been just full of evidence that the number of chairs is quietly, and incessantly being reduced, as the Chinese take all the chairs east.

The day the music stops, will be like the story of the Emperor who was wearing no clothes, until the small boy pointed out the truth.

Gold (and silver) will be worth a whole lot more, no matter what Harry Dent Junior says:

WHY has the Gold price NOT Risen exponentially – YET?

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BoE

Central Bank Manipulations?

The reason Gold has not exploded yet, is because Gold as a physical asset, is undervalued in the West (in general), and highly valued in the East for historical reasons. (Partly as a result of Western Central Banks, having too much power, and thus ensuring regulation gets passed to limit Gold’s usefulness as a store of wealth and partly, because the Chinese had their education in paper currency back in the 11th Century, and others in the Far-East had their education more recently, with the currency crises of the late 1990s.)

As Gold heads east, it is in the interests of those who wish to accumulate it, to play devil’s advocate and allow the manipulations to continue. As I stated in my last post, both Russia and China, are unimpressed that when they sell goods on International Markets, they receive a depreciating currency, that can be conjured up out of thin-air [or to be more accurate – digits on a computer] by its manipulators…

When the Tide goes out (to borrow a phrase used by Warren Buffet) i.e. When Gold becomes part of the process for settling International Trade again, then we will see who is wearing no shorts – (i.e. a fast-reversal back to Bretton-Woods) i.e. which countries, are spending more than they earn – Internationally speaking – and who is managing their economy well, by exchanging physical goods, for physical goods (in the form of physical Gold, or a gold backed currency which can be exchanged for Gold)

China’s approach is therefore like an aeroplane coming into land, and on the approach path to forcing the world’s trading nations to stop using currency inflation to buy up scarce natural resources, and Gold will at that time achieve its real value.

That time will happen when the first country breaks ranks, and demands Gold for its goods, and has enough Gold to withstand a draw of its currency for International Trade, and the only country that comes even close to that is China (and perhaps Russia) and therefore when China finally – officially – releases its Gold holdings – which Pravda in a recent article suggested was 30,000 tonnes, (because they have re-smelted their Gold, and re-cast it into 1Kg bars) then the value of Gold will achieve the exponential rise we have all been expecting.

By end 2015, China, has to float its currency, (WTO regulations) so perhaps is hedging its bets, by holding huge Gold reserves to act as a floor under the value of their currency. Reference – http://english.pravda.ru/news/business/21-05-2015/130683-china-0/

That to me makes perfect sense. It will also mean those countries of Africa, South America and other developing nations, who sell raw materials, will experience rapid rises in living standards, and many will end up paying their political masters huge sums, unless the corruption that has been endemic in some of those countries, suddenly vanishes. (Just as happened during the 1970s which may in itself cause other problems as it did, during the decade and the one following.)

Of course, the poor westerner, will experience rapid price inflation for all their most important needs. And those countries who use the American Dollar as their currency system, would be well advised to consider a replacement.

Food, and raw materials, such as oil, gas, copper, tin, lead, zinc, and precious metals, too will all be more highly valued.

Those with good stores of these commodities, will flourish, those who depend on government largesse for their income, will not fare so well.

And paying for things internationally, will require some form of internationally accepted money – one I have been reading quite a bit about in recent weeks is BitGold.

This manages to marry the best of both crypto-currencies, and precious metals.

To widen your reading and viewing material, you might like to visit these channels on You-tube, and search terms and web-sites.

Recommended YouTube Channels:
SGTReport,
TheDailyCoin,
SilverDoctors,
ChrisMartensondotcom,
USAWatchDog,
X22Report,
AMTV,
TruthNeverTold,
SchiffReport,
BrotherJohnF,
Ron Gibson – WhatReallyHappened 2015 (Mike Rivero),
Gregory Mannarino,
FinanceandLiberty,
HyperReport,
Mike Maloney – GoldSilver.com – WealthCycles,
GoldSeek,
RT BoomBust,
RT KeiserReport,
NextNewsNetwork,
Cambridge House,
TrendsJournal.

YouTube Search Key Words:
Dollar Collapse,
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts,
Alasdair Macleod,
James Turk,
Chris Powell,
Jim Murphy (GATA),
G. Edward Griffin,
Peter Schiff,
Marc Faber,
Jim Grant,
Jim Rogers,
Rob Kirby,
Jim Sinclair,
David Morgan,
John Williams, (or Shadowstats.com)
Catherine Austin Fitts,
Bill Holter,
Ellen Brown,
Nomi Prins,
Andrew Hoffman,
Ron Paul,
Axel Merk,
John Rubino,
Mike Maloney,
Jim Willie,
HiddenSecretsOfMoney.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND:
ZEROHEDGE.COM

W.

Revenge on the Bankers (Part II)

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My day began on Friday with news that England & Scotland had renewed their Marriage vows, though not before David Cameron had blubbered like an errant husband, saying – “LOOK! I can change”, just so we wouldn’t have to have this discussion again, anytime soon.

And then later the post came, and the Book, safely packaged arriving in a bubble-wrap envelope. Great, I had been beginning to worry that it hadn’t been sent, or that somehow the post office had lost my address. But I needn’t have been concerned.

It’s the new Bill Bonner book “Hormegeddon”, and I hastily tore open the package, read the accompanying letter, and then settled down with a quickly made cuppa to digest Bill Bonner’s wit, erudition, and learning from over 40years as a trained economist. The pearls of wisdom if you like.

A synopsis of the opening chapter is not about to follow, but the basis of the book is that a little of something can be beneficial, but when you get a whole lot of it, it eventually ends badly. Like receiving a glass of water, or a whole ocean full… And Bill has applied this insight to social systems, politicians, and economics in his own inimitable style.

Some time ago now, I wrote about taking revenge on the Banksters, who having used fractional reserve banking, have increased their control of the economy, and the productive assets of a nation, by allowing them to create currency out of thin air, to give to those on the inside, which allows the Central Bankers and the owners of those printing presses, to buy assets at knock-down prices, in an economic bust, which they themselves have engineered.

By not having currency tied to any particular asset class, making the currency of every major economy, purely paper based and thus essentially valueless, they have got to the point where one suspects, the analogy in Hormegeddon is about to befall us.

If the value of money was tied to any commodity, and that commodity went up in price, the population as a whole would know instantly, that price inflation was taking place.

Of course, when you have a tie to any commodity it has to be agreed which commodity.

At various times throughout history, different commodities have been used.

In early history, people stored whatever they had an excess of. The arable farmer stored grain, that was in excess of his needs, and he traded some with the farmer who had Dairy cows, and other livestock.

The hunter stored furs, and traded some for grain when he found a farmer with excess grain.

Of course the problem for many of these commodities was that they were perishable, and so deteriorated in damp or poor conditions.

People realised that a more permanent medium was needed, so that excesses built up in the good years could be traded for things in the lean years.

This was the start of money. Money is really just savings converted into a form that is more useful.

No savings? No money. No problem.

Of course when some people learned about metals, and began making tools like swords, tips for arrows, belt buckles, stirrups for the better control of horses, and adornments. People began to realise the value of these metals as a store of wealth. And the most precious of those metals were silver and Gold.

These two metals were found in many places in tiny amounts, but also didn’t deteriorate. Gold mined in the 5th Century BC, will still resemble Gold mined last year. And Silver whilst it may have lost some of its shine, will still weigh almost exactly what it did a hundred, or thousand years ago.

Gold, of course, retains its lustre long after it is mined and refined, and even mixed with silver, copper and other metals still retains its size shape, weight and colour. This together with its shine, made it desirable, and thus when in the 6th Century BC, as populations were growing in what is now modern day Turkey, people used this strange metal – called “Electrum” – a mixture of these, in the earliest coins.

By the early middle ages, merchants who travelled in their business were prone to being accosted and their money robbed, which made the carrying of these precious metals dangerous. The Goldsmith realised that if he stored the merchant’s gold and gave the merchant a gold receipt, the merchant could transfer that gold to another by merely signing over some of that wealth, and thus the check was born, and the Gold receipt could be used to pay for things. Thus the Bank note was born.

Later the Goldsmiths began lending money and charging interest, and thus Banks were born. As the economy grew, so did the power of the Goldsmiths, now called Bankers, and as more and more people kept their wealth in the vaults of the Bank, the Bankers realised they could lend out more than they had in storage, and thus fractional reserve banking was born.

As the economy boomed during the 16th to 20th centuries as first the Spanish, the Portuguese, then later the Dutch, French and British began their pursuit of global empires, Banks provided capital for these explorers, and got their pound of flesh, whether the trip was a success or not, though the borrower frequently had to pledge their home, or other chattels.

Over the 250 years since Nathan Mayer Rothschild, sent his five sons to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Naples and Vienna to found the Rothschild empire, things have only gotten bigger.

These sons founded a Rothschild Bank in each of these cities, a truly international Banking system, that allowed the Rothschilds to benefit from local contacts, and to play each country off against the others, when they came to blows, as they had a tendency to do in old Europe.

President Lincoln, was a man who refused to do business with these Rothschilds, who demanded large interest rates to fund the civil war, and for his sins was shot when he began printing the nation’s currency.

Slowly over several generations, these Banker’s wealth and power over the economy grew, especially when they got together and formed Central Banks and colluded with other Central Banks – the largest of these – the ECB, PBoC, BoJ, Fed, and the Central Bank of Central Banks – the BIS (Bank of International Settlements) based as it is in Basel, Switzerland, home of the notoriously secretive Banking fraternity.

Since 1913, the Fed in particular, has exerted greater control over the world, as the printing presses of the United States were used to fund wars, and the military industrial complex. And the savings of the Chinese, Russians, Indians, Brazilians and other developing nations were used to prop up the dollar further extending this power.

Is this all coming to an End?

A slow start to controlling these Bankers in America was taken a few days ago, on 17th September, as a Bill was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Paul Broun – U.S. Republican, promoted the Bill H.R. 24, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (Audit the Fed), which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support. H.R. 24 has over 220 co-sponsors and passed overwhelmingly by a 333-92 margin. Broun, released the following statement after the Bill passed…

“Today’s passage of the Audit the Fed bill brings us one step closer towards bringing much-needed transparency to our nation’s monetary policy. For the past 100 years, the Federal Reserve, a quasi-government agency, has acted under a veil of secrecy – controlling our monetary policy and thus, our economy…

While in recent years, the Fed has been granted a greater role in overseeing the regulation of our financial system, current law specifically prohibits audits of the Federal Reserve’s deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy. This lack of accountability and transparency has led to grievous consequences – and it must end.”

In reality, the Fed is a private organisation with its only shareholders, the 6 or so Banking Families who sneaked out of New York in November 1910 to an (at the time) unknown location to create the organisation, that would strangle the U.S. economy several times over the next 100+ years.

Along the way, the Fed has relieved lots of people of their gold, and is alleged to be responsible for the deaths of various Presidents, and others who threatened their little racket.

We have all heard of the depression that occurred commencing in 1929. In order for the U.S. President to commit to the works that would help get the economy working again, he had to spend money he didn’t have, and the only people who could print or produce the money in America at the time was the FED.

However, the credit of the U.S. was not quite as good as it has been over the last 40+ years, and so the Fed forced the President to confiscate the gold and silver of the nation at a fixed price ($25.00/troy oz) and then re-value it when they had almost 7,000 tons to $35.00 an ounce, which with the other 13,000 tons of Gold they took from overrun Europeans, stood the test of time, until 1971, when Nixon ended the Bretton Woods agreement unilaterally.

So, to get to the meat of this piece, one day soon, this power of the Bankers will come to an end – probably VERY badly.

WHY? How? The Internet!

The Internet has changed dozens of industries in the 40years since DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) funded the first basic research into computer communications.

Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, HP, Dell, E-bay, Netflix, MySpace, Facebook, Alibaba et-al. The Internet and these Tech giants have revolutionised whole industries, and the business models that worked before the Internet, have had to be revised, now that potential customers, can meet with potential suppliers electronically. This process is given the grand title of “disintermediation” and it is worrying the Bankers.

Crowd-funding is replacing the traditional role of Banks providing start-up capital; Electronic Stock-brokers are allowing people to trade the markets from home, or wherever their smart-phone happens to be; Digital Money and electronic payments systems initially made Bankers’ life simple, they didn’t even need the printing presses so much, but now with Crypto-currencies, people can trade value without even using their banks – all through the power of the Internet.

The most widely known of these new fangled currencies is Bitcoin, but there are around 80 of these currencies, and their value and power are growing with every passing day. And you can receive FREE Crypto-currencies daily, including Bitcoin from Qoinpro.

Bitcoin is currently valued at over $400, and its two smaller siblings – Litecoin and Feathercoin (which you also receive from Qoinpro) are like Silver and Copper to Bitcoin’s Gold or Britain’s Pounds, shillings and Pence.

Gold and Silver too are not being forgotten in this new world, as organisations are now trading Bitcoins for Silver and Gold making the banking industry all but superfluous in its historical sense. Only the Bullion Vault holders, are doing well, and who are increasingly based in the Far-East as several new vaults have opened there, and just 18months after their opening, they’re almost full to capacity.

As both of these precious metals fall to interim lows, those on the inside of the precious metals markets, are saying that now, as the economy is supposedly on the mend, is exactly the right time to be accumulating.

Many miners too are haemorrhaging as the metal price falls due to paper derivatives being used to manipulate the metal price, but many can’t continue to operate at these levels.

Only the industrial metals miners are keeping supplies coming. Because their precious metals are a by-product of their operation, the price is almost irrelevant to them, as whatever they get is in addition to their industrial mineral operations, but most of the majors who produce the bulk of the metals will either have to cease trading, or close down operations or both.

This is ultimately leading to a supply crunch – particularly in silver.

Silver is both a precious metal and an industrial metal, and demand is soaring.

Every Chinese, Korean and Japanese made i-Phone, Samsung Galaxy, Notepad, Tablet, PC, Nokia, LG, Sony, Toshiba, Canon camera, Nikon, Lumix, Panasonic, MAZDA, Toyota, or British made Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, or German made BMW, Mini, Mercedes, Audi, or VW… In fact almost every vehicle in the world which is increasingly carrying increasing amounts of electrical and electronic equipment uses silver.

Imagine – China produces 9 million vehicles per year, Britain at its peak produces almost 2million vehicles, and then there’s America, Brazil, France, Italy, Australia, and India as well as all the other smaller nations who build vehicles including Russia and the former Soviet States.

Silver is used in them all. And with digital payments using crypto, how long can the Banks hold out before the system implodes again?

One way to get these Crypto currencies is Qoinpro, who are giving them away free, and will become a coin exchange in the fullness of time charging a small transaction fee as people use their crypto-currencies.

And as for precious metals. China holds just 1% of its $4trillion worth of reserves in Gold. Many believe they will need to have upto 40% of their reserves in Gold. At just 10% that equals $400,000,000,000 worth of Gold at current prices ($1250.00/oz) which would be the equivalent of 320 million troy ounces, or 9,953.11 metric tonnes.

As a result, I believe China will not stop buying Gold until it has around 10,000 metric tonnes.

In 2009, when they last announced their Gold holdings in April, they had just over 1,000 metric tonnes.

Given that they have been buying in increasing amounts and in 2013, that was circa 2,000 metric tonnes, the price longer term is likely to go a lot higher, once their ambitions become more widely known.

And silver which historically has been 1/16th the price of Gold, will likely return to its historical norm.

But perhaps even more, as silver comes out of the ground at just 9:1 it is not outside the bounds of possibility that silver will reach this dizzy height.

Money for nothing, and their clicks for FREE.

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Stagnation, Inflation, Deflation, Dis-Inflation – and more – Hyper-inflation?

Back in 2010, in October, William H. Bonner of Agora Financial, a Baltimore based Financial Publishing house and regular commentator on the Financial Markets, released the following piece. Since then, the markets have boomed in some areas, and bust in others. But the real value of many of life’s essentials: Food, Clothing, Shelter and the basic necessities of life, and many of life’s “nice to haves” – Copper, Tin, Zinc, Nickel, Iron, Gold, Silver and of course Oil and Gas, have all experienced significant price changes. But are the prices accurate? Do they reflect the effort and cost of capital needed to extract them, or of their true value, if we run out of them? We may live to find out…

That’s the trouble when you start printing money for nothing, the people who get it first make the most profit, and the further it spreads out from the central bank, the less profit it appears to make. But the good Central Bankers, will do everything they think they can to make things better. The only question is: “For whom?”
Read on to find out.

===========================
Plaza II Accord

Bill Bonner – Friday, October 15, 2010

Keynes was right about one thing…

Peace talks broke down last weekend. Observers had expected the IMF meeting on the weekend to result in the equivalent of the Peace of Amiens or the Surrender at Appomattox. But Treasury secretaries and central bankers went home, unpacked their bags, and resumed their premeditated mischief.

The dollar went down. Why would anyone pay 100 cents for an old, worn out greenback when the Fed promises to create trillions more of them, brand spanking new? Europe and Japan resumed firing with their new QE guns. Asian nations sent out snipers to intervene in the currency markets directly. And China and the US resorted to “trench warfare,” reported The Financial Times, neither apparently ready to give up an inch; that is, neither was prepared to allow its currency to buy more today than it did yesterday. In America, China has become an election-year bogeyman. The electorate seems convinced that any nation that stockpiles $2 trillion worth of America’s I.O.U. greenbacks must be up to no good.

So, the war goes on. But it is an ersatz war. All the combatants really want the same thing – to debauch their currencies at the expense of savers and creditors. Sooner or later, they’ll conspire to get the job done. A full 93% of US financial professionals believe the Federal Reserve Bank is on the case. It is expected to launch major debauch in November. Investors have run up almost all asset classes in anticipation. The Dow passed 11,000 on Friday. Soft and hard commodities hit new highs. And if, on a given day, gold does not set a new record, it is probably because the markets are closed.

What a remarkable period in financial history! We can hardly believe our luck. Absurd things are happening. John Maynard Keynes was wrong about practically everything. But he was right about this:

There is no subtler, surer means of overturning society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction and does it in a way that not one man in a million is able to diagnose.

And we get to see it live. And probably dead. The US dollar fell under the control of the debauchers, partially, in 1913…when America’s central bank was formed…then fully, in 1971, when gold backing for the dollar was completely eliminated. In the 100 years before the Fed was formed, the dollar lost not a penny of its value. In the almost 100 years since, it has lost almost all of them. If the greenback were to lose another 5% of its 1914 value, there would be nothing left at all.

Such slow larceny bothered no one. As long as the dollar slid gradually, and peacefully towards worthlessness it seemed almost natural, even healthy. Central bankers could mix with polite company and hold their heads up. None was arrested, as far as we know. None was so tormented by his crime that he had to be restrained or sedated. But now central banks are committing their felonies in broad daylight. Economists argue for more. But investors are confused and worried. Today, they buy gold. Tomorrow they may buy shotguns.

But what else can the managers do? After increasing for 61 years, the volume of credit in the US – and hence, the volume of sales – is no longer expanding. This leaves householders with debt to pay down and exporters with no alternative but to fight for market share. What to do about it? Lower the value of the currency! But in a correction, the natural thing is for prices to go down with a decline in demand. So, money tends to become more upright just when the managers would most like to see it slouch.

The poor central bankers. They are victims of their own delusions of competence. They have never actually managed anything successfully. When the economy is expanding, they exacerbate the boom. When it is contracting, they slow down the correction. And now, they fight a currency war not of their own choosing, but of their own making. The war is their response to the correction, which results from the bubble, which was caused largely by the managers themselves.

And now they’re looking for a hotel where they can do it again. It was at the Plaza Hotel in New York in 1985 that they managed their Treaty of Versailles. It ended the currency war of the early ’80s…and prepared the way for an even bigger war later on. Back then, Japan was the go-go economy. Like China today, Japan was the world’s leading exporter. It wanted to keep the yen low. The US meanwhile, was losing market share. James Baker and the other US managers threatened sanctions. Japan gave in. By early the following year, the yen was 40% higher against the dollar and Japan’s GDP growth rate had been cut in half. But the managers fixed that problem as they fix them all. In Japan, they cut rates 4 times in 1986, creating a flood of hot money. Four years later, Japan was the envy of the entire world. In January of 1990, the Nikkei Dow hit a new record – 4 times higher than it was when the Plaza Accords were signed. Then, the bubble popped. You don’t need to be reminded of what happened next. The Nikkei crashed. Real estate crashed. Everything crashed. The economy went into a 20-year tailspin, failing to create a single new job in two decades. Neither stocks, nor real estate, nor the economy ever recovered.

No one wants to follow the Japanese down that road. Ben Bernanke manages the dollar, desperately trying to avoid it. And Premier Wen of China said it would be “a disaster for the world” if Western nations tried to force China in that direction. He’s right. But he needn’t worry about it. Disaster is coming anyway. The managers will make sure of it.

Regards,

Bill Bonner,
for The Daily Reckoning
============================

And once more, the Banks are mired in controversy. Late on 12th June 2014, we heard that the UK., Chancellor of the Exchequer, will outline new laws to regulate the largely unregulated Foreign Exchange markets (For-Ex).
Every day, over $4 TRILLION changes hands globally in these markets, but several Big Banks – those closest to the Central Bankers, have been allegedly manipulating these markets for their own ends.
The Chancellor will make manipulating these markets a criminal offence.

I welcome the attempt to rein in the worst effects of the bankers actions, but it is a brave policeman, or Financial Conduct Authority, who will apply the new legislation, as Bankers have historically threatened governments of all political persuasions with dire effects if they apply regulations too rigidly.

If you don’t believe me, after the scandals that have come to light in the last five years, including LIBOR, Silver, Gold and other events such as the London Whale, then perhaps you need to read my free E-book, all 633 pages of it – “The Coming Battle”, which documents the worst excesses of these “Wizards of Oz” who pull the political strings from behind the curtain. These bankers who threaten governments, who manipulate stock-markets, Foreign exchange markets, Precious metals markets, and use their financial muscle, to wreak havoc when they fail to get the outcomes they feel they deserve.

But who can take them on?

The latest news from Iraq is ISIS appears to have taken control of parts of Western and Northern Iraq, and Eastern Syria.

Their goal it appears, is to create an Islamic Fundamentalist State. Part of me feels they deserve everything they get. BUT I should point out to all, and any who think that we ought to intervene again in the Middle-East, that our last attempts probably created this hotch-potch of anti-western sentiment – rapidly becoming a “Holy War”.

Besides just by ignoring the problem, these radicals will burn themselves out. Apart from the oil-fields in Northern Iraq, what do they have to sell? Oranges? Lemons? Mangoes? I am at a loss to call to memory anything that is exported from the middle-east apart from oil and/or gas. And therein lies the crux of their problem.

A modern economy has to pay for things that others have to sweat to build. German Engineering comes at great expense, and organisational and engineering expertise. British know-how in Financial Markets comes from a few centuries of having travelled the globe, and of having access to a large capital base, and expertise in how to make use of that. (And maybe that’s another topic of discussion for the future). Jamaica has the right climate for sugar cane, and so uses it to make Jamaican Rum. Mexico, has Silver mines, America has its software and computer hardware. Kenya has its tea and coffee plantations, and Japan, its electronics businesses. Each taking advantage of that country’s strengths.

Adam Smith the father of all economists, called it “comparative advantage”. What he meant was that each country should learn to make the best of its natural resources, and use its natural advantages to their fullest.

But as the world becomes more intertwined, the fruits and bounty of this planet will have to be paid for with real money, not money you can just print up at will. Money (Gold and Silver) has to be dug from the earth, smelted, refined into bars and coins, and thus the labour stored up in them – the knowledge, skills, ore, blood, sweat and tears, becomes a tradeable and valuable commodity. Pieces of paper with pretty pictures on, printed in their billions will not.

Education, research, and expertise gained over long periods gives countries an advantage in particular spheres. And asking the Lord Almighty, in whatever guise you see him, will not cut it anymore.

The Lord helps those who help themselves is a phrase I was brought up on. It is time for the middle-east to wake from its 1500 year slumber, and broaden its economic base through acceptance of certain verifiable truths.

Men are the captains of their own destiny not an all seeing prophet, or god from on-high. Such thinking should be reserved for the home and hearth.

Science, and the application of science – truths in physics, if you will, will improve the lot of the many. A country of fundamentalists, however ruled, who do not realise that they can only pay their way in the world by exchanging things of value, will, if ignored, like grapes of wrath, wither on the vine.

Forcing people to live a particular theocratic life in poverty, will mean they will take the first opportunity to leave. And the oil and gas will stay in the ground if others refuse to buy from these tyrants.

In the meantime, those oil and gas producers outside the middle-east, will be reaping the rewards as the oil price rises once more. Two small producers, I have had a smallholding with for over a year, for just such reasons are: Lenigas and Oil (AIM:LGO) and Sound Oil (AIM:SOU). Both have had good news of late and I believe are multi-baggers from here.

LGO operates in Spain and Trinidad and Tobago, and SOU operates in Italy.
As the world price of oil and gas rises due to the increasing political risks, these small businesses will find their product adds increasing amounts to the bottom line, and thus their prospects will rise alongside it.

Eventually, the public will wake up to the fact that the notes and coins in their wallets, and their bank accounts don’t represent real wealth, and demand alternatives to the currency dictated by governments. Alternatives that have stood the test of time, such as Gold and Silver, and newer alternatives such as the crypto-currencies, I’ve mentioned many times will stand out as value and wealth preservers – Bitcoin et-al, and Gold and Silver, will achieve their true place in the realm of matters economic just as they have always done when governments do stupid things like debauch the currency.

If you liked this post, please like it or even just copy and paste saying where from.

W.

The Coming Battle

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As events in Ukraine spiral out of control, it is possible that in the absence of a thawing of relations between Russia and the U.S., over the Ukraine, a new cold war could be about to emerge.

Particularly as the Ukraine, gets its gas from Russia, and currently owes the Russian Gas Giant – Gazprom over $2.2 BILLION in unpaid bills.

However, all this turbulence in eastern Ukraine, with Russian defenders of their cultural identity, that have stormed Local and Regional government offices, will possibly force Putin’s hand to defend these ethnic Russians which could draw in western forces to defend its supported government in the west of Ukraine.

For Ukraine whose currency has depreciated in value by 27%, since the troubles began, this could spell disaster for the country and its people. The gas bought from Russia was purchased at the highly advantageous gas prices that Gazprom gave to former CIS/Soviet states.

As Gazprom increased its prices to above market rates to Ukraine, to reflect the risk of failure to pay, and to recoup lost income, it is obvious that naturally Ukraine would be upset. Wouldn’t anyone if their energy bill went up 300%? And this has implications for Ukrainian industry, already not as well developed or efficient as their western counterparts.

Aleksey Miller – CEO of Gazprom, Russia’s biggest energy supplier, which in different circumstances would be a huge investment opportunity, suggested that Russia should abandon the Dollar and use the Euro for the international sale of GAS.

Even Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, weighed in on the subject of Ukraine, by admitting in an interview on 2nd April, that the problems in Ukraine could affect the global economy.

Of course the Soviet state, went through its own internal challenges in the late 80s, as the commodities prices fell.  Russian tanks and soldiers were embroiled in Afghanistan, and the Soviets spent more than they earned,  the end result was the end of the Soviet Empire.

Are there parallels today for the U.S. empire? I suspect so – only their printing press has saved them. But will Chinese Gold cause the U.S. empire to collapse? We shall see…

As American and other nation’s troops are stationed in the Far East to – as Hilary Clinton put it – pivot Washington to the Far East, which drew the statement from a senior Chinese military figure, that “Chinese containment” was not possible.

As the raw materials of life have become more important, both Russia and China have used different strategies to achieve similar results.

Russia and the Global Metals Supply Chain

Both Russia and China have large land-masses, and the potential for commodities production. Russia is an important commodities giant. and Russian output is critical to the global supply chain for many items.

Russia is a major producer and exporter of oil, natural gas, ores, refined metals and industrial minerals. According to a recent analysis by the British firm Roskill, the extractive, energy and chemical sectors are vital to the Russian economy and accounted for an estimated 80% of Russian export revenues in 2013.

It’s important to recognise though, that Russia’s commodities are important on several levels. Russia is more than a major producer and exporter of energy and materials; Russia is an important player within Western supply and product chains. So, targeting Russian companies has the potential to provide blow back on Western businesses and economies.

For example: Nickel is much more than a 5 cent piece in people’s pockets. Nickel is critical to manufacturing stainless steel and a lot more. Nickel prices have pulled back in recent years as supplies have had to adapt to lower global demand, but picked up in recent weeks as commodites prices turned around, and Indonesia, imposed restrictions on exporting raw ore.

One of Russia’s big players, Norilsk Nickel, extracts ore in Russia but refines its product in Finland. Overall, Russia is the world’s second-largest producer of nickel, after China. But since China consumes most of its nickel domestically, this leaves Russia as the world’s key “swing” supplier. In 2013, Russia accounted for 26% of global nickel cathode exports, or around 13% of total world consumption of nickel. Without Russian nickel, the world’s steel industry would be quickly disrupted and prices on international markets would rise, possibly steeply.

Cobalt: Although Cobalt is found in many African countries, Russia is an important supplier. Cobalt, is used in steel and alloys increasingly with military applications as it is used to harden steel based alloys for armour piercing shells, and military vehicles as armour re-inforcement.

Russia accounts for about 6% of global mine output of ore and 3% of global refined output. Most Russian cobalt production is related to Norilsk operations in Finland, where cobalt comes out of nickel production. At 6% and 3%, as noted, Russian cobalt numbers are relatively low overall, but the point is that if Western sanctions somehow choke off Norilsk operations in Finland, we’ll see the impact on global availability of refined cobalt which would only add to military hardware costs.

Vanadium: Russia is the world’s third-largest producer of vanadium – providing about 10% of the world’s supply. Vanadium is critical to hardening steel and other alloys and is a key element for the future of utility-scale storage batteries. If vanadium supply takes a hit, all manner of metal and energy projects could be disrupted. Though a small miner – American Vanadium – is about to commence mining operations in the U.S..

Tungsten: Russia is the world’s second-largest producer of tungsten (behind China) and accounted for about 6% of global supply in 2013. Don’t be fooled by that low raw number, though, because about 70% of global tungsten is a Chinese play. So that Russian 6% “global” statistic is really about 20% of what’s available to the world outside of China. Tungsten is critical to building machine tools as well as manufacturing drill bits. In essence, tungsten is used for requirements that call for hard, dense metals with high melting points. Europe is a major tungsten importer from Russia, and much European industry will have to scramble to make up for any loss due to sanctions.

Titanium: Russia is a large supplier of aerospace-grade titanium to both the U.S. and Europe, accounting for about 12% of imports. Two important buyers are Boeing and Airbus, whose operations could be slowed by lack of titanium supply, certainly in the short term. I’m guessing you can see a trend here?

Rare Earth metals may also be included in this list of essential resources that modern economies cannot do without and that are sourced, at least in part in the former Soviet Empire.

Will Russia Look More to the East?

I could go on with other energy and materials that come out of Russia, but you get the point. Western politicians may feel like they have to “do something” about Russia annexing Crimea. but they have to be careful to not bite the hand that feeds them.

For our purposes, on the investment front, one potential result of Western sanctions will be to give Russian leadership even more incentive to look east, toward Chinese markets. China is a major consumer of many raw materials and refined products and would likely be able to buy and use Russian materials that no longer move west.

Different commodities will move in different ways, of course; some more than others…

Is China’s growth story about to unravel?

David Stockman writer for the Daily Reckoning, says: China is in the greatest construction boom and credit bubble in recorded history. An entire nation of 1.4 billion has gone mad building, borrowing, speculating, scheming, cheating, lying and stealing.

The source of this demented outbreak is not a flaw in Chinese culture or character – nor even the kind of raw greed and gluttony that afflicts all peoples in the late stages of a financial bubble.

Instead, the cause is a kind of monetary madness with an oriental face. Chairman Mao was not entirely mistaken when he proclaimed that political power flows from the end of a gun barrel – he did subjugate a nation of one billion people based on that principle. But it was Deng Xiao Ping’s discovery that saved Mao’s tyrannical communist party regime from the calamity of his foolish post-revolution economic experiments.

Just in the nick of time, as China reeled from the Great Leap Forward, the famine death of 40-60 million people – depending on whose figures you use, and the mass psychosis of the Cultural Revolution, Mr. Deng learned that power could be maintained and extended from the end of a printing press – just as Western Bankers did 200+ years ago.  And that’s the heart of the so-called Chinese economic miracle. Its not about capitalism with a red accent, as the Wall Street and London gamblers have been braying for nearly two decades; its a monumental case of monetary and credit inflation that has no parallel.

Will Hutton who wrote “The Writing on the Wall.” (an ironic play on the Great Wall of China) suggested back in 2007, that the mixture of capitalism and political direction, would eventually lead to a collapse in China’s economy, when investments, and prices were centrally controlled, because the market mechanism of the free flow of information in markets – the price signal – and “Contract Law” is a requirement for all modern capitalist economies to function properly.

Perhaps our own politicians and Bankers would do well to remember that too, as they force Bullion Banks into manipulating currency prices by manipulation of interest rates, and precious metals prices, but I digress.

At the turn of the millennium, credit market debt outstanding in the US was about $27 trillion, and they’ve hardly been slouches in attempting to borrow their way to prosperity. Total credit market debt is now $59 trillion; so America has been burying itself in debt at nearly a 7% annual rate.

But America has been out-banked – to coin a phrase.  In 2000, China had about $1 trillion of credit market debt outstanding, but after a blistering pace of “borrow and build” for 14 years it now carries nearly $25 trillion. BUT, this stupendous 25X growth of debt occurred in the context of an economic system designed and run by elderly party apparatchiks who learned their economics, when Chairman Mao was still alive. That said, the country sent highly educated senior communist figures around the world to study other cultures, and political and economic systems, so it is possible they have learned something since then.

However, it is probable, that there is no legitimate banking system in China – just giant state banking bureaucracies which are run by party operatives and a modus operandi of parcelling out quotas for national credit growth from the top, and then water-falling them down a vast chain of command to the counties, townships and villages.

There have never been any legitimate financial prices in China – all interest rates and Foreign Exchange rates have been pegged and regulated to the decimal point; nor has there ever been any honest accounting either – loans have been perpetual options to extend and pretend. Even the Yuan was pegged to the dollar at 8 to the dollar, until an agreement to enter the World Trade Agreement meant they had to freely float their currency by 2015, and China  has allowed the Yuan to strengthen to circa RMB6.5:$1 – and is also behind their drive to collect as much gold as they can.

However, in two short decades, China has erected a monumental Ponzi economy that is economically rotten to the core. And, needless to say, there is no system of financial discipline based on contract law. China’s GDP has grown by $10 trillion dollars during this century alone — that is, there has been a boom across the land that makes the California gold rush appear pastoral by comparison. Yet in all that frenzied prospecting there have been almost no mistakes, busted camps, empty pans or even personal bankruptcies. When something has occasionally gone wrong with an “investment” the prospectors have gathered in noisy crowds on the streets and pounded their pans for relief – a courtesy that the regime has invariably granted.

Since 2000 China has 1.5 billion tons of steel capacity, but “sell-through” demand of less than half that amount and, on-going demand for sheet steel to go into cars and appliances and rebar into replacement construction meaning the other half is produced merely to go into surplus storage – once the current pyramid building binge finally expires.

The same is true for its cement industry, ship-building, solar and aluminum industries – to say nothing of 70 million empty luxury apartments and vast stretches of over-built highways, fast rail, airports, shopping malls and new cities.

Will this ultimately lead to a price and economic collapse? Probably, but WHEN?

In short, the flip-side of the China’s giant credit bubble is the most massive malinvestment of real economic resources – labor, raw materials and capital goods – ever known.

Effectively, the country-side pig sties have been piled high with copper inventories and the urban neighborhoods with glass, cement and steel erections that can’t possibly earn an economic return, but all of which has become “collateral” for even more “loans” under the Chinese Pyramid scheme.

China has been on a wild tear heading straight for the economic edge of the planet – that is, monetary “Terrain Unknown” – based on the circular principle of borrowing, building and borrowing. In essence, it is a giant re-hypothecation scheme where every man’s “debt” become the next man’s “asset”.

Thus, local government’s have meager incomes, but vastly bloated debts based on stupendously over-valued inventories of land. Coal mine entrepreneurs face collapsing prices and revenues, but soaring double digit interest rates on shadow banking loans collateralized by over-valued coal reserves.  Shipyards have empty order books, but vast debts collateralized by soon to be idle construction bays. Speculators have collateralized massive stockpiles of copper and iron ore at prices that are already becoming ancient history.

Is this factored into China’s Plans for Empire, so that if – IF – a third world war begins, most of the materials will already have been purchased and produced, and once their currency is re-flated due to their large Gold holdings, they can buy what they need with the world’s strongest currency?

So China is on the cusp of the greatest margin call in history? Or the precipice of the biggest long term plan for global domination the world has ever seen?

Only the Chinese political class know the answer to that one.

But a Chinese market collapse would seriously affect all the world’s economies, and the Chinese have the biggest savings on the planet.

Cracks began showing in this edifice when a bank run began at Jiangsu Sheyang Rural Commerce Bank last month, as worried citizens clamoured for their money when a withdrawal for RMB200,000 (about $32,000) was refused at the Sheyang branch.

This was on the heels of the failure of several shadow banking institutions whereby several rural co-operatives and Farmer’s Credit Unions failed in recent months.

However, once asset values starting falling, these pyramids of debt will stand exposed to withering performance failures and melt-downs. Undoubtedly the regime will struggle to keep its printing press prosperity alive for another month or quarter, but the fractures are now gathering everywhere because the credit rampage has been too extreme and hideous. Maybe Zhejiang Xingrun Real Estate which went belly up last week was the final catalyst, but if not, there are thousands more to come. Like Mao’s gun barrel, the printing press has a “sell by” date, too.

Worryingly, a Chinese man was arrested for spreading rumours/information about these financial problems.

Of the more than US$562 million (RMB3.5 billion) that it owed to debtors, US$112 million was borrowed from 98 private parties with annual interest rates of up to 36%, according to recent revelations from Chinese media. Under that kind of pressure, the only surprise is that the default didn’t happen sooner. The company struggled to find capital for years; the chairman is suspected of borrowing up to US$38.6 million with “fake mortgages.”

But before Xingrun gets branded as China’s worst small, private homebuilder, it’s important to understand how it ended up in the mess in the first place, and what specific factors brought the operation down, or at least to the brink of collapse (local government officials insist it hasn’t officially defaulted yet).

Xingrun’s business in Fenghua, a county-level city that is part of Ningbo in a manufacturing belt on China’s east coast, ran into trouble through a renovation project starting in 2007, Chinese media pointed out. The company attempted, after securing government support and taking over for another distressed local property company, to build high-rise apartment blocks in a village called Changting. The project required the company to build homes for the original residents before the existing village could be torn down and the new buildings built. Construction was slated to start in the first half of 2012. Xingrun projected that it could pay off its debts within three years.

The project never got to the construction phase. In fact, the small village homes are still standing. Xingrun built the replacement homes for the villagers but there’s no sign of its main housing product, high-rises. Nothing has happened because the residents of the village have tangled the project and the company in a lawsuit that has stretched for years.

High risk is something no one seems willing to stomach these days – in stark contrast to just a year ago. That explains why Xingrun was unable to pay back its loans. But why has it come so close to keeling over now? Its troubles with the Changting project persisted for years but the company simply rolled over loans and borrowed at high rates from private lenders.

One problem for capital-strapped developers in the Ningbo area is that private lenders no longer want to lend to highly risky companies. In fact, they are calling in their loans. This is just one of the problems afflicting Xingrun. The value of property in some areas of Fenghua is decreasing and that trend has lowered confidence in developers’ ability to pay dizzyingly high interest rates.

Banks aren’t hot on lending to this kind of developer either. In the past, a developer such as Xingrun could ask the local branch of a commercial bank for more credit. The local branch would take that risk because loan officers there knew that, somewhere much higher up the chain, officials promoted the lending.

That support exists no longer. Now, when small developers beg local banks for credit, they will likely be turned away. Local bank managers are reportedly being told that they may lend to risky borrowers if they wish, but they will be held accountable.

High risk is something no one seems willing to stomach these days – in stark contrast to just a year ago.

Fenghua is a small town, and Xingrun’s reach beyond that area is limited. Analysts have come out strong in saying that such a default has little systemic risk. The bigger picture in the region, however, can’t be ignored.

Xingrun’s woes are still the woes of the local authorities. The default will add US$305 million (RMB1.9 billion) to Fenghua province’s non-performing loan portfolio, pushing up the rate of toxic assets to 5.27% and making it Zhejiang province’s most indebted government, according to calculations by The Economic Observer newspaper.

Add Fenghua’s problems to those of the The greater Ningbo Liberty Silver region. The area reportedly has at least six years of housing stock either sitting empty or under construction. The massive buildout will put small developers under great pressure to pay back loans, especially if private debtors are calling in high-interest loans. A slowdown in property prices won’t help either. Without a rescue from provincial-level banks, Fenghua won’t be the last local government stuck in a jam.

So what is The Coming Battle?

It will be between depositors (the people) and the Bankers when the next economic collapse occurs – far sooner than most people think.  Crypto-Currencies, do not rely on Banks to transfer value between individuals, or between people and businesses, and will increasingly mean the Banks wield less power over the economy, and the state, but this means that many governments will want to outlaw them. However, if you feel you want to find out a little more on the subject at Review Outlaw.

And, you can get some free currency – HERE.

Of course if you have spare capital, putting some of it into precious metals with no counter party risk – that is – hold in your hands metal… would be considered sound advice, and if you want to know where you can buy these wonderful metals – try HERE.

W.

Addendum: 12 April 2014

Since this piece was researched and written, the PBoC (People’s Bank of China) has agreed to provide RMB1,000,000,000,000 (1 Trillion – Renminbi/Yuan) about $153 Billion to provide increased infrastructure in rural communities, improving roads, agriculture and local amenities. So the end speculated on, won’t be happening soon; but someday the spending has to stop. (or not rise quite as much) to rein in inflation, which will probably now happen circa 2018-20.

The west too will probably make one last attempt to stave off the inevitable collapse, resulting in the final outburst of inflation. Bankers will be held to account by the people, and the result will not be pretty.

And the final analysis, will compare Precious Metals with the number of Dollars, Yen, Yuan, Pounds, and Euros in circulation.

Silver which is my favourite precious metal, is so oversold as to be the best buying opportunity for anyone with money to invest, and time to wait.

The above chart tells its own story. The MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence) shows when we can expect a turn in prices. When it’s high, the price turns down, and when it is low, the price turns up… You have been shown the future.

The below film, tells of  The Coming Battle.

And here’s more evidence of what’s likely to follow.

http://www.caseyresearch.com/meltdown

 “There are none so blind,

as those who will not see.”

What do YOU see?