• Pivotfarm
    04/22/2014 - 20:14
    Age-old myths and fantasies about turning stuff that was worthless into gold. Alchemists leaning over their cauldrons of bubbling brew in the dark recesses of the dungeon of some mythical castle...

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Ready For The Price Of Food To More Than Double By The End Of This Decade?

It's not just beef, pork, shrimp, eggs, and orange juice... If you think that the price of food is high now?  Just wait.  If current trends continue, many of the most common food items that Americans buy will cost more than twice as much by the end of this decade. Even if nothing else bad happens (and that is a very questionable assumption to make), our food prices are going to be moving aggressively upward for the foreseeable future.  But what if something does happen?  In recent years, global food reserves have dipped to extremely low levels, and a single major global event (war, pandemic, terror attack, planetary natural disaster, etc.) could create an unprecedented global food crisis very rapidly.



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Fueling The New World Order: Where Does China Import Its Crude Oil From?

As China's ravenous appetite for oil surpasses that of the US which is enjoying an unexpected, if transitory, boom of shale oil production, which according to some experts may have already peaked, it means suddenly China is far more are the mercy of its core suppliers - the same way that for decades the US had no choice but to be best friends with Saudi Arabia, at least until Canada became the biggest supplier of crude to the US by a huge margin. So which are the countries that China relies most on for its daily energy importing needs? The map below has the answer.



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This Is Madness!

Keep interest rates at zero, whilst printing trillions of dollars, pounds and yen out of thin air, and you can make investors do some pretty extraordinary things. "Central bankers control the price of money and therefore indirectly influence every market in the world. Given this immense power, the ideal central banker would be humble, cautious and deferential to market signals. Instead, modern central bankers are both bold and arrogant in their efforts to bend markets to their will. Top-down central planning, dictating resource allocation and industrial output based on supposedly superior knowledge of needs and wants, is an impulse that has infected political players throughout history." The result was always a conspicuous and dismal failure. Today’s central planners, especially the Federal Reserve, will encounter the same failure in time. The open issues are, when and at what cost to society?



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BNP Banker, His Wife And Nephew Murdered In Belgium

In the beginning it was banker suicides. Then about two weeks ago, suicides were replaced by outright murders after the execution-style killing of the CEO of a bank in otherwise sleepy (and tax evasive) Lichtenstein by a disgruntled client. Then on Friday news hit of another execution-type murder in just as sleepy, if not so tax evasive, Belgium, where in the city of Vise, a 37-year-old Director at BNP Paribas Fortis was murdered alongside his wife and a 9 year old nephew in a premeditated and orchestrated drive-by shooting.



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Donetsk "Letter To Jews" Found To Be A Forgery

Yet another attempt to provoke retaliation and global hatred against "pro Russian separatists" fails.



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Five Reported Killed In East Ukraine Following Ultra-nationalist Attack

And to think it was just two days ago when all the USDJPY momentum ignition algos roared to life on flashing headline news of yet another diplomatic "de-escalation" of tensions in Ukraine. What was clearly ignored is that since John Kerry was involved, it was nothing but the latest sham. And the proof came moments ago when Reuters reported, citing Russian state television on Sunday, that five people were killed when Ukraine gunmen attacked a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk.



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The Next Shoe Just Dropped: Court Denies Attorney-Client Privilege

In the Land of the Free, people grow up hearing a lot of things about their freedom. You're told that you live in the freest country on the planet. You're told that other nations 'hate you' for your freedom. And you're told that you have the most open and fair justice system in the world.  This justice system is supposedly founded on bedrock principles-- things like a defendant being presumed innocent until proven guilty. The right to due process and an impartial hearing. The right to counsel and attorney-client privilege. Yet each of these core pillars has been systematically dismantled over the years...



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The Secret World Of Gold

In light of the Chinese demand we discussed earlier, the ongoing manipulation of 'rigged' markets everywhere, and rising geopolitical tensions (as the de-escalation continues), we thought it worth dusting off this excellent  and wide-ranging look at the history and present of the barbarous relic, gathering many perspectives (pro and con) on gold. From historical shipwrecks to Nazi 'death gold' and England's war chest to recent years where widespread economic uncertainty has given the yellow metal a "new luster in the world of high finance;" valued for its permanence, beauty and scarcity, people will lie, cheat, steal and kill in the name of gold; and the clip provides color on many of the market manipulations of the last few years.



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The One Thing Most Desired By Chinese Consumers Is...

Hint: it's not designer clothes, shoes, bags or watches.



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The 5 Faces Of Income Inequality

Whatever your position is on income inequality or the “great wealth divide,” there is little argument that it currently exists. The question is whether something should be done about it. Raising taxes on “the rich,” forced redistribution, increases in social welfare, etc. all have potentially negative economic consequences which affects everyone. There is clearly no easy solution. However, for the upcoming mid-term elections this debate will be waged to swing votes in favor of those who want to remain in political office on both sides of the aisle. This is ironic considering that the majority of those individuals are currently in the top wealth brackets in the U.S. Maybe we should just start there?



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Anti-HFT Trading Platform Comes To "Rigged" FX Markets

The surge in volume on the anti-HFT equity trading platform IEX - of Flash Boys and TV-fight-night fame - makes it very easy to see how the buy-side (which the US retail investor is one small part of) clearly prefers an un-rigged place to find willing sellers (or buyers). Relatively light regulation and high volumes make the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market a prime target for high-frequency traders. More than 35% of spot currency volume in October was by speed traders, up from 9% five years earlier, but just as in equity markets, there are speculators and there are natural buyers and sellers in FX markets (looking to hedge payments and receipts from real business for example). As Bloomberg reports, a currency-dealing platform known as ParFX, established in 2011, offers a transparent marketplace and subjects orders to random pauses of about 20 to 80 milliseconds, and "is the industry’s effort to heal itself."



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It's Time To Retire Gross Domestic Product As A Measure of Prosperity

Distilling an economy's success in delivering "prosperity" to a single number has outlived its purpose. Political authorities knew exactly what was happening: they realized that their own credibility could be boosted by a rigged GDP number. Thus we have the central government of China issuing blatantly bogus claims of 7+% annual GDP, as anything less will severely erode their claim of managerial brilliance. In our own propaganda-dependent state, GDP is almost always positive, much like corporate earnings always beat expectations by a penny. But we should be paying attention to an even deeper critique of GDP: that prosperity no longer depends of the "growth" of consumption, financialization, etc. but on the Degrowth of narcissistic consumerism and more efficient use of resources and capital.



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US, And Global, Military Spending Summed Up In One Chart

While we previously noted the relative stability (but absolute surge) in US military spending over the past few decades, the scale of what the world's peace-keeping, red-line enforcing, hypocrisy-packed nation spends in context to the rest of the world...



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Everything We Are Told About Deflation Is A Lie

The conventional view of deflation is that if it sets in, “the banking industry, the financial markets, and much of the rest of the economy will be wiped out in a bottomless deflationary spiral.” But, such a spiral would not prove fatal to the lives and welfare of the general population. Rather, it would destroy “essentially those companies and industries that live a parasitical existence at the expense of the rest of the economy, and which owe their existence to our present money system.” Let us be more explicit. Severe deflation threatens at an existential level bankrupt banks and the bankrupt governments that perpetuate their existence. Deflation is a mortal enemy to the heavily indebted state and its embedded parasites, but it is a friend to the saver and to anyone with a positive net worth.



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How Americans Die

America is growing older. And as society comes to grips with the realization that the average age of America will hit new record highs with every passing day for the indefinite future, a new, and far less pleasant topic is sure to gain prominence. Namely: how Americans Die.



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