Bitcoin's competitive environ is already prompting a race towards negative margin, and despite such VCs have dumped nearly $100 million in 3 companies in as many months. Here's what I see coming down the pike...
Two Former Government Officials Tell Us What It's All About ...
The core dynamic in our state-corporate system is a status Quo that suppresses competition (few other stores are allowed in town), usually by indirect means: high land leases, high fees for doing business in town, mountains of absurd regulations no small businesses can afford to meet, etc. In state-corporate capitalism, small business thus poses a threat to the monopolistic partnership of the government and dominant corporations. Small businesses that try to meet all the regulations and pay all the fees and taxes are either marginalized or driven out of business by the high overhead. Truth is the first victim of the Company Store's dominance.
They say that gold is a geopolitical metal. Gold is real money with no counterparty risk and, furthermore, an excellent wealth preserver in time and space. Like fiat currencies (dollar, euro, yen, Yuan etc.), gold’s price is also influenced by political events, especially those having an international impact. Alan Greenspan, ex-chairman of the Federal Reserve, said that gold is money “in extremis”. This is why gold is part of most central banks’ reserves. It is the only reserve that is not debt and that cannot be devalued by inflation, contrary to fiat currencies.
In the past several years, one of the topics covered in detail on these pages has been the surge in such gimmicks designed to disguise lack of demand and end customer sales, used extensively by US automotive manufacturers, better known as "channel stuffing", of which General Motors is particularly guilty and whose inventory at dealer lots just hit a new record high. But did you know that when it comes to flat or declining sales and stagnant end demand, channel stuffing is merely the beginning? Presenting... Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die
"You’re picking up pennies on a train track. You are not getting paid much but you are sure that there will be a very negative surprise at some point. The risk / reward profile is as bad as ’07." - Portfolio manager speaking to Citigroup
With Memorial Day rapidly approaching and the onset of summer - and the inevitable spike in the number of drivers on the road, Expedia decided to poll American drivers to understand what really pisses them off the most. The 2014 Road Rage Report ranks "The Texter" as the most aggravating driving behavior beating out "The Tailgater". Perhaps most interestingly, 7 in 10 Americans report having been "flipped off" by a fellow motorist (while only 17% admitted to the aggressive act) and the rudest drivers live in the largest cities (71% rank NYC as the rudest).
You would think that with all the surefire bets in housing that people would be dialing up their realtors and heading out every weekend to make those lustful multiple offers presented in PowerPoint format on properties. Yet the overall market data shows a different story. The house horniest of them all, investors, are clearly pulling out of markets including sunny and inflated California. Apparently home prices do matter when making investment decisions. Cash strapped hormonal buyers will keep on buying but housing prices are set on the margin. That margin is becoming razor thin on current volume. I find it interesting that the biggest housing supporter of them all, the National Association of Realtors is also somewhat tepid on this recovery. Why? Because home sales volume is pathetic. Keep in mind they make money on selling and buying. Volume is key. Their model doesn’t work so well with banks holding onto properties like Gollum holding onto the ring and the foreclosure process being dragged out like the forever college student enjoying year 10 at Santa Monica City College. You see this overarching trend occurring in many metro areas across the country. Investors have been propping up the market since 2008. They are now slowly pulling back. You are also starting to see a convergence of analysts putting out their predictions on how overvalued housing is and backing it up with mountains of data. The other side of the argument points to prices. Sure, they’ve gone up but value is created by actual price and that is sort of the point. The answer as always isn’t so simple but using your thinking cap it is important to understand that housing is not a “no brainer” decision in this market.
Our Fed-fueled lottery-ticket economy will unravel with a vengeance in the years ahead. Malinvestment - the systemic consequence of the Federal Reserve's policies of near-zero interest rates and abundant credit - doesn't just inflate destruction asset bubbles: it poisons productive assets and the entire economy.
Last week in the Land of the Free, I heard a radio campaign ad for a local political candidate while in Texas. In the ad, he was talking about the debt and excessive government spending. And then he said something along the lines of, “We need to get this under control before America goes bankrupt.”
‘Buddy,’ I remember thinking, "America isn’t going bankrupt. It already IS bankrupt."
This is the stuff that revolutions are made of. It’s already happening around the world from North Africa to Southeast Asia. And it’s starting to spread to the West.
If you are in the US, the answer is, of course, "a lot." Elsewhere in the world, not so much.
The solution to the erosion of the middle class lifestyle is to destroy debt and other fixed costs and eliminate self-sabotaging discretionary consumption.
In the Oval Orfice...
And what's in it for you...
Did Money Center Bank Ignorance of CryptoCurrencies Allow A Start-up To Patent The Future of Global Finance?Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 05/10/2014 12:11 -0400
How much is the future of Global Finance really worth? I fear we're soon about to find out!