It’s long been a common approach for government sliding into insolvency to confiscate wealth from their own citizens. Charles I of England infamously commandeered 200,000 pounds of his own citizens’ gold right before the English Civil War in 1638. Roosevelt confiscated his entire nation’s gold holdings roughly three centuries later. And of course, Cyprus raided domestic bank accounts earlier this year in a desperate attempt to bail-in the national banking system. It’s foolish to think that these things cannot happen, especially when you look at the numbers. This is why we are concerned that the IRS is refusing to issue tax ID numbers for single-member LLCs that are owned by an IRA... which is the specific structure that US taxpayers need to create in order to ship their retirement savings overseas.
Many high profile investors, economists and companies got burned during China's recent woes. We look at the errors they made and what you can learn from them.
"There is a huge artificial boom going on," warns Jim Rogers as for the first time in history, all the world's major central banks are simultaneously printing money. While he remains adamant of the positive outlook for agriculture, the fact that "the whole world is trying to debase their currencies," produces a "major disconnect" between asset values and economic realities. Stocks are at new highs, not based on reality, but on printing presses "and that cannot work... this is going to end very very badly." While not all western economies are as egregious as others, the intertwined nature means their fate remains very much tethered to the US, and as Rogers concludes, "everybody will suffer, be very very careful as these are perilous times."
As far back as ancient times, whenever civilizations fell into great crisis, people in desperation have almost invariably turned to a single individual who promised them better times. Of course, history is full of examples of men who did not give up power willingly once the crisis passed. As an example, the 1920s economic crisis in the Weimar Republic had a huge impact in the rise of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism. In the 1920s, there was one bankrupt country. And the consequences still define the world we live in. But Jim Rogers sees another "man on a white horse" that scares him even more today...
It should come as no surprise to most ZeroHedge readers but sometimes the facts and data need to be reiterated to ensure the message is not getting lost. As Michael Snyder rhetorically asks, did you know that U.S. banks have more than 1.8 trillion dollars parked at the Federal Reserve and that the Fed is actually paying them not to lend that money to us? We were always told that the goal of quantitative easing was to "help the economy", but the truth is that the vast majority of the money that the Fed has created through quantitative easing has not even gotten into the system. Instead, most of it is sitting at the Fed slowly earning interest for the bankers. Our financial system is a house of cards built on a foundation of risk, leverage and debt. When it all comes tumbling down, it should not be a surprise to any of us.
"We’re getting to that point where either one of two things are going to happen; either central banks are going to stop all this [money printing], or the market is going to force them to stop it. It looks like we may be having a juncture of both... where the Fed is getting worried... and at the same time, the market is jumping in and saying, ‘Yes, it’s insane what you’re doing, and this has to end.’ And if it’s not ending now, it’s going to end sometime in the next year, because this cannot go on - it’s too insane."
"There are a lot of leveraged players who are now being forced to sell [gold]. Usually when you have this kind of forced liquidation, you’re getting closer to a bottom, maybe not the final bottom, but certainly close to a bottom."
Jim Rogers was recently interviewed by GoldMoney and had plenty to say (as usual):
On Bernanke: "He doesn’t want to be around for the consequences of what he’s doing."
On Fiat: "Paper money doesn’t have a very glorious history, but again, nothing imposed by the government has a very long and glorious history."
On Europe's Crisis: "You can postpone it all you want, but the problems just mount."
On Capitalism: "You are not supposed to take money away from the competent people and give it to the incompetent so that the incompetent can compete with the competent people with their own money. That’s not the way capitalism is supposed to work."
Nations are going bust. And the worse things get, the more desperate their tactics become. This isn't the first time that the world has been in this position. This time is not different. History shows that there are serious, serious consequences to running unsustainably high debts and deficits. And those consequences have almost invariably involved pillaging people's wealth, savings, livelihoods and liberties... either directly or indirectly. What's happening right now is playing out in textbook fashion. More taxes, more debt, more printing, more confiscation, less freedom. Many people will resist the change and instead cling desperately to the old system - the cycle of debt and consumption that provided jobs, stability, and prosperity. These people will have their lives turned upside down because that system is gone forever. And in case it still weren't obvious, here is three minutes of clarity from Ron Paul and Jim Rogers..."I would expect that there is going to be a lot more chaos still to come." - Ron Paul; “They won’t take our bank accounts…they will take our retirement accounts.” - Jim Rogers
Q. What is your view on gold?
Soros: That’s a complicated question. It has disappointed the public, because it is meant to be the ultimate safe haven. But when the euro was close to collapsing in the last year, actually gold went down, because if people needed to sell something, they could sell gold. Therefore they sold gold. So gold went down together with everything else. Gold was destroyed as a safe haven, proved to be unsafe. Because of the disappointment, most people are reducing their holdings of gold. But the central banks will continue to buy them, so I don’t expect gold to go down. If you have the prospect of a crisis, you will have occasional flurries or jumps. So gold is very volatile on a day-to-day basis, no trend on a longer-term basis.
Physical gold and silver demand remains robust in many markets internationally. Demand from the Middle East remains robust as seen in the near record imports of gold and silver into Turkey. Turkey’s gold imports climbed to an eight-month high in March as prices averaged the lowest since May, according to the Istanbul Gold Exchange. Silver imports rose 31% from a month earlier according to Bloomberg. Gold imports increased to 18.26 metric tons, the most since July. That’s up from 17.34 tons in February and compared with 2.91 tons a year earlier, data on the exchange’s website show. The country shipped in 120.8 tons last year. Turkey was the fourth-biggest gold consumer in 2012, according to the London-based World Gold Council. Bullion averaged $1,593.62 an ounce last month and is trading about 17% below the record nominal high of $1,921.15 set in September 2011.
The current globally-coordinated central bank ZIRP/bailout policies are destroying the world's saving class. As Jim Rogers notes, "For the first time in recorded history, we have nearly every central bank printing money and trying to debase their currency. This has never happened before. How it’s going to work out, I don't know." The bigger danger that concerns him is the "hollowing out of the 'saving class'" resulting from this situation. Central planners' policies are "punishing the prudent in favor of rescuing the irresponsible." Rogers owns gold, silver, and other precious metals and commodities - as a better way to play the debasement of currencies - and concludes rather ominously that, "this has happened before in world history, and the aftermath has always had grievous economic, social - and often human - costs."
Gold has come under pressure from heavy liquidation by hedge funds and banks on the COMEX this week. The unusual and often 'not for profit' nature of the selling, at the same time every day this week, has again led to suspicions of market manipulation.
Gold’s ‘plunge’ is now headline news which is bullish from a contrarian perspective. As is the fact that many of the same people who have been claiming gold is a bubble since it was $1,000/oz have again been covering gold after periods of silence.
Currency War ... Trade War ... Hot War
Whether you're aware of it or not, a great battle is being waged around us. It is a war of two opposing narratives: the future of our economy and our standard of living. The dominant story, championed by flotillas of press releases and parading talking heads, tells an inspiring tale of recovery and return to growth. The other side, less visible but with a full armament of high-caliber data, tells a very different story. One of growing instability, downside risk, and inequality. As different as they are in substance, they both share one fundamental prediction – and this is why you should care: This battle is about to break. And when it does, one side will turn out to be much more 'right' than the other. The time for action has arrived. To position yourself in the direction of the break you think is most likely to happen. It's time to choose a side.
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