As part of a global investigation into how much physical gold central banks have stored at what location and how much is leased out, we submitted the local equivalent of a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request at the central bank of Belgium (NBB) to obtain information about the amount of Belgian official gold reserves, the exact location of all gold bars, the type of gold accounts NBB holds at the Bank Of England (BOE) and how much is leased out and to whom. The outcome of this research was not what we had expected...
Baldly stated, the United States government is the greatest danger to peace and freedom the world has ever known. This is true precisely because it has held aloft the torch of liberty for so long, an example to the world of what a society based on individual freedom can achieve. That is the great paradox of American power. As we abandon our libertarian heritage – even as we retain the forms of a constitutional republic – we destroy what made our power possible. The process is reversible: we can restore our old republic – but only if we give up the mirage of empire.
"In the west, it is common knowledge to walk out of a room wearing the same pair of shoes that you wore while entering the room. Nay, it is common sense. However here in Sh?m, our Syrian brothers have a very peculiar philosophy whereby they believe that everyone can share each other’s footwear, irrespective of foot size."
While influential voices like the Pope are correct that this is a travesty, the policies promoted by him and other government officials will only make this worse. Offering assistance to migrants by rescuing them when they become troubled or allowing migrants to remain without changing the underlying bureaucratic issue will only create greater incentives for more and more people to take the same dangerous routes. Risk compensation has to be considered — the greater the safety mechanisms in place, the more risky the behavior will become. Unfortunately, the current solutions presented by officials will likely result in boats even more overloaded with people and even greater numbers traversing dangerous jungle passes.
So why did debt levels rise so dramatically after the final central bank restraint was removed? It is essentially due to the massive subsidy central bankers provided. If you tax a thing you get less of it (think all the tax on labour) but if you subsidise it you will get more of it. As time went by, debt obviously grew ever larger and eventually large enough to become an integral part of the business cycle. In other words, central banks could not stop the subsidy for fear of creating, well, a 2008 financial meltdown.
What if the assumptions about a U.S. economic recovery and Fed rate hikes were wrong? Could observers be mistaken now about the trajectory of the Dollar vs. the Euro as they were back in 2000? Confidence is the only thing that really undergirds modern fiat currencies. But confidence can be very ephemeral...disappearing as quickly as it arrives. The U.S. Dollar benefits from confidence that the Euro currency may just be unworkable, that the U.S. economy will continue to improve, and that the Fed will raise rates throughout the remainder of 2015 and into 2016. If these expectations are unfulfilled, there could be a Euro reversal.
This erosion of opportunities to complete life's stages and core dramas is rarely recognized, much less addressed. The End of Secure Work and the diminishing returns of financialization are disrupting these core human challenges and frustrating those who are unable to proceed to the next stage of life...
On Sunday, PM Alexis Tsipras penned a lengthy statement expressing his frustration at creditors’ insistence on presenting what he calls “absurd proposals” even as the Greek delegation has gone most of the way towards meeting the troika’s demands. "Judging from the present circumstances, it appears that this new European power is being constructed, with Greece being the first victim. To some, this represents a golden opportunity to make an example out of Greece. If some, however, think or want to believe that this decision concerns only Greece, they are making a grave mistake. I would suggest that they re-read Hemingway’s masterpiece, 'For Whom the Bell Tolls.'"
UPDATE: Denial *GREEK CREDITORS NOT YET DRAFTING FINAL ACCORD, EU OFFICIAL SAYS
Another day, another rumor (not yet denied) of a report that Greece and its creditors are crafting a deal (well durr)... The result, vertical buying panic in US equities, USD dumped (on EUR strength), TSY yields spike 3bps, and Crude oil surges... what a "market"
The consequences of economic stagnation are not limited to finance: stagnation is causing a social depression.
"... in the last decades, the basic principles of international cooperation have come to be increasingly ignored. These are the principles that have been hard won by mankind as a result of the ordeal of the war. We saw attempts to establish a unipolar world. We see the strong-arm block thinking gaining momentum. All that undermines sustainable global development. The creation of a system of equal security for all states should become our common task. Such system should be an adequate match to modern threats, and it should rest on a regional and global non-block basis. Only then will we be able to ensure peace and tranquillity on the planet."
Jim Rogers: China is The Future, Whether We Like it or Not. What China Means for the World. If North and South Korea Unite Japan will suffer much. Ideas for investment in Myanmar and North Korea.
"The best environment for man is the environment of liberty." - former President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus
Liberty is a fundamental human right; it is the cornerstone of our existence. But liberty is under attack from all directions, whether through higher state control or individuals themselves. Liberty is in search for its protector.
As Washington is not a partner to the Minsk peace deal, how can there be peace when Washington has made policy decisions to escalate the conflict and to use the conflict as a proxy war between the US and Russia?
Looking at the deal itself, it is set up to fail.
Essentially, our analysis suggests that there is a large divergence in the perceptions of both sides but the rational choice is to hold to their respective positions. In other words, our analysis of the payoffs suggest that the EU won’t offer debt relief and Syriza won’t back down from demanding it. Our fear is that the markets, inured by previous bailouts, expect the Greeks to cave, leaving the risk of an unexpected negative outcome in Europe is probably higher than what is currently being discounted. At the same time, EU policymakers are assuming that contagion will not occur, which may not be accurate.