en Gold, The SDR, & BRICS <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Alasdair Macleod via,</em></a></p> <p>Last Monday there was<strong> a meeting in Washington hosted by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) to discuss the future relationship, if any, of gold with the Special Drawing Rights (SDR).</strong></p> <p>Also on the agenda was the inclusion of the Chinese renminbi, which seems certain to be included in the SDR basket in this year's revision, assuming that the United States doesn't try to block it.</p> <p>This is <strong>not the first time the subject has come up.</strong> OMFIF's chairman,<a href=""> Lord Desai wrote a paper</a> about it after the last Washington meeting on gold and the SDR exactly four years ago. The inclusion of the renminbi in the SDR was rejected in 2010 because of inadequate liquidity and is due to be reconsidered this year.</p> <p>Desai pointed out in his paper that there are difficulties when it comes to including gold, because (and I think this is what he was trying to say) none of the SDR's paper constituents are convertible into gold, but gold's inclusion in the SDR would make them convertible through the back door. However, Desai seemed keen to re-examine the case for gold.</p> <p><strong>It should be pointed out that if gold is included in SDRs the arrangement cannot be long-lasting so long as the major central banks insist on printing money as an economic cure-all.</strong> However, China's position with respect to gold and her own currency could be a different matter.</p> <p><strong>The Chinese government has almost certainly accumulated large amounts of gold yet to be included in her reserves, and she has also encouraged her own citizens to own gold as well. </strong>We can therefore be certain that China sees a monetary role for gold while at the same time she is pushing for the renminbi to be included in the SDR basket. There is no doubt, if you read the IMF papers from the last SDR review in 2010 that the renminbi does now fulfil the criteria for inclusion today. So the question then is will the advanced nations, which dominate the IMF's membership, permit the renminbi's inclusion, and will the US, which has dragged its heels on giving China and the other BRICS nations a greater shareholding in the IMF, relent and permit these reforms, which were accepted by the other members back in 2010?</p> <p><strong>The Americans' blocking of reform signals her desire to preserve the dollar's hegemony</strong>; but given she lost out spectacularly over the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, IMF reform could become the next serious threat to the dollar's dominance. And if America does not back down over the IMF and the SDR, she will have no fall-back position; China on the other hand still has some aces up her sleeve.</p> <p><strong>One of them is gold, and another is her role in a rival organisation established by the BRICS. </strong>The New Development Bank (NDB) is in the final stages of being set up, driven by frustration at America's attempts to protect the dollar's role and to keep the IMF as an exclusive club for advanced nations. Instead, the NDB could easily issue its own version of the SDR with the gold lining Desai referred to in his original paper.</p> <p>The reason this would work is very simple. <em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The BRICS members, unencumbered by the cost burden of modern welfare states could exercise the monetary restraint required to tie their currencies to gold, perhaps running a Bretton-Woods-style gold-exchange arrangement between member central banks to stabilise their currencies.</strong></span></em></p> <p>However, the NDB would almost certainly want to see the gold price considerably higher if it is to play any part in a new rival to the SDR. Other BRICS members would be encouraged to make sure they have sufficient gold on board by selling US dollar reserves to buy gold, ahead of any decision to go ahead with a new super-currency.</p> <p><strong>It would appear the era of the dollar's global domination as a reserve currency is coming to an end</strong>, and the stage is now being set for gold to be officially accepted as the ultimate reserve money once again, this time by the next generation of advanced nations.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="555" height="424" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> BRICs Central Banks China None Renminbi Reserve Currency Sun, 26 Apr 2015 03:30:08 +0000 Tyler Durden 505506 at TaRGeT LiBeRTY... <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="" width="674" height="1024" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 03:05:12 +0000 williambanzai7 505524 at Baltimore 'Freddie Gray' Demonstrations Turn Violent: Police Cars Smashed, Stores Looted, Multiple Arrests - Live Feed <p>As the night wears on so tensions are rising further...</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 469px;" /></a></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 450px;" /></a></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 468px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>City officials plead for peace following violent night in <a href="">#Baltimore</a> <a href="">#FreddieGray</a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Brandon Longo (@brandonlongo) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Damn another life gone due to the law enforcement SMH ???????? <a href="">#FreddieGray</a>???????? keep ya head up <a href="">#Baltimore</a> ???????? we fighting <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Scarlet Rose (@bluediamomdzzz) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="">#FreddieGray</a> <a href="">#Baltimore</a> <a href="">#PoliceState</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Con Psalios (@Konstantinos305) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>&quot;Peaceful protesting&quot; <a href="">#Baltimore</a> <a href="">#FreddieGray</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; ?TJ Moore? (@TjMonroeVanity) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><strong>Following a a planned demonstration</strong> over how police handled the arrest of <em>Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore man who suffered a spinal injury at some point after he was detained by police on April 12 and died a week later</em>; hundreds of protesters confronted lines of police. Objects were thrown, stores pillaged, and at least five police cars have been damaged. The <strong>Mayor of Baltimore has asked fans to remain inside the ballpark &quot;due to ongoing public safety concerns.&quot;</strong> <em>Ferguson 2.0?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Uhhh... <a href="">#CamdenYards</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Reid Kellam (@SouljaBoyKellam) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Live Feed 1...</p> <p><iframe width="600" height="362" src=";wmode=direct" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border: 0px none transparent;"> </iframe><br /> <br /><a href="" style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px; font-weight: normal; text-align: left;" target="_blank">Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><script type='text/javascript' src=';;playerWidth=640;playerHeight=360;isShowIcon=true;clipId=;flvUri=;wnms1=;partnerclipid=;adTag=;advertisingZone=CBS.BALTIMORE%252Fworldnowplayer;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=overlay;isLiveStream=true;streamType=live;headline='></script></p> <p><a href=""><em>As CNN reports,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Earlier, demonstrators had marched through the streets until they arrived at City Hall. <strong>Along the way, whenever it appeared the protest might get out of control, organizers reined the marchers back in.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The event ended after speeches at Baltimore City Hall on Saturday evening, but<strong> many protesters continued to vent their anger by marching down to Inner Harbor.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>When demonstrators got to the stadium, tensions escalated and some people threw what appeared to be water bottles and other objects at the cops, who wore helmets and stood behind metal barricades.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fans who were arriving to watching the hometown Orioles play the Boston Red Sox were having trouble finding ways to the entrance gates. The game started on time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Throughout the day protesters yelled, <strong>&quot;No justice, no peace&quot; and &quot;All night, all day; we&#39;re gonna fight for Freddie Gray.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>The scenes are all too reminiscent of the terrible events in Ferguson...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 323px;" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 467px;" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 591px;" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 613px;" /></a></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Will these people will be smiling/cheering if they need <a href="">#POLICE</a> tonight &amp; cops have no car to respond in? <a href="">#Baltimore</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Cole Phelps (@ColePhelps_1247) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Bloods+Crips coming together. WOW. <a href="">#Baltimore</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Chels? (@BEautifully_C) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>7 Eleven looted at Howard &amp; Baltimore Ave. <a href="">#Baltimore</a> <a href="">#freddiegrayprotest</a> <a href="">#FreddieGray</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; FOX 5 DC (@fox5newsdc) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Live video of <a href="">#Baltimore</a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; will kill 4 spring (@onekade) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>7/11 door smashed, store looted <a href="">#Baltimore</a> <a href="">#FreddieGray</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Kevin Rector (@RectorSun) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>???? RT <a href="">@cmcampbell6</a>: <a href="">#FreddieGray</a> protesters smashing windows of <a href="">#Baltimore</a> police cars <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Moses (@iBChrisMoses) <a href="">April 26, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script> Twitter Twitter Sun, 26 Apr 2015 02:13:52 +0000 Tyler Durden 505523 at 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Libertarians <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Jeffrey Tucker via The Foundation for Economic Education</em></a>,</p> <p>What does it mean to be an effective advocate of liberty? It means to love what you do and adopt sustainable patterns of thinking and living that contribute to making the world a freer place.</p> <p><strong>Sustainability is key</strong>. Most of today&rsquo;s attacks on freedom lovers include a dismissal that libertarianism is an ideology for idealistic (or maybe deluded) kids, not one for adults. Sure, you can feel enraptured by the writings of Bastiat or Rand or Rothbard when you are in high school or college. But once you get into the real world, they say, you mature and give up the illusions of a freer world.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t believe this. Within the domain of liberty, we find the path to prosperity, social peace, and human flourishing. Every limitation on the freedom of thought, action, and ownership robs the world of creativity, wealth, and progress.</p> <p>And yet, freedom is not baked into a world where various forms of despotism are always threatening. It must be won anew in every generation. Indeed, it&rsquo;s the ones who fancy themselves as grown-ups &mdash; able to make big decisions for the rest of humanity &mdash; who become the next generation of despots. It is the very foundation of intellectual and moral maturity to resist this level of hubris and to acknowledge the truth of our limitations.</p> <p>Surely maturity shows us the limits of power. Surely the cause of liberty is worth our lifelong efforts.</p> <p>But there is a superficial plausibility to the critics&rsquo; claims because there is a tendency for libertarians to give up hope. I&rsquo;ve known many who lost their enthusiasm for liberty for a number of reasons, none of them strictly intellectual. People can begin to feel demoralized on discovering how little they can do to change the world. The gap between dreams and reality grows too large. Idealism fades when you sense you are hitting your head against a brick wall.</p> <p>What can be done to sustain the passion for liberty throughout a lifetime? Here are my suggestions for seven habits to foster a lifelong attachment to liberty and to live a life that makes the best possible contribution to human well-being.</p> <p><u><strong>1. Oppose oppression but love liberty even more. </strong></u></p> <p>The dawning of the libertarian consciousness often takes place in two steps.</p> <p>First, you realize that there is such a thing as a state that is distinct from society at large, a fact that massive swaths of the social sciences (not to mention mainstream media) try to cover up. Second, there is the new awareness that the state is distinct from every other institution in society because it uses aggressive force to achieve its aims. Further, the state actually does not achieve the aims it promises. Rather, it violates rights, undermines economic achievement, fosters dependency, and serves a ruling class rather than the public at large.</p> <p>At this point in your intellectual journey, you realize that the mainstream alternatives of left and right leave a lot to be desired; neither is a wholly consistent application of a principled opposition to power.</p> <p>A new consciousness dawns. It can give rise to righteous anger. You see for the first time the difference between how the world is (which can often look dark and gloomy) and what could be. It can be tempting to focus on the negative: wars, police abuse, corruption, looting of the productive, graft in politics, and so on.</p> <p>This anger is why so many liberty-minded news feeds consist of terrible news. But how much bad news can one person possibly handle? We have no means to directly right wrongs, to change the world for the better in one fell swoop. To see evil that we cannot change can only lead to despair: a trap that too many libertarians fall into.</p> <p>It is crucial not only to think about the problem but also to see the solutions being lived out all around us. We need to learn to observe the marvelous businesses starting and succeeding every day, the beauty of spontaneous human interaction, the order and prosperity that emerge from the exercise of human choice. We should thrill in the many ways that people go about their lives in casual defiance of the central plan. We can glory in the creations all around us that were never mapped out or approved by politicians, or by the experts in their pay.</p> <p>In other words, focusing on the solutions rather than solely on the problems can brighten your day and give rise to creativity in the service of the good. Liberty is not just the absence of oppression; it is the presence of well-lived lives and institutions that emerge despite every attempt to stop them. In this sense, freedom is blossoming all over the world. If we can focus on making that positive change, rather than dwelling on what&rsquo;s wrong with the world, our task becomes more delightful and a dedication to liberty becomes more sustainable.</p> <p><u><strong>2. Read broadly and be confident in your ideas.</strong></u></p> <p>Political debates can be fun, but they can also be shrill and unproductive, with two sides battling it out and making no intellectual progress. They bring more heat than light. If you are going to change that pattern, you must have the confidence to listen carefully to other ideas and not be threatened by them. With intellectual confidence, you can respond in a way that is sure-footed rather than belligerent. You can be thoughtful rather than reactive.</p> <p>Think of the difference between the way a street thug behaves and how a martial arts expert carries himself in combat. One is angry, threatening, and reckless. The other is calm, clever, and effective. In a hand-to-hand match between the two, the latter is going to win. Why? Because the martial arts expert has actual skill, whereas the bully only has attitude and emotion. Libertarians should be like skilled experts and exhibit the confidence that comes with that discipline. But becoming a black belt in liberty takes time and learning; it doesn&rsquo;t happen overnight.</p> <p>We should also know our opponents&rsquo; arguments better than they do and be prepared to respond to them fairly and without caricature, crafting our own arguments in ways that are actually persuasive rather than just forceful or loud. This requires that we spend some time reading and studying other traditions of thought. Our libraries ought to be broad and sample all disciplines and viewpoints.</p> <p>We should never shy away from ideas that are different from our own. Sometimes our intellectual opponents &mdash; even when they are completely wrong &mdash; are our most valued benefactors. They help us think through issues, sharpen our skills, and inspire us to research and read more. This is the way we improve. Then we can approach debates with no fear.</p> <p>This approach will make us far more effective over the long term. Bombast and bromides can shut down opponents, but do they win hearts and minds? Not likely. As Ludwig von Mises emphasized in <a href="">his great 1927 book </a><a href=""><em>Liberalism</em></a>, it is reason, good arguments, and thoughtfulness &mdash; combined with a genuine desire for a better world &mdash; that will carry the day.</p> <p>We don&rsquo;t want to shut down our opponents, causing them to retreat to their comfortable and familiar way of thinking. We want our opponents to keep asking questions of us, to keep challenging our ideas as we continue to engage them. We want them to keep talking with us and others. The ongoing discussion is a sign of curiosity and openness that we should welcome.</p> <p><u><strong>3. Look beyond politics.</strong></u></p> <p>For most libertarians, politics is the initial draw. There is nothing wrong with this. It is typical of American culture that it takes campaigns to get people interested in big questions like the role of human freedom, the place of the state, whether war is necessary, and so on.</p> <p>But it only takes one or two campaigns before people realize that politics is a not a very effective way for changing the world for the better. Our votes matter very little, if at all. We are mostly only voting for people, not policies. And people in politics tend to betray principles. If we put too much stock in politicians &mdash; even the best of whom confront a system much larger than they can control &mdash; we will feel frustrated and powerless. Plus, there is no nastier business on the planet. Calumnies and deceptions define the political world.</p> <p>Working in campaigns as a consumption good is fine, if that&rsquo;s the sort of thing you like. Some people enjoy it. But let&rsquo;s be realistic. As a production good &mdash; a means of producing good outcomes &mdash; it is mostly an illusion. Politics tends to be a lagging rather than leading indicator of social change. The first steps toward change are cultural and not political. Politics is reactive, not proactive. If we can make a contribution to changing minds and fostering a culture of liberty, the rest will take care of itself.</p> <p>There are many other ways to make a difference outside of politics. Think of the way the economy of mobile apps is challenging the status quo in nearly every area of commerce. Municipal taxi monopolies are reeling from the competition from ride-sharing applications. Peer-to-peer housing solutions are making a mess of zoning laws. Cryptocurrency is challenging nationalized money and old-fashioned payment systems. Homeschooling and online education are busting up the state&rsquo;s education system. These efforts have already accomplished more than any top-down reform.</p> <p>Indeed, every start-up enterprise is a kind of revolutionary act against the status quo that the state&rsquo;s regulations and plunderings have conspired to prevent. Their existence is proof that you can&rsquo;t stop human creativity with any amount of control. At the end of day, we&rsquo;ll look back to see that start-ups have made a mightier contribution to liberty than all the political campaigns combined. Libertarians have long understood that bottom-up solutions to social problems work better than top-down approaches. It&rsquo;s the same with building a free society.</p> <p><u><strong>4. See everyone as an ideological friend.</strong></u></p> <p>Do you know anyone who actually opposes human freedom? I don&rsquo;t. It&rsquo;s just that we all have different ways of understanding that idea and different levels of tolerance for its inconsistent application. We should see everyone as a potential ally in the great cause, regardless of sex, race, religion, or station in life.</p> <p>Modern democratic politics divides people by interest-group affiliation. According to the prevailing ethos, women should prefer one set of politics and men another. Blacks want things one way, whites another &mdash; and Hispanics want yet another. Young and old are each opposed to the other, just as are the rich and the poor. In this way, as Frédéric Bastiat never tired of pointing out, politics divides people, creating a war of all against all.</p> <p>But the classical liberals always emphasized that freedom means a harmony of interests between all groups. Only true liberals favor the common good of all, because they want to remove the major source of division in society. They favor allowing all groups and individuals to cooperate, associate, exchange, and produce to their mutual betterment. Society can manage itself better than any central planner can.</p> <p>To see this today, in a time of cold war between groups, requires some high-minded thinking. Often, it requires acknowledging the justice of victim-group complaints and drawing attention to how the state has created the problem in the first place. This pertains to a huge range of problems in society, from unemployment to institutionalized racism to persistent poverty, exploitation, and war. It is not the case that we all have different goals; it&rsquo;s that we disagree on the means to achieve those goals.</p> <p>Start all discussions with the presumption that the other person is a potential lover of liberty. When someone says something right and true, seize on it and draw it out. Don&rsquo;t be discouraged if you don&rsquo;t gain a convert immediately. As with all exchanges of ideas, the goal should be to plant seeds, not harvest a crop. It is through such subtle but persistent efforts that we win over hearts and minds to the cause of liberty.</p> <p><u><strong>5. Don&rsquo;t have all the answers.</strong></u></p> <p>It is typical of nonlibertarians that they demand full and complete answers to all human problems that are currently tackled by statist means. Who will care for the poor? How will education work? How will people get health insurance? What is to be done about the problems of racism, misogyny, and religious intolerance? Above all else, <a href="">who will build the roads?</a> (Never mind that roads are all built by private companies on contract with the state today.)</p> <p>It is tempting to try to give complete answers. And history can provide some important hints and guides along the way to giving us a vision of what might be. There is a point to drawing attention to the way government intervention has displaced a whole range of private industries: schools, roads, <a href="">mutual aid</a>, title companies, courts, and more. At the same time, we must resist the temptation to construct a different central plan for freedom. If we take the bait, we set ourselves up for failure.</p> <p>We do not have all the answers. In freedom, we discover answers through an ongoing process of trial and error. An open society exists to leave the maximum amount of room for innovation and discovery.</p> <p>F.A. Hayek was correct in his amazing essay <a href="">&ldquo;The Case for Freedom&rdquo;</a>:</p> <p style="margin-left: .5in;">Freedom granted only when it is known beforehand that its effects will be beneficial is not freedom. If we knew how freedom would be used, the case for it would largely disappear.&hellip; Our faith in freedom does not rest on the foreseeable results in particular circumstances but on the belief that it will, on balance, release more forces for the good than for the bad.&hellip; It is because we do not know how individuals will use their freedom that it is so important.</p> <p>As Leonard Read used to say, the single most notable feature of freedom is its humility. It defers to the results of human action and does not attempt to design them in advance. Freedom does not mean rule by smart libertarians who know better than anyone else. It means the removal of institutionalized sources of power that rule with the arrogant presumption that there is only one way to manage society, and that society can and should be managed.</p> <p>There is nothing wrong with responding to critics of freedom, &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know the answers, but neither do politicians and bureaucrats, which is why they aren&rsquo;t in a position to impose their ideas on the rest of us. We need freedom to work out social problems for ourselves. If you see a challenge to be met, it&rsquo;s guaranteed that others see the same problem. Let&rsquo;s work together to find the answers. Freedom is a necessary condition for finding the best solutions.&rdquo;</p> <p><u><strong>6. Hack your life.</strong></u></p> <p>Once you realize that we are living under a central plan for your life and property, you can start to get creative about finding alternatives. You can use technologies to find a new approach to education. You can find better paths toward personal success. You can better manage your finances without the personal debt encouraged by the policies of the Federal Reserve. You can hack your appliances in ways that make them operate better than the regulations allow.</p> <p>One way that statist lobbying groups have increased the power of government has been to find ways to apply their principles in public life. The greens have become masters of this approach. They have constructed a whole liturgy for our lives whereby we recycle, bike, ration garbage, take short showers, and so on &mdash; never mind that these things do next to nothing for the environment. The point is to personalize the political (the opposite of the left&rsquo;s principle of politicizing the personal).</p> <p>We libertarians can personalize the political by finding ways around the central plan. These steps are hugely important because they make liberty real in our lives. It is not just an abstraction we hold in our minds, a vague hope of some world that may or may not dawn in the future. The opportunities to live out freedom are all around us. We only need eyes to see and the courage to act.</p> <p>Before Ayn Rand wrote <a href=";qid=1428031746&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Atlas+Shrugged/?tag=foundationforeco"><em>Atlas Shrugged</em></a>, she knew that it was not enough to write a novel solely about a decaying social order under the iron hand of a corrupt government. She needed characters who felt empowered to do something about it. She ended up with an epic story about a whole generation of entrepreneurs who moved to Galt&rsquo;s Gulch to build a better world. Their plan of action, as presented in this book, has influenced libertarians for half a century.</p> <p>No, that doesn&rsquo;t mean that we must all <a href="">bail out and move to New Hampshire</a>. It does mean that we must all look for ways to live and innovate without permission from the ruling class, embracing freedom whether our political masters like it or not.</p> <p><u><strong>7. Be joyful.</strong></u></p> <p>Factionalism is a major joy killer. There is a temptation to become overly embedded in a small circle of opinion, to look for differences (however minute), and to argue tempestuously. When debates are civil and fair, they can lead to intellectual growth. When they become personal and lead to claims that so-and-so is not a real libertarian, they can lead to broken friendships and general acrimony.</p> <p>No one wins in such joyless struggles. They cause people to lose focus on the critical goal, which is the rise of liberty and the fall of everything that stands in its way. Social media is a wonderful thing, but sometimes technology can exacerbate squabbles rather than build real community. Remember that it takes two to fight, and you can always walk away. That takes discipline and humility, but it preserves relationships. For our own well-being, we need to focus on building a community of ideas, not on purges based on the false hope of purifying the movement.</p> <p>There is something seriously wrong if the dawning of libertarian consciousness leads to a dour and dreary attitude toward the world and all its works. It should be easy to adopt a joyful view of the world, especially in our times.</p> <p>We are seeing the failure of 20th-century statist measures in every area of life. All the statists&rsquo; fiscal, monetary, and regulatory plans have all failed. Their programs are unraveling. Governments and their leaders have never been more unpopular. Commerce is making an end-run around their schemes every day.</p> <p>These should be causes of great joy. Libertarians are on the right side of history. We celebrate and seek to defend human rights against all who would take them away. This is a happy pursuit, one that gives our lives added meaning and significance.</p> <p>Murray Rothbard used to say that fighting the state should be a joyful occupation. In the end, tyranny cannot work. There is just something wonderful about realizing that and seeing how it plays itself out in the real world. Having such joy was effortless for Rothbard because it was part of his personality. For the rest of us, <a href="">it takes some practice</a>. We should smile at the inevitable failures of the state, feel happy about the liberty all around us, and take comfort in the hope for a future of liberty that is realizable, partly through our own efforts.</p> <p><u><strong>Onward! </strong></u></p> <p>Let us remember that when we are talking about human liberty, we are talking about the whole of what makes life itself beautiful. That is a gigantic subject. There are many pathways into the ideas of liberty and many ways of living the ideas, too. That is a beautiful truth, one worthy of lifelong attention and commitment. To make it effective, we should never forget that liberty is about real life, not merely an intellectual abstraction.</p> <p>Imagine a small group of people going out into the world armed with these seven habits. Soon, that infectious optimism helps grow the group, as more and more people are drawn to its light. Those who doubt, criticize, and clamber for power will come to be seen not as progressive and forward thinking, but rather as stuck in old ways that don&rsquo;t work. And the group of networked changemakers will prove their value one experiment at a time. People will turn not to the politicians and the paid experts, but to the geeks, volunteers, and entrepreneurs &mdash; to those with a vision of a beautiful future. <strong>That&rsquo;s what freedom looks like. And that&rsquo;s how you change the world with it</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="476" height="484" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corruption Federal Reserve Ludwig von Mises None Reality Unemployment Sun, 26 Apr 2015 02:10:34 +0000 Tyler Durden 505518 at Inside The Fed's "Doomsday" Bunker <p>Not even a nuclear volley between the US and the USSR could have stopped the Cold War-era Fed from operating. That’s because nestled in the hills of Culpeper, Virginia was a 135,000 square foot bunker that housed some $4 billion in hard currency as well as the central hub of FedWire, the computer network which allows the nation’s banks to communicate and transfer funds.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Constructed in 1969 in an effort to ensure the banking system could still function in the event there were still any banks left in the post-apocalyptic world, Culpeper Switch (officially the Federal Reserve System’s Communications and Records Center) was equipped with everything a Fed official would need to survive in the wake of a nuclear holocaust.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Here’s more via Brookings:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>For nearly three decades, the Federal Reserve Board operated a 139,800-square-foot (13,001 square-meter) radiation hardened facility inside Mount Pony, just east of Culpeper, Virginia. Dedicated on December 10, 1969, the 400-foot-long (122-meter) bunker is built of steel-reinforced concrete 1 foot (0.3 meters) thick. Lead-lined shutters can be dropped to shield the windows of the semi-recessed facility, which is covered by 2 to 4 feet (0.6 to 1.2 meters) of dirt, and surrounded by barbed-wire fences and a guard post. The seven computers at the facility, operated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, were the central node for the transfer of all American electronic funds.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Until July 1992, the bunker, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) southwest of Washington, D.C., also served as a facility for the continuity of government. With a peacetime staff of 100, <strong>the site was designed to support an emergency staff of 540 for thirty days, but only 200 beds were provided in the men's and women's dormitories, which would be shared on a "hot-bunk" basis by the staff, working around the clock. A pre-planned menu of freeze-dried foods for the first thirty days of occupation was stored on site; private wells would provide uncontaminated water following an attack. Other noteworthy features of the facility were a cold storage area for maintaining bodies that could not be promptly buried (owing to high radiation levels), an incinerator, indoor pistol range, and a helicopter landing pad. Until 1988, Mount Pony stored several billion dollars worth of currency, including a large number of $2 bills in its 23,500-square-foot (2,186-square-meter) vault, shrink-wrapped and stacked on pallets 9 feet (2.7 meters) high. This money was to be used "to replenish currency supplies east of the Mississippi."</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>And from <a href="">Paleofuture</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>But the facility wasn’t just for use in the post-apocalyptic future. It was actively used by the Federal Reserve to route and monitor financial transactions from America’s banks throughout the 1970s and 80s. The building was dedicated in December 1969 and by August of the following year it was routing financial transactions between 5,700 banks all around the country. By the mid-1970s it was processing 25,000 messages an hour through the facility’s four computers.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>It may have been designed with the apocalypse in mind, but the Fed was going to be damned sure it got its money’s worth during those pre-apocalypse years.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Here are some fun pages from the government’s Culpeper Switch booklet...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="420" height="535" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="421" height="660" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...and here are the floor plans…</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="266" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="313" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="284" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Once the Soviet threat had passed, the government attempted to sell the facility. Here are the visuals from the brochure:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="528" height="638" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="535" height="677" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="267" height="310" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="415" height="307" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="420" height="230" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="417" height="197" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="415" height="276" /></a></p> <p>* &nbsp;* &nbsp;*</p> <p>In the end, you won't be seeing Janet Yellen here in the event hostilities between Putin and the US escalate because the site has been tranformed into the&nbsp;National Audio-Visual Conservation Center which <a href="">houses</a> "<span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">more than 1.1 million film, television, and video items... with a collection ranging from motion pictures made in the 1890s to today's TV programs, the Library's holdings are an unparalled record of American and international creativity in moving images," but rest assured, someone is making government contingency plans somewhere and we suspect that a mere $4 billion in hard currency won't cut it in a today's post-apocalyptic QE world, so we ask: where's the new bunker and how much are they storing there?</span></p> Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank Janet Yellen Washington D.C. Sun, 26 Apr 2015 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 505520 at Is Greece About To "Lose" Its Gold Again? <p>When it comes to the topic of Greece, most pundits focus on two items: i) when will Greece finally run out of <em>confiscated </em>cash, and ii) will Greece fold to the Troika (and agree to another bailout(s) with even more austerity) or to Russia (and agree to the passage of the Russian Turkish Stream pipeline, potentially exiting NATO and becoming the most important European satellite of the USSR 2.0) once that moment arrives. </p> <p>And yet what everyone appears to be forgetting is a nuanced clause buried deep in the term sheet of the second Greek bailout: a bailout whose terms will be ultimately reneged upon if and when Greece defaults on its debt to the Troika (either in or out of the Eurozone). Recall that as per our report from <a href="">February 2012</a>, in addition to losing its sovereignty years ago, Greece also lost something far more important. It's gold:</p> <p>To wit: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Ms. Katseli, an economist who was labor minister in the government of George Papandreou until she left in a cabinet reshuffle last June, <strong>was also upset that Greece’s lenders will have the right to seize the gold reserves in the Bank of Greece under the terms of the new deal.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The "new deal"referred to is the <em>Second </em>Greek Bailout, which either will be extended and lead to a third (and fourth, and fifth bailout, each with every more draconian terms until finally Greece does default), or will collapse at which point the Troika will indeed have the right to seize the Greek gold reserves.</p> <p>What makes this case particularly curious, however, is that it won't be the first time Greece will have "lost" its gold. In <a href=""><em>The Tower of Basel</em></a>, citing the BIS archive from Febriary 9, 1931, Adam LeBor writes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In <strong>February 1931</strong>, Gates McGarrah, the [BIS’s] American president, wrote to H. C. F. Finlayson, in Athens, <strong>asking about the Bank of Greece’s gold. </strong>Finlayson, a former British financial attaché in Berlin, was now an adviser to the Bank of Greece. <strong>Some of the Greek bank’s gold may have gone missing. </strong>Rather like nowadays, it seemed the accounting at the Bank of Greece left something to be desired. “<strong>What has ever happened to the gold of the Bank of Greece, some of which you thought might be left in our custody in Paris or elsewhere?” </strong>inquired McGarrah, who, as the president of the BIS might have been expected to know what it held and where. <strong>It might, McGarrah suggested, be a good time to find the Greek gold and place it with the BIS.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The BIS, wrote McGarrah, could give the Bank of Greece “all sorts of facilities, rather greater than those of a local Central Bank.” </strong>For example, if the Bank of Greece held gold at the Bank of France and wanted to buy another currency, it first had to buy francs from the Bank of France. The Bank of Greece then converted the francs to the second currency, with all the usual losses of exchange rates and commissions. However, if the Bank of Greece held gold at the Bank of France in the name of the BIS, the BIS could “give the Bank of Greece any currency it desires at any time and can fix an agreed rate without going through the actual exchange operation.” And, the BIS did not charge any commission.</p> </blockquote> <p>And all Greece would need to do to get these copious and generous "benefits"would be to hand over its gold to the Bank of International Settlements. Of course, it would have to <em>find it </em>first...</p> <p>But most importantly, and what ties everything together is that <em><strong>other </strong></em>historic event which took place in 1931. </p> <p>For those who may not be gold history buffs, this is what happened: in September of that year the Bank of England decided to formally (and for the final time) abandon the gold standard. And, as the chart below first posted on Zero Hedge many years ago, that decision, coupled with the great depression and the loss of confidence in the pound, ultimately ended the reserve status of the British currency, ushering the reserve currency status of the US Dollar.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="423" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A few months ago, when the Minutes from the Bank of England's court were published for the first time in January, we learned precisely what happened months after the BIS casually inquired about the lost Greek gold. The <a href="">Telegraph summarized it as follows</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>At the time, sterling was pegged to bullion. This meant that the pound was worth a fixed amount compared to other currencies and gold itself. In order to ensure that sterling retained its value, the Bank of England was obligated to exchange gold for pounds at the specified rate.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, as political turmoil engulfed the UK, the country’s first national government – a coalition between Labour and the Conservatives – presided over a budget crisis that triggered a run on the pound. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">Minutes from the Bank’s court in 1931</a>, published on Wednesday, detailed how foreign exchange reserves were being drained to such an extent that the gold standard had to be abandoned.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Up to that point, the gold standard had been preserved by loans from the Federal Reserve and the French central bank, with the Bank’s bullion reserves used as collateral. But Threadneedle Street decided in September that its reserves would run dry if New York and Paris withdrew support.&nbsp; Ernest Harvey, the Bank’s deputy governor at the time, wrote to Ramsay MacDonald, the prime minister, and Philip Snowden, the chancellor, on September 19, 1931, saying that reserves worth more than £100m were close to running out.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr Harvey wrote: “I am directed to state that the credits for $125,000,000 and Fcs 3,100,000,000 arranged by the Bank of England in New York and Paris respectively, are exhausted, and that the credit for $200,000,000 arranged in New York by His Majesty’s Government, together with credits for a total of Fcs 5 milliards [5bn] negotiated in Paris, are practically exhausted also." “The heavy demands for exchange on New York and Paris still continue. In addition the Bank are being subjected to a drain of gold for Holland.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Under these circumstances, the Bank consider that, having regard to the above commitments and to contingencies that may arise, <strong>it would be impossible for them to meet the demands for gold with which they would be faced on withdrawal of support from the New York and Paris exchanges.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The Bank therefore feel it their duty to represent that, in their opinion, it is expedient in the national interest that they should be relieved of their obligation to sell gold under the provisions of [the Gold Standard Act 1925].” </p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, the Bank of England became insolvent in hard money terms, and was forced to back the currency with nothing but its "faith and credit." No wonder at that moment the sun had set on the British Pound. </p> <p>40 years later, Nixon finally did the same with the US Dollar (but not before FDR confiscated all gold as the US also devalued its currency by 40% in "hard money terms" on January 30, 1934 with the Gold Reserve Act), but in the absence of any gold-backed currency to arise (oh, hi Beijing), the dollar still remains the one-eyed king in the land of blind fiat.</p> <p>Still, one wonders: the last time Greek gold was "lost" a historic event for the world's reserve currencie took place. Is Greek gold about to be "lost" once more, and will monetary history rhyme?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="298" height="298" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of England Bank of International Settlements BIS British Pound default Eurozone Federal Reserve fixed France George Papandreou Great Depression Greece Reserve Currency Term Sheet Sun, 26 Apr 2015 01:45:51 +0000 Tyler Durden 505519 at 2000x Normal Radiation Found In Tokyo Playground, Officials Deny Any Link To Fukushima <p><a href="">When a specially-designed robot dies within 3 hours of being exposed to Fukushima&#39;s radiation</a>, it is clear something is not quite as propagandized in Japan; and today, <a href="">as SCMP reports,</a> <strong>extremely high levels of radiation have been discovered in a children&#39;s playground in Tokyo</strong>. While two hours of exposure to a child would be equivalent to the maximum does allowable in a year, Japanese <strong>officials say they do not think it is connected to the disaster at Fukushima</strong>. <em>We are not sure whether that is supposed to reassure or terrorize locals?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 599px; height: 429px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><em>As The South China Morning Post reports</em></a>,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Soil underneath a slide at the children&#39;s playground in the northwest of the Japanese capital showed radiation readings of up to 480 microsieverts per hour,</strong> the local administrative office said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The radiation level is over 2,000 times that at which the national government requires soil cleaning in areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant</strong></span>, where reactors melted down after the March 2011 tsunami.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Anyone directly exposed to this level <strong>would absorb in two hours the maximum dose of radiation Japan recommends in a year.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;Many children play in the park daily, so the ward office should explain the situation,&quot;</strong> Kyodo News quoted a 62-year-old local woman as saying.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Officials were made aware of the contamination after a local resident reported it on Monday and say they do not think it is connected to the disaster at Fukushima.</strong></span> &quot;Because the area in which we detect radioactivity is very limited, and readings in surrounding parts are normal, we suspect radioactive materials of some kind are buried there,&quot; local mayor Yukio Takano said in a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 601px; height: 374px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The park was built in 2013, two years after the Fukushima nuclear crisis,</strong> a local official said, on what was previously a <strong>parking lot for Tokyo&#39;s sanitation department</strong>. Top soil at the lot was replaced before the land was turned into a park, said the Toshima official.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Many families in eastern Japan continue to survey the levels of radioactive contamination around their houses, distrustful of government assurances</strong> that most places had not been affected by the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Such efforts have led <strong>some people to discover radioactive materials that had been dumped in their neighbourhoods.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *<br /><strong>Coming days after a radioactive drone was discovered atop PM Abe&#39;s office building</strong>, one has to wonder just what the people are trying to tell everyone... that the government is suppressing so strictly.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 591px; height: 429px;" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="591" height="429" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Japan Meltdown Sun, 26 Apr 2015 01:35:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 505517 at Just 6 Charts <p>Presented with one comment... <strong>Di(e)Vergence?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Stocks vs Macro Data</strong></u> - too snowy, too droughty; closed ports, lower oil prices... any more excuses? Macro data - already drastically revised lower - continues to disappoint on&nbsp; a scale not seen since 2008</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 337px;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Stocks vs Earnings Expectations</strong></u> - no lift in earnings expectations despite talking heads proclaiming earnings sesason a success (which it is not even with already collapsed expectations)</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 326px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><u>Stocks vs GDP Expectations</u></strong> - the sell-side weathermen were once again surprised that winter was wet and cold... but think of all the pent-up demand?</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 331px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The sell-side analyst&#39;s ruler of recovery at its finest... <u><strong>providing all the retail-investor reassurance needed...</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 476px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But, as BofAML&#39;s &#39;The Flow Show&#39; exhibits, <u><strong>professionals are exiting en masse. Stocks vs Equity Flows...</strong></u></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 458px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><u>With outflows in 9 of the last 10 weeks - and $79 billion of outflows from equities year-to-date</u></strong> - BofAML&#39;s &#39;Flow Show&#39; report warns that with stocks are record highs the risk of a correction continues to grow.</p> <p>So, macro, micro, and flow data all show weakness but stocks remain at record highs on collapsing volume - Fragile much?</p> <p>And remember, <u><a href=""><strong>next week is the 7.5 Year Itch...</strong></a></u></p> <p><a href=""><img height="314" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Charts: Bloomberg, BofA, and @Not_Jim_Cramer</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="318" height="208" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Jim Cramer recovery Sun, 26 Apr 2015 01:30:54 +0000 Tyler Durden 505509 at US May Use Cyberattacks As Offensive Weapon, DoD Says <p>In what appears to be an effort to ensure that James Franco and Seth Rogen are never again <a href="">sabotaged</a> by evil North Korean hackers, the Pentagon is out with a new plan that explains when it may be necessary to take the cyber fight to the “aggressors” in order to “mitigate potential cyberrisk to the US homeland.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the list of cyber adversaries is indistinguishable from what might fairly be called Washington’s “usual suspects.” <strong>The villains are: Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea.</strong> In fact, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says the Pentagon was recently the target of a Russian “cyber intrusion” which he claims was quickly detected by a government “crack team.” Carter’s comments, which came during a speech at Stanford, also indicated that the US could use cyber attacks as an offensive weapon should circumstances warrant it. Here’s more via <a href=";_r=2">NY Times</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong><em>The Pentagon on Thursday took a major step designed to instill a measure of fear in potential cyberadversaries, releasing a new strategy that for the first time explicitly discusses the circumstances under which cyberweapons could be used against an attacker, and naming the countries it says present the greatest threat: China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>But President Obama’s decision to publicly name North Korea’s leaders for ordering the largest destructive attack on an American target, the announcement of new sanctions against state-sponsored and criminal hackers, and the indictment of five members of the People’s Liberation Army for attacking American corporate targets all reflect a sea change in administration policy.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>American officials have fumed for years that cyberattacks were largely cost-free. Now, much as Presidents Truman and Eisenhower struggled to define circumstances that could prompt a nuclear response from the United States, Mr. Obama and his aides are beginning to lay out conditions under which the nation would employ cyberattacks — <strong>either in retaliation for a strike, as an offensive weapon for conflict or in covert action.</strong> They have made no mention of the central role the United States played in the large cyberstrike against Iran’s nuclear program.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>In his speech at Stanford, Mr. Carter revealed that — like the White House and the State Department — the Pentagon found itself the victim of a cyberintrusion months ago.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>“The sensors that guard DoD’s unclassified networks detected Russian hackers accessing one of our networks,” he said, saying the attack exploited “an old vulnerability in one of our legacy networks that hadn’t been patched.” He said that a “crack team of incident responders” had “quickly kicked them off the network.”</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>“As a matter of principle, the United States will seek to exhaust all network defense and law enforcement options to mitigate any potential cyberrisk to the U.S. homeland or U.S. interests before conducting a cyberspace operation,” the strategy says.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>But it adds that “there may be times when the president or the secretary of defense may determine that it would be appropriate for the U.S. military to conduct cyber operations to disrupt an adversary’s military related networks or infrastructure so that the U.S. military can protect U.S. interests in an area of operations. </strong>For example, the United States military might use cyber operations to terminate an ongoing conflict on U.S. terms, or to disrupt an adversary’s military systems to prevent the use of force against U.S. interests.” That last phrase seemed to leave open the door for pre-emptive cyber attacks.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Amusingly (and as hinted at above), the Pentagon wants cyber enemies to know that the US is prepared to take the same stance on cyber attacks as it does on nuclear deterrence. Namely that America is building up its capabilities for defensive purposes only but will not hesitate to keep its offensive “options” open. Here’s the <a href="">Department of Defense</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>“Still,” Carter said, “adversaries should know that our preference for deterrence and our defensive posture <strong>don’t diminish our willingness to use cyber options if necessary.”</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>And more from The Times:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>“Deterrence is partially a function of perception,” the new strategy says. “It works by convincing a potential adversary that it will suffer unacceptable costs if it conducts an attack on the United States."</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>So in other words: the best defense is a good offense.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>* &nbsp;* &nbsp;*</p> <p>Here’s the official fact sheet from DoD:</p> <p style="margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; display: block;"> <a href="" title="View Department of Defense Cyber Strategy Fact Sheet on Scribd" style="text-decoration: underline;">Department of Defense Cyber Strategy Fact Sheet</a></p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="248" height="140" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Iran North Korea White House Sun, 26 Apr 2015 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 505521 at What Will Happen To You When The Dollar Collapses? <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Jeff Thomas via Doug Casey&#39;s International Man blog</em></a>,</p> <div class="container main" id="article"> <div class="row margin_top_25"> <div class="col-md-8"> <div class="row"> <div class="col-md-10"><strong>?Historically, when a nation&rsquo;s debt exceeds its ability to repay even the interest, it can be assumed that the currency will collapse.</strong> Typically, governments exacerbate the situation by printing large amounts of currency notes in an effort to inflate the problem away, or at least postpone it.</div> <div class="col-md-10">&nbsp;</div> <div class="col-md-10"><strong>The greater the level of debt, the more dramatic the inflation must be to counter it.</strong> The more dramatic the inflation, the greater the danger that hyperinflation will take place. No government has ever been able to control hyperinflation. If it occurs, it does so quickly and <em>always </em>ends with a crash.</div> <div class="col-md-10">&nbsp;</div> <div class="col-md-10">Although there are observers (myself included) who frequently discuss what a reserve-currency crash would mean to the world, there is little or no discussion as to how this would impact people on the street level, and perhaps that discussion should begin.</div> <div class="col-md-10">&nbsp;</div> <div class="col-md-10"><strong>When currencies crash, the state often tries to float a new currency.</strong> Sometimes, it&rsquo;s accepted, sometimes not. Generally, the people of the country (and those trading within the country) move immediately to &ldquo;the next best thing.&rdquo; In 2009, when the Zimbabwe dollar crashed, several currencies were used, but the US dollar was the clear favourite, as it was the world&rsquo;s reserve currency and therefore the most &ldquo;spendable&rdquo; currency.</div> <div class="col-md-10">&nbsp;</div> <div class="col-md-10">Not surprisingly, the Zimbabwean government fought the use of the dollar, as they wanted to retain control of the economy and the people. People were therefore penalised for using the US dollar and other currencies.</div> <div class="col-md-10">&nbsp;</div> <div class="col-md-10"><strong>And that&rsquo;s what most governments do, but here&rsquo;s where that idea usually falls down</strong>: <em>First, the &ldquo;black-market&rdquo; currency is so desired by the now-jaded citizens that they do all they can to avoid the new official currency. Soon, most transactions, although illegal, are undertaken in the black-market currency. Second, since no one really wants the new currency, even the political leaders are soon using the black-market currency.</em></div> <div class="col-md-10">&nbsp;</div> <div class="col-md-10"><em>Ultimately, the black-market currency is legalised (since it&rsquo;s the only truly workable solution), and it often becomes the unofficial currency, if not actually the official one.</em></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <h2><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>First, the Euro Crash</strong></span></h2> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s safe to say that the EU, the US, and quite a few other jurisdictions are nearing currency crashes, and in all likelihood, the euro will go before the dollar.</strong> So, unless the EU has already prearranged a new euro, the US dollar might well be chosen as an immediate solution to the problem, as the US dollar is presently recognised and traded throughout Europe. Therefore, a relatively painless transfer could be made.</p> <h2><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Then, the Dollar Crash</strong></span></h2> <p>However, the dollar, which is presently praised as being a sound currency, is really only sound in relation to the euro (and some other lesser currencies). Once its less stable brother, the euro, collapses, the dollar will be exposed.</p> <p>As the US dollar is a fiat currency and is on the ropes, the US (and any other country that is using the dollar as its primary currency when the time comes) will experience a currency emergency <em>at the street level</em> that will be unprecedented.</p> <p>The big question that is generally not being discussed is: The day after the crash (and thereafter), what will be the currency that is used to buy a bag of groceries, a tank of petrol, a meal at a restaurant? Certainly, the <em>need</em> will be immediate and will be on a national level in each impacted country, affecting everyone.</p> <h2><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>And Then&hellip;</strong></span></h2> <p>I have discussed for some time that the US will be prepared ahead of time with a new, electronic currency. This will serve three purposes:</p> <ol> <li>It will allow the US government to blame paper currencies for the crash, in order to distract the public from recognising that the government itself is the culprit.</li> </ol> <ol> <li>It will allow the US government to create a currency system that disallows the holding of tradable currency by the population&mdash;that is, a debit card would be created by banks through which <em>all</em> transactions must pass, assuring that <em>all</em> transactions are processed by (and thereby subject to the control of) a bank.</li> </ol> <ol> <li>It will allow the US government to have knowledge of every penny earned and spent by any individual or organization, allowing for direct-debit income taxation.</li> </ol> <p><strong>If the US does institute such a system, US citizens will then become the most economically controlled people in the world, overnight.</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s likely that a black-market system would spontaneously be created by US citizens in order to bypass the new government system. A portion of daily trade would occur under the table. It would unquestionably be made illegal, and we can only speculate as to how prevalent it would become: 10% of all transactions? 30%? Anyone&rsquo;s guess. Certainly, the government would crack down, and penalties might become severe.</p> <p>Elsewhere in the world, there would be greater freedom, but what would their currencies be? There are many countries that presently use the US dollar as one of their official currencies. After a crash, the greater the link to the US dollar, the greater the loss of economic freedom, although, in most such countries, the government is likely to be less efficient than in the US, which would work in favour of the individual.</p> <p>Such countries would also have the option of switching from the dollar to another dominant currency. With the euro and dollar gone, that currency might be the Chinese yuan. The difficulty with this possibility is that, presently, the yuan is not in common use on the street.</p> <p>Adoption of a currency such as the yuan would require a sudden switch in monetary policy, complete with teething problems. However, recent developments amongst the BRICS and others indicate that many countries are already seeing the writing on the wall and are readying themselves for the use of the yuan as an alternate.</p> <h2><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>A Return to Precious Metals as Currency?</strong></span></h2> <p><strong>A further possibility is taking place in <a href="" target="_blank">Mexico</a> today. Mexico is remonetising silver.</strong> A one-ounce pure silver Libertad coin will function in parallel to (and be interchangeable with) the existing paper peso. Banks will value the Libertad daily, based upon the silver price. Thus, Mexico will create a legal way for its citizens to protect themselves against devaluation of the peso, whilst creating an internal protection against currency crashes in other countries.</p> <p><strong><em>If the Mexican government remains consistent in its plan, it will do more than simply help stabilise Mexico economically; it will serve as an example to other countries that when the Goliaths of the euro and US dollar fall, there is a very sound alternative.</em></strong></p> <p>Further, the more countries that follow this policy, the more silver (and for that matter, gold) would become an international currency. It would matter little to a petrol station owner in <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Canada</strong></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Australia</strong></a>, or <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Chile</strong></a> whether his till was filled with coins marked, &ldquo;Mexico,&rdquo; or whether they said &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Iceland</strong></a>,&rdquo; &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>New Zealand</strong></a>,&rdquo; or &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>South Africa</strong></a>.&rdquo; After all, an ounce of silver is an ounce of silver, no matter what the issuing country is.</p> <p><strong>As the Great Unravelling proceeds, we would be wise to monitor what happens with the Libertad in Mexico and watch for a similar return to precious metals in other jurisdictions.</strong> As this development progresses, we might wish to consider that, whatever jurisdictions are the most forceful in demanding the continued use of doomed paper currencies (or, worse, transferring into electronic currencies), we may choose to store our wealth, no matter how great or small, in a safer jurisdiction. <em><strong>Further, we may choose to reside in a jurisdiction where a currency crisis will be less likely to occur; to live under a government that does not seek to monitor and tax our every economic transaction.</strong></em></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em>Editor&#39;s note: To help you protect your life savings from a drop in the dollar, and depending on one currency and the whims of one government, we&#39;ve prepared a free, in-depth video presentation called, &quot;Internationalizing Your Assets.&quot;&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>You&#39;ll discover how easy, and essential, it is to move a portion of your savings overseas and protect yourself from rising taxes, capital controls, asset forfeiture, and even predatory lawsuits. Doug Casey and Peter Schiff round out our all-star panel of experts. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="" target="_blank">Click here to watch this insightful webinar, it&#39;s completely free.</a></span></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="307" height="283" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Australia BRICs Hyperinflation Iceland Mexico Monetary Policy New Zealand Peter Schiff Precious Metals Reserve Currency Yuan Sun, 26 Apr 2015 00:25:06 +0000 Tyler Durden 505516 at